When it comes to pests, termites are one of the most destructive. They go beyond simply being a nuisance or inconvenience. Once they have infested your home, they will go to work eating away at the wood framework and weakening the integrity of the entire structure. By the time you actually spot a termite, it may already be too late. Keep reading to learn more about this pest and how you can protect your home.
Diet and Behavior
Termites get their essential nutrients from cellulose, which is found in wood. While they will seek out dead trees to dine on, they are just as likely to target your house as a source of food. Their jaws are designed to bite through wood, plants, cotton and even drywall.
Termites form colonies that are split into three different categories based on their job. Their workers, soldiers and reproductive termites that all work together to protect, feed and grow the colony. Each type of termite will vary in size, color and shape. Only the reproductive termites have wings, which allow them to fly away and start their own colony. Oftentimes, the first sign of an infestation will be a flying termite trying to leave your home.
Termite colonies can vary dramatically in size. They start with a king and queen who mate and can grow to have numbers in the millions. A queen can lay thousands of eggs just a few days after mating. This process will continue resulting in a single queen laying thousands of eggs in just one year. It doesn’t take long for a couple termites to turn into a massive colony that requires plenty of food to survive.
Signs of Termites
Because termites live inside your walls and tend to be nocturnal, they can be difficult to spot. You may notice small holes in your drywall, piles of wings that have been shed, maze-like patterns in the walls and floors and droppings near windows doors. You should also look for mud tubes along the exterior foundation of the home.
Treating a Termite Infestation
You will want to take immediate action at the first signs of a termite infestation. Since these pests can cause such costly and extensive damage, you will want to hire a professional to make sure that the problem is completely eliminated. Depending on the circumstances, they may choose to treat the termite infestation with bait, fumigation, a chemical barrier of some combination of these methods.
Remember that treating a termite infestation is not a DIY project. If you are worried that your home is being devoured from the inside out by termites, call the experts at PMi Pest Management. We will be able to locate the nest, eradicate the pests and help protect your home from future infestations.