It can be challenging to get rid of termites. It can also be expensive. The question is: can you just wait them out and hope that they will leave on their own?
No, termites do not leave on their own. They usually don’t have a reason to simply because they have all the food that they need in a home. And even in cases where food supplies run low, they can forage for more food. Furthermore, a typical home provides them with shelter. And so if you want termites to leave, in most cases you will need the help of pro pest control.
Here is what you should know.
Termites don’t leave on their own because they can find everything they need inside the average home.
Termites can feed on almost anything that has cellulose. This is especially so when it is wet. They can feed on your foundation, walls, books, furniture, roof, mulch in your gardens and even drywall.
In your home, they won’t lack sustenance. And if they deplete easily accessible sources, they have an army of workers that is ready to forage on behalf of the colony.
In a home, termites are often shielded from extreme weather. Therefore, even weather changes will never be enough to cause them to relocate.
There is also the fact that termites have an incentive not to move.
Moving will entail exposing themselves to a lot of danger. This is so especially from birds and other insects. Therefore, once established, termites tend to stay put because of security and logistical concerns.
Do termites stay in one place?
No, termites do not stay in one place.
Generally, they don’t relocate their colonies. But individual termites tend to move from place to place:
In search of food
While termites usually establish their colonies near food sources, they sometimes need to actively forage.
Workers tend to forage a safe distance away from the colonies. They sometimes do so in the open. And in other cases, they build mud tubes that are designed to make the process easier and safer.
To establish new colonies
After a while, termites establish new colonies through swarming. They do this by allowing swarmers to leave the colony in pairs. These termites mate, and then establish new colonies on the grounds on which they settle.
How do you know if you have termites?
So, how exactly do you know if you have a termite problem?
You know by looking out for common signs of termite infestations. Here are the most common ones.
If you notice blisters on your flooring, walls, or any other fixture that is made of wood, chances are that you have termites.
These blisters form when termites eat the wood from the inside. And by messing with part of the wood’s structure, they cause the blisters. And so if you notice rampant blistering on your wooden floors, you should definitely consider calling a pest control professional.
You can also find out if you have a termite problem by tapping your walls, floors, or any other wooden structure. If they sound hollow, then termites have likely eaten through all the cellulose beneath the surface.
You can confirm that termites are actually to blame for the damage by stripping away the surface. If you find grooves with honeycomb-like networks, then termites are definitely to blame for the damage.
Sometimes, termites need to go foraging to the surface. Some species, like subterranean termites, can’t just crawl in the open. They need a dry and cool environment. As a result, they tend to build mud tubes.
These tubes create shading and a conducive environment that makes it possible for the termites to forage without any difficulty. Therefore, if you see these tubes, you are probably dealing with an infestation.
Sometimes, soldier termites bang their heads as a way of communicating that there is a danger. When this happens, it produces faint clicking-like sounds. If you hear these sounds, your home is likely infested with termites.
However, the noise that they produce isn’t loud enough to be easily identified. And the termites don’t make this sound all the time. These two things make this a less-reliable way of identifying and locating a termite infestation.
Termites spread and establish new colonies by swarming. Through this process, winged termites come out of a colony and fly away in search of new grounds on which they can establish a colony.
In the course of this process, they release their wings. And so if you notice wings on your doors, windows, and vents, you likely have a thriving termite colony in your home.
If you notice mounds of pellets at the base of your furniture, or of any wooden structure in your home, a dry wood termite infestation is likely to blame. These termites often create kick-out vents that they use to get rid of their droppings.
The pellets often pile up into mounds that look like collected coffee grounds or sawdust. And so if you notice mounds of wood-like pellets, you should definitely start thinking about calling a pest control professional.
How do you discourage termites from infesting your home?
Termites are hard to get rid of. Therefore, it is always better to try to keep them at bay.
Here is what you should know.
Get rid of moisture leaks
Termites love to feed on moist wood because it is softer. It also helps that the extra water hydrates them and makes it easier for them to build mud tubes and other structures.
Therefore, if you want to discourage termite attacks in your home, you should do the following:
- seal and repair plumbing leaks
- fix roof leaks
- repair and maintain roof downspouts to ensure better rainwater drainage
- use a good dehumidifier if your home is highly humid
Keep wood off the ground
Termites always go for wood and other cellulose sources that are easy to access. This is usually wood that is in contact with the ground. Therefore, keeping everything off the ground will go a long way toward making your work easier.
Use treated wood
If you are going to use wood fences, fence posts, or decks, then using pressure-treated wood is advisable.
Treated wood is great because it is treated with termite-repellent compounds. They discourage termites from using them as a food source, something that will be useful towards discouraging them from camping in your home.
What do you do if you have termites?
While you can try to get rid of termites on your own, it is always advisable to let a pest control professional handle the problem.
Termites go to extreme lengths to stay hidden. They avoid light. They tend to feed on the wood below the surface. And they only swarm once in a while.
Therefore, you can easily live with termites without knowing. The signs of termite infestations can also go unnoticed. Hiring a professional guarantees faster and proper identification and tracking.
Taking a one-size-fits-all approach to termite eradication doesn’t always work.
There are different strains of termites and different ways to treat them. Vinegar is a popular DIY method, but if your house in on the line, you really should call a professional.
What might kill one type of termite may not work on another. Therefore, relying on professionals who can accurately identify the type of termites that you are dealing with and then prescribe the appropriate treatment, ensures that you will be able to get rid of your termites faster.
Termites are incredibly stubborn and persistent creatures that are very challenging to get rid of.
As a result, when you attempt to remove them on your own, chances are that you may fail. This may be because you are using ineffective chemicals. It may also be because you haven’t identified and tracked down all the termite colonies on your property.
Instead of having to spend sleepless nights wondering whether termites are still damaging your property, you should contact a pest control service.
- Most pest control services offer guarantees. And since they have the knowledge, expertise, and experience to pull it off, their efforts are usually successful.
- Even if they don’t succeed, you can always get your money back, or at least have them re-do the work. This makes for an efficient and pocket-friendly way of getting rid of persistent termite infestations.
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