Termites have been around for about 250 million years, making them an active contributor to our environment. In the U.S. alone, there are about 45 active species of termites. In fact, termites live in every U.S. state, except Alaska.
While termites can cause damage when they enter our homes and buildings, termites perform valuable services in the environment. For example, some species can help break down rotting wood into soil, and other species can help break down animal feces.
In short, we need termites in our environment, just not in our homes.
How to Get Rid of Termites
While you cannot get rid of termites permanently from the environment, you can help prevent them from taking root in your home and control any active colonies nearby.
Although it may be tempting to try termite control yourself, prevention and treatment is best left to the professionals. Since termites can be active in your home with few signs of an infestation – if any – you will need the help of a qualified termite expert skilled in termite identification, behavior, prevention and treatment to control the infestation.
Termite treatments can be the most complex treatments of any household pest management issue. Depending on the species of termite, the colony’s location(s) and the extent of infestation, your professional may need to use more than one treatment method. These methods often require specialized tools and techniques. For example, carefully formulated soil treatments may need to be applied via rods inserted under your house.
How Does a Pest Control Expert Provide Treatment?
First, your pest control expert should provide a comprehensive inspection of your home to identify signs of activity and the termite species. Different methods are used to target the specific behavior of subterranean termites and drywood termites.
Your expert should recommend a customized treatment and prevention plan based on your home’s unique needs. For subterranean termites, this prevention and treatment plan typically includes conventional liquid treatment, monitoring and bait stations, or direct wood treatment. For drywood termites, this prevention and treatment plan typically includes direct wood treatment, whole structure gas fumigation or heat treatment.
In all instances of termite infestation, your professional also should provide tips on what home repairs should be made to help ensure your house is less susceptible to termites. Experts often recommend reducing wood-to-ground contact and moisture problems to cut down on access points and food sources.