Termites are one of those pests that live in your home rather silently. Their presence and infestation is felt when they have damaged the wooden elements of the house to some extent. Although there are many different species of termites, and generally are harmless for humans directly, they can cause extensive damage to the wooden structures of a house and other wooden elements.
In addition to wood, they also feed off on books, paper, insulation, and other similar elements that you may have at home. The damage they cause can amount to millions of dollars in some instances. Therefore, early identification of termite infestation and their proper treatment is of utmost importance so the damage caused by them could be minimized.
Before we go into the details of what you can do about termite infestation, we need to know what termites are and how they infest any area. We will also describe some early signs of termite infestation through which you can identify them and treat them early.
What Are Termites
Termites are eusocial insects that live together in the form of colonies. They are also called silent destroyers because they secretly thrive and continue to grow i without causing any visible damage.
There are certain facts about termites which are listed below:
- Termites thrive in hot, humid, and dark environments. The climate of Singapore provides an ideal environment for termites to grow.
- Termites need four main things to survive. These are food, shelter, moisture, and an optimal temperature.
- Termites prefer warmer temperatures and they are at their most efficient in those temperatures. The countries where there is hot climate most time of the year are more prone to termite infestation as compared to cooler countries.
- Termites are blind insects. They communicate with each other and follow paths through pheromones. They also bang their heads which causes vibrations which are sensed by other termites. This head banging also results in the tell-tale clicking sounds of termites.
- Since termites need a moist and dark environment to thrive, they cannot survive out in the open. Therefore, they build moist mud trails on walls or on the ground which would enable them to keep themselves moist even above the ground.
- There are over 2300 different species of termites all over the world.
- Termites are divided into three levels of a caste system. There are reproductive termites, worker termites, and soldier termites.
- Ants are the main predators of termites. Ants can kill termite colonies and attack them in big numbers.
- Termites can cause millions of dollars damage to the structure of houses and to other wooden elements of a home.
How Do Termites Cause Infestation
Termites are drawn towards wood and wooden elements inside a house. Through moisture and damp environment, termites get attracted towards a house and its wooden structures. They can infiltrate the house through cracks in the house exterior. The cracks around the windows and doors also provide a passage for the termites to make their way into the house.
In order to reach the wood, the termites make mud trails from the soil to the wood. This way, they can survive even outside the moist environment of soil. Once they reach the wood, they start to thrive there, reproduce, and eventually start feeding off on the wood.
How To Identify Termites At An Early Stage
According to common belief, termite infestation cannot be identified until after they have wreaked havoc and caused extensive damage to wooden elements of a house. While this may be true to some extent, there are some early signs which you can be on the lookout to determine if there is any kind of termite infestation or not. These signs are discussed below:
- The most apparent sign of termite infestation is the appearance of mud trails and tubes on walls or the ground. Since most termites need a moist environment for their survival, they build these mud trails from the soil towards their food source so they can reach it safely in a moist and humid environment. If you see these mud tubes on any hard structure in your house, it might indicate a termite infestation.
- Like all insects, termites leave behind their droppings as they pass through the mud trails. These droppings can give you an indication that there are termites present nearby. These droppings resemble ground coffee or sawdust. Seeing these droppings near wooden structures can be a sure sign that termite infestation is present.
- You may notice wings shed off at various locations in the house especially near the windows. Termites swarm in the spring season and later shed off their wings. You may confuse the wings you see with those of ant swarms but there is a difference. Ant swarms comprise two sets of wings, one larger than the other. Termite swarms also comprise two sets of wings but both the sets of wings are of equal size. If you find such equal-length wings and that too in piles, you can be sure that a colony of termites is nearby.
- In addition to shed wings, you may even see termite swarms especially in the Spring as it is their mating season. Again, you may confuse them with ant swarms. One difference is the equal-length wings of termites as opposed to different length wings for ant swarms. Another difference is that ant swarm’s antennae are bent at right angles whereas termite swarm antennae are straight.
- Another sign that you can be on the lookout is seeing a dead or alive termite. They may look like white ants or flying ants. But if you listen closely, you might hear a clicking sound which can be a sure sign of termite infestation.
- If you are unable to spot termites at the early stage, they may start to damage your floors and paneling. You may notice swollen panels or raised floorboards which can indicate the infestation of termites. Bumps in the wall can also be a sign of termite infestation.
- Another sign of termites infestation is the sound of hollow wood when you knock on a wooden structure. This hollow sound is an indication that termites have damaged the wooden structure considerably and made the wood hollow. There may be signs of cracks or splitting on the wood which could indicate a serious termite infestation.
What To Do In The Case Of Termite Infestation
When you notice termite infestation, you should get it treated as early as possible to prevent any additional damage to the wooden structures. While there are ways to deal with termites on your own, easiest and most effective way of dealing with termites is to call professional services and let them do the job of treating termites.
Pest Off is a leading pest control specialist that excels in carrying out effective treatment against termites. Through their expertise, they can inspect the premises to identify all sources of termites. This is carried out by deploying monitoring stations and using thermal scanners.
Once the termites have been identified, they will carry out the different methods through which termite infestation will be treated. This involves the use of various chemicals as well as non-chemical treatment.
They utilize NEA approved chemicals which not only help in killing off the colonies, but also prevents their spread in the future. For this purpose, a 5-year guarantee is also provided. The chemicals used are noncarcinogenic, environment-friendly, and safe to use for human beings.