Termites are the most dangerous critters that disturb homeowners everywhere. Termites can single-handedly destroy the house’s very foundation and character in the matter of a few short years. Take the proper steps to get rid of them immediately, if they have already infested your property.
Sagging floors, holes in the woodwork and hollow parts in your foundation are serious warning signs of termites. You may actually see the termites themselves, as well. If you suspect you might have termites, examine the crawlspaces and the foundation beams in your basement. Tap on the wood to check for hollow spots and push a screwdriver to check its strength. If it gives easily or falls apart, you may have a termite problem. Subterranean termites will build a system of tunnels and tubes of mud, and dry-wood termites will nest inside the wood.
After you have determined the termites you have, you can try to get rid of them yourself. Termites feed on cellulose, so you can try to set up a cardboard trap. Take a few flat strips of cardboard, wet them and put them stacked on one another where the termites are likely to be. When the cardboard is infested with termites, take it out and burn it. You may need to repeat this multiple times. This will probably not help you solve all your termite problems, so it is best to combine the method with other solutions.
Purchase beneficial nematodes at your local garden supply store. These are small unsegmented worm species that are natural parasites to garden pests, including termites. They search for hosts, such as termite larvae, to burrow into, and usually cause death within 48 hours. Use beneficial nematodes immediately after they are purchased, or store them in the refrigerator. Keep in mind that UV light can harm them, so it’s best to plant them early in the morning or after sunset.
If termites infest just a piece of furniture in your home, rather than the house, you can expose the item to sunlight. Since termites thrive in darkness, the heat and light from the sun will kill them. Leave the infested furniture outside for two or three days. This method works very well combined with the cardboard trap. Alternatively, if you can’t expose the termites to sunlight, freeze the furniture to kill them. This can be tricky for large pieces of furniture, but it should guarantee the death of the termites.
According to the degree of the infestation, you may need the help of a professional to get rid of the termites. When you call professional exterminators, make sure to get at least three different quotes from competing services, look at the service record of the firm from the Structural Pest Control Board, before you decide to hire them, and get a written agreement from the company, insisting on complete termite extinction for two years. Thus, the exterminators should return periodically to check for new infestations and clear them away.
To prevent infestation of termites, keep your home dry, because termites are naturally drawn to moist habitats. Keep large amounts of firewood away from your home or cover it completely to keep it dry. This will minimize the attraction for termites. Also, seal any cracks you may have – windows, doors and anywhere around your home.
Remember that the first destructive work of the termites may not be noticeable for the first few years of their infestation. And when you notice them, it may be too late. If you`re not sure of your abilities to kill the termites in your home, call a professional as soon as possible. Your home is probably the biggest and most important investment you have ever made.