In order to successful identify if you have termites you must be able to spot termite damage. The problem with these pests is that you cannot detect early signs of their infestation until they have already created damage in your house. So the best way to protect your home is to have it occasionally inspected by pest control professionals who can detect early warning signs of infestation. If you want to inspect your home on your own, here are some guidelines on how to spot termite damage. Or if you are buying a house that is already built, it would pay to have general knowledge in spotting termite or other pest damage before you commit yourself to years of paying mortgage for a rotten, termite-infested house.
First, you have to know where to look. Termites’ food is cellulose such as wood and paper, so it is best to inspect every wooden part of your house. Inspect your house from the flooring, to window sills, to support posts, to basement window frames, to expansion joints, to cement cracks and even furniture. Outside the house, check your fence posts, piles of wood scraps and tree stumps.
Check them for mud tubes or tunnels, as these are the highways of termites. You may also look for tiny holes on wood surfaces that might have served as the entry points for termites. On painted wood surfaces, you would know that they have been infested, if the paint has started to bubble.
As you go around these wooden areas, bring a knife or screwdriver with you to tap or poke these wood structures. If the wood produces a hollow sound or if it appears to be unusually soft, chances are the wood is already severely damaged by termites.
Another sign of termite infestation near or around your house is the presence of winged termites, also known as the swarmers. You may find these flying termites around light sources or you may find their discarded wings scattered around on the floor or window sills. You may also find pellet-like termite droppings.
Once you have determined that you have a termite problem, seek professional pest exterminator’s help in dealing with your problem. Remember that treating termite infestation requires a great deal of knowledge about termites, their habits and habitats, and also extensive knowledge in construction and housing structures. Also, consulting professional help would ensure the health and safety of your family, which could be jeopardized with the wrong or improper use of chemical treatment.
In getting professional help, try to get two or more quotes or estimates from different pest control companies. Make a few calls and canvas for the best and most experienced company and their respective prices. This would give you a general idea of the going rate and it would also give you choices. Make sure that you secure a work guarantee from the pest control company and remember that termites do not come back until after two years from their removal. So secure a 3 year, or more, warranty. Also, demand written detailed plan of the method that is going to be used in the extermination of the pests. This should include a list of the sites to be treated and the treatment procedure and chemical that would be applied, whether it is baiting or chemical treatment. A list of instructions or precautions that you and your household members must take during the treatment should also be written down. And of course, make sure you get a copy of the liability insurance.