You pick up a stick in your yard and notice small, pale-colored insects crawling around on the underside; what do you do? Here is another question. As you're trimming the vegetation in your landscaping, you notice a mud line running up the side of your foundation wall; what do you do? Both of these are signs of a termite problem. The first step in learning how to handle termites in Monmouth County is recognizing the signs. Join us as we look at these two and other common warning signs of subterranean termite activity. We'll discuss termite identification, how to diagnose termite damage, and why these termites are so difficult to detect. Last, we'll talk about how you can avoid termite damage. If you want prompt assistance with professional termite pest control in Monmouth County, we're happy to help with that as well. Navigate to our contact page and fill out our short form. We'll have a certified termite control professional connect with you and answer your questions.
Signs Of Termite Activity To Watch For Around Your Home
The termites we battle in Monmouth County are Eastern subterranean termites. They are the termites that cause the most damage to property in the United States. It isn't because they are the most voracious eaters or the fastest breeders; these termites do the most damage because they have the widest distribution. If you hope to avoid termite damage, you need to know how to catch these wood-damaging pests in your yard. Here are the most common signs of termites in the yard and what they mean.
- You may see one tiny little, winged termite crawling on your walkway. Eastern subterranean termite swarmers are black with long white wings. We say long, but that is when compared to the body of a termite swarmer. The wings stack on top of each other and hang past the abdomen. They are rounded at the tips and look like a stretched teardrop shape. Altogether, including the length of their wings, a termite swarmer is only about ⅜ of an inch in length. You aren't going to walk on a pathway and think, "What is that?" You may also not even take notice when one lands on your arm. But we hope you do. That little swarmer is telling you that your property is about to have trouble with termites if worker termites aren't already feeding on it.
- You may see lots of tiny little winged termites on your property. The presence of a large number of swarmers in one place is an indication that the nest is near. The swarmers stay together and don't travel far during the short mating process.
- You may see lots of winged termites in your home. If you see a termite swarm in your house, that is a very bad sign. It indicates a termite nest in, under, or near your home. Close proximity allows termite workers to damage your home faster. Along with this, it is critical to understand that a nest doesn't produce swarmers for years. That means worker termites have had an opportunity to do extensive damage.
- You may see tiny white bugs. Or you may describe them as fat white ants. Termite workers are only ⅛ of an inch long and they look like maggots with legs, or fat ants. Keep this in mind when you lift a board or pick up a dead branch. You may get a short glimpse of worker termites. When you do, we hope you quickly recognize them.
- You may see mud lines on the exterior of your home or a crawlspace wall. Eastern subterranean termites create these structures to go from the soil to the wood in your home. Break a piece off and check back in a day or two. If you have active termites on your property, they'll fix the area you damaged.
- You may hear clicking. While not common, it does happen. The clicking noise is the sound of soldier termites banging their heads on tunnel walls to warn the workers of a threat, such as an invading army of ants. But the soldiers do a good job of keeping ants and other enemies out of the tunnels where workers are collecting food. You can have a wall full of termites and not hear a single click.
- You may tap a sound timber, and it sounds hollow. When termites feed on wood, they consume it layer by layer, eating the soft parts first. If you have damage inside a thick wood timber, you'll know it.
It is best to find termites before they damage your home, but the damage itself may provide a warning sign. Let's take a moment to look at how you can uncover damage before it is extensive.
A Guide To Identifying Termite Damage
Wood-to-soil contact presents an opportunity for subterranean termites to enter wood without making mud tubes. If termites are damaging your back fence, back deck, porch, stairs, shed, or some other structure, you may tell by examining the wood near or under the ground. Termites create tunnels on top of each other, so the damage will look a little bit like corrugated cardboard—only without the triangle patterns. These tunnels will have mud in them. If you find tunnels that are smooth to the touch, you've found carpenter ant damage.
Most of the damage termites do is on the inside of wood. It is rare to see damage unless you excavate soil where wood goes into the ground. However, over time, interior damage may become noticeable. Floors may creak or sink down. Walls may look like they have water damage. Baseboards may seem hollow or brittle. Doors may stick. Windows may open and close without any resistance. Support beams in your basement may splinter. What you aren't likely to see are holes in the wood of your home. If you see holes, carpenter ants are more likely to blame.
How Termites Silently Destroy Your Home
Termite workers don't chomp on wood. They scrape wood. Scrape, scrape, scrape. A little at a time, they shave and consume the wood of your home without providing any noises for you to detect. If subterranean termites find wood-to-soil contact, rotting wood, or some other conducive conditions, it can accelerate the issue. But the single most important reason termites silently destroy homes is that they avoid light. Worker termites hate all light, even moonlight, so at night, they will still create mud tubes in places that are hidden from view. Technicians have found mud tubes hidden within concrete piers in crawlspaces under homes. Only after a close examination with a mirror and a flashlight are tubes like these found. It is sometimes incredibly difficult to detect termites, even for a trained and experienced professional. Any effective termite control solution must have a component that allows for easier detection.
Effective Quality Prevention Is Key To Successful Termite Control
The experts at Alliance Pest Services have selected a termite bait solution for termite detection and colony elimination. It provides the best solution for both. Here's why it works.
- Worker termites never stop looking for food. When they find a food source, they recruit other termites to feed on it. But the entire colony doesn't focus on one food source. Therefore, termite workers always find the bait.
- Termite bait is delicious. Termite workers are looking for the best source of food and want to collect as much as possible. The product we use has a slow-acting ingredient. Workers cannot detect the bait as a threat.
- Termite bait is more delicious over time. While termiticides wear out, bait only gets better. Subterranean termites are looking for soft cellulose and prefer moist cardboard over hardwood. Bait gets softer and more succulent the longer it remains in the ground.
- Termite bait stations are inserted in the ground at 8 to 10 foot intervals around structures. They are in the direct path of subterranean termites, and termite workers will take the bait before they feed on your home.
- When termite workers take the bait, they bring it back to the colony. The active ingredient is shared and the result is colony elimination.
Often, bait is all that is needed. If termites have infested the wood of a home, we may apply foam to directly address termite activity. Your technician will also check and evaluate your termite bait system to make sure everything goes according to plan.
Would you like to prevent termite damage and get the best termite protection possible? We'd like to help you with that. Connect with Alliance Pest Service by giving us a call or by filling out the short form on our contact page. We'll help you find the right termite control solution. When you get professional termite control, you take control of the costs associated with termite damage. You don't have to worry about surprises when you're ready to retire and enjoy the fruits of your labor and equity. You can decide right now how much you're willing to allow termites to cost you. Connect with us today.