With spring temperatures on the rise, exterminators warn that this means an increase in the activity of many insects, including termites. A particular problem in many areas of Texas, termites make regular extermination essential for preventing infestations. To keep these destructive pests away, Texas homeowners need to consider what attracts them and work with knowledgeable exterminator services to keep them from becoming a problem.
Types of Destructive Termites with Different Habits
Texas is home to many different termite species that can cause massive damage to homes and other structures. Although they all cause the same type of damage, the different species have different habits that need to be considered to prevent infestations, or when planning appropriate extermination services:
- Subterranean - The most common termite found in Texas, these insects live in huge underground colonies and prefer hot, moist locations. They have extremely sharp teeth that can cause extensive damage to wood structures, even collapsing entire buildings if effective extermination techniques are not used.
- âââââDampwood - As its name suggests, these termites prefer to eat damp and decaying wood. This makes them commonly present in outdoor wood piles, fence posts, decaying trees, and where there are leaks inside a home.
- Drywood - These termites prefer drier, hot climates and do not require moisture from the soil to survive. They attack house framing, flooring, and even furniture. They frequently create multiple colonies right within a home.
- Conehead - These termites have a distinctive cone-shaped head. They nest in the ground as well as travel on top of the surface, spreading quickly to trees and wooden structures.
- Formosan - This is another ground-dwelling species that attack building structures, boats, railroad trusses, trees, shrubs, and other woody vegetation. They consume wood at an alarmingly fast rate and can consume a foot of structural 2x4 in as few as 30 days.
Getting Rid of Termites
Removing termites from any home or area must be accomplished using extermination and then prevention. Exterminators can remove active populations in a number of ways. In order to keep these insects from continually returning, it is necessary to identify the species and remove whatever lets them nest and survive on a property. Along with routine exterminator services, homeowners should follow these prevention tips to avoid providing places for termites to nest and giving them easier access to a home:
- Keep firewood dry and protected, off the ground, and at least 20 feet from the house. Remove any rotting wood from the property.
- Keep roof gutters clean and free of vegetative debris that can provide moist homes for insects.
- Use only treated mulch, always monitor for termite activity, and apply mulch at least 15 inches from the home foundation.
- Keep all trees well pruned and away from roof surfaces, as overhanging branches could provide access to the roof.
- Repair any leaks in the home as well as any damaged soffit, fascia, and roofing.
- Keep home humidity levels low enough to prevent dampness.
- Repair foundation cracks and replace old weather stripping around windows and doors.
- Regularly check the home and property for mud tubes, termite nests, and any other indications of termite damage or presence.
Removing and preventing termites can be accomplished in much the same way that removing most other insects is done. Exterminators must first treat existing colonies to remove active populations and clear the property of these damaging insects. Then keeping them away involves coming up with a plan that combines good prevention practices and routine exterminator services. With no comfortable place to nest and the use of appropriate extermination, termites will look elsewhere for their next meal!