Surprises may be good or bad. For example, when a rebate or a refund check arrives in the mail, you now have extra money, which is a good surprise; if you receive a letter from the Internal Revenue Service informing you that you owe additional taxes, that is a horrible surprise. Good or bad surprises come in many forms.

Owning a home requires hard work and savings, but it is worth it. After a long day battling traffic and meeting deadlines, it is nice to have a personal retreat. Your house is your castle that can be rearranged, painted, renovated, and customized according to your heart's desires. However, when many homeowners begin a renovation project, they are met with a surprise, termites. That little creak they heard when walking was not a loose board but the result of a weakened support beam by termites. The ill-fitting door was not due to humidity, but the enter frame was warping due to termites. 

The best way to avoid being surprised by termites is to use the Sacramento Region pest control service from HomeShield Pest Control. We have removed termites from homes for over a decade and provided people with peace of mind because they know termites are no longer destroying their hard-earned investment. Seeing the relief on customers' faces propels us forward in the battle against this hidden, insidious pest. We want you to win the war against termites; it is our desire that you will find the following information helpful. 

The Role Termites Play In Our Ecosystem

Pests like mosquitoes, bed bugs, and termites cause you to wonder, "what is the purpose of that pest?" Although the question, "why do termites exist?" seems like one for philosophers, you don't have to go into a transcendental state to find the answer. We naturally associate termites with harming homes, but only 4% of the termite species consume wood in houses or businesses. The other 96% of the termite species eat the wood in forests, especially tropical forests, where they play a role in recycling old trees. 

When termites eat away dead trees in forests, they replenish the soil with nutrients and fertilize the dirt. Like all living animals, termites eat and produce waste, and since many termites live on the earth, their feces increases nutrient content. For example, a study in Australia discovered that farmland with a high concentration of termites and ants had a 36% increase in wheat production. Most termites attack wood softened by water and infested with fungus. They deposit the nitrogen from the fungus-ridden wood into the soil, which aids vegetation growth. 

Termites are part of the Insecta class in the animal kingdom. One characteristic of insects is that they possess an exoskeleton, which they shed to enable growth phases. These discarded shells decompose and provide the soil with protein and other nutrients. 

Termites are social insects that create colonies consisting of a few thousand termites to millions. These nests aid in the growth of mycorrhizal fungi and can help control crop pests. 

Another role termites play in the ecosystem is their help with soil irrigation. Subterranean termites live in the soil and break up crusty dirt, which aids water infiltration allowing the land to rejuvenate and vegetation to grow.  

We understand why you don't want termites in your home, but they are beneficial in forests for clearing dead wood, infusing the soil with nutrients, crop pest control, and increasing vegetation. The mission of HomeShield Pest Control is to protect homes in the Sacramento Region from termites because we don't live in forests.

the face of a big termite

What Kind Of Damage Can Termites Cause?

While termite nests benefit forests, you do not want termite nests in your Sacramento Region home for many reasons. Termites work inside the wood, and you may not see them except in the spring when they swarm to find new nesting locations. 

In the Sacramento Region, subterranean and drywood termites infest homes. Subterranean termites create the most damage because they build nests of 60,000 to millions, depending on the species. A mature nest of 60,000 subterranean termites can consume five grams of wood daily and eat the equivalent of 2.3 feet of a 2x4 piece of lumber annually. 

As previously mentioned, some subterranean species create colonies with millions of termite workers. The most egregious example is the Formosan termites. Formosan termites are the most aggressive species of subterranean termites, and mature nests range from 350,000 to millions eating away wood structures. A minimal nest size of hundreds of thousands of Formosan termite workers can consume 31 grams of wood daily or one foot of a 2x4 every 25 days!

Subterranean termites live in the soil and attack wood softened by water and fungi. Therefore, this termite species usually invade crawl spaces, basements, decks, and porches. Typically, they have a primary nest in a nearby dead tree or underneath buried wood in the yard. 

