Like any pest control job, it is a real hassle to kill termites. Termites are one of the most serious pests you may have to eradicate from your home. It is estimated that termite infestations cause American homeowners more than a billion dollars a year in damage repairs. This happens because termites are stealthy attackers that eat your house from the soil at the bottom, moving upward through the structure. So how can you get rid of these destructive pests? The first step is to determine whether or not you have termites in the first place. If you have wood in your home that sounds hollow when you knock on it, or you see little specks that look like dirt (these are actually small holes) and fan out from a certain point in the wood, there is a chance that you have termites. If you are unsure, call an exterminator to do a professional inspection.
If it is determined that you do have termites you will want to remove them as soon as possible. It might be a good idea to have an exterminator, especially one who specializes in termites, come and fumigate your house. However, exterminators can be expensive and their techniques may be inconvenient. One technique that exterminators sometimes employ involves a massive tent. The exterminator will come to your home and cover it with a tent, and then fumigate the entire structure. Keep in mind that you will have to leave your home for a few days and nearby neighbors may have to leave, too.
If you prefer the do-it-yourself techniques, they are much more cost effective although they may take a bit longer to work. This way you will save money and also learn firsthand how termites colonize and infest in the first place. However, always consult a professional to make sure that the steps you take will not cause further damage to your house. The first step is to check for areas around your house where wood makes contact with soil. This could be a wooden fence in the backyard, logs that you have on the side of your house, and so on. These types of wood, which have been stored outside, are most susceptible to infestation since termites feed on moist wood. The closer this wood is to your house, the sooner the termites can enter. Also look for areas near your house that can cause water to pool. Termites can enter your home if they have a way to get underneath the building.
One method that is used to kill termites is called baiting, which is done by leaving out a piece of wood and waiting until it becomes a popular attraction for termites. Once the bugs begin eating the wood, you can spray a termite-killing chemical on the wood. This will kill the termites since the workers will feed on it and eventually share the chemicals with the rest of the colony. Also, you can get bait stakes, which have a slow acting termite-killing chemical. Put the stakes in the soil around your house and cover them. You should also consider using foam chemicals that you can spray into cracks in the foundation of your house. The foam will spread and block infestations while killing termites at the same time.
In just three years termites can cause irreparable damage to your house. Note that termites are not always covered in homeowners’ insurance policies, so it is important to be proactive about removing them. Make sure that you keep your home safe before termites cause too much damage, and good luck!