Termites are mysterious pests that create more than a little fear for Orlando property owners. They hide inside structural timbers and don't prefer to come out where you can see them. So, when you detect termite activity, you're left to wonder how many termites are in your home and how much damage they've done. We're going to remove some of that mystery today. Let's look at how you can tell you have active termites, how they damage your Orlando home, and what attracts them to your property. Together, these tips can help prevent termites from having free access to damage your property. We'll also discuss the benefits of professional termite pest control in Orlando. If you need immediate assistance, navigate to our contact page. You don't have to read an article about termite control to get answers to your problems. Our technicians are always ready to help.
Signs Of Termite Activity To Watch For Around Your Home
It is possible to stumble upon signs of termites in your yard. You may pick up a dead branch and see tiny, pale-colored insects crawling on the bottom where the branch touched the soil. You may trim your landscaping and notice something is eating the wood of your home in this hidden and humid area. You might rake mulch up and find hundreds of winged termites underneath the mulch or you may see these flying termites around your yard. You may suspect that you have a termite-infested tree due to the branches dying and mud inside a cavity. If you stumble upon these warning signs and understand what you're looking at, you can take steps to protect your home from damage. Termites won't destroy your home in one night; they'll take months and even years to do it. Early detection can save you a ton of money. Unfortunately, you're not likely to see termite activity unless you look for it. These are incredibly sneaky insects.
When termites come into your yard and attempt to access your home, different termites do it in different ways. Drywood termites can attack your home from the air, they do not need to have access to the soil. Most subterranean termites live in the ground and bring soil up into the tunnels they create in wood. Certain species of subterranean termites can live entirely inside structures. These are the most destructive. Here are the warning signs to look for around and inside your home.
Drywood Termites: These insects attack hardwood. Keep this in mind as you look for drywood termite activity.
- Frass. When drywood termites feed on wood, they produce this material. It is mostly their fecal waste. You may find it near gaps or kickout holes. The droppings of drywood termites are the same color as the wood they're eating.
- Damage: You might notice holes, splintering, or honeycomb indents when drywood termites invade your Orlando home.
- Swarmers. You're not going to have to wonder if you have a termite infestation when you see winged termites inside your home. While they are the most obvious warning sign of a termite infestation, swarms last for less than 30 minutes. After this, the swarmers disappear into cracks, gaps, and holes and attempt to create more nests.
- Wings. When drywood termites release swarmers, you may only see their shed wings. These wings will be white, equal in size, and teardrop-shaped.
Subterranean Termites: These insects prefer rotting wood but can get into softwood timber within your home. As you look for these termites, watch for soil in gaps, cracks, and holes or mud on the surface of wood timbers.
- Tubes. Subterranean termites come above ground and create tunnels out of soil and saliva. These are called shelter tubes or mud tubes. You'll find them on your foundation walls, exterior steps, wood timbers, and concrete piers. You may also find them in humid spaces within your home. When you find a shelter tube, break a piece off and check back in a few days. Termite workers will repair the structure if you have an active infestation.
- Damage. You might see wood splintering or exposed termite tunnels in damp locations or shaded spaces around your home. Most of the time, you won't see the damage, but you may hear it. Tap on support timbers. If they sound hollow, that is not a good sign.
- Mud. Subterranean termites bring the soil up into their tunnels. When you see mud underneath your siding or in a location where there is wood damage, these insects are likely to blame.
- Swarmers. You may see these winged insects if you have an active termite nest on your property. Finding them indoors is a warning sign of a severe infestation.
When you detect termites, what should you do? Is it time to contact a licensed termite control professional?
The Extent Of Damage Termites Can Cause To Your Home
You need to consider how termites damage wood and the extent termites can damage your home if you hope to avoid termite damage. When you find termite activity, the following facts will help you decide what to do about them.
- When you find a handful of termite workers, you can be fairly certain that there are thousands more that you can't see.
- Termite workers feed on more than one food source at a time. They can feed on the wood of your home while they feed on a dying tree, old fence, or pile of dead branches in your yard.
- Termite workers travel as far as the length of a football field in search of food sources, which means more than one termite colony can feed on your home simultaneously.
- Termites prefer water-damaged wood. You are at greater risk if your home has wood compromised by exposure to water.
- Old homes are at greater risk because insect control materials wear out over time.
- Termites are simple organisms that don't require sleep. They can feed on your property 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
At the first sign of termite activity (or long before you see warning signs), it is best to have a licensed termite control professional guard your property against termite damage. If you haven't seen warning signs yet, there are ways you can reduce the risk of termites. Let's look at these next.
Factors That Attract Termites And How To Remove Them
Termites aren't equally attracted to every property. Some factors make some properties more interesting than others. It is best to remove these, whether you have professional termite control products installed around your property or not.
- Remove termite food. Wood sources resting on the soil provide an easy food source for termites. Termites can access food sources like this without revealing themselves. Once inside, they'll start bringing lots of food back to their nest. In response to plentiful food, the queen will produce more workers, and workers may develop into reproductives and create a satellite nest near the food. Keep all wood up off the ground. For example, put dead branches in a plastic or rubber bin, create an elevated platform for campfire wood, and stack objects on plastic pallets in the backyard rather than wood pallets.
- Address wood-to-soil contact on structures. Do you have a deck that has wooden posts that go deep into the ground? Consider putting those posts on concrete so you can see shelter tubes created by subterranean termites. Do you have a wood fence? Consider getting a vinyl fence. Many vinyl products look like real wood but are not food for termites.
- Address moisture. Moisture problems can lead to wood rot, which attracts termites. Damp soil is also an attractant. Subterranean termites are drawn to damp soil because it helps them stay hydrated.
- Seal entry points. Drywood termites get into your home through aerial openings. Use a caulking gun to seal these entry points and keep drywood termites out.
Termites in Orlando can sneak into your yard and start damaging your property right under your nose. While these tips are helpful, they will not give you complete protection. How do you get total termite control?
Contact The Pros For Total Termite Control For Your Home
Termite control is hard work, and it is possible to install termite control products incorrectly. If you do this, all your hard work will be for nothing. While you can certainly do it yourself, it is best to hire a trained pest control professional. Long before you find signs of termites in your home, Green Flag Services can help you keep termites from damaging your Orlando property. Our technicians have the training and experience to apply products around your home without causing damage to your property and they do it in a way that is sure to provide a complete barrier. The products we use are professional-grade and use termite workers against their own colonies, which leads to colony elimination. No more termite colony means no more threat.
Contact us today to learn about our products and services, or schedule a visit with one of our service professionals. We'll guide you toward the right solution for your budget. There is no better way to stop termites in their tracks.