Streator Homeowners' Handy Guide To Effective Termite Control

How much do you know about termites? Do you know that they can damage your home? Do you know why they get into Streator homes and cause damage? Here's an even bigger question. Do you know how to prevent termites with all-natural pest maintenance? Join us today as we share some eye-opening tips that can help you avoid termite damage by using natural termite damage prevention. If you've been wondering about termite pest control in Streator, you are sure to find some answers here. Let's begin by looking at what termites do on your property.

The Role Termites Play In Our Ecosystem

Termites are beneficial insects. While they're certainly not welcome inside your home, they are essential to our world's ecosystem. They break down dead wood and plant matter and turn them into nutrient-rich compost. These efficient biological machines never stop working. They are active 365 days a year, day and night. When they come into your yard, there are a few things you can expect them to do.

  • Termite workers are always looking for food.
  • When termites find food, they recruit others.
  • Only a portion of the workers in a termite colony will feed on one source.
  • Termites can feed on a pile of dead branches in the yard as they also feed on a back deck or the wood inside the home.
  • The queen in the heart of her colony will produce more workers to keep up with food collection.
  • When a colony matures, winged termites form.
  • The job of winged termites is to create new colonies.
  • Swarmers focus on mating, not traveling, and won't travel far from their home nest.
  • A termite problem replicates a problem impacted by available food resources and other conducive conditions. 

While essential to the environment, termites have no place in your yard. It is wise to take measures to prevent termite activity.

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How Termites Infest And Destroy Wooden Structures

There are many misconceptions about how termites damage homes. Termites don't eat every piece of wood they find. For example, pressure-treated wood is resistant to wood-destroying organisms. So why are termites a problem? There are a few reasons:

  • It is unlikely that your entire home consists of pressure-treated wood. There are limitations for treated wood. Your home is sure to have wood a termite can dine on, such as the subflooring in your kitchen or bathroom.
  • Over time, pressure-treated wood loses its protection. How old is your home? An older home is more susceptible to termite damage.
  • Water damage can compromise pressure-treated wood and allow termites to get inside. It doesn't take long for this to happen.

Termite workers are incessant pests. They will explore every inch they can. When they find suitable food sources, they'll nibble away at them. When support beams are compromised, they can weaken the structure and cause damage to the wood that termites aren't eating. Floors will begin to sink, the ceilings will sag, and walls may bulge.  

The termites in our service area are Eastern subterranean termites, and subterranean termites are the most destructive termites in the United States. They aren't going to let pressure-treated wood get in their way. 

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Natural Termite-Prevention Tips For Around The Home

Now that you know what termites do in your yard and how they feed on the wood of your home, we can look at the prevention tips we promised. These tips work because they counteract the natural behavior patterns of subterranean termites and block access to food sources. As we look at them, we'll explain why they work.

  • Remove stumps, logs, and dying trees. Decaying wood sources are desirable to termites and provide a food source in your yard. You don't want to give termites a reason to hang out in your yard.
  • When you collect dead branches, store them in a plastic bin. You want to prevent the branches from resting on the ground where subterranean termites can access them.
  • If you have campfire wood, lumber, or some other source of wood in your yard, place it on an elevated structure or rubber mat. When subterranean termites attempt to get at these food sources, you'll see the mud tubes they create.
  • Address wood-to-soil contact on your home—for example, rest deck posts on concrete piers. The last thing you want is for termites to get into the wood of your home directly. Putting wood on concrete gets the wood out of the soil.
  • Replace wood fences with vinyl. There are beautiful vinyl fences that are almost indistinguishable from rustic wood. Keep your curb appeal without inviting termites to dine on your property.
  • Pick up junk piles. Termites can feed on cardboard, paper, clothing, and other materials found in a pile of junk. Technicians have found termites inside junk piles in storage sheds and garages. They're even more prone to get in a pile sitting on the soil in your backyard.

When you have a wood source termites can feed on, it is possible to look under the wood or cut into the wood to find workers. Doing this can help you uncover active termites. But, while having these vulnerabilities can help you see signs of termites in your yard, it is far better if you don't give termites food sources.  

Besides removing food from your yard, there are other ways to deter termites and protect your property. These tips are also 100 percent all-natural.

Moisture Control: Termite workers need to stay hydrated. Their need for moisture attracts them to moist soil. When you address moisture issues, you make your property resistant to subterranean termites.

  • Clean and repair your gutters.
  • Remove extra vegetation from your landscaping to allow air to flow through.
  • Rake leaves and remove other organic debris.
  • Move objects away from your exterior.
  • Repair exterior plumbing issues, such as leaking fixtures, hoses, and sprinklers.

Inspections: Performing routine inspections for warning signs of termite activity can catch a termite problem early.

  • Look for mud tubes on your exterior walls and foundation. Subterranean termites are surely going to create these.
  • Look for mud tubes on interior surfaces.
  • Look for wood changes in dark, moist areas around and underneath your home. Subterranean termite damage may look like trenches or splintering. You should see mud in the trenching or on the surface of the wood.
  • Keep watch for winged termites in your yard or inside your home. Finding a termite swarm in your house is hard to miss; it is also a sign that you have a severe infestation.
  • Often, the only sign of a termite swarm is wings shed by swarmers during the mating process. You may find these wings on the ground or in spider webs.

Contact a certified termite control professional when you find warning signs of termites on your property. It is best to address these homewreckers with effective treatment methods.    

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