Whisper the words ‘termite infestation’ and homeowners all across the state will run screaming. They are the things that nightmares are made of. Destroyers of homes. Eaters of heirlooms. Nature’s demolition experts. But why are termites such scary beasties? And why do you need to take action as soon as you think they might be there?
6 Things You Need to Know About Termites
1. What are termites?
Termites are tiny soft-bodied insects. At all stages of development, they bear a strong resemblance to ants. But they’re a whole lot more destructive. They feed mainly on dead plant matter, including logs, bark chip, leaf litter – and wooden furniture and buildings. They also like listening to rock music – who knew!
2. Why are termites a problem?
Largely because of those last two food types. While termites eat pretty slowly – it’s estimated that it would take a solitary termite 3,144 years to eat the wood in a 1,000-square-foot home – they eat constantly. And they don’t live in isolation. Typical termite colonies are several thousand strong. Some contain up to a million insects. You don’t need us to do the math to see how quickly your home could be destroyed.
3. Do I need to worry about termites in Charlotte?
Yes. Termites are a threat throughout the USA – with the exception of Alaska. Contrary to popular belief, winter snowfall is no deterrent to termites. Although these bugs do prefer a balmy climate, in winter they’ll just take it slow… Unless you spend six months of the year in a deep freeze – like Alaska.
4. What are the signs of a termite infestation?
There are many things that can alert an expert to the presence of termites, but you don’t need an expert to spot them in your own home. Be aware of:
- Quiet tapping sounds coming from your walls. When soldier termites sense danger they bang their heads against hard surfaces to alert the rest of the colony.
- Flying termites (AKA swarmers) and discarded wings. Termites will frequently leave their nest to seek a mate and establish a new colony. They will discard their wings when they have settled in their new home. If that happens to be your home too, seek help immediately.
- Holes in wood. Termite nests are notoriously difficult to spot from the outside. But if you notice a lacework pattern in a piece of broken wood on or near your property, it’s wise to check for termites.
- Termite poop. Some termites use their poop to build their nests. Dry wood termites push it out of the entrance to their nest. If you spot powdery black marks near a small hole in some wood, it’s probably termite faeces. You need to call in the experts.
- Hollow-sounding timber. Any piece of wood with termite damage will sound hollow or feel frail when tapped. You may not notice this until one of your kid’s toys goes through the skirting board.
- Warped doors and window frames. Termites produce moisture as they work. This can swell the wood, meaning that doors and windows stick… At least for a little while, before they collapse.
5. Can I stop termites coming into my home?
Clearing garden debris from around your house, making sure that no soil or plant matter is touching any wood can help limit termite contact. You can also use liquid treatments and termite bait, but they are not infallible and need frequent upkeep. A regular 12 monthly inspection is your safest option to make sure that termites are stopped before serious damage is done. Homeowner insurance does not cover termite damage, so it’s on you to protect yourself.
6. How can I get rid of termites?
Call Noosa Pest Management. As well as traditional treatments, we can offer botanical termite control and termite damage repair. Our experienced team will be able to find the best solution for you and your home.
Termites can be a serious pain in the woodwork. They genuinely destroy hundreds of homes, and damage thousands more, every year. But they can be stopped. Your job, as homeowner, is to look for the signs and keep up with your inspections. Our job, as pest control experts, is to help you in every way we can.
Worried about termites? Call Noosa Pest Management: 704-499-9922