Best Ways to Get Rid of Termites Completely
Termites are among the most difficult pests to deal with.
Though such is the case, it can be handled effectively using the right information. This article is aimed at providing you with all the information needed.
In addition to that, we’ve made it as comprehensive as possible.
As you read on, you’ll find that no matter how stubborn a insect pest problem is, there’s always a solution.
Why It’s Dangerous to have a Termite Problem
Termites are terrible pests to have around. This is because there isn’t a period of inactivity. In other words, termites never sleep or rest. This is bad news for those having an infestation.
To make matters worse, most termite problems are discovered after significant damage has been done. Under such circumstances, you may incur huge treatment, and repair costs.
Hence, this calls for close monitoring or observation. You also need to carry out preventive treatment as often as possible.
Termites have a well organised social system. This is known as eusociality. This is similar to the caste system with members of a particular caste having specific roles or duties.
Let’s consider each caste as well as roles performed;
- Worker Termites
These are the notorious and destructive members of the colony. Like the name suggests, they carry out vital assignments.
Such assignments include scavenging for food, feeding of soldiers and aiding the queen with movement. While such termites have a soft and white body, their mouths are hard. This is well adapted for feeding. In addition to the above responsibilities, worker termites also store food.
- Soldier Termites
This caste of termites are responsible for keeping their colonies safe. They fend off attacks using their unique features. Such features include strong mandibles and body, a large heads and fluids which are secreted in the event of a security breach. In worst circumstances, soldier termites sacrifice themselves.
- Reproductive Role/Duty
Termite populations will deplete without reproduction. Hence the function of the king and queen. It’s necessary to state that this duty can’t be carried out by any other caste.
In addition to this, the queen has the longest lifespan.
Such queen may live up to forty years or more. Queens are also known to be very fertile. Due to this reality, getting rid of the problem from its source becomes necessary. This is the only way you can keep your home or property free from termite invasion.
How are Roles Determined?
How are roles determined? This question should come naturally after discussing the roles performed by each termite caste. It all starts with the queen.
Therefore, the type of pheromone a termite is fed by a queen determines its role. So, are there multiple pheromones? You guessed right. These are secreted onto the queen’s. The type secreted will determine what caste a termite grows into.
Signs of Termite Infestation
Although termite infestations mostly take people by surprise, there are still ways to notice such. However discreet termite activities may be, there are always tell tale signs. Thus It’s important that you keep your eyes open for such. Observation and inspection are the first steps for getting rid of a termite problem.
This tell-tale sign is mostly common with dry wood termites. While chewing on wood, frass is created from termite excrement as well as loosened or powdery wood. This is a sign you should be on the lookout for. This is likely to be seen around exposed wood. It is also a red flag that alerts you about an existing termite problem. Therefore you need to act fast. However, there are other boring insects that generate frass. Hence you’ll need to verify by using a pointed screw driver.
Mud tubes are common with subterranean termites. This is needed for the purpose of moisture. When termites invade your home, such tubes shield them from dehydration. Hence, it offers an easy way to detect their presence. Therefore if you suspect an infestation, just take a walk around your home or property. The same should also be done indoors. If this is noticed, immediate action should be taken.
Damage to Wood
Whenever there’s a termite problem, wooden structures and parts of a building are threatened. Thus, one way to find out if you have an existing termite problem is by tapping on different parts of the structure (wooden). This tests for hollow signs because termites destroy wood from the inside out.
Be on the lookout for Swarmers
This mostly happens during a nuptial flight. Whenever you inspect your home surroundings and find scattered wings, you should be concerned. However, this may belong to ants. In any case, further inspection is necessary. Finding such may mean your home is in an active area.
How to get Rid of Termites Step by Step
All our discussions had been targeted at providing a better understanding of termite activity. However, this section will discuss the different ways to rid your home of these pests. All of the strategies mentioned have been tested. But the level of efficacy depends on what strategies you deploy.
Calling the Pros
Termite activity can be devastating if not urgently arrested. Most times people have limited understanding of termite behavior hence the need to seek professional help. When any of the above signs are identified, you should place a call to a pest management service. This is mostly effective due to the comprehensive and professional approach to termite control.
Most pest control services start with an inspection. Because they are well trained and experienced, technicians will conduct a thorough assessment of the problem. All you need to do is point at the problem and give way.
After a Termite inspection, you get a detailed report as well as the best extermination method to apply.
Reputable pest management services also offer guarantee for services. This means that treatment will be repeated for free if termites are found within a space of time.
Are DIY Termite Control Methods as Effective?
If you are concerned about termite extermination costs then DIY strategies may seem attractive. However the sad reality is that these methods may cost more in the long term. Although this is the case, a combination of any of the following methods may prove quite effective.
Using Cardboard as Bait
Cardboard is a good source of cellulose that termites love. Thus it can be used as a perfect trap. All you need is to make it damp by applying some water. This should be placed in corrugated boxes and kept in areas where termites are most active.
Before long, you’d have the colony closing in for the feast. So, what happens? You should set fire to the box to kill them.
The use of nematodes is a biological approach that has proven to be effective. These are predators that prey on termites. Therefore all you need to do is locate a termite colony. Once this is found, an opening can be dug and the nematodes applied.
Although it is considered one of the most cost effective methods, it can still be quite effective.
Keeping Wood at a Safe Distance
We all know wood is an easy target for termites. Thus, keeping them stacked against your home walls can be inviting for termites. This is more of a preventive measure that will help keep your home unattractive to these pests. If you must keep wood for fire or otherwise, it should be kept at a safe distance.
Proper Tending of your Garden
Most times, termites are attracted to homes due to the type of mulch used in the garden. In addition to that, how this is applied also matters. Mulch material having wood is the perfect recipe for termites activity. Termites are always searching for sources of cellulose, thus, you should consider using other materials. Such may include rubber or gravel.
Also, how this is applied is also important. It shouldn’t be applied right up to the walls of your home. Doing so might create a suitable environment for termites to gain quicker access.
Channeling Water Away
This is a necessary step that has largely been ignored by homeowners. Termites are more likely to infest an area having sufficient moisture. Therefore homes or properties without proper drainage are likely to become targets.
Hence to get rid of such, you need to create an effective drainage system around your home. This channels water as far away as necessary.
Frequently Monitor Exposed Wood
Exposed woods are prime targets for termites. Thus to rid your home of such, you need to frequently observe. Such exposed wood include wooden door and window frames and furniture.
Exposing Termites to the Sun
Termites can’t survive direct sunlight. As a result, they create mud tunnels to protect against dehydration.
Therefore this reality can be used against them. But placing a bait (such as a moist or wet cardboard) this can be taken out and placed under direct sunlight. Of course this only happens after such pests are feasting on the bait.
These are some of the most effective ways to kill off termites. However, you need to choose which is most convenient for you.
We also mentioned that termites can remain unnoticed for a long time.
Hence, if you suspect termite activity, just use the information provided here or call in a pest management service for immediate assessment.