Termites Are Not Pests That Will Go Away On Their Own
There are many pests that can't survive in your home. They get in by accident and they have to go back out or they won't survive. The reason they can't live inside your home is that your home doesn't provide a food source for them. Take boxelder bugs as an example. Boxelder bugs feed on the sap and seeds of boxelder trees. Do you have a boxelder tree in your home? How is a boxelder bug going to survive if it gets in? It isn't. It will get into your home to escape the cold temperatures of winter and go back out once it begins to warm up outside. If you're willing to put up with these insects crawling in your curtains and staining them with their excrement, this pest problem will go away on its own. Termites will not go away on their own. We bet you know why.
While many pests need to find a food source inside your home in order to stay, termites do not. Your home IS the food they eat. Termites consume wood for sustenance. When they find a way into your home, they won't go away on their own. They will feed for years and years if they are allowed to.
You might be thinking, "Yes, but won't I know that termites are eating my home?"
You would think that you would know when something is chewing away at the wood inside your house. The problem is that termites are very tiny. When an individual termite takes a bite of wood, the noise is slight. Even if you were able to put your ear right up to a termite feasting on a timber in your house, you would be hard-pressed to hear the noise. There is zero chance you're going to hear a termite feeding on your wood with a layer of plaster or sheetrock between you and that termite.
Another way people think they are likely to know that termites are eating their home is they believe that termites will show themselves. Don't count on this! The behavior patterns of termites make them extremely difficult to detect. They live in the ground or inside the wood they're feeding on. You won't see them crawling around on your walls—unless a nest releases termite swarmers. These are female and male alates that leave a mature nest in search of a location to create new nests. Unlike worker termites, which avoid light at all costs, swarmers are drawn to light and they make themselves seen. But swarmers don't swarm for long. Swarms last less than 30 minutes. When they break up, the swarmers break away in couples to form their new nests. Sometimes, the only evidence of a swarm is the appearance of shed wings, which are shed during the mating process.
There is one other way you might see evidence of termites. Subterranean termites create mud tubes (also called shelter tubes) to gain access to wood above the soil. These tubes are usually built on hard surfaces. The problem with using mud tubes to detect termites is that they are usually created in dark places, such as under decks, patios, porches or exterior staircases. If it is difficult to get into these locations, you may never see a shelter tube. In rare cases, mud tubes can be created on exterior foundation walls—most likely at night. But mud tubes are the same color as the soil around your home and can easily be mistaken for a mud splatter or some other natural phenomena.
We hope you don't risk the equity of your home by waiting to see signs of termite activity. We hope you'll consider professional termite protection to safeguard your investment. If you live in DC, Maryland, or Northern Virginia, we can assist you with establishing an effective termite control barrier. American Pest is a Certified Sentricon™ Installer. When you have the Sentricon™ System with Always Active™ in place around your house, you won't have to worry about termites eating you out of house and home. Reach out to us to learn more about how this award-winning system prevents termite infestations or to schedule service. If you have termites in your home, they won't leave unless you do something to get rid of them. We can help you send a message to those termites and let them know they're not wanted.
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