How to Get Rid of Termites

termites
Shutterstock

Termites are one of the most destructive pests that can infest your home. In fact, a bad termite infestation can create enough damage in the wood of your home to become a safety threat and kill your resell value.

What Kinds of Termites Are There?

There are 5 different types of termites, which are all colony pests. They love and feed on cellulose, which exists in all plant and wood materials. A termite will eat through a textbook just as happily as one of your floor joists.

The five types of termites you may find in your home include:

  • Conehead termites
  • Dampwood termites
  • Drywood termites
  • Formosan termites
  • Subterranean termites

Typically, drywood termites are the most common kind to infest and consume wood within a home. Subterranean termites are similar to the ones you may have seen at the zoo — they build mounds outdoors and then tunning into areas of your home from underneath.

How to Spot Termites

You may see the winged variety of termites fluttering around, trying to escape your home in the early spring. They will likely be spotted around windows and doors but could appear anywhere.

Otherwise, you may notice bubbled or cracked paint or mud tubes outside. These tubes look different than hornet or wasp tubes in that they will spread along exterior walls, wood beams and into crawl spaces.

Termites prefer to eat from the inside out, so another tell-tale sign of an infestation is if wood in your home sounds hollow rather than solid.

DIY Treatment

There are a few products that can help you clear the infestation. Spectracide makes stakes that can be installed around the property which should be replaced twice per year. The stakes will pop out of the ground if they detect a colony beneath them and will kill foraging termites who come across them.

Ortho Home Defense Max is a 5-year product that comes in a spray form. Bifenthrin, similar to what the pros use, kills termites, stops them from coming back and is fairly cheap.

Lastly, if you need help indoors, Termidor Foam may be your best solution. It works well in wall voids and is safe enough to be used around food and pets. You’ll just want to seal up behind yourself.

Professional Treatment

Let’s face it, a DIY approach is an iffy affair for something as valuable as your home. While termite treatments are expensive, you can oftentimes break it into a monthly plan to spread the pain.

Heavy infestations may require more expensive treatments, and you may also be facing wood repair costs. The best defense is a good offense, so keeping up with pest control and looking for signs of infestation is the best way to avoid and treat termites.