What to Do if You Think You Have Termites

 Michael Rayzer
  Apr 12, 2018

There are few pests that can threaten the structural integrity of your home quite like a termite. Not only can they literally eat you out of house and home but termites can pose a number of safety risks as well. There are things you can do to guard against this threat but they each depend on you making the right choices at the right time. Here I’ll discuss several steps to take if you think you're dealing with a termite infestation. But first, you need to know if what you’re dealing with are actually termites.

Know what to look for

Termites leave a number of signs of their presence behind and while they may seem innocuous they are telltale signs of serious issues. The first thing to be on the lookout for are termite wings. These are slender, oval-shaped wings which may be found outside your home. When in search of a new nesting spot termites will take to the air to forage. Upon finding a suitable spot they will shed their wings and get to work building their nest.

Another clear indication of termites is the presence of mud tubes. Mud tubes, pictured above, are protected pathways termites build to enter their colony. The sad truth is that if you see either of these signs there’s a very good chance that substantial damage has already been done to your home. That makes it all the more imperative that you perform these vital steps:

Act Fast

Termites are able to cause a staggering amount of damage in a short amount of time. And as with most problems, it is just something that will get worse the longer it isn't dealt with. So if you see any of the signs mentioned above you should not hesitate to call a pest control expert. Doing so can be the difference in a moderate exterminator fee and your home requiring extensive repair work. But in reality, you don’t have to wait until you see signs of an infestation. You can always have professional termite control experts perform a pest inspection, which most will do for free.

Do Your Research

Whether you’re trying to find a company to perform an inspection or an extermination you will benefit from doing some homework first. Ask friends and relatives if they’ve hired any pest control companies in the past and whether or not they have some recommendations--or warnings. You can also check for company ratings on Google or another contractor rating site to browse some of the companies in your area. But once you’ve narrowed down your selection a bit there are still some things you should do. Peruse the company’s website just to get a sense of their business. A company’s website can say a lot about the attention to detail they bring to bear while they work. You should also ask each company how they deal with termites. Make sure they have a concrete plan in place and see if it matches up with what you’ve learned about the company elsewhere. If they pass the grade and you decide to hire then it’s time to go ahead and have them come out to look at your home.

Schedule a Pest Inspection

The problem with termites, and a lot of pests really, is that if you wait to act after they’ve arrived it will usually be too late. That’s why you should have a pest control company perform regular inspections of your property. This has a number of advantages. For one, it can stop an infestation before it starts--which is the ultimate goal. It can also discover any other nasty pests which may be present in your home such as roaches or mice. And if they do find termites that company will be able to immediately enact measures to end the infestation and limit the damage it causes. If possible you should find a pest control company that offers free termite inspections. If you live in an area which is prone to termite infestations it shouldn’t be too difficult to locate one. But finding the right pest control company can be easier said than done. That’s why you should always do your research.

Assess the Damage

As we stated before termites can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. This is why it is crucial to take an accurate accounting of how far the colony has spread. There’s a good chance some repair work will be needed. Depending on how severe the damage is the pest control company you hired may be able to handle these repairs or you may have to or want to find outside help. Either way, as soon as all traces of the termites are gone you should determine if you still have termites.

Make Sure They're Gone for Good

This is should be the ultimate goal for anyone that has suffered through a termite infestation. If the pest control company you hired has any safeguards in place against future termite infestations you should take advantage of them. It is possible to find companies that will guarantee a termite free property for a number of years. But if a service like that isn’t available then it is important to stay vigilant and schedule regular inspections. After all, your home deserves better than to be some critter’s lunch.

What to Do if You Think You Have Termites

Michael Rayzer

Michael Rayzer graduated from Southern Connecticut State University in 2008 with a BA in English Language and Literature, and has worked for 10 years as a content writer. Mike currently performs freelance writing for EcoTek Termite and Pest Control of Northern Virginia, writing about termite extermination and topics related to pest control.

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