$1,800,000,000. That’s how much money is spent every year in North America controlling these wood-eating insects. From regulations and mandates to chemicals and exterminators, trying to keep termites from devouring homes is an expensive nightmare. How do you keep them from entering your home? How do you get rid of them when they’re there?
Termites are a class of small hive-structured insects that feed on decomposing vegetation. In the wild, termites are an essential part of a well-functioning ecosystem. Their hives break down plant waste and allow new things to grow. They are also a critical part of the food chain anywhere they are found, with many species having evolved specifically to eat termites.
In a home, however, termites go from essential residents to unwanted pests. Termites cannot tell the difference between a decaying tree and a wooden house, and will gladly tunnel into either. Over time, this can cause serious damage to a home and even risk allowing other pests entry. Perhaps the worst part can be that it can be difficult to tell when termites have entered a home until it is too late and the damage they’ve caused will require expensive repairs.
The easiest way to detect termites in your home also happens to be one of the most surefire signs that your home will need costly repairs: seeing termites in your home. Flying termites will exit a termite hive in the spring and find a place to land before losing their wings and searching for a new food source. If you’re finding flying termites in your home, chances are their hive is in your walls or floorboards. Flying termites can be distinguished from flying ants by the fact that their wings are all equal-sized.
Aside from that, unfortunately, termites and termite damage are usually found while doing something else. Maybe you were trying to replace a built-in cupboard, or maybe your kid knocked a hole in the wall. Either way, you’ll still find the damage and have to deal with it quickly. The important thing to remember is that if you want to get rid of a termite infestation, you must call an expert. Eradicating termites requires handling chemicals that can be very dangerous if used incorrectly, and training to find all their possible hiding spots. Do not try and remove termites from your house by yourself.
Termites are one of the biggest hassles a homeowner can have to deal with. They eat into your walls and they eat into your wallet. Be sure to thoroughly inspect any home you purchase for warning signs of possible infestations, and if you do find an infestation in your home, call a pest control specialist as soon as possible.