The Challenges of Recognizing and Treating a Termite Infestation

There are a wide variety of insects that can wreak havoc on residential homes and the families that live within them, but arguably none of them is as damaging as the termite. Each year property owners across the country spend more than two billion dollars getting rid of termites and repairing the damage they have done, so property owners are fully justified in feeling nervous about these pests. The best course of action for any property owner to take upon realizing that termites have taken up residence in the home is to call a pest control specialist who can help, but it isn’t always easy to recognize the signs of termite infestation.

Infrequent Termite Sightings

Unfortunately, termites typically burrow in soil, mud tubes, and the wood that they use as food sources rather than traveling through the open air, making them uniquely tough to spot in the beginning phases of infestation. One way for homeowners to tell that they may have a termite problem is to tap on exposed wooden surfaces within their homes and listen for the hollow sound that indicates that termites have tunneled through the wood. Those that don’t have time for staying on top of periodic termite checks may prefer to call in an exterminator who specializes in termite control for routine evaluations instead.

Difficult to Recognize

Termite swarms often begin to appear as the infestation progresses, but their resemblance to other common insects can make it tough to tell for sure what type of insects are infesting the home. Ants are notoriously similar to termites and also form swarms; however, the individual insects can be differentiated by their longer front wings and bent antennae. Of course, ants infesting the home are still just as problematic even if they are less destructive, so it’s not a bad idea to call in an exterminator for ant control either way.

Difficulty of Successful DIY Treatment

Industry experts tend to prefer termiticides and other chemical treatments over non-chemical methods for eradicating termites. These treatments tend to be quite strong, though and are only approved by the EPA for use by dedicated Pest Control experts, as they can be damaging to the environment if they are applied incorrectly. While property owners themselves can use non-chemical treatments such as the erection of termite barriers and the removal of any excess moisture from the property that might make it seem more appealing to these insects, calling an exterminator is by far the most effective way to deal with the problem.


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