Termites cause somewhere between $1 - $1.5 billion worth of damage every year. That is a significant sum for insurance companies and homeowners to pay out simply replacing the wood that the termites have destroyed. Of course, in some cases, the termite destruction is so severe that the property has to be pulled down and rebuilt.
That is a scenario that you would probably prefer to avoid and a great reason to learn how to control termites.
The first step to preventing termite damage is to understand how they operate. Termites live in large colonies and are surprisingly organized. They have a queen and soldier termites, as well as those that hunt for food.
They eat wood, often heading under your house through the soft soil that surrounds it. This gives them access to dark and damp conditions, along with plenty of wood.
Unfortunately, a colony of termites can eat through six inches of 2x4 in just five months. You can imagine the effect this could have on the stability of your home. The only question is what wood are they eating?
Repairing the Damage
In order to repair the damage, you need to locate it first. This is surprisingly easy! You need to look around your home to see if there are any small tunnels in the soil surrounding your home. This indicates the presence of termites.
You will then need to locate the termites in your home, this can be easier with professional help. Before you can repair the damage they have caused you will need to eradicate the termites, or they will simply continue causing damage.
Fortunately, the professionals can help with this. They have special chemical treatments that will kill the termites and they will treat the nest directly.
Alongside this, you can use bait boxes to attract termites to food. Once they consider it safe you swap the food for poison and the termites will eat it, effectively killing themselves.
As soon as the termites have been dealt with you can assess the damage. The simplest option is to insert a screwdriver into the wood. If it goes in easily, the wood is rotten because there are an array of tunnels inside it.
You will need to cut the rotten piece out and then replace it with a new piece Naturally before you add fresh wood ensure the termites are all dead.
Protecting Your Home
To help ensure that new termites don’t arrive and start eating your wood you will need to remove the soil from around your home. Replace it with concrete at least six inches wide. This will prevent the termites from being able to get to your foundations.
You can also be vigilant for signs of termites, such as bubbling paint and pinholes in your wood. If you suspect you have a termite problem again take immediate action. The faster you respond the quicker you can eliminate them and reduce the amount of wood that needs to be repaired.
partnered post • cc-licensed image by Kredal