After lying dormant through much of winter, March and April are when our pest control company in Raleigh sees a resurgence in termites. More than just an unpleasant bug, termites can quickly cause thousands of dollars in structural and property damage to your home (that’s NOT covered by insurance!). To help you avoid this, we’re going to walk you through everything you need to know, from identifying them so you can call an exterminator immediately, to knowing how to prevent termites in your home in the first place.
While there are over 40 different species of termite, several of which are found in North Carolina, they share many of the same characteristics:
- Size: Small, between .25 and .50 inches long
- Color: White, yellow-tan, and light brown
- Body: Long and straight-looking, with straight antenna
- Food source: Cellulose and plant matter, including wood, paper, cellulose-based insulation, trees, and vegetation
Most termites in the Raleigh area are subterranean, meaning they live below ground in colonies. As the weather begins warming up, you may see swarms of what look like flying ants or large gnats around your home or coming out of your soil. However, those may be termites as they leave their nests in spring to find a mate and create a new colony. Unfortunately, that new colony may be in your house. If you see a swarm, the best thing to do is call a pest control company in Raleigh, like Stomp, for a free termite inspection!
Signs of Termites and Termite Damage
While you may not see termites in your home or swarming around outside, there are several signs that they are there and causing damage. Signs of termites include:
- Tapping or clicking sounds within the walls. Hundreds or thousands of termites chewing on the woodwork inside your walls can create quite a racket.
- Soft wood that is easily damaged or wood that sounds hollow may mean it’s been hollowed out by termites.
- Tunnels that have been bored through wood and paper. While you may only be able to see them once major damage has been done, such as a piece of wood has broken off, revealing the tunnels within, they’re generally a sure sign of an infestation.
- Mud tubes around where the ground meets a house, shed, or tree. These are where termites nest over the winter to stay warm and damp.
- Discarded wings near your home’s exterior. When a termite lands after swarming, their wings come off because they won’t need them any more. Wings are translucent and paper-y in appearance.
If you see these signs, treat them just like if you see the insects themselves and call a pest control service for a free termite inspection.
Preventing Termites in Your Raleigh Home
Before warmer weather arrives, and the insects emerge from their underground nests to start swarming, make sure you’re taking steps to prevent termites from entering your home.
Move wood and plant materials
Stacks of firewood should never be kept leaning against your house. If you have wood stacked or in a rack, move it several feet away from your home, and trim back trees and bushes that may be leaning against your home. Also, create a 4-inch space between your foundation and any mulch in your flower beds.
Clean out gutters
While termites tend to stay close to the ground, when they swarm, even plant matter far off the ground is fair game, including wet leaves and sticks in your gutters and up on the roof. From there, they can easily burrow into your home. Cleaning your gutters and your roof will go a long way to helping prevent termites.
Prevent standing water
Termites thrive in moist conditions and require damp spaces to nest, so moving any sources of water away from your home will help you avoid termites. Make sure downspouts are directed away from the house, air conditioner drip lines don’t cause pooling, and your outdoor faucets don’t leak.
Professional Pest Control Treatments
To truly prevent termites and other pests from entering your home as warm weather arrives, you need to work with a qualified pest control company in Raleigh who can regularly treat your home. It’s easy to miss the signs of termites and because a colony can range between a few hundred to millions of insects, damage can happen fast. Regular termite prevention treatment kills larvae and makes swarming season a thing of the past.
Contact Us for a Free Termite Inspection
If you want to avoid termite damage, we can help. In addition to stopping these damaging pests in their tracks, we can also help you prevent them from coming back. To schedule a free termite inspection or to set up regular service, reach out to us today at 919-231-3292 or fill out the contact form below.