How much do you know about termites? We hope you know enough to protect your property from these insects. While it is commonly understood that termites feed on wood, most Phoenix homeowners don't know what kinds of wood they eat, or other sources of food termites eat besides wood. It is also not commonly understood how termite infestations begin or how to prevent them. Join us today as we look at how to catch early warning signs of termites, factors that attract a termite infestation, and tips that will make your home resistant to an infestation. If you want to speak to a professional, regarding your termite concerns, remember that we're here to help. You can contact us at any time.
How To Tell If Your Home Has A Termite Problem
Termite identification is at the heart of termite control and prevention. When you're busy in your yard, you have two opportunities to detect termites at any time. The secret to detecting termites is knowing what they look like. It may seem obvious if you already know something about termites. But it isn't as easy to detect termites as you might think. Termites in Phoenix are small. Workers are about ⅛ of an inch in length and swarmers are about ⅜ of an inch. While you might have an idea of what termites look like, you may look right at them and not realize it. At such a small size, some characteristics are hard to notice. The other issue with detection is that you may not see termites. They are incredibly elusive. Let's look at workers and swarmers, discuss what they look like, and show how they may elude detection.
Workers: These insects are pale to yellowish. When you see them in the real world, and not in a picture on the internet, you might mistake them for tiny, shiny white ants. You may also think you've found maggots and drop the board, stick, or other item you've found them on. Maggots are pretty gross. What is even more confusing is that worker termites can appear in junk piles and are found on clothing, cardboard, and paper products. They eat the cellulose in these items. When you see a tiny pale insect with six legs, take a closer look, it might be a termite worker.
Swarmers: The world is filled with insects. Seeing a tiny black insect with white wings on your arm isn't likely to cause you to stop and say, "Hey, what is that?" But we recommend that you do. While it is easy to identify dozens of swarmers grouped together, one termite swarmer may elude your observation. Look for them as you walk along a path in your yard. Watch for them on window sills. Check to see if you can detect a termite swarmer, or just its wings, in a spider web. Catching one tiny little swarmer early may prevent an infestation. The primary identifying trait of a swarmer is that its wings are rounded at the tips, and these wings stack on top of each other when the insect is at rest. You should easily notice the shape as well. The wings are a stretched teardrop shape.
Detecting termites is a great way to tell that you have a termite problem because seeing termites is evidence that there is a nest nearby. But there are other ways to tell. Here are a few quick warning signs you can look for in and around your home.
- Subterranean termites create shelter tubes made of saliva and soil. The material is like mud, so these structures are often called mud tubes. They usually look like thin, squiggly mud lines.
- Drywood termites create frass. You may find this material near hardwood, such as doors, windows, frames, and baseboards.
- Termites sometimes create damage that is visible. If you see changes to the wood of your home, check to see if you can detect tunnels inside the damage. These tunnels will stack on top of each other and look somewhat like corrugated cardboard.
- You may hear clicking noises in wood, or wood may sound hollow when you tap on timbers with a hammer.
When you find signs of termites in your home, contact Green Home Pest Control for assistance with termite control. Don't take any chances when it comes to protecting your property from extensive termite damage.
The Many Factors That Can Attract Termites To Your Home
Long before you see evidence of termites and you are in need of Phoenix termite control, you have options to help you prevent a termite infestation. The first step is to evaluate your yard for potential factors that can invite an infestation. We've touched on some, but here is a quick and complete reference you can check at a glance.
- Dying trees
- Wood debris
- Buried wood
- Wood near wet soil
- A damp perimeter
- Dense landscape vegetation
- Wood fences
- Wood sheds
Worker termites are always looking for food. When they find a source of food in your yard, the queen knows it. In response, she creates more offspring. As the workers continue to enter your yard to get food, they may signal the queen that your yard is a great place to create a nest. More and more, termites apply pressure on your home and eventually, they find a route inside. Once inside, they start to nibble. As they grow their populations, they nibble more. Over time, a small problem turns into a big problem, and all of this termite activity happens right under your nose.
Water also plays a part. Termite workers need moisture for hydration. If you have a clogged gutter, damp perimeter, and dense landscaping that traps moisture, you'll give termite workers even more of a reason to explore the soil near your home.
Removing these factors can provide an all-natural barrier against termite infestations. If termites don't have a good reason to explore your yard and make tunnels near your foundation walls, they may not encroach. Let's take a look at how this works.
Natural Ways To Make Your Home Less Appealing To Termites
We talked about the factors that attract termites to your home, now let's put that information into action. Here are some helpful tips to deter termites from making your home their next meal. These steps take no specialized knowledge of termite pest control products.
- Remove piles of items from your yard by storing them in a container. Any bins or receptacles will do.
- Pick up dead branches and store them in a container or on a rubber mat.
- If you have construction wood, wood scraps, or campfire wood, build a structure to store them above the ground.
- Remove stumps and logs from your yard.
- Restore dying trees back to life or remove them entirely from your property.
- Address wood-to-soil contact on structures. For example, wood supports that hold your back deck up.
- Make sure wood siding is six inches above the ground.
- Consider replacing wood fences with a termite-resistant material, such as vinyl.
- Address moisture control issues, such as clogged gutters.
- Seal entry points in your exterior to keep swarmers from entering your home.
If you remove the factors that can lead to a termite infestation and perform routine inspections, identify termites in your yard, or find termite damage, you can protect your home by deterring termites and catching them early.
The Best Thing To Do If You Spot Signs Of Termite Damage
What do you do when you catch signs of active termites on your property, such as termite damage? Consider contacting Green Home Pest Control. We use professional-grade liquid termiticides to control termites. The products we use have a transfer effect, which means the termites share the control material with each other. We don't just address the termites that come in contact with your treatment. The materials we apply are carried back to the colony, and they remove the threat by eliminating the colony. There is no better way to arrest a termite infestation. There is also no better way to prevent one. Long before you find evidence of termites in your yard or termite damage to your property, you can protect your investment. Our technicians have the training and certifications to install a termiticide barrier all the way around your home. When termites pass through the product, they don't realize it. As they groom each other and share food by way of trophallaxis, the active material spreads from termite to termite, leading to colony elimination. No more colony; no more threat.
If you need assistance with preventing a subterranean termite infestation, contact us about a termiticide treatment. When you have this invisible barrier around your home, you won't have to worry about termite damage. We can also help you keep drywood termites out by applying perimeter pest control around your home.
The best way to get rid of termites is to proactively get rid of the termites in your yard before they damage your property. We can help you get the protection you want. Contact Green Home Pest Control today and speak with one of our knowledgeable and helpful service people.