It doesn't take much time for a termite issue to evolve into an expensive repair job. And unfortunately, most Tennessee property owners don't realize they have termites until it's too late. By knowing how to spot termite problems around your property, you can catch an infestation before it costs you your home or business.
What Are Termites?
The world would be a different place without termites, and not a better one. They are essential to the ecosystem because they break down wood and cellulose. However, the same behavior that makes termites so important to nature is the behavior that makes them harmful to property owners. They are very dangerous to Tennessee residents and business owners alike.
Identifying a termite is more difficult than you might imagine. To the untrained eye, they look like ants. They're only about 1/8th of an inch long. Although the colors vary by species and age, they are usually white, black, or brown.
Signs of Termite Damage
Termite damage isn't obvious either. In most cases, the damage isn't apparent until there is visible structural damage. At this point, there's not much you can do except call an experienced pest control company.
The damage usually starts behind your walls. Once termites approach your property, they start eating the wood from the inside out. Even if a home has no wood frame, it could still be susceptible to termite damage. These insects can eat plaster, furniture, and more.
Here are a few common examples of termite damage:
Swollen floors or ceilings
Sightly fitting doors and windows
Moldy or mildew smell
Cracks in your furniture
Mud tubes on walls
Clicking noises in your walls
Also, if you see a termite swarmer, you might have a problem. A swarm of termites around your home is not a definite sign that you have termites in your home, but it's a sign that there's a colony nearby. If they decide to land and nest on your property, you could be in for trouble.
At the first sign of an infestation, you should call a professional. They know how to handle the situation and eliminate your problem.
How To Prevent Termites
There are a few things you can do on your own to keep termites away. All of the following steps make a difference:
Keep Soil-Away From Wood
Termites enter your home traveling through your soil to come into contact with wood. If you don't have any soil that touches your wood, then you may be able to deter termites. One way to accomplish this is to keep your wooden structures on a concrete base or put a barrier between your soil and home.
Repair Damaged Wood
Termites can eat through dry wood. However, they prefer wet wood. If you have any wood that's experienced water damage, you should repair it. Doing so won't completely deter termites, but it's a start.
You can also take steps to limit the moisture in your wood. For instance, you should repair leaks in your spigots and faulty gutters. When there's less moisture, there's less potential for rotting wood.
Keep Firewood Away
When there's firewood near your home, there's increased potential for termites. Keep your firewood piles as far away from your wooden structures as possible. Otherwise, termites may find their way into your home.
Work With An Expert
Whether or not you have a wood-frame home, you should take the time to work with a pest control specialist. They can take care of your termite problem at the first sign of an infestation. And, they can keep termites away before they invade your home. Contact the professionals at Proven Pest Management for more information.