What Every Homeowner Should Know About Termites
There are many property-destroying events that occur each year throughout the United States. These costly disasters range from tornadoes to fires, earthquakes and flooding. Yet the tiny subterranean termites rank at the top in their destructive abilities. It is estimated that they cause well over $2 billion in damage every year. This is a greater amount of property damage than that caused by fire and windstorms combined.
The irony of all this is that, in the midst of their destructive abilities, the subterranean termites are extremely beneficial in the natural environment. They break down dead trees and discarded wood materials, recycling it back to the soil as humus. Unfortunately, the costly damage takes place when the termite colony moves into the structure of homes and commercial buildings. It is very hard to detect their presence until monumental amounts of damage have occurred as they do their damage inside the wood behind wallboard, siding and trim. A heavily infested structure can become physically weakened to the point of becoming almost irreparable.
While the initial presence of termites is not easily noticed, there are some notable signs of infestation. Begin your inspection by examining the exterior foundation of the structure for signs of mud tubes coming from the soil up to the wooden structure. These are shelter tubes used by the termites to travel up into the building. You will also want to pay special attention to any wood that is in direct contact with the soil. This could be porch posts, fences, trellises and stairs. Keep in mind that any wood, inside or outside the structure, that has a dull, thudding or hollow sound is a suspicious sign of termite activity and should be thoroughly examined.
A sure sign of infestation of termites is the presence of swarmers. These flying termites, when seen inside the building can assure you that you have an active infestation. The presence of swarmers outside is actually a natural phenomenon but also serves as a warning that termites are in close proximity of your home and perhaps already actively attacking a building nearby.
Within the subterranean termite colony, sexually mature males and females are called alates or swarmers. These winged primaries take flight and mate for the purpose of relocating and starting a new colony. The time frame of this phenomenon varies somewhat but usually occurs in the spring or early summer. Be sure to contact Enviropest at the first hint of termite infestation.