Termites are often called the “silent destroyer” because they may be secretly hiding and thriving in your basement or yard without any immediate signs of damage. While each termite species thrives in different climates and eats different types of food, all termites require four things to survive — food, moisture, shelter and optimal temperature. Unfortunately, all homes, regardless of their construction type, can provide these ideal conditions for termite infestation.
Termites are detrivores, or detritus feeders. They feed on dead plants and trees as well as dead parts of living trees, including wood and wood in the soil. A termite’s mouth is capable of tearing large pieces of food. This ability is what causes concern in human dwellings: while termites only measure approximately one centimeter in length, their feeding habits are capable of causing costly damage to property. House foundations, furniture, shelves, books, carpets and insulation are all possible feeding sites for termites.
Subterranean termite homes are usually formed in soil. Within these mounds, termites build elaborate tunnel systems and mud tunnels through which they access aboveground food sources. Drywood termites live within the wood they consume and oftentimes infest walls and furniture.
When a colony has matured, winged, swarming termites can be seen around windows and doors. Winged termites are highly attracted to sources of light and are most active in springtime. After mating, these termites locate a new breeding site and create another colony, spreading infestations throughout multiple locations.
What Can You Do to Help Protect Your Home in New Jersey?
Since termites are a constant threat to your home, here are some things you can do during the year to help maintain the effectiveness of soil remediation treatment. Small steps make a big difference in termite prevention and sustaining an effective termite treatment plan. Start by eliminating moisture conditions and food around your home. These simple steps make your home a less attractive target, helping deter termites.
Eliminate Moisture Problems
•Repair leaking faucets, water pipes, and a/c units
•Divert water from foundation
•Keep gutters and down-spouts clean
•Remove excessive plant cover and wood mulch
•Get rid of standing water on roof
•Keep all vents clear and open
•Seal entry points around water and utility lines or pipes
Remove Food Sources
•Keep firewood, lumber, or paper away from foundation or crawl space
•Get rid of stumps and debris near house
•Place screens on outside vents
•Check decks and wooden fences for damage
•Wood on your home shouldn’t contact the soil
Termite Warning Signs & Identification Some indications you may have a termite infestation:
•A temporary swarm of winged insects in your home or from the soil around your home.
•Any cracked or bubbling paint or frass (termite droppings).
•Wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
•Mud tubes on exterior walls, wooden beams, or in crawl spaces.
•Discarded wings from swarmers.