What Attracts Termites
While they’re all usually clumped together under the termite umbrella, there are three types of termites to look out for. They are dampwood termites, drywood termites, and subterranean termites. Why is it important to make this distinction? They’re all attracted to homes for different reasons. So to keep your home truly protected, you’ll need to defend against all three species. One differentiating factor between these termites is their living and eating habits. Drywood and Dampwood termites are known to live within the wood as they consume it, while the subterranean species tend to live in the ground and will venture to and from the wood they’re consuming.
Another differentiating factor is their appetites. As you might assume, drywood termites are drawn to dry types of wood, while dampwood termites seek out moist wood. On the other hand, subterranean termites have to feed off of wood that touches the ground since that is where they make their home.
Luckily for our Midwestern customers, the geographic locations where termites thrive are typically located in the southern part of the country. However, it doesn’t mean termites aren’t a concern; they just have limited seasonality.
Whether the mixture results from water leaks, storms, poor drainage, or a lack of airflow, moisture creates an inviting environment for dampwood and subterranean termites in particular.
Openings in the Building
Any cracks or openings in structures offer a warm welcome for termites to enter through. The most vulnerable areas for these cracks to form are typically around windows, doors, and vents that lead to the outdoors.
How to Spot Termites
The first step to eliminating a termite infestation is spotting it quickly and hopefully before they’ve caused too much damage. Some of the main signs of the beginning of a termite infestation include the following:
Flying swarmers - they are termites whose task is to find places for new settlements.
Damaged wood - each type of termite leaves different evidence behind. Drywoods, for instance, leave piles of sawdust in their wake, and they might leave the wood looking blistered if they’ve burrowed a tunnel too close to the surface of the wood.
Dampwood termites leave wood feeling soft to the touch; there might not be visible evidence because they cover the openings to their tunnels with waste.
Subterranean termites, which are most common, leave little external evidence. But if you tap on an area of wood that you suspect is damaged, the wood will crumble, exposing their tunnels.
How to Eliminate Termites
If you can, it is always best to prevent an infestation from occurring in the first place. But sometimes, this simply isn’t possible. If you find your home with a termite infestation, here are the steps you can take to rid yourself of it.
Have you ever seen a home in your neighborhood covered with a large circus-looking tent or tarp? If so, then you are somewhat familiar with the concept of tenting. We’ll cover your home with the tent throughout this process and release a gas that enters the wood and kills the termites. This very involved method requires homeowners to leave their homes for at least three days, taking all plants, pets, and food with them.
Spraying is an alternative to tenting that’s far more localized. We can identify areas where termites have burrowed and use the specialized nozzle to penetrate the area with termiticides. The quantity of spray and type of spray is dependent on the species of termite that has invaded your home.
Soil treatment is more of a preventative measure, but it is highly effective. Termites will not travel through treated areas, so your home should be safe if you layout a perimeter.
Luckily, you don’t need to make these decisions on your own and without guidance. If you’re concerned about the presence of termites in your home, contact our team for assistance. Visit our website or call us at (419) 475-6055 for more information about how we can help!