What are termites?
There are several types of termites in our region that we need to actively guard our homes against:
Termites are wood-eating insects. They are one of the few organisms able to use the cellulose found in wood and other organic materials as a food source. The termite's ability to consume and get rid of decaying wood and other debris in nature is helpful. However, when they begin to feed on our home's structural wood, they become a serious threat, not directly to us, but to our homes and our bank accounts!
Are termites dangerous?
Termites are responsible for causing more than five billion dollars in costs across the country each year. Termites are social insects, and each colony works together as a team to ensure its success.
Termites work and nest out of our sight, meaning they could be on your property for years before you notice them. Once you've discovered a termite infestation, they typically have already caused costly and extensive damage to whatever wooden structure they used as a food source.
Another big problem with termites in your home is that homeowners' insurance usually doesn't cover their damages. They view termite damage as preventable, and therefore the cost of repairs is left up to the homeowner.
Why do I have a termite problem?
Many species of termites are attracted to moist soil and water-damaged wood. Properties with poor drainage and lots of leaf debris, woodpiles, wooded areas, and other damp organic debris are likely to experience problems with these wood-eating pests.
As the termites are traveling near your home searching for food, they often end up inside. They move into structures through pieces of wood, making contact with the soil, or through cracks in the foundation. Homes with clogged gutters, leaky pipes, or poor ventilation have moisture issues and provide termites with damp, wet wood to use as a food source.
Like drywood termites, some termites prefer to feed on dry or sound pieces of wood. While they can enter a home from the outside, they are most often introduced inside on pieces of wood or wooden furniture already infested with these pests.
Where will I find termites?
Where exactly you will find termites does depend on their species. But, in general, termites are not pests that make their presence well known. Unlike ants and other household pests, you won't see them out and about trailing through your house. They work in secret behind your walls feeding on the interior of pieces of structural wood or wooden structures.
Dampwood termites prefer to live and feed outside. These termites have extremely high moisture needs and nest and feed on wet and decaying logs, stumps, dead trees, tree stumps, and old and damaged fence posts and utility poles.
Drywood termites prefer dry, sound wood. They nest within the wood they are feeding on. Inside our homes, antique wooden furniture, wood flooring, trim, and structural beams can become a food source and nesting site for these termites.
Subterranean termites nest in the ground in damp soil. Each day, they leave the nest to forage for food, preferring wood damaged by water. Formosan termites are a type of subterranean termite. However, they are unique because they can create both underground nests and aerial nests. They also leave the nest each day to forage for food.
How do I get rid of termites?
If you suspect a termite infestation on your property, don't delay asking for help. The sooner the termites are removed from your property by a professional, the less damage they will be able to inflict!
Trust the professionals at All State Pest Control to provide you with a solution to your termite problem. Whether your infestation is big or small, we will find, accurately identify, and perform the treatments necessary to remove them and stop them from coming back.
Our Nassau County pest professionals are dedicated to our customers and provide top-notch services to ensure that you are satisfied and that termites can no longer use your property as a place to nest and feed. If you are in Nassau or Suffolk County, NY, call today to learn about our many termite control options!
How can I prevent termites in the future?
To help reduce the chances of termites invading and damaging your Nassau or Suffolk County, NY home, we have compiled a list of our most helpful tips:
- Maintain gutters and downspouts to stop rainwater from seeping into your walls.
- Repair leaky pipes, faucets, and fixtures to help prevent your home's structural wood from being damaged by water.
- Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners to reduce humidity levels.
- If any wood in your home has water damage, immediately remove it and replace it with sound wood.
- Limit soil-to-wood contact in your yard and on your home.
- Create a stone barrier between soil or mulch and your foundation.
- Remove decaying wood from your property.
- Regularly inspect your foundation and the weatherstripping around windows and doors. Repair cracks and replace damaged weatherstripping.
- Inspect wooden furniture, flooring, and pieces of lumber you are bringing into your home for tiny holes in its exterior.