A Floridian’s Guide to Dealing with a Termite Infestation

A termite infestation costs over $5 billion in property damage in a year. Yes, something that small can lead to costs that big.

It’s a global problem that’s hard to solve, but that doesn’t mean you can’t solve your house problem.

Termites can compromise the integrity of a structure. This then damages the property, leaving you with a huge cost for repairs. What’s worse is that you may not notice the damage they’re doing until it’s too late.

Furthermore, it’s a health hazard, which is why you should deal with them right away. If you think termites have invaded your home, read below for some tips on dealing with an infestation.

Knowing the Termite Infestation Symptoms

Do you think you’re dealing with a termite infestation? Watch out for these signs or call a professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Bubbled Paint

As termites feed on the inside of your walls, it’s eventual that they will get to the surface. When they do, the paint or coating will bubble or even crack in unnatural ways.

Hollow Wood

Termites only feed on the interior of a structure, which is why you might not even notice an infestation. To check which areas have termites, knock on the wood. If it sounds hollow, that means they’ve already made their way through it.

Mud Tubes

Mud tubes are tunnels used by a type of termites called subterranean termites. They use these tunnels, which they made using soil and wood, to travel between the nest and food sources. If you notice some pencil-sized tubes on the walls, your house likely has termites.

Presence of Swarmers

Have you noticed a swarm of insects in your home? These may be flying termites, which have left the nest in search of a new colony.

Termite Droppings or Wings

These swarmers may then drop their wings after they’ve found a mate. If you’re noticing wings, this also means that the flying termites have taken a liking to your home. You may also notice termite droppings that resemble sawdust scattered about.

Getting Rid of the Termites

If one or more signs are present, you may be dealing with an infestation. You can try to do it yourself, but it will take a lot of work. Still, it may be possible if the termite damage isn’t so severe.

Wondering how to treat termites and kill them? Use the following tips and see which one will work for you.

Using Traps

One way to get the termites out of your house is to give them something more irresistible to them. That means giving them cellulose and dampness.

A cheap way to do this is using wet cardboard. Stack them on each other and then place them near the suspected infestation. When you see some termites munching on the trap, you can then remove it and burn it.

This method can only lure hundreds of termites at a time, so you may have to repeat the process multiple times. This also isn’t ideal for treating a whole infestation. It can complement other methods well, though.

Another way of using traps is placing termite bait stations around your house. These stations contain cellulose-based food and a slow-acting poison that will then attract the termites and kill them.

What’s great about this option is that the termites bring back the poisoned bait to their colony. This then kills the whole colony off after some time.

Heating or Freezing

Sunlight and the cold are natural enemies of termite, and you can use them to fend off these insects. However, DIY heating and freezing methods are only effective for small infested items. After all, you can’t heat your whole house without the help of a pest control expert.

To kill them with sunlight, take out the infested item to expose the colony, thus killing them. You may have to leave the item out in the sun for a couple of days or more. To hasten the process, use the wet cardboard method in conjunction.

If your area doesn’t receive much sunlight, you can also consider freezing the item in a large refrigerator. Like the above, it’s ideal if you can leave it there for 2 to 3 days. This is an effective method of killing termites but only if it’s possible for you to put the item in the freezer.

DIY Treatments

There are some termite control products available at your local hardware store. You can try these if you’re confident that you can use them the right way. An example is a liquid termite-killing product that you spray on the perimeter of your home.

We don’t recommend doing this yourself if you don’t have the right knowledge, though. If you don’t use it the proper way, you’ll only be wasting your money as it won’t solve the infestation. You also risk your health if you don’t observe the proper safety measures.

Using Nematodes

Nematodes are parasitic worms to termites and other garden pests. They burrow into their host, disintegrating them from the inside out. They’re sensitive to UV light, so you should plant them before dawn or after dusk.

When all the termites and other pests are gone, nematodes die and feed the soil. You will usually see results within a week, but it may take up to 4 weeks. They’re available at a garden supply store.

Preventive Measures

Make sure you don’t have to deal with termites again by taking preventive measures against them. Remove cellulose-based debris around your house or keep them at least 20 ft. away. These include logs and other wooden items.

The bad news is that our houses, whatever it’s made of, have cellulose that termites can feed on. In this case, limit the risk by having your house pre-treated for termite prevention.

You should also look out for any wooden parts of your home that are in contact with soil. This can give the termites an access. You should also fill in the cracks in your home, which can serve as entry points.

Call a Professional for Help

More often than not, the best course of action when dealing with a termite infestation is to call a professional. DIY treatments may not be effective or worse, it might even aggravate your problems.

If you want the best termite treatment, contact us now and say goodbye to your termite worries.

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Dave Galvagni