How To Protect Your Roanoke Home From Termites
Brick homes cover the Virginian landscape, and we have a lot of brick homes in our area. You may even live in a brick home. So you might not be too concerned about termites. But every home has wood. The first step in protecting your Roanoke home from termites is understanding the threat these insects present to your property. That's where we are going to start our conversation today. Here are a few facts every Roanoke resident should know about subterranean termites and how these facts can help protect your home.
How Termites Get In
Let's consider the journey of one termite worker. It can tunnel as far as the length of a football field in search of food, and it can feed on multiple food sources in a day. It can feed on a stump, a tree with heart rot, your deck, and your home.
Exterior Structure Entry — As it tunnels through the ground and explores the foundation of your home, it will look for any wood-to-soil contact, such as the posts that hold your back deck up. When it finds wood in the soil, it begins to feed. Over time, along with many other workers, it will consume galleries in the wood. If your deck is attached to the sole plates of your home, the termite (and all its family) can enter into the wooden structure of your home.
Foundation Entry — As a termite explores your foundation, it may find cracks. If so, it will begin to bring soil into those cracks and create mud tunnels up through the cracks. Slowly, it will work its way up (along with all its family) and find interior wood to feed on.
Weep Hole Entry — If you live in a brick structure, your home likely has weep holes. When a worker comes near your home, it may build mud tunnels outside your foundation wall and work (along with all its family) until a tunnel is created up and into a weep hole. Once inside, it can gain access to the interior wood structure of your home.
If you have stacks of wood, branches, building materials, or some other wood source in your yard, remove them or elevate the wood so that it does not touch the ground. This removes food sources that can cause termites to come into your yard and near to your home.
Address any wood-to-soil contact. If you have deck posts that go into the ground, consider putting those posts on concrete. It will allow you to detect mud tunnels subterranean termites will have to create to get to the wood.
Do routine inspections of your foundation walls and look for above-ground tunnels. These are called shelter tubes or mud tubes. The appearance of shelter tubes is a very helpful warning sign, though you should be aware that these structures can be created in difficult areas to inspect.
The Nature Of Termites
You can have millions of subterranean termites in your yard and not know it. These insects live under the ground and do not like being exposed to light or air. If you are fortunate enough to uncover termites—for instance, by flipping a dead branch over and finding tiny, pale termite workers crawling around on the ground or the branch—you're not going to see them for long. They'll disappear into the branch and the ground. You can also have millions of termites feeding on your home and not know it. They stay inside the wood. But, while they are difficult to detect in your home, they sometimes cause visible damage or create mud spots or mud tubes that you might see. These are usually created in dark, humid spaces.
Do a detailed inspection of your yard to find termites. Look for pale insects that are 1/8 of an inch long. You'll find them in association with wood and soil. Move wood, dig into the soil and do a thorough check.
Do a detailed inspection of your interior, particularly your basement area. Look for interior mud spots or tubes, splintering of wood, and damage that looks like you have a moisture problem. Tap on wood to find timbers that termites have hollowed out.
Termite Inspections Are Key
If you do the hard work of finding signs of termite activity, it will go a long way toward protecting your property. You could also hire a licensed professional to do this hard work. This is how we can help. At All Pest Control & Solutions, we provide wood-damaging insect (WDI) inspections for Roanoke property owners. We can provide a one-time inspection or annual inspections. We also offer proactive termite control options to stop termites as they come to feed on your home. For more information or to request service, reach out to us. We're here to help.