Oh FYI subterranean termites are the MOST destructive insect pests of wood in the United States. Literally every year, these little critters cause billions (with a B) of dollars in damage. The damage causes significant hardship for people all over the country because they attack our most sacred and valuable possession – our castle (or home/living space, I’m just trying to add some dramatic nomenclature to our humble pest control industry).
Hakuna Matata / circle of life paragraph will now begin. Believe it or not, while destructive and unapologetic about destroying our castles, termites do in fact serve a purpose. What great purpose do our termite nemeses serve in our circle of life? I’m glad you asked. It is the role of subterranean termites to break down cellulose into usable and needed nutrients throughout nature. They are able to break down materials and create biomass that is recycled into the soil as humus. Basically, they take things that need to be broken down and make dirt out of them. It just sucks when they try to make dirt out of your laundry room wall. Hakuna Matata
So on the whole termites are important but will still ruin your day. They kinda suck and are constantly an issue we have to worry about. Every year many homeowners call us for a free inspection based on what they hear about termites and just how bad termite damage can be. Many times, these phone calls come from homeowners who haven’t even seen any damages or signs of termites around the structure, they just want a professional’s eye to take a look and give them some peace of mind. They ask about how to get rid of termites. These customers usually just need some basic info about what they are dealing with and what actions to take. Here are some quick tips to consider for prevention and when trying to diagnose before you need to know how to get rid of termites.
- Slab homes should have AT LEAST 3 inches of exposed slab. You do not want to see dirt, leaves, mulch or anything else piled past the brick or siding line. When the slab is totally covered by dirt etc it is impossible to see any termite activity, and this condition is very inviting to termites.
- Termites come from the ground up. They are looking for holes or cracks in the slab. If your home has had an addition there is a “cold joint” where the two slab pours meet up. This cold joint will be a point of concern with talking about termites. If you have this information about your home, please communicate this to the termite treatment company.
- Also, keep in mind that the treatment will ALWAYS focus on the point of entry. If you have termite damage on the second floor, they are coming up from the ground and making their way up to the second floor. Is the 2nd story activity in a bathroom or laundry room? There is either a plumbing penetration under the activity or a crack. Either way, the termite treatment company should focus on treating the entry point with a limited treatment at any active spots.
- With the correct termite treatment responsibly applied, you can expect to have termite control for about 7 years. The treatment is placed in the ground and will slowly break down. Termite control is accomplished by creating a barrier around the structure. It’s like a moat of treatment surrounding you home and pushing the termite colony away from your home (so they could end up next door). Or with a nonrepellent, you may be able to gain colony control as the infected termites bring treatment back down to the rest of the colony.
- Termite extermination is different than termite control. Depending on how big the colony below is, it can be difficult to truly exterminate the entire colony. Although termite extermination is the goal, you will have, at the very least, a strong barrier protecting your home and supplying you with termite control.
Before you need to know how to get rid of termites, you will need a professional termite inspection. If you see signs of wood decay or are just worried you can always call a pest control company Austin Texas and ask for a free termite inspection. A professional will always be able to diagnose true termite damage vs water damage. An inspection is the first step towards a termite treatment and termite extermination and should always be FREE.