We invest a lot of money into protecting our homes. Fancy modern security systems now allow us to see what is going on inside our homes from our computers at work. These systems will also send alerts to our cell phones when something is detected. However traumatic a burglary might be, the damage that a tiny insect can do to your home can be much more devastating. Termite damage accounts for billions of dollars of damage to peoples homes every year. Yet, many still do not have a current integrated pest management agreement in place to protect their homes.
If you are noticing wood damage on or in your home, you need to contact a pest control specialist immediately. By the time termite damage is visible, it can often be too late. Termites are very small, and can get into your house undetected. But once inside, their ravenous appetite for wood and ability to reproduce can have devastating consequences for your home. You can call an exterminator at this point to eradicate these pests. However, the exterminator cannot do anything about the damage they have caused.
Homes in the southwestern United States are particularly prone to termite infestation. It has been estimated that this region alone incurs over one billion dollars in termite damage every year. The Subterranean Termite is the species most likely to be damage homes in this region. This species lives underground, venturing forth to feast on soft wood fibers. They do their damage from the inside out. This means that they remain hidden from you while they do their work. By the time you notice that they are there, it is generally too late to prevent major damage.
There are some warning signs that termites might be attacking your home. Subterranean Termites build mud tubes to travel between the ground and the wood inside your home. These distinctive tubes are made from soil and wood fibers. Termites build these tubes to protect them as they travel from their underground colonies, which can number in the thousands, and their food source inside the home. Without them, the insects wood dry up and die in the outside air. These tubes can be relatively easy to see, especially when they are built on concrete or brick exteriors.
Protecting your home is a continuous process, and it requires an integrated pest control system. Part of this integrated approach is to build newer homes with termite resistant wood. Some types of wood, like Douglas fir, hemlock, and spruce, are naturally resistant to termites. However, any kind of wood can be treated in a manner to be termite resistant.
Bait stations are also an important tool to prevent termite problems. Bait stations are placed outside the home at places where termites might gain access. The stations attract the termites inside, where they ingest poison. When the insects return to the colony, they bring the poison with them and distribute it among the colony, killing the entire lot.
Properly protecting your home from a termite infestation requires the implementation of an integrated pest management system. Building materials and bait stations are both important parts of this process. Any home owner would be well advised to have an ongoing agreement with a pest control specialist for frequent monitoring and treatment of their home to prevent termite infestation. Paying for this treatment is relatively inexpensive, especially when you consider the cost of repairs to the walls and wood frame of a home that has been attacked by a termite colony. Spend the time and money that it takes to have a pest control specialist design a customized termite control plan for your home.