Best Termite Treatments
The best termite treatments deal with infestations at the place of origin. Unlike termite sprays, full termite treatments involve treating the insides of walls, underneath a home’s foundation, the soil around the perimeter of the home and more. Treatments for significant infestations will completely exterminate your home of termites, and keep them from returning. The following are the six best termite treatments for your home…
Spot Treatments vs. Full Treatments
Termites love old wood. If your home is too new to have rotting wood, termites can still find their way in; however, a spot treatment will be sufficient. Spot treatments are localized to an area of infestation. They are cheaper and quicker than full treatments and can be easily administered without a professional’s help.
However, the bulk of termite infestations require a more comprehensive solution. This article explores the differences and benefits to the six best long-term, full termite treatment options available. But first, let’s run through the basics…
What Are Termites?
Termites have basically evolved from cockroaches. There are over 3,000 known species of termites with more discovered every year. A termite colony consists of two hierarchies: fertile and infertile. Infertile males and females are known as workers. Fertile males are called Kings and every colony has at least one, but possibly two fertile females called queens.
As with ants or bees, the colony can only be destroyed by killing the queen. Though hated by homeowners, termites are essential for the ecosystem. They perform the decomposition and composting of dead and rotting vegetation. Without termites, the forests would be ripe with smelly rot—up to your knees.
Termites process natural waste and produce soluble nutrient for the land. That being said, termites will eat your home up one side and down the other if they find it. Termites reproduce compulsively and continuously. The colony is constantly growing in numbers. In a span of three to four decades, termite colonies can grow to be over a million strong.
This is a serious concern for buildings that are in the remote country, wooded areas, woodlands, state preserves, and national parks. Worse still, it doesn’t take a million termites to destroy a home. All it takes is a young colony of a few hundred termites to start chipping away at the integrity of your home’s supporting beams and floorboards.
How Do I Check if I Have Termites?
If you are worried about a possible infestation, use this checklist to assess the problem. There are several ways to check if you have termites. Check your homes…
If your floor is laminate or hardwood skirting boards, look for blistering and sagging. Walk around your house and take note of every location where the floor feels spongy or has unusual spring. These are signs of termites under the floor.
Walls and Ceilings
Termites love to eat the wooden timber uprights and supporting beams inside your walls. Termites love cellulose, which is found in wood so any lumber on the interior of your house is susceptible. If termites get into the walls, they can easily get into the ceiling. Look for cracks that run in the direction of the wall and ceilings inner beams.
Termites cannot eat through your concrete foundation; however, they can squeeze between the smallest of cracks. If you live somewhere that gets a hot summer and cold winter, temperature changes will cause foundation slabs to form cracks over time—just like a driveway. Once termites are through the concrete foundation, they feast on the homes wooden floor joists. If your floors feel spongy, it is an indicator of termites in the floor joists, which means they made it through the foundation.
Door & Window Frames
Termites can find their way to the frames of windows and doors, which causes irregularities in the frame. Doors become unexpectedly difficult to open or shut correctly when termites are feasting on the frames. With a hammer, pry off a segment of the affected frame to check for tunneling on the backside.
The best early warning signs of an oncoming termite infestation, are in the garden or backyard. Termites will make themselves apparent outdoors, before migrating into the home. Your home’s property is prime for a termite infestation if your garden’s fence posts are losing structural integrity from rot, becoming misshapen, or if tree branches are falling unexpectedly. Termites will target any untreated timber, such as natural wooden posts and trees before they become apparent in the home.
Termites like to get into a home through the roof. Termites are suckers for moist timber and loose roof tiles will drip rainwater onto the wooden roof beams below. Older homes are especially susceptible to this problem. Make sure that your roof does not have any waterlogged tiles or loose attachments.
Termite Droppings & Wings
If you unexpectedly find small, dark brown, seed-sized pellets on the floors and windowsills of your home, you have termites. This is the excrement of a termite and a clear sign of infestation. Termites also have wings for part of their lives and will shed their wings halfway through their life. Termite wings the size of a quarter and are opaque and tan.
Exterior Mud Tubes
Subterranean Termites build mud tubes, which are made of dirt and their own excrement. They are not hazardous to health—unlike bat droppings—but anywhere there are mud tubes, there are termites as well. Check your home’s exterior walls for squiggly brown tubes that meander across the outer face. The first place termites will go is where there is a free meal. Begin with areas where you store firewood, lumber or any other natural wood substance that is placed up against the exterior walls of your house.
TIP: Get a Professional Termite Inspection
At the end of the day, you will need a professional’s opinion in order to truly assess any damage. If you are worried about termites, but you don’t see any clear indicators—that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear—you still need a professional assessment. Termites hide beneath the surface.
If you know that you have termites in your home, it is crucial to understand the extent to which the infestation has grown. For newer homes, a professional can tell you with any certainty where the localized infestation is and how you can treat it. If the problem is more extensive, a pest control specialist will offer consultation on the best termite treatments available for your home.
The Bottom Line
If your home is at the building stage, we highly recommend having all timbers pretreated with Borate, as well as performing a soil treatment. This will give your home conclusive protection against the possibility of future termite colonies moving in. For existing termite infestations in older homes, the best termite treatment is a full fumigation. Newer homes will be sufficiently served by a liquid and spot treatment.
Homes that are remotely located or among dense foliage will need a preventative soil treatment around the foundation of the structure. Talk to a professional termite or pest control specialist to ask about the best termite treatments for your home. We hope you enjoyed reading about the six best termite treatments for your home. If you have questions or have used one of the treatments mentioned above, feel free to leave us a comment. Thanks for reading!