Not many pests have their own intimidating nickname, but termites do! Termites are called “the silent destroyer” because they can cause significant structural damage to homes and businesses, and the occupants may never know until it’s too late.
Virginia is in a high risk zone for termites. There is an average of 13-15 termite colonies per acre in Virginia, and termites can forage up to 300 feet in search of food.
Termites feed on cellulose, which includes structural timbers, flooring, doors, door frames, window trims and even drywall and furniture. These pests cause billions in structural damage each year.
If you’re a home or business owner, it’s imperative to keep an eye out for termites. They are so small that they are often hard to see, but it’s easy to find evidence of their infestations:
- Tap the wood around your home. If it sounds hollow, you may have an infestation.
- You may find pencil-sized mud tubes on exterior walls.
- Look out for swarms of winged bugs, or discarded wings of “swarmers.”
- Look for distorted or cracked areas of paint on wood surfaces.
- If you see a sawdust-like substance in the floor, that may actually be termite excrement, known as frass. It looks like sawdust and accumulates near termite nests.
- You can actually hear termites eat. You may hear a clicking noise behind your walls.
- If your doors or windows are sticking and difficult to open, that may be a sign of termite damage.
How can you prevent termites? Take these steps:
- Like any other pest, termites need food and moisture. Keep firewood, tree stumps, roots, mulch and leaves away from your home or structure. Removing standing water will reduce the likelihood of termites, as well as mosquitoes. Fix any leaks you have and clean your gutters, too.
- Don’t plant shrubs or trees too close to your home.
- Inspect your home for any small cracks and crevices and seal them up. Termites can enter the smallest of entryways.
They say prevention is better than a cure, and that’s definitely true in terms of termites. Contact us today – we offer both residential and commercial termite control plans. We also offer termite evaluations, treatments and reports for real estate agents.