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termites in the dirt

How To Get Termites Out Of Your House

Did you know that termite damage can sometimes be so severe that it can cause entire houses to collapse? Now, such a catastrophe is not likely to happen to you, at least not if you catch your termite infestation early. But how can you know if you have a termite problem in the first place, and what can you do to fix it? Should you opt for DIY methods, or should you call a professional? Below, we give you the details you need to thoroughly explore your options and get termites out of your house for good.

Key Takeaways

  • Termites are among the world’s most destructive insects due to their ability to weaken building supports.
  • Termites often live and travel in mud tubes that spread out across a structure, though there are also subterranean termites that live in the ground.
  • Severe infestations often require professional pest control, but early intervention steps like sealing off entry points, using bait treatments, and creating an environment that repels termites can help.
  • Some homeowners may need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to repair termite damage. It’s essential to catch the signs of termites early before they cause too much harm.

Signs of a Termite Infestation

Many people don’t even know they have a termite problem before it’s too late. Homes are primarily constructed with wood, and as you likely already know, termites love munching on wood. They love infesting walls, floors, and ceilings and eating away at wooden supports, eventually weakening the structure.

Here are a few signs of infestation to look out for so you can have a head start on your termite control:

  • Dead termites or wings in corners of the house
  • Strange, musty smells throughout the house
  • Termite droppings along baseboards and window sills
  • Mud tubes on the outside of the house near the foundation
  • Droppings, called frass, along corners
  • Sawdust near doors and windows

Types of Termites

Before you go crazy with termite treatment, it helps to become familiar with the main types of termites that might infest your home. Different termites might require unique treatment strategies. 

  • Formosan Subterranean Termites: These termites are sneaky because, as their name suggests, they spend much of their time underground. You often can’t even see them coming because they stay underground until they have the chance to burrow into your home and form new colonies. Once a termite colony forms, termite damage will closely follow.
  • Drywood Termites Dampwood: These termites are not quite as destructive as their subterranean brothers and sisters, but they can still produce a lot of damaged wood and general structural damage. These bugs tend to leave behind feces, which is a tell-tale sign that they may be in your house if you find some. 

It’s also smart to look for different kinds of bugs within termite colonies. Spotting a certain kind of termite might give you insight into where they’re hiding – or where they’re coming from.

  • Swarmers: Swarmers are unique because they have wings and are more mature. They are dark brown or black; some can be almost an inch long.
  • Workers: These termites are very small and are almost white. They are part of the largest population in the termite colony.
  • Soldiers: Soldiers are responsible for protecting the colony from potential threats. They are light yellow in color. 

Where Are Termites Found?

Different termite species can be found in a variety of locations. Most termite activity will occur in areas unseen by humans, such as underground, within walls, or in a crawl space. They are attracted to the cellulose in wood or mulch as well as various food source options. Here are some common areas you can find them:

  • Baseboards
  • Attics
  • Basements
  • Under floorboards
  • Window sills
  • Door frames

Termite Swarms: What Does It Mean?

A termite swarm occurs when a current termite colony has grown so large that it needs to escape its current habitat and find a larger, more suitable area. This can manifest as thousands upon thousands of termites flying up into the air and moving somewhere else (a terrifying thought, we know). 

Unfortunately, because most of Florida is warm all year round, it’s always swarm season for termites. However, the most prominent swarms occur between March and June.

Swarms will often take shelter in a suitable building and settle down there. Once flying termites crawl into your home and start growing their colony, it can be hard to get rid of them without a professional pest control company and a termite inspection.

How to Get Rid of Termites

With a termite infestation spotted and some information on what kind of termites you’re dealing with, you’re ready to shift into defense mode. Use tactics like those below to eliminate termites before they settle too deeply into your home.

  • Bait Treatments: Bait stations are safe and easy to place around your home. Each one is filled with poison that attracts and then kills any termites that wander into them. Termite baits are so effective that some can even wipe out colonies before they get too out of control. It is also not as severe and time-consuming as using a heavy pesticide on your whole house.
  • Chemical Treatments: This treatment focuses on the foundation of your home. Termites love congregating near a house’s foundation and will often crawl deeper into the house from that area. Putting harsh chemicals at the foundation will kill any termites in the area and prevent more from entering. 
  • Fumigation Treatments: If you’ve ever seen a house covered in a big tarp, that’s an example of termite fumigation. Fumigation is a guaranteed way to destroy all termite swarmers and any other living thing in your home, thanks to toxic gasses. 
  • Heat Tenting: If you don’t like the idea of filling your house with toxic gas, you can try a more environmentally friendly option known as heat tenting. This heats the house to a high enough temperature to eliminate the termites before they can cause any significant damage.

How to Prevent a Termite Infestation

Prevention is almost always easier than treatment. Even if you’re already navigating a termite infestation, it’s important to make sure new pests can’t enter your home and wreck your progress. Here are some tips to help you prevent a termite infestation now or in the future.

Cut Access to Food Sources

Termites love eating wood, mulch, and certain plants. If you have a lot of these around your home, it might be best to clear them out. Excessive organic matter around your home’s foundation creates an ideal, moist environment for many insects, including dampwood termites, cockroaches, and more. 

Close Entry Points

Before the early warning signs of termites appear, try closing potential entry points. These may include door frames, cracks in the drywall, your home’s foundation, and windows. Use caulk or other methods to close these entry points to make it more difficult for these insects to enter. 

Remove Moisture

Any exterminator will tell you that live termites love moist environments. Try to dry out the area surrounding your home before any signs of termite damage appear, especially when dealing with wooden structures.

Decrease Exterior Lighting

Similar to moths, termites are attracted to light. If you have a lot of lights around your home, consider turning some off or dimming them. Doing so may help you avoid a serious termite problem so you won’t have to deal with treatment methods like termiticide in the first place. 

Native Pest Management Termite Services

Prevention is key when dealing with termite issues. But if you’re already past the prevention stage, you’ll have to deal with the issue in other ways before it gets too serious. Getting a free inspection from a professional is a great way to double-check that these insects aren’t eating your house from the inside out. 

Whether you’re checking in on your termite problem or need help squashing it to begin with, it never hurts to seek out professional pest control services. Since 2015, Native Pest Management has been helping homeowners control the many pests that live in the area. 

Our reputation for comprehensive and effective termite control has been noted in over 3,000 reviews. We’ve won several awards, including the 2021 Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Ethics. We can consistently give you and your family an unparalleled customer experience. Contact us for the right experience and equipment to solve your termite problem.