Termite's, despite there size, can wreak havoc on homes.
Termite pest control experts estimate that as many as 14 subterranean termite colonies exist per acre. That means that an average home could have as many as four termite colonies either directly under it or adjacent to it. Considering that as many as 1 million termites are living within each colony. Do the math, and you've got roughly 4 million termites underneath or around your home.
Termites used to be a regional problem. Now, however, they've taken up residence in nearly every state in the country. Central heating, now practically a standard feature in single-family homes, has made it easier than ever for termite populations to grow and prosper nearly anywhere in the United States.
It bogles the mind that such a tiny creature can cause such tremendous damage.
As you're probably aware, termites feed off of wood and cellulose materials. They're an equal-opportunity destroyer -- in other words, any kind of wood will do, whether it comes from the woods behind your home, books, boxes, furniture and the wood used in the construction of your home. Termites cause more damage than floods, fires, hurricanes and tornados combined.
How do these pests gain entry to your home from their subterranean worlds?
Through your foundation. Foundations most vulnerable to termite entry are basements and concrete slabs -- in other words, the foundations underneath most homes. The tiniest space -- Entomologists estimate that a crack of 1/64 of an inch is enough. This provides plenty of room for termites to pass through your floor and into your home, where they multiply faster than a warehouse full of bunnies. Unfortunately, once termites have gained entry into your home, they're natural born hunters of wood. They'll feast on anything from the siding to your floorboards and wallboards to decorative wood items. You have to give them credit for their sneakiness.
As if the above-described damage weren't enough, termites have a built-in insurance policy that makes it possible for other termites to perpetuate the damage to your home, creating a vicious cycle. As they discover sources of food (wood) throughout your home, termites actually leave a trail of chemicals behind, which in essence, signals fellow termites of the presence of a food source ahead. The only thing that can stop them is sunlight and open air.
You can't always tell when your home has fallen victim to termite damage until the obvious signs are present (i.e., swarming or dead termites in your home). Unfortunately, once they are spotted in your home, the damage has probably already started. It's best to get your home inspected occasionally by a professional who knows the subtle warning signs of termite infestation, and where to look for them.
However, if you spot the following red flags anywhere in your home, chances are good you've got a problem.
1. Sawdust-like "powder" near doors, windows and/or garage
2. Stray wings left near doors, windows and/or garage
3. Tiny holes on any wood surfaces in or outside of your home
4. Paint that has started to bubble on wood surfaces
5. Mud tunnels lining the foundation of your house, either inside or outside and/or the obvious sign...
6. Flying termites -- inside your house. They can often be seen near sources of light (ironic, since sunlight is their enemy ... they may be smart, but they're not geniuses).
If you spot any of these warning signs in your home, call AllPest Exterminators immediately.
Addressing a termite problem isn't a "do-it-yourself" project; nor is it a particularly fun job. While a professional termite treatment can be expensive, it's a necessary evil. However, the costs of repairing extensive termite damage are far greater, particularly when you're talking about foundation repair.