There are many suggestions on the internet for how to protect your property from termite damage. Some tips are helpful. Some are unhelpful. Some can actually make the problem worse. Let's take a quick look at each and discuss what will work best to stop wood-destroying termites from damaging your Orange County home.
A Bad Idea
If you come across any articles that suggest putting food out for termites so that they don't attack your property, or so that you can lure the termites into the food source and destroy them, you should run. This is a flawed idea at best. Let's say you put a stack of dead branches in your yard. Will the termites go for that food source? Yes. They sure will.
Can you pick the branches up with termite workers inside and throw them in a fire? Yes. That will kill some termites. Unfortunately, it will only kill a small fraction of the termites in the colony. But, while you're trying to attract termites to exterminate them with fire, the food source is going to inspire the queen of the colony to create more workers to keep up with the demand for food. So what is going to happen is you'll have more termites exploring your property.
If this isn't bad enough, termite workers won't focus on that one food source. They'll be happy to feed on your home while they're feeding on the stack of dead branches. This is an all-around bad idea.
An Unhelpful Idea
If you come across advice that leads you toward spraying a product on termites, or on surfaces, to kill termites, you should pass on it. There are many things that can kill termites on contact. It's isn't difficult. In fact, you can kill a termite simply by keeping it from getting back into the moist soil of your yard. Termites dry out, so it isn't surprising that people use vinegar and water, diatomaceous earth, and other desiccants to kill termites. These work very well.
Despite this, this treatment method only attacks the symptom, not the problem. What is the problem? It is the queen and king creating offspring in the heart of the colony. If you don't address that, you will continue to have termites exploring your property and presenting a threat to your home.
Getting To The Heart Of The Matter
The secret to protecting your property from termite damage is to use a product that uses worker termites against their own colony. A bait product will cause workers to collect the bait and share the active ingredient through a process called trophallaxis.
A termiticide will create a barrier around your property that termite workers can't see. When they pass through it, they pick up the active ingredient and spread it during the grooming process. Termites groom each other a lot. Both of these can lead to colony elimination. No more colony, no more threat.
There is a downside to this, however. Over-the-counter products aren't as effective as professional-grade termite control products, and it is easy to install these products wrong. What's worse, if you spend the money and do all the work, you're not likely to know that your termite control failed until you're staring at a costly repair bill.
The Best Things You Can Do
When it comes to termite protection, the experts here at HomeShield suggest termite inspections as the primary way homeowners can keep their properties safe on their own.
- Inspect your home annually for any changes to the wood.
- Inspect your property for the presence of worker termites underneath objects that rest on the soil.
- Inspect your foundation and exterior walls for shelter tubes.
- Be on the lookout for termite swarmers on the inside and outside of your home. These are flying termites that have long white wings that stack on their backs. Keep in mind that we mean they're long for their bodies. A termite swarmer is only about ⅜ of an inch in length.
- Inspect spider webs on your property and look for the shed wings of termite swarmers. Termite swarms don't last for more than 30 minutes. Often the only sign they give is the appearance of the wings they shed during mating.
When you perform your inspections, be aware that you need to get into dark places underneath structures on your property to find many of the warning signs termites leave. You're going to have to get dirty and work hard to find termite warning signs.
Need Some Help?
If you'd rather not do the hard work of inspecting your property, and you'd like to have the benefit of a team of highly-trained and experienced Orange County pest control professionals monitoring your termite activity, we can help! HomeShield Pest Control can provide you with an annual termite inspection for your property and effective termite control treatments to arrest termite issues when they arise. For more information, or to schedule a visit with one of our technicians, reach out to us. We're here to help!