Termites cause more damage annually than storms, fires and floods combined. Therefore, "You have termites!" is a phrase no homeowner ever wants to hear. Despite their miniature size, measuring only 10 millimeters in length, termites have notoriously voracious appetites! In as little as six months, a termite infestation can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to an unsuspecting home. Each species have unique characteristics but also many things in common:
Where Termites are found
Termites thrive in every state except Alaska. They are most commonly found in warm, wet and humid climates. In the home, plumbing pipes, leaks, clogged gutters and moist plants are favorite refuges for these invasive pests. termites can also be found in trees, dead branches, commercial buildings, condominiums and even boats!
How Termites Get In
termites are extremely apt invaders. Their characteristically small heads enable them to enter a home with an opening as little as 1/64th of an inch. It only requires two termites to start an entirely new colony, commonly entering through attics, foundation vents, windowsills, doors, concrete cracks and utility boxes.
Since ants can gain access to a home through small cracks and crevasses; the key to controlling these pests is cleanliness. Any food or flavored liquid can attract and sustain ants,store food in air tight containers. Remove plants that can attract ants and other insects that produce honeydew. Reduce moisture sources, including condensation and leaks.
What do Termites Eat?
A wide misconception remains that termites only eat wood. The fact is that they will eat almost anything with a cellulose base. This includes paper, cardboard, insulation and a wide array of other common household items. The exterior of a home is not safe either. These insects have even been found destroying asphalt, plaster, thin metal sheeting and plastic. From your furniture to your driveway, and everything in between, termites will not rest until they've consumed everything they can get their tiny jaws on.
What Do Termites Look Like?
The different species of Termites have a caste system composed of Workers, Soldiers and Reproducers (Kings, Queens and Alate). Since the majority of termite colonies are composed of workers, without expert analysis, they are virtually impossible to distinguish.
Actions to Take to Prevent Termites
Here are three easy steps you can take to make your home less prone to invasion.
Monitor and Control potential entry points.
Remove loose wood from around your home.
Minimize or Eliminate excess moisture from your home.