A colony of termites of approximately 60,000 termites can eat one foot of a 2×4 piece of wood in roughly five months. That may not sound like a lot but consider what would happen if you took that much wood out of any part of your home.
Plus, that’s just one colony in five months. If there is more than one colony and they go unnoticed for an extended period of time, the damage could be significantly worse.
That’s why you need to understand your foe and take steps to deal with them.
What Attracts Termites?
Termites love to eat wood. Specifically, they are attracted to softer wood, such as wood which is starting to decay and the softwood in your home.
But, wood by itself is not enough. The termite also wants, and needs, damp. It is worth noting that dry wood termites are less interested in a damp environment. But, all termites need access to food and water.
If you have an undetected leak, especially under your home, you’ll be attracting termites.
They don’t just have to be attracted to your home. You can inadvertently bring them into your house when you purchase timber or pre-owned furniture.
Of particular interest to termites is the moisture under the floor. Combine this with their ability to get through tiny cracks around windows and doors, and the gaps at the foundation line, and you’ll have a colony of termites under your floor in no time.
How They Get In
Termites generally dig tunnels through the mud that surrounds your home. This allows them to access your underfloor space and start working on your wood.
You’ll see the signs of termites around the edge of the house exterior, they’ll appear as mud tubes. If you cover one it will either be uncovered the next day or a new tube will have appeared next to it
Dealing With Termites
You can purchase termite bait systems and place them in strategic positions around your home. Termites work together. That means some of the termites are responsible for locating food for the entire colony. If they find food they carry it back and share it.
That’s what makes bait traps so effective. At first, you simply leave the bait there, encouraging the termites to eat it. Then, when they are happy it’s safe you can change the bait to poisoned bait. The termites will take this back to the colony and inadvertently kill all the other termites.
You should also consider concreting around the edge of your home, for the first 6-12 inches from your house. The termites can’t dig through concrete.
The professionals can also locate the colony and fumigate your house to kill all the termites. This isn’t something you should attempt as you’ll want to be certain that they are all dead.
It’s a good idea to check wood before you bring it into the house and to treat all exposed wood. Treated wood is not as desirable to a termite.