How to Prevent a Termite Infestation and When to Hire an Exterminator
Termites can cause severe damage to both the aesthetics and structure of your home or business because their main source of food is wood. Termites can cause structural damage by penetrating plaster and metal siding, subterranean damage which most often is mistaken for water damage, and dry wood damage that can go undetected until the infestation grows out of control. And while termites do not typically present a significant risk of disease, they can spread through your home or business in New Jersey. The costs associated with getting rid of termites and repairing the damage can greatly increase the longer these pests can develop their incognito pathways and colonies. To protect your home or business from termites, you need to learn about the behavior of this pest, take steps for prevention, and find effective treatment options should an infestation occur.
What are Termites?
Termites reside in large groups—or colonies. They eat all day and night and never take breaks. There are many species of termites in the New Jersey area, but termites all tend to follow the same eating and movement patterns.
The king and queen termite are the largest termites in the colony, and they oversee reproduction. Soldier termites provide protection from threats to the colony. The worker termites are the ones that do the damage to your home or business by eating away at the structural wood, explain the local termite exterminators at Tapout Pest. Winged termites, also known as reproductive, alates, or swarmer’s, eventually leave in search of a new place to establish a colony. Upon finding a location that provides the moisture and food supply they need, the reproductive termites shed their wings and become the king and queen of a new colony, explain the NJ termite control experts at Tapout Pest.
How Do I Identify Termites?
Termites are insects, not arachnids, so they have 6 legs, and their bodies are divided into segments. Termites may also have wings, which are all around the same length. Even though termites are sometimes confused with ants, they have some significant differentiating features. Pest control experts at Tapout Pest explain that an ant’s front wings are longer than its back wings, whereas termite’s wings are equal in length. Termites also have different antennae than ants. For termites, their antennae come straight out of their heads. By comparison, the antennae of ants, such as wood ants, are bent at a 90-degree angle.
How Do I Get Termites?
Termites commonly get into your New Jersey home or business through wood-to-ground contact. Any wood component of your house, once in contact with the ground can be a point of access for termites. Termite control experts at Tapout Pest state this includes:
- The frames of doors
- Housing supports
- Deck posts
- Wood siding that contacts the ground
However, termites do not always need to enter your house through wood that contacts the ground. Exterminators at Tapout Pest explain termites that live underground, or subterranean termites can come in your NJ home or business by using cracks in the foundation. Termites can also access your house through cracks in bricks or the mortar joining them. Concrete block and the walls of foundations may also provide sufficient points of entry, explain the termite control experts at Tapout Pest.
Over two or three years, the colony can get big enough to cause serious and costly damage, explain the termite control experts at Tapout Pest.
What Are the Effects of Termites in and Around My Home or Business?
Pest control experts at Tapout Pest state because termites eat wood and plant-based products indiscriminately, they can take a chunk out of the value of your New Jersey home or business. It is estimated that in the US, $5 billion of damage is done by this pest every year. The wood of many buildings helps hold it together through a system of framing components. When one of these pieces is weakened all the other beams, posts, and supports that depend on it are affected as well.
Even though termites can sometimes do their damage gradually over several months or a couple of years, the weakening of your property can be permanent and require replacing large sections of the framing. However, if the termite infestation is caught soon enough, the building’s long-term value can be saved.
In addition to the framing of any New Jersey home or business, termites can also go after doors, window frames, and siding. Exterminators at Tapout Pest explain not only is the damage unsightly but when termites infest these portholes, they can threaten the energy-efficiency and the smooth operation of the doors and windows.
The market value of your home can also drop significantly due to termite damage. Even signs of a former infestation can cause a buyer to move to the next option. Also, termite damage, in some cases, can be enough to slow or even negate a sale if it is seen during the inspection process.