Termites are often called the silent destroyer‚ because they may be secretly hiding and thriving in your home without any immediate signs of damage.
Termites never stop eating. They eat twenty–four hours a day‚ seven days a week‚ 365 days a year. In this light‚ it isn’t hard to imagine that termites cause homeowners millions of dollars in damages every year. An average home suffers thousands of dollars in damages before termites are detected. Prevention is key‚ therefore it is very important to have annual inspections.
While each termite species thrives in different climates and eats different types of food‚ all termites require four things to survive: food‚ moisture‚ shelter and an optimal temperature. Unfortunately‚ all homes‚ regardless of their construction type‚ can provide these ideal conditions for termite infestation.
- Termites are social insects that live in colonies with caste systems‚ which means they are organized into different social classes based on their roles and responsibilities. The termite caste system has three levels: reproductives‚ workers and soldiers.
- Worker and soldier termites are blind. Only termites that have become fully mature‚ reproductive termites develop eyes.
- Since termites live in dark places and many of them are blind‚ they communicate through pheromones (chemical signals) and vibrations caused by head–banging.
- Termites build the largest nests of any insect.
- Termites cannot “eat” wood. Termites require the help of single–cell organisms in their guts to digest cellulose (wood).
- Ants are the main predator of termites. Ants can attack termite colonies or termite workers looking for food.
- In the Bahamas‚ subterranean termites cause more damage than dry wood.
How do you Know if you Have Termites?
The most common species of termite in the Bahamas is the Easter Subterranean Termite. They live underground in the soil and build mud tubes as a means of transportation. The first step in prevention is to be on alert for termites. Termites rarely emerge from soil‚ mud tubes‚ or food sources through which they are tunneling. Most people are not aware they have termites until they see a swarm or come across damage during construction. Some of the ways to identify that you have termites are:
- A temporary swarm of winged insects in your home or from the soil around your home.
- Any cracked or bubbling paint or frass (termite droppings).
- Wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
- Mud tubes on exterior or interior walls‚ hanging from the ceiling‚ in wooden cupboards‚ door trims‚ beams or crawl spaces.
- Discarded wings from swarmers.
How Can I Prevent Termite Infestation?
- Make the Structure Less Attractive to Termites – During construction‚ use a concrete foundation and leave a ventilation space between the soil and wood.
- Cover exposed wood surfaces with a sealant or a metal barrier.
- Maintain the Termite Prevention Features – After construction‚ keep the soil around the foundation dry through proper grading and drainage.
- Reduce openings that offer termites access to the structure (filling cracks in cement foundations as well as around where utilities pass through the wall with cement‚ grout‚ or caulk).
- Repair leaking faucets‚ water pipes‚ and A/C units.
- Keep vents free from blockage‚ including plants.
- Ensure that trees and shrubs are not planted too close to the structure and do not allow them to grow against exposed wood surfaces.
- Do not pile or store wood debris next to the house.
- Inspect periodically to help ensure that termite colonies do not become established.
- As most as possible use treated wood in the construction phase or during repairs.
If you suspect that you have termites‚ CALL US TODAY and let us come in and conduct a FREE INSPECTION. We will determine whether you have termites‚ then discuss a treatment plan with the best financial options for you.