Sometimes you're pretty sure you have a termite problem because you've seen the bugs or evidence of them in your home. Other times, you may not be sure if you have termites, but you worry about having them because of reports of heavy termite activity among your neighbors. The solution is to call a termite exterminator for an inspection and treatment if needed, because the pests can do a lot of damage if you ignore them. Here's what you can expect when you call in an exterminator.
Inspecting For Termites
The first step is to determine if you have an active infestation. The exterminator does this by looking for signs such as mud tunnels, deteriorated wood, moist wood, droppings, and termite bodies. He or she may drill tiny holes in various places to look for termites hiding in the walls. The inspection lets the exterminator know if your home needs to be treated for an infestation or just treated for prevention against termites in the neighborhood. Also, if you have termites, the exterminator will identify the type you have because they require different kinds of treatments.
Treating For Drywood Termites
Drywood termites live inside your house. They hide deep inside the wood, so they can be difficult to get rid of. Your exterminator may use wood injections and liquid sprays to get rid of the pests, but he or she may also tent your home to fumigate it thoroughly. The advantage to doing this is that the chemicals can thoroughly saturate your home as the fumes waft into tiny crevices and float between walls. The drawback is that you and your pets must leave your home while it is being treated. However, you don't have to worry about the treatment harming anything in your home, such as your electronics, dishes, or clothing. The chemicals dissipate in the air, so there is no dangerous residue left behind.
Treating For Subterranean Termites
Subterranean termites live outdoors in the soil. The colony sends workers into your home where they bore into damp wood under your sink or in a leaky attic. These termites are often easy to spot because they make mud tunnels to travel through rather than expose themselves to the air and light. Your exterminator will usually treat the soil around your home as well as the inside of your home in order to kill the termites that are inside and keep the ones outside from getting in. In addition, bait traps may be used. When a foraging termite encounters a bait trap, the insect takes some of the enticing poison back to the nest. In this way, it is often possible to kill off the entire colony of termites, even if its exact location can't be pinpointed.
Repairing termite damage can be very costly. If you don't get rid of the pests quickly, they can devalue your home because of all the damage they do. For that reason, it's usually best to hire a professional termite exterminator to keep your home free of the pests rather than attempt DIY methods that may not work.