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Termite Control 101 An Identification And Control Guide For Mooresville Properties
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Termite Control 101: An Identification And Control Guide For Mooresville Properties

Detecting a termite infestation can be challenging. These insects hide in the ground and tunnel in the soil just below your feet. They hide inside wood and carve out tunnel upon tunnel, consuming the softest portions until the timbers are weak and brittle. It isn't often understood, but termites don't cause damage because they do a lot of damage quickly; they are destructive because they damage property over time without being detected. That is why knowing how to spot the early warning signs of termites is critical.

Today, we'll start by looking at how to root out a termite problem in this handy guide from Lake Norman Home Services. Then, we'll give you some smart tips to help you avoid termites long before you have a problem. We'll end by discussing professional-grade termite control and damage prevention solutions. If you need fast answers to your termite questions, remember that your Lake Norman Home Services service team is here to guide you in finding control solutions. We provide termite inspection and advanced termite control in Mooresville. We're here for you.


Signs Of Termites: How To Detect An Underlying Problem

When you find termites in your yard, you may not realize it. Really? Yes, really. Even if you know what termites look like, you may not recognize them when you see them. How is this possible? It has to do with how tiny they are and how many different kinds of bugs there are in the world.

When you pick up a branch or log and move it, there is a chance you'll see termite workers. In the moist, dark area between the wood and the earth, these tiny pale-colored insects may quickly tunnel into the soil and disappear. Or you may see them on the wood and watch them disappear inside. If you do, you might not think much of them. A worker termite is about 1/8 of an inch. At that small size, it just looks like a fat ant. We hope you don't miss this important sign when you see it.

What about termite swarmers? Most Mooresville residents know what swarmers look like. A termite swarmer is a black insect with long white wings. While you'll certainly see swarmers when gathered together, it is surprisingly easy to shrug them off when you see only one. A swarmer is only about 3/8 of an inch from its head to the tip of its wings. That is very small. So, you have to watch for any insect with white wings that hang more than halfway past the abdomen. When looking at a swarmer, two-thirds of the insect will have white, transparent wings covering it.

If you see workers or swarmers, you may be witnessing a termite problem before it begins. They may only be in your yard at first, but the chances decrease the more workers or swarmers you see. You should also know that termites don't pass through your yard; they encroach upon your property. Once you see them, you'll keep seeing them until you address the colony or colonies.

In addition to looking for termites, there are a few other ways you might detect a termite problem. These signs appear as termites grow a population near your home and start to feed on it:

  • Subterranean termites create mud tubes on foundation walls and other surfaces. If you start to see wiggly mud lines, it's a bad sign.
  • When termite swarmers mate, they shed their wings. If you find shed wings on your property, it indicates that new nests are forming. While not every nest is viable, this is not a sign you want to find in your yard.
  • You may hear a subtle clicking noise when termites are in your walls. This noise is rare because it isn't the sound of the termites eating; it is made by soldier termites when an enemy invades their tunnels. The most common enemy of termites is ants, but soldiers do a good job of keeping ants out of their tunnels, so this warning sound is rare.
  • When termites damage your home, you might see damage in dark, damp places where wood touches the soil. Termite tunnels are gritty to the touch and stack on top of each other.

You can use all of these tips to catch termites in Mooresville early in an infestation, but it is also possible that you may see some of these signs long after termites have damaged your home. Termite damage is a good example. Let's look at how termites cause damage and why you're not likely to see any damage for a while.

The Silent Threat: Understanding Termite Damage

We're often asked, "What does termite damage look like?" We start with the answer above, but we have to point out that seeing termite damage is rare. There are many reasons for that; here are a few facts you should know:

  • Termite workers avoid light. It is important to understand that they don't even emerge in the moonlight. Their activity is done entirely under the cover of darkness.
  • A termite worker's thin skin requires moisture for hydration. To protect themselves from dehydration, they line their tunnels with excrement. Since excrement is inside their tunnels, it doesn't show itself as a warning sign. Workers also have an aversion to dry conditions, so they don't like to come out of hiding, even in the pitch dark.
  • Termite workers feed on wood quietly. They don't bite the wood; they scrape it. Shaving upon shaving is consumed without any detectable noises.

As you can see, termites are incredibly sneaky. But, you may wonder, "Aren't swarmers obvious?" Yes. They are. But not always. Here are a few facts you should know about swarmers:

  • Termite swarmers are only known to swarm in spring.
  • When swarmers leave the nest, they mate quickly, typically in less than an hour.
  • After mating, termites break off into couples and disappear into the soil to start nests.
  • Swarmers can leave the nest on your property and move onto your neighbor's. Even though the colony feeds on your home, you may never see the swarmers.

Do you see how easy it is to miss a termite swarm? Shed wings are often the only warning sign a property owner gets. That is why knowing how to deter termites and prevent termite damage is critical. Let's quickly look at both.

Proactive Measures: Preventing Termite Invasions

You can resist an invasion long before you have a termite problem. The trick is to remove the factors that attract termites and the food on your property that can cause a colony to grow and thrive in your yard:

  • Pick up sticks and store them off the ground.
  • Store campfire wood in a bin.
  • Remove logs and stumps.
  • Replace wooden landscape ornaments and borders.
  • Address any wood-to-ground contact on your home or shed.
  • Store trash piles in a receptacle because termites eat paper products.
  • Clean your gutters to reduce soil moisture and prevent wood decay.

These steps can make your property less interesting to termites. Plus, removing food sources will stunt colony growth. The queen of a termite colony produces offspring to keep up with available food resources in the area. She doesn't want to make too many mouths to feed.

Professional Termite Control: Long-Term Termite Control And Protection

What do professionals do to guard your property and prevent termite damage? The experts here at Lake Norman Home Services trust the award-winning Sentricon® System with Always Active™. It is a termite bait solution that can arrest a termite infestation and provide ongoing termite detection and colony elimination.

How does it stop termites? Subterranean termites don't nest inside Mooresville homes. They live in the ground. When termite workers travel in and out, they search for other food sources along the way; this means they will find the bait inside the Sentricon® System. When they do, they'll share it with the colony.

How does the Sentricon® System help with detection? Your technician routinely checks the bait stations. If termites take the bait, the damage is visible. Your technician may also find workers or soldiers in the stations.

How does the Sentricon® System provide long-term protection? As the name says, it is always active. The Sentricon® bait station provides a desirable food source for termites that decays over time. Unlike termiticide treatments, which wear out over time, the Sentricon® System gets stronger. The decaying of the Sentricon® bait only makes it more appetizing to termites.

Do you want to learn more about this amazing termite control system or get a termite inspection for your Mooresville home? Contact Lake Norman Home Services for termite control near you. We'd love to tell you all about it. We provide general termite control services as well. So, if you just need an inspection and a WDIR, we can help you with that.

Connect with us today.

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