Termites and Wood Protection

Termites and Wood Protection

Imagine having unwanted and uninvited inhabitants in your home. They eat all day and are never satisfied, and they also destroy all the wood they touch and damage their furniture and home. You can try to get out of them, but it is quite difficult. They can leave you homeless and unfurnished. That is equivalent to having termites in your house. Therefore, you must know how to protect the wood from termites.

  • Termites are difficult pest to eradicate, let us take care of them for you.

Why it is necessary to protect the wood from termites

How to protect the wood from termites is one of the most frequent consultations for those who work in pest control. And is that termites are the worst roommates you can have. To get out of them, you must know how to protect the wood from termites.

They arrive and settle without being invited

Imagine having unwanted and uninvited inhabitants in your home. They eat all day and are never satisfied, and they also destroy all the wood they touch and damage their furniture and home. You can try to get out of them, but it is quite difficult. They can leave you homeless and unfurnished. That is equivalent to having termites in your house. Therefore, you must know how to protect the wood from termites.

What are termites?

Also known as white ants, termites are small social insects that build nests (termites) and live in colonies. They basically feed on wood and other materials with high cellulose contents, which they degrade easily, through the action of protozoa in their digestive system, with which they coexist in symbiosis.

They are mostly from tropical or subtropical climates, but are also adapted to temperate climates. Thousands of species are known, and of these, six are the most common and have been installed as urban pests.

Generally, they build their nests underground. They reproduce rapidly and eventually form colonies of up to 3 million individuals. With their great ability to spread, they are able to eat any piece of wooden furniture, whatever the size, or even finish off the entire foundations of a large construction. Therefore, it is necessary to protect the wood from termites.

Types of termites

Termites are a pest with great adaptability and spread, very harmful and organized, that works continuously. To fight against them and protect the wood from termites, it is advisable to know its type and way of behaving.

Underground Termites

As their name implies, they live in colonies under the ground. Soil moisture levels are one of the factors that favors the spread of this species. They seek to protect themselves from light, air and possible predators, building long underground tunnels, to access their food. Considered as the most harmful species for humans.

Wet Wood Termites

This species is installed in woods with a high level of humidity or that is in a state of decomposition. Due to its size, it is easy to differentiate it with the naked eye from other varieties. They are very organized and skillful, they use their droppings to protect the colony, covering with them the entrances of the hive tunnels, very carefully. They do not build their termite mounds at ground level. They do it on wood located in the ground, especially if it is decomposed.

Dry Wood Termites

These easily adapt to humidity. In regions like the USA, as a result of this aggressive plague, great economic damages are suffered, of such magnitude that the insurance companies do not usually respond for the damages caused by these termites and do not include it in home insurance.

You can build your nests out of wood with as little as 10% humidity, in door and window frames, in cabinets, store windows, kitchen cabinets, or anywhere else that has such material. Its colonies are not as numerous as those of the underground ones, but they are also quite harmful to humans. They are one of the main reasons to protect wood from termites.

Pulverizing termites

Much smaller than all their companions, these termites eat and live inside the tunnels they build inside the wood.

Formosan Termites

Of the underground termites, without a doubt, this is the termite considered the most aggressive within the underground termites. They stand out because they are not large and they have translucent wings, with a yellow body and their head is flat and oval in shape.

Why do termites appear?

There are numerous factors by which termites can appear, but one of the most common is constituted by environmental conditions. Like any species, termites look for places where they can meet their basic needs for water, food and a warm shelter.

During cold seasons, its presence is more noticeable because the climate and humidity, typical of the season, make it difficult for it to survive and proliferate. For this reason, they seek the warmth of the home and tend to stay inside our homes.

By feeding on cellulose materials, such as wood, cardboard and paper, which can be found in abundance in homes and in contact with the ground, termites easily find a place to stay. Other places they love are the old logs and also the construction debris.

If any of these conditions exist or, similar to these, the termites, sooner or later, will appear. Therefore, it is advisable to treat the wood against termites.

How did termites get to my house?

There are many ways in which these undesirable insects can invade you. Maybe they even got home before you did. Or, when you finally managed to acquire that beautiful piece of furniture that you wanted to put in your living room for so long, the termites decided to enter with it. It may just have been that someone gave you a nice old chair. Any path is suitable for them to enter your home.

They can enter from above, reach from underground roads or, simply, enter through the door. If a piece of furniture, a wall or a wooden floor, among others, did not receive the adequate treatment for termites and protection of the wood, they will feel invited to enter.

Also, termites do their job quietly and often go undetected until they are well advanced. If termites find a piece of wood in your home that has a thin crack, they will be able to enter and eat for a long time, leaving no visible signs that will allow you to detect them. That is why effective control and knowing how to protect wood from termites is vital.

How do I know if I have termites in my home?

For this, you should look for signs of its presence, such as piles of sawdust or plaster, raised floors or ceilings and mud pipes at the bases of the structure, among others. Since most of them live underground and in walls, their existence is difficult to notice and likely not visible to the naked eye. Let's see how to detect them:

  • If blisters or darker areas appear on your wood floors. These are signs that termites feed on the inside or below.
  • If you detect hollow or deteriorated wood. Hollow wood, generally when struck gently, has an empty sound and its interior resembles a honeycomb.
  • If you find dead termites and / or wings. This is clear evidence of the presence of swarms.
  • The presence of clay pipes. The mud tubes are part of the network that connects the termites to their food source.
  • If you get termite droppings on dry wood. These piles of granules, termite debris, indicate their presence.
  • If you have outdoor plumbing in your place of habitation, check if the pipes are covered with mud paths, in tubular form.

Prevention - How to treat wood against termites

There are three basic ways to treat wood against termites preventively. They consist of eliminating your access, your food sources and excess moisture. Prevention is the most effective of measures. Therefore, they must be prevented from entering the houses.

Eliminate entry points. To do this, start by sealing the cracks or holes around the water or gas supply pipes. Underground termites often enter through infected wood, keep in mind the condition of any furniture or objects that you introduce into your house. If you have a fireplace, do not store the firewood inside and, in any case, keep it away from the ground. The recommended thing is a separation of 6 inches between the floor and the wood.

Another way is to eliminate your food sources. For this it is important, to separate from the floor and the walls, all material made from cellulose. And in green areas, wood debris, such as pruning, debris and old tree trunks, should also be kept away from external walls. Sometimes it is better to use wood that is pressure treated or has natural resistance, such as teak, rather than using recommended wood for buildings.

How to eliminate termites if they have already settled in your home

Termites are a fairly difficult pest to eradicate. In severe cases, they deserve expert treatment in pest control. Among those offered are:

Bait systems

Consists of placing traps located on the infected site. From there, the presence of insects is monitored. Pest control experts perform periodic monitoring of baits to detect termite activity. Subsequently, they eliminate the colony. This can take up to a year. Monitoring should be done to ensure that the pest has been eradicated and there is no reinfestation.

Conventional treatment

It consists of injecting biocide products, directly on the affected areas or on the ground. This creates a protective barrier against termites, which must cover the entire surface of the infrastructure.

Treatment with a tent

It is one of the safest mechanisms that exists. Only hot air is used as a fumigant element. The temperature inside the building rises to about 49 ° C, thus killing all termites and their eggs.

Another methods

Another method is the use of microwave devices, which bring termite body fluids to a boil, killing them. It must be applied directly on the termite mound and is risky for wood plates.

Getting rid of termites is not an easy task. A detailed evaluation is required to decide which will be the best alternative, based on a good diagnosis of the problem. Hire us now and leave the solution to your termite problem in the hands of professionals.

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