And what to do if you find a problem
Termites are one of the most feared pests in the country. They can cause thousands of dollars in damages to your home or business likely without you even knowing about it. Understanding how to prevent or get rid of termites starts with understanding what they’re attracted to and how they operate. Of course, pest control specialists in California already have the knowledge and experience to help residents and business owners in the area with these issues, but educating yourself is important. While you should get professional pest control help, understanding what you’re up against is key. Let’s take a look at termite behavior and what kinds of environments they thrive in.
While termites may be helpful creatures in nature, when it comes to your home or business, they can be disruptive. In nature, termites are useful because they break down dead wood. However, when it comes to structures that we want to keep intact, this can pose a significant problem.
Where do termites live?
Termites live in colonies and within each colony exists a king and queen. There is a caste system and each role has its own function. Termites are blind and communicate through vibrations and chemical signals called pheromones. Depending on the type of termite – either drywood or subterranean – they will either build a colony within a food source or leave the colony to find food.
Drywood termites live directly within the wood that they consume. They feast on cellulose material like wood and can live within the structure they are consuming. They build elaborate tunnel systems that compromise the structure. Subterranean termites live underground and leave their colonies for food. Typically, they construct colonies in the soil outside a structure and tunnel their way to a food source.
How do termites create new colonies?
Termites swarm to create new colonies. Swarming is the most common sign that you may have a termite infestation as you’ll either see them or see wings that have been discarded. Subterranean termites can produce thousands of swarmers while other types produce far less.
Optimal Climate for Termite Colonies
While termites can be found in every state in the country, except Alaska, these destructive pests prefer warmer climates. Each type of termite prefers a different temperature, but subterranean and drywood termites typically thrive in warm, wet conditions. Often an infestation of subterranean termites begins when there is heavy rainfall and warm weather. This allows the colony to send out swarmers to attempt to set up new colonies in the preferable climate. Drywood termites are even less tolerant of the cold and are typically found in hotter climates like those in the southern United States.
But living in a cooler climate certainly does not protect your home or business from a termite infestation. They can survive and thrive in a variety of climates, so making sure that you take steps to prevent and treat an infestation early is key.
Termite Prevention and Control
The last thing anyone wants to deal with is trying to remedy a termite infestation. So, taking a few steps to try and prevent the pest problem can save you a lot of stress. Here are some things you can do to prevent a termite infestation:
- Limit contact that wood has with the ground. When wood is in contact with the ground, termites can easily infest it and then move on to structures.
- Keep building foundations dry. Termites love moist conditions, so be sure to keep foundations dry to limit the temptation.
- Reduce or remove moisture in crawl spaces. Don’t let crawl spaces be prime spots for termites to infest and multiply. Keep them as dry as possible.
- Do not store wood against buildings. Keep wood stacks away from buildings. Termites can quickly jump from stored wood to your structure.
- Get a termite inspection at least once a year to ensure the structure is safe and sound.
If you’ve discovered that you already have an active infestation, then you need professional pest control help immediately. The team at O’Conner can evaluate your problem and devise a plan to get rid of termites. As stated, many homeowners and business owners don’t realize they have a problem until it’s very advanced. To avoid a problem altogether, contact O’Conner to set up a termite inspection and create a prevention plan that can help greatly reduce your chances of ever having a termite infestation to deal with.
If you’re looking for professional pest control help, contact us today.