How To Identify and Get Rid of Termites
Termites are a persistent problem for DFW homes. Left unchecked, these tiny insects can damage walls, floors, and furniture. Ignore the issue and you may find yourself left with reduced house value and some expensive repair bills. How do you know if you’ve got termites and what can you do about them? Read on to find out!
What Are Termites?
Termites are insects that feed on wood and are therefore often found in residential homes. They are social insects and common to the Dallas Fort Worth area. Here is a breakdown of the roles that termites have within their colony:
- Termite swarmers are the primary reproductives, they have wings and fly short distances to start new termite colonies. Once the male and female termites land, they shed their wings, reproduce, and are now considered king and queen.
- Termite workers do all the work in the colony (hence the name), these termites chew through wood and are responsible for termite damage in Dallas Fort Worth. Workers feed all the other colony members.
- Soldier termites protect the colony from invaders (other insects mostly).
Flying Ants vs Termite Swarmers
Ants flying and termite swarmers are natural occurrences in Dallas Fort Worth and often confused with eachother. Both species use swarmers (flyers) to spread their colony, but there are some distinctions that can help you identify the two. Termite swarmers will have two main body parts (head & body), Flying ants on the other hand have three distinctive body parts (head, abdomen, and thorax).
Signs of Termites
One of the most serious signs of termites is piles of insect wings. Termite swarms may shed these wings in piles around the home, particularly in the basement. This is a red flag for a major termite issue and you need to act fast to deal with the problem.
No wings? You aren’t in the clear yet. Some other signs include:
- Tubes of mud built along the foundation of your home
- Sagging or buckling drywall
- Tiny holes dug into the walls and flooring
- Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
- Peeling paint or wallpaper
- Walls that look like they’ve been water damaged, but there’s no obvious source
How Termites Damage the Home
Termites start eating your wood from the inside out. They can do a lot of deep, structural damage before you notice many surface-level signs. These insects can cause serious problems if they eat away at rafters or load-bearing studs and pillars. They can also cause damage to anything wooden inside the house, from antique wooden beds to kitchen cabinets.
Did you know that termites also damage the ground around the home? This subterranean damage is hard to spot, but it can be devastating to your house’s foundation. The problem is magnified during bad weather.
DIY Solutions for Termites
Prevention is one strategy here. Move firewood, lumber, and other wooden items away from the house. Keep the foundation clear of leaves and brush. This makes your home less attractive to these insects.
What about actively fighting off the termite invasion? There are many ways to kill termites, but the most effective methods use harsh chemicals or potentially dangerous techniques. These are best left to the professionals.
For easy DIY solutions, try:
- Spritzing affected areas with orange oil. This is an irritant so make sure you wear gloves and protective eyewear.
- Take affected furniture outside and expose it to the sun.
- Dry out damp areas of the house with fans or a dehumidifier.
- Try spray-on products from the hardware store.
Be cautious with store-bought termite solutions. Some of these products aren’t effective, while others will only work for specific kinds of termites.
Expert Termite Control
Termites can be a stubborn and tricky problem, particularly if they’ve been making themselves at home for a while. If these DIY solutions aren’t cutting it, it’s time to call in the pros. At Alamo Termite & Pest Control, we have over two decades’ experience getting rid of termites and other unwanted houseguests in Fort Worth, TX houses. Some of our termite treatments include a warranty, letting you call us back if the problem isn’t 100% eliminated. Contact us today and we’ll get your home pest-free in no time