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How Termites Are Treated

They don't just buzz, irritate, and sting. Termites feast on a valuable asset: your home. And when those unseen, hungry explorers fill their stomachs, humans must empty their wallets to repair the damage. How termites are treated?

"They cause the most structural damage to a dwelling," says Dr. Mike Potter, an entomology professor at the University of Kentucky. "Termites are the ones who cause the most financial stress and worry to people.” Termites routinely damage homes underground, causing rot that isn't discovered until it's too late. They are pests, and you must eliminate them. Here's how to get rid of termites.

How Termites Are Treated

Termites: Tiny Insects Causing Massive Devastation

  • According to Orkin, termite damage affects approximately 600,000 American homes each year.

  • Termite damage repair costs an average of $3,000 per homeowner. Every year, approximately $5 billion is spent by American homeowners to control termites and repair termite damage.

  • Subterranean termites are the "most destructive pests of wood in the United States," according to the Centers for Disease Control.

  • Termites cause more property damage each year than fires and windstorms combined.

  • That's even more impressive when you consider that termites are virtually non-existent in large swaths of the country. Termites cause significant damage to the southeastern United States, Hawaii, and the California coast. However, most of the country experiences light to moderate termite activity, with the northernmost states experiencing little to no termite activity.

Preventive Measures for Three Types of Termites

Termites are classified into subterranean termites, damp wood termites, and dry wood termites. Although each species has its biology and behaviors, the treatments are the same. For termite inspection, Chicago; contact A-1 Pestmasters.

Even if your home is over a century old, you can implement some of the same termite prevention measures:

  • Remove all cellulose materials within 25 feet of the house, including mulch, stumps, and wood scraps.

  • Ensure that adequate drainage surrounds the foundation of the house.

  • Do not allow untreated wood to come into contact with the soil.

  • Install screened vents in crawl spaces and attics to prevent moisture buildup.

  • Keep dead wood away from the house. That's a termite feast.

  • Install splash blocks on your spigot and gutters to prevent moisture buildup around the foundation. Have you checked all the boxes but are still concerned about future infestations? Employ a professional to create a preventive barrier.

Install a Termite Prevention Barrier

So you've cleaned and dried all of the areas near your foundation, but your home still feels unsafe? Bring in the big guns. "The most certain thing you can do to protect your home and protect against future problems is a preventive treatment," Potter says. Preventive treatments range from chemical applications before construction to chemical and physical barriers.

Pre-Construction Care

According to the Arizona Extension, pre-construction liquid chemical barriers are industry standard. Before concrete is poured, a termiticide is applied to the soil within the foundation footprint following a termite inspection.

Treatment After Construction

Following construction, soil treatments were performed in a trench 6 inches wide and 12 inches deep around the wooden structures. The chemicals used in trenching either repel or kill termites and physical barriers preventing termites from moving are becoming more popular nationwide. That's because they don't contain any chemicals that could pollute the environment. They serve as a pest control tool by preventing termites from crossing the barrier and eating your home.

Termite Physical Barriers

  • Copper termite shields installed on the foundation are a physical barrier, but they can be costly.

  • Stainless steel mesh can be installed within the foundation walls or wrapped around pipe frontage.

  • The impasse is a brand of polymer plastic sheeting that contains an insecticide between two layers of plastic. It is laid out in broad swaths along the foundation.

  • Termites can also be kept at bay with sand. Termites can be deterred by laying a 4-6-inch layer of uniform sand beneath the foundational concrete.

  • Although these provide some termite protection, the persistent little creatures can still get inside. And it's critical to recognize them when they do.

Termite Detection

"Knowing the signs of termites is the first step," Potter says. According to Potter's article for the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension, seeing them is a sure sign. He writes that if you see a winged termite flying around inside your home, you almost certainly have a termite infestation that requires action.

Swarmers are flying termites that typically appear in the spring. The winged insects look a lot like flying ants, but they have a distinct odor.

Flying termites and flying ants both have two pairs of wings. On the other hand, a termite's wings will be the same size, whereas an ant has a larger pair in front and a smaller pair behind.

So, if you see what appears to be a flying ant with all its wings the same size, you have a termite problem. Finding them outside your home is not cause for concern. Swarms of termites flying from tree stumps or piles of dead wood in your yard do not necessarily indicate that they are also in your home. However, if they appear to be swarming from your house's foundation, wooden porches, or patios, they've most likely moved in. Other signs of a termite infestation include mud tubes built up and down the building's foundation by termites to travel through.

Termite Killing: Liquid vs. Baits

  • So there are all the telltale signs: mud tubes, swarmers inside the house, and possibly even wood fixtures that have been eaten away.

  • Maybe you had a professional look at it, and the verdict is in. Termites are to blame.

  • You must now decide whether to use liquid or bait termiticide to eliminate them.

Termiticides in Liquid Form

The traditional termite control method is a liquid pesticide. This entails applying the product beneath and around the structure. A liquid creates a long-lasting chemical barrier around the house by repelling them or using a nonrepellent-but-lethal chemical. Regrettably, it is also intrusive. Gallons of the stuff are required, and drilling and injection through porches, patios, and adjacent concrete around your house may be required.

Termiticide Bait

Bait is less intrusive. Using small amounts of termite-friendly materials, the slow-acting insecticide is ingested by the termite, which then transports it back to the termite colonies, spreading the poison.

Baits are typically installed beneath the ground around the perimeter of a building, typically in the form of a hollow plastic cylinder with slits on the side. Termites tunnel through the bait and leave a colony-specific scent behind, attracting more termites. Bait systems are not without flaws. The first step is to get termites to find the bait. It could take months for the baits to work.

Baiting can also be more expensive. Additional visits may be required to monitor activity and add or replenish slow-acting bait stations. Learn do termites bite humans in our other post. A-1 Pest masters are very reasonable in termite inspection costs. You can call us anytime at (312) 647-2630.

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