What are termites?
As one of the few organisms that can feed on cellulose, termites living in wooded and forested areas are eco-important and help to break-down decaying wood, plants, and other materials made of cellulose. Unfortunately, as our habitats have expanded, termites have become a common pest problem nesting in or near our Bay Area yards and invading our homes while searching for food.
Many types of termites live worldwide. In our area, the two species we need to be most concerned about are the subterranean termite and the drywood termite:
- Subterranean termites are the most common termites living across the country. These termites nest under the ground in damp, loose soil. They prefer to feed on wood that is decaying or exposed to water.
- Drywood termites feed on dry wood or wood that has not been damaged by water. Drywood termites have fewer members in their colonies than subterranean termites and feed at a much slower rate. Drywood termites are very efficient feeders and leave almost nothing behind but a thin exterior shell after feeding on a piece of wood.
Are termites dangerous?
Termites are very dangerous, not because they bite or sting, but because of the damage they can cause to the homes and other man-made structures, they invade. More than five billion dollars in damage is caused by termites each year.
After termites invade your home, they will feed on wood, causing more and more damage each day. Over time, they can cause enough damage to cause costly and dangerous structural damage. It is important to understand that termite damage is preventable and, therefore, not something that most homeowners' insurance covers.
The presence of subterranean termites around your home, while damaging to your property, is also most likely an indicator of an underlying moisture problem that needs addressing.
Why do I have a termite problem?
Subterranean termites become a problem for homeowners after finding their way inside while foraging for food. These termites may be nesting in your yard or a neighboring property traveling to your home through the soil or the mud tubes that they create. They then enter inside through tiny cracks and crevices in the foundation or pieces of wood that are making direct contact with the soil.
Drywood termites find their way into houses through pieces of wood or wood furniture already infested with the termites. They do not require contact with the soil to move into homes. In addition to moving inside by hitchhiking inside wooden items, swarming drywood termites move directly inside through vents or spaces in the roof or around windows and doors.
Where will I find termites?
Inside homes and other buildings, subterranean termites invade and feed on structural wood behind walls, above ceilings, and underneath floors. They travel through the soil or mud tubes they create to their food sources and back to their nest each day. An infestation usually begins at ground level, but over time the termites and their damage will climb up your home’s walls and extend above its ceilings.
Drywood termites live, feed, and nest inside of the wooden structures they have invaded. Attic beams, exposed wood, antique wooden furniture, and sound structural wood are all common places to experience a drywood termite infestation.
How do I get rid of termites?
The most stress-free way to get rid of termites and other pests from your Bay Area property is to partner with Bay Pest. Meeting our customers’ unique pest control needs are our top priority!
Our dedicated professionals can identify your specific pest problem, provide the services needed to get rid of them, and the follow-up services necessary to prevent them from returning! To learn more about our solutions to eliminate pests from your residential or commercial property, reach out to Bay Pest today!
How can I prevent termites in the future?
To prevent problems with termites on your property or in your home, follow our top prevention tips listed below!
- Schedule regular termite inspections from a professional to prevent a costly infestation.
- Inspect furniture and other wooden items for signs of termite damage before bringing them into your home.
- Remove things from your property that could attract hungry termites like woodpiles, brush piles, leaf piles, tree stumps, and fallen trees.
- Make sure your screens, vents, and shingles are in good repair; replacing any that become damaged.
- Reduce excess moisture around the exterior of your home by making sure gutters and downspouts are diverting water away from the foundation of your house.
- Create a 12 to 18 inch gap between any soil or mulch and your home’s foundation.
- Seal up spaces in your home’s foundation and exterior walls. Place covers over vents leading into your home. Repair roof damage.
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