Home Pest Control: Termite Prevention And Extermination

Do you want to save money by doing your own home pest control? Read on to find out DIY tips for termite prevention and extermination.

A brief description of termites:

Termites actually have a purpose although to think of them anywhere near your home brings feelings of dread. They serve nature by transforming dead trees into organic substance. The termites cannot distinguish the wood in our homes or any other structure between that of trees. The damage done both in residential and commercial buildings is costly.

Termites live under the ground, in a colony often near a stump or dead tree. The underground nest can be up to 20 feet below the surface soil. The depth can protect them from volatile weather extremes. The colony will have a king, a queen, and they are brown in color. Termite's use traveling tubes made of mud to reach the surface of the soil where food can be located. The established termite community is lead by the king and queen for reproduction, soldiers, and workers.

Within the colony the males and females become independent when they grow wings and relocate by swarming or flying to form a new colony. Swarms are common in the spring or fall. The wings are lost once they return to the soil from swarming and at that time they will begin to look for new sources of wood for food and will settle where there is dead wood and moist surroundings.

The fully matured workers are whitish and have no wings. They have soft bodies and are blind. These workers digest food and provide this food for the whole colony. Labor is the total responsibility of the worker as well as collecting all of the food. They build the mud tunnels and excavate the wood they consume.

The whitish, soft bodied, soldier termites are less in number and are dependent on the workers to feed them. Their unique task is defending the colony from trespassers.

What is it an ant or termite?

An ant has two sets of wings however; the wings in front are a lot larger than the wings behind. The ants will have antennas that bend. Termites will have antennas as well but will be straight and the sets of wings will be equal in length.

Preventing termites:

The best determent is to plan and incorporate termite control into the initial building design. All substructure wood should be at least 12 inches about the ground. If this in not the case in your structure, correct the problem. Attic vents should have tight screening and seal any opening and cracks to keep the winged termites from entering the home. Use termite resistant wood when building and use chemical treatment of foundation wood that touch soil.

Check wood around the foundation of the home for signs of termite infestation at regular intervals. Remove debris of wood near the structure that may attract termites. Sand barriers in the soil around the foundation and crawl spaces makes it difficult for termites to construct tunnels in the sand and will discourage invasion.

Physical signs of termite infestation:

A certain sign of termite infestation is the leavings of mud tubes on the suspect wood, which is often an uneven pattern on the sample. Look for working colonies of termites in the wood. The structure may have some flying winged male and female termites nearby. Mud tubes in the ground close to the wood may be noticeable. The workers will use the tubes to go back into the ground for moisture and to feed the colony.

The location of mud tubes is a positive determination of termite infestation. Probe with a sharp instrument such as a screwdriver or ice pick. The wood will be porous and you may recognize the leavings of mud tunnels. You may see a few winged swarming termites long with active worker termites actually in the wood. Call a professional pest control technician to confirm findings and suggest treatment. If there is a basement, check the wood in the basement and crawl space. Inspect any wood sills, support posts, frames around windows, and wood porches. Check any wood products around the home. An inspector should be able to tell the homeowner if termites are active or inactive and suggest treatment.

Treatment by professional more logical:

The focus of treatment is to place a continuous fumigating poison boundary between the colony of termites in the soil and the wood in the structure. It is a good idea to have a professional exterminator treat for termites. A specific selection of tools that most people do not have such as a sub-slab injector is required to treat for termites. Over the counter bait, products may not perform satisfactorily. Children and pets should not play on chemically treated soil. Plant no food crops in the treated area.

Because termites work gradually, it is not likely that your home will crumble under your feed immediately so try not to worry. Ask the professional fumigator for a copy of his plan of treatment noting where the termites are located. Request information for the procedures of the chemical application. Get written specific guarantees and agreements as to the treatment and repair of adjacent woodwork, doorjambs, windowsills and so on. Ask for copies of written information about the chemical makeup of the insecticides used on your home.

© High Speed Ventures 2011