Termite Tips

TERMITES ARE SWARMING!
(What does it mean?)

Springtime is the time when you’re liable to see a whole bunch of flying ants! Only maybe they aren’t ants . . .but TERMITES! Capture one of these little devils and compare it to the drawings. Note that termite have two pairs of equal sized wings while flying ants also have two sets but one pair is shorter than the other. Also, the ant has a thin, pinched waistline, while the termite isn’t that svelte. The termite has straight antennae while the ant has elbowed antennae.

Whichever critter is making the air attack, it can be terrorizing to have hundreds of critters invading your home.

If the blitzing bugs are termites, what can you do?

Well first, don’t panic. A proper bug spray can kill all the insects you can see. While this may make you feel better, it’s like putting a Band-Aid on your side when you’re having an appendicitis attack . . . it’s not taking care of the real problem. The termite problem is much deeper than what you can see!

Subterranean termites, the most common variety in the USA, live in colonies far below the surface. Each colony can have a population into the millions. In many parts of the country, there can be more than one colony under you home.

The fact that there is a swarm means that colony from whence they came is at least five years old and is overcrowded. The swarming hoards are scouts out looking for a new place to start a new colony.

The tiny termite would seem to present only a small danger to a big structure such as your home. However, termites can be eating on your house, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. And with millions attacking your home, termites can do some serious damage.

Fighting the termite war is not a do it yourself problem. If you think you have a problem, call a licensed pest control company to see if there is an infestation working at devouring your house. Some common signs that indicate this possibility are:

*The swarm or the wings and carcasses from the swarm.
*Small mud tunnels or tube like structures along the foundation and found either inside or out.
*Sawdust piles or tiny holes in wood or even in gypsum board walls.
*Buckling paint from where the wood underneath has been eaten.

While actual treatment for termites is better left to the professionals, there are some things that you as a homeowner can do to keep from actually inviting the termites in:

1. Correct all moisture problems ASAP. That includes plumbing or drainage problems that could effect the dryness under the house; Grading so water runs away from the house; and Use of splash blocks under downspouts.
2. Remove all wood scraps in any crawl spaces under the house. Don’t stack lumber or firewood close to the house and prop it up so it’s off the ground.
3. Avoid plantings such as bushes and hedges that touch the house. Remove wooden trellises from exterior walls.
4. Make sure the structure has proper ventilation.
5. These steps won’t guarantee a termite-free home but al least you won’t be making it easier for these home wreckers to sneak in!

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