Plenty of pests may try to claim your Roseville home as theirs, but very few are capable of causing as much damage as termites. Each year, subterranean termites cost homeowners over a billion dollars in property damage.
That's a lot of money, and catching termite infestations early by recognizing the signs or getting an annual inspection can save you a lot of cash. Here's what Roseville homeowners should know about identifying termites, the damage they cause, what attracts them, and how you can get rid of them with pest control in Roseville (minus the stress).
How To Identify Termites And Their Damage
Termite infestations can go unnoticed for extremely long periods of time – even up to eight years. This is because the signs of termite infestations tend to be subtle, but if you know what to look for, they can be more obvious than you might think. Here are some of the biggest indicators that you've got a termite infestation on your Roseville property:
- Swarmers: Perhaps the biggest sign of a termite problem is spotting termite swarms on your property. During their mating season, termites swarm in large groups looking for a mate. You may see these flying termites, but it's more likely that you'll see the signs left behind from a termite swarm, like discarded wings.
- Frass: Termite droppings, also called frass, tend to resemble sawdust or coffee grounds since a termite's diet primarily consists of wood. You may find frass piled close to baseboards, windows, or doors.
- White ants: While termites and ants can look quite similar in size, their coloring can vary. If you see light or even white-colored "ants" near your home, they may actually be termites.
- Mud tubes: Subterranean termites create mud tubes near your home's foundation.
In addition to recognizing the signs of termites in the yard or home, it's also important to recognize different kinds of termites.
How do termites look? Termites can be one of the more difficult pests to identify since their appearance can vary based on the type of termite and their position in the colony. But regardless of subspecies, most termites tend to have a similar size and shape to ants.
Termite coloring can range from creamy white to dark brown, but most termites share the same distinct characteristics: thin waists, straight antennae, and six legs. Do termites fly? Not all termites can fly, but reproductive termites, or alates, do have wings and are capable of flight. Alates are still poor fliers and usually only fly until they find a mate and shed their wings.
Can termites bite? When it comes to biting, there's good and bad news with termites. While they can't bite or otherwise harm people, they can use their mandibles to chomp through wood and damage your home.
The Extent Of Structural Damage Termites Can Create In Your Home
Termites can cause billions of dollars in property damage annually, but how much damage can they cause for the average homeowner? A single termite infestation can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the size of the infestation. Unfortunately, termite infestations can go unnoticed for years, which gives these pests plenty of time to eat their way through your home.
The average homeowner spends around $3,000 to repair the damage that's done by a large termite colony to their home over time.
It can take a small colony of termites, which is usually around 60,000 termites, a couple of months to eat a 2x4.
Large termite colonies, which can include millions of termites, are capable of eating up to a pound of wood per day. The damage may not always be obvious, but if the termite colony goes untreated for long enough, these critters can significantly impact the structural integrity of your house and foundation.
The good news is that termites don't reproduce quickly. While it's important to catch termites early to prevent damage, it can take a few years before a small colony of termites transitions into a large colony. This may give homeowners a little time, but you shouldn't waste it on DIY termite control or other ineffective treatments.
Is there a way for homeowners to catch termites early besides just looking out for the signs? Yes, you can get annual inspections from a pest management professional.
The reason termite infestations cause so much damage and cost homeowners so much money is because infestations don't tend to get discovered before three to eight years on average. Even if you know what to look for, the signs of termites aren't always obvious to the average homeowner – which is why having annual inspections performed can make a big difference.
Not only can a termite expert catch infestations before they cost you thousands of dollars, but if there is damage in your home, they can help identify how much of your home's structural integrity has been compromised.
This is especially important for new homeowners, who may not know if their residence has a termite problem or has had one in the past. An inspection before you move in or buy could save you a lot of time.
Factors That Attract Termites To Your Home And How To Remove Them
What attracts termites? Termites are generally attracted to the same few factors:
- Moisture and humidity: This is especially true for subterranean and dampwood termites. Drywood termites don't need as much moisture, but subterranean termites are most likely to settle into homes where there's a source of moisture.
- Cellulose materials, including wood: Termites eat cellulose, so it only makes sense that they'd be attracted to homes that are chock-full of it. Cellulose materials include things like wood, mulch, and cardboard. If your cellulose materials are also moist or rotting, that's even better in a termite's eyes.
- Damp, soft, or rotting wood: As mentioned above, any moist cellulose is attractive to termites, but they love soft, damp, and rotting wood the most. Watch out for rotting parts of fences, sides of your home, or other structures on your property. Once they find one source of food and moisture, termites will continue to look for others around your Roseville home.
Unfortunately, termites aren't the easiest pest to prevent. Unlike pests that may like to eat human food or leftovers, it's not always easy to prevent moisture or cellulose materials around your Roseville home.
And since these critters feast on cellulose materials, there are various ways for them to get inside your home. However, there are still a couple of tips you can use to reduce the risk of having termites, such as:
- Don't leave cellulose-based materials near your foundation: Cellulose-based materials, like wood, lumber, mulch, cardboard, and even paper, can all draw termites in – especially if placed near your foundation. Make sure you keep these items off your property or at least several feet away from your house.
- Create a barrier between mulch and your foundation: While it's common to keep gardens and mulch near the side of your home, this makes an easy pathway for termites. Using gravel or a similar material, create a barrier that's at least four inches between your mulch and foundation.
- Keep firewood away from the house: Stack any firewood or other wood products at least twenty feet away from your home.
- Don't let wooden siding touch the soil: Wood-to-soil contact is another easy path for termites, so try to keep any wooden siding at least six inches above the ground.
- Regularly check for damaged or rotting wood: Termites love wood, but they especially love moist, rotting wood. Don't forget to regularly check for damaged wood around your home or fences.
In addition to taking these steps above, you should always contact the professionals if you suspect a termite infestation around your home or property. Even with doing everything you can to prevent termites, it's still possible to end up with an infestation – or not know you have an existing infestation.
The Stress-Free Way To Total Termite Protection For Your Home
When it comes to getting rid of active termites, there's really only one effective solution that will keep these pests out of your home permanently, and that's by working with the professionals at Neighborly Pest Management.
We're the trusted choice for pest management solutions in Roseville and surrounding areas. Whether you're dealing with subterranean termites, dampwood termites, drywood termites, or another species, we've got you covered with professional, eco-friendly solutions that will get the job done.
If you're seeing evidence of termite damage in your Roseville home, you shouldn't wait for these pests to cause any more damage to your property. Contact us today at Neighborly Pest Management to learn more about our termite control solutions or to schedule a free inspection of your home.