Finding termites in your home can be devastating. These little bugs can wreak havoc on a house. Sometimes, before you even know they’re there, a lot of damage has already been done. Let’s dig into why termites are found in urban areas, what the signs of infestations are, how to detect a termite colony, and how to get rid of them for good.
Why would termites infest my house?
Termites will infest your home because it offers a rich source of food for them, as the materials used in the construction of your house make for a good meal. Termite activity is often linked to a food source and the time of year.
Wood is the biggest attraction for termites. Depending on the condition of your wood, you’ll get different types of termites. In fact, there are three common types of termites found in homes in South Africa: dampwood, drywood, and subterranean termites.
As their names suggest, dampwood and drywood termites go for soft and dry wood respectively. Soft wood is found in places like roof shingles, where the wood is water-damaged. Dry wood tends to be wood that hasn’t been affected by moisture, such as doors. Both of these types live in the wood they consume.
Subterranean termites, on the other hand, live underground in your garden soil and prefer to carry their food back from the source to their nests. They also tend to exist in larger groups.
What are the signs of termites?
If you hear a clicking sound from your walls, before jumping to the conclusion that you’re losing your mind, you may just have a termite infestation. Termites bang their heads as a warning to the others in the colony when there’s danger.
You may see termite droppings, known as frass, around dry wood in your home. It looks like a powdery substance around where their nests are.
Flying termites—those that have left the nest to mate—also leave clues. In fact, after a rain shower, they are practically impossible to miss. They swarm outside and leave nothing but wings when they’ve finished mating.
Why is termite damage such a bad thing?
One thing all termites have in common is that they can cause structural damage to your home. As they eat the wood from the inside out, the integrity of the wood is damaged, and anything that knocks against it could cause it to collapse. This means areas of your home could one day simply crumble.
How do I detect where the termite colony is?
Detecting where the colony is located relies a lot on looking for the signs of termites we talked about earlier. However, this is often easy enough when you’re looking for drywood and dampwood termites, but what about subterranean termites? As these live in the soil around your house, it’s extremely difficult for the average person to locate this termite species.
What’s the best way to treat a termite infestation in my space?
Treating infestations takes very specific skills, equipment, and pest control substances to completely remove colonies.
Can I treat termites myself?
While we’d love to say that there’s an easy way to get rid of these pesky pests, there isn’t. Over-the-counter solutions like termite baits are not effective at eradicating colonies long-term. The only way to completely remove termite infestations is to call in a professional pest control service.
In fact, trying to do termite control yourself can lead to disastrous consequences, with ruined furniture, and worse, structural damage. Not to mention the money that you can waste trying a DIY job.
Should I call in experts for termite eradication?
You should definitely call in experts for termite eradication. A professional will know how to conduct a termite inspection properly, being able to locate the source of these pests. They can also put in place an effective termite eradication programme to ensure the termite control remains effective.
A lot of chemicals are needed to entirely eradicate these pests—more than the average homeowner has access to. The strength of the chemicals professionals use is also important. We have access to industrial pest control substances, which homeowners do not.
These chemicals are mixed in very specific ratios, enough to kill the termites but safe enough still so as to not endanger family members and the environment. With these environmentally friendly termite treatment substances, we can help you protect the structural integrity of your home from the devastation termites can cause.
We also treat the perimeter of your home adequately—not only where there are visible signs of infestation. This means injecting our control substances into the soil at a specific distance from the house, all around it.
How often should I do a termite inspection?
We recommend calling in the experts once a year, just to be sure. As many parts of South Africa are humid and are becoming more so with rising temperatures, you can’t be too safe when it comes to looking after your precious home. If you have an active infestation confirmed, don’t delay. Call in experts today.
At Mostert Pest Control, we specialise in eradicating pests like termites in homes like yours. Contact us to get our team out to give you a free quote on eradicating the termites infesting your property. We offer our services in every province of South Africa, as well as in Mozambique.