Termites are a homeowner’s nightmare. They can silently destroy your home by literally eating it. Subterranean termites live in the soil and build tunnel systems that they use to obtain food, while drywall termites live in the wooden walls and furniture that they are consuming. Almost all homes contain wooden structures and are susceptible to termite infestations.
Check Your Home Often for Early Signs of Termites
Termites are silent, and they don’t make their presence easily known. They can consume your home before you realize it unless you keep checking for them. A sure sign of termites is a pile of tiny black, brown, or reddish droppings on floors, near wooden furniture, or in drawers. Check the basement or crawlspace to look for damage. Also check your home’s walls by tapping on them with a screwdriver. Hollow-sounding walls may be a problem.
Once you see signs of serious damage, such as holes in the walls or buckled floors, the cost of repairing your home will probably be high. That is why it is better to check for termites frequently while you can still prevent trouble. Call a termite inspector if you suspect that you have termites; the cost is worthwhile compared to the cost of losing your home.
How to Get Rid of Termites
Several products are available to help get rid of termites. Liquid baits contain chemicals that termites can take back to their colonies. The poison can get rid of an entire colony. Cardboard termite traps can help attract termites away from the house and to the cardboard. Boric acid is another option. You can apply it to wood and soil.
Preventing Termites From Returning
You cannot completely protect yourself, but you can lower the chances of having a termite infestation or re-infestation by taking the following precautions.
- Do not keep woodpiles near your home. Termites eat wood, and are likely to live in woodpiles and migrate to your home if it is nearby.
- Seal your doors and windows with a caulking gun and a sealant.
- Fix leaks to prevent termites from getting access to water, which they need to survive.