Humidity and food sources, such as the wood in your home’s exterior, attract termites. To understand termite control and pest control in general, you must know what attracts them, where they live, and how to keep them at bay.
The professionals at Urban Desert Pest Control explain everything you need to know about termites and how to remove them from your home. Continue reading to see what you must understand about these destructive pests and how to treat the issue.
Identifying Termites and Their Types
Termites look similar to ants, but their appearance has some key differences. The following explains what termites look like and how to identify them:
- Termites have a straight, nonexistent waist compared to an ant’s pinched waist
- Termites have straight antennae, and ants have elbow-shaped antennae
- Ants have shorter front wings and a back wing set, while termites have one same-length pair of wings
Termites live in colonies and often remain hidden from eyesight. They live in the soil, mud tubes, or food tunnels and only emerge as fully fledged adults ready for mating and finding new homes.
There are two main types of termites, each with varying ways to remove them. We explain the two main types in the following.
These termites live in and eat wood; dampwood termites prefer humid and coastal climates more than their drywood relatives. Because of the colony’s location, food-based traps don’t work well with this type. They also grow larger than their subterranean counterparts, up to half an inch in length.
Subterranean termites prefer to live underground in the soil, usually close to your house, their food source. They use mud tubes to move around the home and find wood. Their colonies grow much larger than the dry- or dampwood species, and they are the most common variety in America.
Signs You Have a Termite Problem
Because you might find it challenging to see them, you must look for the signs of an infestation to determine whether you have termites. You can hire pest control services to inspect your home or keep an eye out for the following signs yourself:
- Small clicking sounds from within your walls
- Small holes in the wood structures of your home
- Wing sheddings and droppings in small piles
- Paint damage
- Hollow wood
- Small mud tubes surrounding your home
Regularly search your home for signs of a termite problem, and contact a professional for help when you notice any of the above.
Termite Treatment Steps
Termites cause severe structural damage and, without elimination, will destroy your home. Subterranean and drywood termites have varying treatments because of their different location preferences. Termite control, or any pest control, typically requires a professional for complete eradication.
If you choose to do it yourself, you can follow these steps for termite treatment:
- Locate the colony for treatment
- Apply a barrier treatment outside your home, specifically where wood touches the ground
- Place termite baits around so that foraging termites bring the poison back to their colony
- Drywood termites require fumigation or temperatures of at least 120°F throughout the home, as baits and barriers are ineffective
- Search the exterior of your home and remove wooden structures that touch the ground
- Thoroughly inspect gutters and ensure they function properly to limit dampness and humidity on or in your home
These steps may be effective if you catch the infestation early, but termite control is challenging without the proper tools and knowledge. For optimal results, hire a professional to exterminate the colony. Doing so will guarantee complete eradication and provide you with peace of mind.
Preventing a Termite Infestation
Once you rid your home of termites, you must do everything in your power to eliminate your risk of re-infestation. You can use several forms of preventative termite control, listed in the following:
- Request consistent professional termite inspections
- Maintain your roof, gutters, and AC unit to eliminate humidity and dampness
- Keep wood such as firewood, wooden mulch, or tree stumps away from the house
- Use rubber mulch or gravel instead of wood in landscaping on the property
- Clear away debris surrounding your home and consistently maintain the exterior siding and window or door frames
The goal aims to limit their food sources and humidity, creating a less habitable location for the termites. Coupled with inspecting for symptoms, you can keep your home termite-free after an infestation. A proactive approach will benefit you in the long run and lessen the costs involved in pest elimination.
When To Call for Professional Pest Control in Phoenix
If you have a large colony or your current methods don’t work, you should request professional help. Eliminating termite infestations requires expertise, special tools, and in-depth knowledge that most homeowners don’t have. If you need help with your termite control or pest control, contact Urban Desert Pest Control at (602) 932-1908 and request an inspection in Phoenix, AZ.