Drywood termites are the other species investing homes in the Sacramento Region. These termites do not live in the soil but in the wood. A mature drywood termite colony has 2,500 members, and they can still cause damage, but it may take longer for the harm to manifest itself. Since this termite species do not require high moisture levels, they infest wood in the attic, door and window frames, and furniture inside and outside the house. 

Although termites are practically invisible, they create the following damage to homes: 

  • Sagging floors: If you notice the flooring pulling away from the baseboard, you may have subterranean termites eating support beams and weakening them.
  • Drooping ceilings: This effect is from drywood termites eating away at the trusses.
  • Blisters: Termites leave a thin wood veneer protecting them from the outside, and when this layer becomes moist, it buckles and causes paint or wallpaper to blister.
  • Warping: As the structure begins to sag from termites, doors and windows may not close properly. 
  • Droppings: Drywood termites produce small mounds of tiny pellets which they shove outside their tunnels. Piles of this material outside pinholes in wood or drywood indicate drywood termites. 
  • Tubes: Subterranean termites dehydrate quickly from sun exposure, so they create passages using a combination of dirt, saliva, and wood to shield them as they travel from the soil to the wood.
  • Sounds: If wood sounds hollow when tapped, it indicates subterranean termites are in the wood chewing it from the inside outwards. 
  • Discoloration: Wood hollowed out by termites becomes darker due to additional moisture content.
  • Crumbling: If the wood flakes, dents easily, or is powdery when prodded, you have termites. 
  • Wings: Reproductive termites fly from the colonies in the spring to begin a new nest. Discarded wings in the window sills and spider webs indicate termites are infesting your house. 

If you see evidence of termite damage, do not hesitate; each day you wait, the more damage they cause to your house. HomeShield Pest Control is the termite expert near you that can stop termites from causing further harm to your home. 

Is There Way To Prevent Termites In My Home?

Termites in your house can cost you thousands of dollars in repair and replacement costs, but the good news is that you can be proactive. The following are termite prevention tips you can take to stop termites from overtaking your Sacramento Region home:

  • Remove outdoor debris: Eliminate food sources like wood scraps, dead trees, and wood piles from your property.
  • Relocate firewood: You don't have to give up enjoying a cozy fire, but move the firewood pile 20 feet away from the house and elevate it to allow airflow so that the wood doesn't soften and become a target for subterranean termites. 
  • Provide drainage: Keep gutters cleaned out to prevent overflow next to the foundation. Place splash blocks and drainage tubes to direct water away from the crawlspace. Water in the crawl space or basement softens the wood, causes fungus growth, and entices termites. Also, ensure drainage around wood fence posts and landscaping timbers.
  • Create barriers: Construct a border between the wood and the soil using fine steel mesh, basalt particles, or a polymer. 
  • Replace damaged wood: Fix rotting fence pose and landscaping timbers on the property. Use pressure-treated wood or apply a sealant to the wood to prevent future infestations. 
  • Prune shrubs: Keep bushes trimmed to allow airflow around the foundation and maximum sunlight to keep the soil dry. 
  • Repair leaks: Water seepage from pipes and drains onto nearby wood allures termites. 
  • Provide ventilation: Ensure there is good airflow underneath the house. When necessary, install a dehumidifier to keep the wood dry.
  • Seal cracks: When a termite swarm enters the area, a future king and queen land, discard their wings, and search for a nest location. Covering cracks in the foundation, around exterior outlets, vents, and incoming pipes and wires will deter termites from entering the area. 

Avoiding termite damage begins with these prevention tips and the services of HomeShield Pest Control.

The Best Way To Protect Your Home From Termites

When termites infest your house, you need the best termite control company near you, HomeShield Pest Control. We will thoroughly inspect your property to determine the extent and location of the termites. We will treat your home using a range of safe and effective products to eliminate the infestation. Your satisfaction is our goal. Contact us today to learn more and get a free quote.