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Termites- Termites invade and eat wood and other cellulose material, causing extensive damage in structural parts of a building. Their presence may not be discovered until they swarm, years after infesting a structure. Workers and soldiers: softbodied insects 1/8 to 3/16 inch long. Swarmers are black to brown with pearly wings. Swarmers are easily distinguished from winged ants by termites straight antennae, broadly attached thorax to waist and four nearly equal wings. Inspect for signs of termite infestation: irregular earthen tubes constructed across walls, floors and foundation. Hammer or probe timbers with a sharp instrument. Damaged wood will be soft, channeled, unsound and may possibly reveal the termite infestation itself. Use a moisture meter. Active termites will increase moisture reading relative to uninfested areas. Termites commonly enter homes around doors, wooden steps and porches and unexcavated portions of structures. The easiest access points are where wood is in direct contact with the soil.
Subterranean Termites- Subterranean termites build distinctive tunnels, often referred to as "mud tubes," to reach food sources and protect themselves from open air. They use their scissor-like jaws to eat wood 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Like other termite species, subterranean termites also feed on products containing cellulose. Subterranean termites swarm in the spring when groups of reproductive termites go off to start new colonies.
Threats-Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive termite species. The hard, saw-toothed jaws of termites work like shears and are able to bite off extremely small fragments of wood, one piece at a time. Over time, they can collapse a building entirely, meaning possible financial ruin for a homeowner. If you suspect a termite infestation, contact a pest professional about subterranean termite treatment.
Drywood termites form colonies of up to 2,500 members. Unlike subterranean termite species, drywood termite colonies do not have a worker caste, as the work is done by immature termites before they reach adulthood. Drywood termites usually swarm on sunny, warm days after a sudden rise in temperature.Drywood termites infest dry wood, like that found in attic framings. They can be transported to new locations via an infested piece of furniture, a picture frame, etc.
Threats-Drywood termites can chew through support beams, floors and walls, causing expensive home repairs. In fact, drywood termites and other termite species cause a collective $5 billion in property damage each year.
Follow correct construction practices.
This is the best protection against a termite infestation:
(1) Remove all wood materials from around and under the house;
(2) Remove all form boards and construction stakes;
(3) Construct a termite-proof foundation;
(4) Have at least 30 in. of clearance under buildings;
(5) Have proper ventilation and light under all parts of the building;
(6) Use a moisture barrier in crawl spaces;
(7) Drain water away from building;
(8) Have no wood in contact with the ground, or treat those timbers that require ground contact with approved preservatives/borates
(9) Make periodic inspection of buildings.
Find a reputable professional to treat
Effective control measures for a soil treatment should include:
1) Inspect basement and underside of house thoroughly to determine the area and extent of infestation.
2) Inspect attic for termite tubes and damage to joists, rafters, flooring and stored materials.
3) Disrupt and block all termite tubes (unless baiting)
4) Ditch the entire foundation inside and out and treat the soil replaced in the trenches with chemicals.
5) Repair all foundation and basement floor and wall breaks with rich concrete.
6) Break all wood-soil contacts, treat such areas with chemicals.
7) Treat infested timbers and replace those which are badly infested.
8) Treat hollow spaces in the foundation - concrete blocks, piers, chimney bases, spaces behind brick veneer. Ditch and treat inside of porch foundations, under patios, under concrete slabs and the surface of ground under porches and similar dead places.
9) Provide ventilation and drainage beneath house and porches.
10) Remove all scrap wood from beneath house.