Wood-destroying insects, such as carpenter ants and termites, are unfortunately fairly common in the US. Infestations are especially common in warm and humid parts of the country, such as the southern states. This does not present too much of a problem when the insects stick to gnawing away at trees in local woodland, but if they come into your home, it’s a different story.
If they do get in, they can cause a significant amount of damage which can cost a lot of money to repair as well as have an adverse effect on the value of your property. One of the best ways to make an infestation less likely is to have an annual inspection carried out by professionals. These inspections are not 100% effective but they do offer a significant amount of protection as experts often see signs of a problem that are not obvious to you; you can find out more about these inspections. There are also other actions you can take to make it less likely that you will have a problem with wood-destroying insects.
Steps to take to reduce the risk of wood-destroying pest infestations
There are several steps that you can take to make it less likely that carpenter ants and termites will find your home to be a tempting place to invade.
- Do not store wood close to the exterior walls of your home. This includes mulch that you may be using.
- Keep wooden debris out of crawlspaces, attics, and basements.
- Make sure wooden structures are not rotten and replace any that are. This needs to be done as soon as rotting starts.
- Fix any leaks that are present in your home.
- Keep trees, bushes, and shrubs away from the sides of your home.
How do you know if you have a problem with wood destroying insects?
Problems with termites can be difficult to spot until wooden structures start to sag because the insects have hollowed them out. By then a lot of the damage has already been done. This is why regular pest control inspections are a good idea. However, there are certain signs of an infestation that you can look out for.
Signs of a termite presence
There are several signs which may be an indication that you have a problem with termites.
- The presence of mud tubes that termites travel along. Subterranean termites use underground tunnels instead. These are obviously harder to spot.
- Small black dots that look like pepper but could actually be termite droppings.
- The tapping of termites as they destroy wood.
Signs of a carpenter ant presence
There are also signs that you should look out for if you want to know whether you have a problem with carpenter ants on your property.
- Piles of wood shavings around wooden structures in your home.
- Rustling sounds coming from inside the walls of your home.
- Wings of ants that have been shed.
- Ants that still have their wings actually show up around your home.
All of the signs of a potential wood-destroying insect infestation are important and should never be ignored. The sooner you start to deal with the problem, the less damage there is likely to be.
Why seeking professional help is important
You can try employing DIY methods, such as using nematodes, to deal with termite infestations or an invasion of carpenter ants. However, it’s usually best to seek assistance from professional exterminators, as soon as you can. They are used to dealing with wood-destroying insect issues, so they have the expertise to deal with your problem quickly and effectively.
The experts will arrange an appointment to come to your property and see the situation for themselves. Doing so helps them to understand the seriousness of the problem and to devise a plan to deal with it. They will explain their plan of action to you. During these conversations, they will also tell you about any preparations you need to make and any precautions you need to take. Remember to ask any questions you have at this stage. Depending on the methods used, and the work that is required, it may take more than one treatment to deal with the infestation. The experts will explain if this is the case. Once the wood-destroying insects have been completely eradicated from your home, you will be advised about how often your property should be inspected in the future.
Following this advice will help to protect your home against further infestations as will taking the actions we discussed in this article. There can never be an absolute guarantee that you will not suffer an infestation in your home, but you can make it a lot less likely to happen.