pest control

I Have Termites in my Home – What Do I Do?

Of all the potential insect pests you might find in your home, termites are the worst. Ants and roaches may be unsanitary, at least they aren’t really doing any harm. Termites can be a disaster and can cause thousands of dollars in structural damage to a house if left unchecked. So when you find termites in your home, you need to act fast.

Don’t ignore any potential termite problems. If you live in the city, it can still happen as companies that do pest control in Long Island can attest to. Urban areas are just as at risk as rural places.

Termites or Ants?

If someone well-meaning friend tells you not to worry, that you only have white ants, you should ignore them. What some people think of as white ants are really just young, freshly-hatched termites. There are no such thing as “white ants”.

Signs of Termites

Hopefully, you can catch signs of termites moving in before too much wood has been devoured. Look at the foundation of your home outside. Many species of termites will build mud tubes to help them travel up over the concrete, so they can get at the wood of your house. That’s one sure-fire sign that you have termites. Of course, finding wood that has been chewed along with colonies of insects living in the wood is another pretty good tip-off.

Deal with Them

The simplest option is to call an exterminator and have them do some spraying. They can assess the situation and let you know if a basic spray treatment is enough or whether you have to have your house fumigated. Don’t immediately assume the worst though. Most professionals can take care of small infestation without resorting to the inconvenience of a fumigation.

If you have taken a thorough inspection of your home and really don’t feel that the termite problem has reached professional treatment levels yet, you can try to kill them off yourself. There are a number of good products you can purchase or even more do-it-yourself techniques that can help.

Retail products are usually in a liquid spray format that is either sprayed or brushed on to wood surfaces. They can be very effective as long as you are able to access the parts of your home that are infested. Beams hidden within walls or floors can’t always be treated well on your own.

Borax can be used as a handy termite killer if you don’t want to buy pesticide products. You can find it in the laundry section of the supermarket and it’s quite inexpensive. As a powder, you can sprinkle it over the infested wood, or use a squeeze bottle to more forcibly blow it into the termite tunnels. For an easier application dissolve some in water and use as a liquid spray. Cover the wood where you can see them nesting, as well as anything nearby to protect surrounding structures.

One last option is to introduce hot, dry air into their nests or tunnels. They dry out very easily (which is why they like damp wood). Reducing the moisture levels can help drive them out without any chemicals at all.


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