How to Identify and Get Rid of Termites

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How to Get Rid of Termites

Termites don’t bite or carry diseases, but they can cost you hundreds and even thousands of dollars before you even know they’re in your home. The little pests thrive and feed off the wood used to construct your house and can severely damage the integrity of it. It’s estimated they cause more than five billion dollars in property damage every year.

That’s why it’s important to prevent them before they get inside and start wreaking havoc. Termites may be the one pest you don’t even want to attempt to get rid of on your own. The best method to fight them is to call a pest control specialist trained at keeping termites away from your home and eliminating them if they’ve already made their way inside.

How to Identify Termites

There are roughly 2,000 different types of termites around the world, but there are only a few that homeowners really have to worry about.

Subterranean Termites

This type of termite is by far the most destructive one in the United States. It’s often referred to as a ‘silent destroyer’ and can be found in every state but Alaska. They are long, narrow and oval shaped, are creamy white to dark brown or black in color and are no more than a half inch long. Subterranean termites feed on wood 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can cause extensive damage. They live in colonies underground that can have as many as two million members. Above ground, they can be found in very moist, hidden areas.

Formosan Termites

This type of termite is organized, aggressive and difficult to control. They can be found in the Southeast, as well as Hawaii, California, Texas and Virginia. Formosan termites form huge colonies underground and build mud nests inside walls. They are about a half inch long, have pale yellow to brownish yellow bodies and translucent wings covered in small hairs. Formosan termites are attracted to light, so you may find their discarded wings near lights, vents, doors and windows. Much like other termites, they live in huge colonies underground and because they eat so aggressively, a colony can take out an entire 2×4 in less than a month. They will also eat through railroad trusses, landscape timbers, trees, shrubs and utility poles.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites are a little less common and are found mostly in coastal regions of the country. They can be up to an inch long and white to brown in color. Drywood termites don’t need moisture to survive and will establish their nests in roofing, wooden wall supports, undecayed wood and even wood furniture.

It’s not easy to determine if termites are eating their way through your home since you can’t see what’s going on behind the walls. But there are a few things you can look for that will help you determine if you have an infestation and should call a professional pest control service.

 

  • Mud tubes on the outside of your home are a strong clue. Termites uses these tubs to travel and to keep their bodies from drying out.
  • If you tap on wood in your home and it’s soft and sounds hollow, termites are likely the culprit.
  • If your paint is bubbling or uneven or if the wood in your home has become darker or blistered looking, termites could be the cause.
  • Finding small piles of feces that looks like sawdust can indicate termites.
  • Finding discarded wings near your windows or doors could mean termites are inside your home.

​Preventing Termite Infestations

Tackling termites by yourself rarely ends in success, that’s why it’s strongly recommended that you call a pest control service that specializes in termite treatment and elimination. Doing it yourself should begin with prevention – before termites ever show up.

  • Inspect your roof and see if it needs repairs. Termites can set up nests in areas where there are broken tiles or torn shingles, especially if there’s water damage.
  • Keep an eye on the AC. Water drips from window air conditioner units and can cause the wood around the window to become wet and a great spot for an infestation.
  • Inspect your home. Termites become most active during spring and summer, so be sure to check any exposed wood in your home for damage by trying to press your thumb into it. If the wood crumbles, termites are the likely reason.
  • Don’t save all those boxes in the attic. Cardboard is a favorite with termites, so get rid of empty boxes you may be saving and repack things you have in storage in plastic containers.
  • Store wood carefully. If you have a fireplace, you’ll want to be careful about stacking wood close to the house.
  • Keep an eye on the garden. Mulch made from wood is a good place for termites to nest. If you do use this type of mulch, don’t put it directly against your home.
  • Fix leaks. If you have leaking pipes in the bathroom, kitchen or laundry room, get them fixed. The moisture can make the wood wet and the condition right for termites.

There are several liquid applications on the market to help you get rid of termites on your own, but the most reliable and effective treatment requires the work of a pest control expert.

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Getting Rid of Termites in Your House

Treatment Methods for Termites

Once termites nest in your home and start causing damage, it’s hard to stop them and get rid of them. At Ehrlich, our termite specialists are skilled and experienced at figuring out what kind of termites you have and understanding the best way to eliminate them and keep them from coming back.

Step 1: Free Inspection

Call us today to schedule a convenient appointment time. One of our pest control professionals will perform a free, thorough inspection of your property. We know where to look and what to look for when it comes to termites.

Step 2: Customized Plan

We’ll explain to you the best possible solution for your termite problem. No home or problem is the same, so our treatment recommendations will be tailored to your specific needs. We will give you a price quote and answer any questions you may have.

Step 3: Protection and Prevention

Together, we will determine the treatment that will work best for your home and your life and we will begin working immediately to eliminate any and all termites. All our treatment options are environmentally friendly and safe for your family and your pets.

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Professional Termite Treatment

We have a variety of treatment methods for termites that can be implemented based on the type of termite you have, the infestation size and where it’s located.

  • Conventional termite treatment includes applying a liquid termiticide to the soil. The treatment will go into the ground down to the footers of your home and completely around your perimeter. This type of treatment eliminates colonies.
  • Ehrlich’s technicians may recommend installing Sentricon baiting and monitoring stations in the ground around your house. It’s important to leave these in place after the infestation has been eliminated to prevent future problems.
  • If drywood termites are determined to be the issue, Ehrlich’s pest control professionals are highly trained in fumigation and spot treatment methods to get rid of them. Fumigation will require you to leave your property for a few days, but it is completely effective in stopping termite infestations.

Termites can cause hundreds and thousands of dollars in damage to your property, so it’s best to keep them away before they have a chance to start eating up the wood in your home. Call Ehrlich today to protect your family, your home and your largest investment.

Ehrlich’s Termite Services

Whatever pest control issue you may have, Ehrlich is here to help. Our pest control specialists are highly trained, licensed and certified professionals who use the latest technology, treatment and tools to eliminate your current problems and prevent future infestations. We have been protecting homes and businesses from pests since 1928 – we’d be honored to protect yours too.

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