Termites In My House!
It’s said that there are two kinds of homes in Missouri – those with termites and those that will get termites. Of course, we hope to prevent homes from ever getting termites. However, there are simply too many houses that aren’t properly treated. This makes them vulnerable to invasion by a group of traveling termites looking for lunch. So many buildings are made of cellulose-rich material that termites can’t resist the temptation. They take up residence and eat away at your biggest asset: your home.
In nature, termites feed on the cellulose in leaves and wood from dead trees. They release gases that support the local environment like carbon dioxide and their waste adds nutrients to the soil. However, in urban areas, this natural process accounts for some of the most significant damages to homes in north Missouri.
Termites In The St. Louis, Missouri Area
Termite colonies can be made up of thousands of insects. Their social organization (if we can call it that) is similar to ants in that some fill the role of workers, while others are soldiers, and each colony has a queen. The queen can live for years and is capable of producing thousands upon thousands of offspring.
Signs Of Termite Damage
The most obvious things you can check for are swarms and broken-off wings as signs of a mature colony. Keep an eye out for hollow mud tubes in the soil, as this is a sign that termites are in your area. Earthen mud tubes may also be visible around baseboards, doors, windows, and other wooden items. Also look for these mud tubes on the exterior and interior of crawl spaces. They can come up from the ground and attach to wooden beams, concrete blocks, or pillars.
To inspect your home for termite damage, look for small lines or erosion of materials containing cellulose such as wood structures. If you see what you think might be termite damage, probe the wood with a screwdriver or knife. Inspection should be concerned with the exterior and interior surfaces of the foundation, especially where wood is on or near the soil.
Termites need access to water to live; they get the majority of their water from damp soil or by consuming wet wood. Wood with sustained termite damage might appear like it is ground up at structural intersections. If you do have termites, then you will see tunnels running through the wood (you may need to pry open the wood in these areas in order to uncover the tunnels).
Flaked paint on furniture is also a sign that you have termites. If you notice flaking, look under the furniture to check for the insects.