One of the worst pests that can invade your home is the notorious termite. The reasons are obvious. Left unchecked termites can literally eat you out of house and home. In Illinois and the majority of the US the most common species of termite is the Eastern subterranean termite. They are called subterranean because they survive by building nests underground which provides moisture and an optimal temperature for the pest to survive. They connect to their food source via mud tunnels and unfortunately these tunnels many times lead straight into the wood of your home.
It is estimated that the subterranean termite is responsible for the majority of termite damage to homes and buildings in the U.S. This damaged is caused because of the termites diet which is products containing cellulose like wood. But unlike other wood-destroying insects, termites actually eat the wood.
The bad news is you may have termites for a few years before you actually see any signs of the pest. That is because it typically takes a colony at least five years to grow to a size that can damage a home. There are three different castes in a termite colony: worker, soldier, and reproductive. Both the worker and soldier have translucent bodies with amber colored heads, but the worker is slightly longer and has an elongated jaw. The reproductive is winged and 3/8 inch in length and is sometimes visible swarming outside in the spring months.
What you can do?
- All wood-to-soil contact must be eliminated. This includes soil and mulch contact with wood and shingle siding, window frames, wooden threshold components and door jambs.
- All wood debris must be removed from soil-floor crawlspaces.
- Deck and fence posts, as well as landscaping timbers, should be of commercially treated wood.
- Firewood piles, stacks of spare lumber and scrap wood should be stored off the ground on blocks.
- The wood moisture content of structures should be reduced to below 20% by (1) structural and plumbing repairs, (2) correct landscaping practices, (3) indoor ventilation enhancement, (4) strategic dehumidification and/or (5) efficient air conditioning.
Some typical signs of termites are:
- Swarms of the reproductive termites in the spring time especially after a warm rain
- Interior damage that looks similar to water damage swollen floors or ceilings, loose tiles, bubbling paint
- Visible mazes within walls or furniture
- Smell of mildew or mold
- Mud tunnels near the foundation of the structure
If you do suspect termites, it is very important to get help from a pest control professional right away. Termite infestations that have grown over many years and been left untreated can seriously damage homes and even cause floors or roofs to collapse. Give us a call and we will be happy to inspect your house and suggest the best and safest solution to your pest problem. Quik Kill Pest Eliminators 800-525-0505