Residential Termite Control (Home)

For most American homeowners, their home is their biggest investment. For that reason, they get very upset when they think termites might be attacking their home.

There are aboveground termites that are called drywood termites. The drywood termites are found along the Gulf Coast, in the desert Southwest, and along the Pacific Coast.

The most common termites live underground. These are called subterranean termites. Subterranean termites are found in every state except Alaska. The subterranean termites invade most often and cause the most damage.

Every year Americans spend billions of dollars to treat termites and to repair the damage that they cause. Most of the expense is for treatment of subterranean termites. A few homeowners do the treatments themselves, but most rely on a pest control professional.

Residential termite control can be challenging. Termites can squeeze through very thin cracks. This enables them to enter homes through cracks in the slab or the foundation.

Termites invade homes in hard–to–reach places. They have been found traveling between the foundation and the brick veneer. They have also been found moving behind stucco that was applied to the outside of a home.

Termites often enter through an expansion joint — where two slabs meet. If the termites can hide inside of a wall or under a carpet, they can cause extensive damage before they are noticed.

Residential termite control is often done to prevent termites from invading. Many treatments are necessary to eliminate termites that have already attacked the home. Treatments are most commonly done with liquid termiticide or termite bait. These tools can be used separately or they can be combined in the same treatment.

Liquid termiticide is used to form a barrier in the soil against the termites. Depending on the home’s construction, liquid termiticide can be applied into the soil beside the foundation. This might be done outside and in the crawl space. Treatment of slab homes often includes drilling holes in the concrete to protect cracks or expansion joints.

Termiticide might also be applied in areas where plumbing pipes enter the home. Some of these treatments might be made with a machine that turns the termiticide to foam. This helps the termiticide spread to the places where it is needed.

Termite baits are usually applied in the ground around a home. In most bait systems, the stations initially contain un–treated wood. The stations are spaced to improve the chances of termites finding them. They are also placed in areas that are likely termite targets — near stumps, woodpiles, or downspouts.

When termites attack a station, the wood inside is replaced with a material that is toxic to termites. The termites eat the material and share it with their nest–mates. This process can eliminate many of the termites. Sometimes the entire colony can be eliminated.

Homeowners can help prevent termites from attacking their home. A careful inspection can reveal conditions that might give termites an easy entryway. . Wooden structural members that extend into the ground can give termites an entryway to the home. Siding or stucco that extends into the soil can also enable termites to invade.

Mulch in flowerbeds can make the area comfortable for termites. Many experts recommend raking mulch 12″ away from the foundation. Firewood piles should be raised off of the ground and stored as far from the house as possible. Soil in flowerbeds that is higher than the home’s slab can also give termites an easy entrance to the home.

Many homeowners call a pest control professional for a termite inspection. During the inspection process, these experts can point out maintenance or structural issues that might make the home more attractive to termites. Correcting or changing these conditions can help prevent termites from attacking the home.