Few things are more disheartening than waking up to find your home has been invaded by termites. These pesky critters can cause serious damage to your Gilroy, CA, property if left unchecked. The good news is you can take steps to prevent an infestation or rid your home of these destructive insects if they’ve already taken up residence. With a little knowledge and effort, you can keep your home termite-free.

What are termites?

Termites are small, winged insects that live in colonies underground. They feed on wood and other cellulose materials, which makes them a serious pest problem for homeowners. There are three main types of termites: subterranean, drywood, and dampwood.

Subterranean termites are the most common type in the United States. They live in soil and build mud tubes to reach food sources. Drywood termites are found in dry, wooded areas like attics and don’t need contact with soil to survive. Dampwood termites live in damp wood, like rotting tree stumps.

The threat of termites: Why should you care?

Termites are one of the most destructive pests in the world, causing billions of dollars in damage each year. In the United States alone, termites destroy more than 600,000 homes yearly.

While most consider termites a problem for homeowners, businesses are also at risk. Termites can invade any type of structure, including office buildings, warehouses, and shopping centers. Businesses that have been infested with termites often suffer significant financial losses. To make matters worse, termite infestations can be difficult to detect and control.

Signs of a termite infestation

If you have noticed any of the following signs, you may have a termite infestation:

1. Mud tubes on the exterior of your home: These tubes are created by termites as they travel back and forth from their nests to your home in search of food.

2. Wood that sounds hollow when tapped: Termites eat away at the wood from the inside out, so if you tap on a piece of wood and it sounds hollow, it may be because there are termites inside.

3. Cracks in paint or wallpaper: As termites eat away at the wood beneath, they can cause cracks in paint or wallpaper.

4. Swarmers: These are winged termites you may see around your home, especially after a rainstorm. If you see swarmers, it means there is a mature colony nearby.

How to prevent a termite infestation

The first step is to eliminate any potential food sources for the termites. This means keeping your yard clean and free of woodpiles, leaves, and other organic debris. If you have a deck or other wooden structure on your property, ensure it’s at least six inches off the ground to deter termites.

You should also inspect your home regularly for signs of termite activity, such as mud tubes on walls or floors, sawdust-like piles near baseboards, or actual termites themselves. Call a professional exterminator immediately if you see any of these red flags.

How to get rid of an existing infestation

If you have a termite infestation, you can do a few things to get rid of them. First, you need to identify where the termites are coming from. If they are coming from the ground, you will need to treat the area with an insecticide. If they are coming from a piece of wood, you will need to remove the piece of wood and either destroy it or treat it with an insecticide. Once you have identified where the termites are coming from, you need to treat the area with an insecticide. Though you might try to do this yourself, termites are very challenging to eliminate, so it is worth it to hire a pest control company to do it for you.

In conclusion, home and business owners need termite control and prevention. Termite damage can be extensive and costly, so it is important to take steps to prevent infestations. Many products and services are available in Gilroy, California, to help control and prevent termites. A qualified pest control professional such as Target Pest Control can assess your property and recommend the best course of action to protect your investment. If you need them, call them!