The Trick To Effective Termite Control For Your Oklahoma City Property
May 25, 2020
Imagine going to replace the wood trim in your home only to find an area that looks like a dog chewed through your wall. This would come as quite a shock when suddenly you’re looking at extra costs for repairs when you only planned to spend money on a small remodel. You wouldn’t have even known those termites were there chewing through the structural integrity of your home if you hadn't removed the wood trim for innovative purposes.
Termites And Their Habits
Termites are small insects who survive off of eating cellulose found in wood, soil, and leaf litter. Termites prefer to eat rotting, decaying wood but will eat anything they can find that contains the nutrients needed to grow their population.
Termites live in large colonies. and each colony is divided into three castes: workers, soldiers, and reproductive.
Workers are approximately ¼ inch long and have cream-colored bodies. Their jaws are small and help them to chew away at wood and move materials.
Soldiers are slightly larger than workers. They are distinguishable by their large mandibles. Their bodies are flat and wide, and even though they’re also cream in color, their head is darker than workers.
The reproductives include kings, queens, and alates. Reproductives' central aim is to reproduce inside the colony. Once a colony reaches full capacity, alates or swarmers sprout wings, emerge from the colony, mate, and establish another colony nearby.
In Oklahoma, the most common termite species are subterranean termites and dry wood termites.
Subterranean termites cause the most damage of any termite species. They literally eat 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So, with this kind of feast taking place inside a wood structure, if left unchecked, it can eventually cause the total collapse of a building.
Drywood termites are not native to Oklahoma, but they can travel in wooden objects such as a wine crate or furniture. Therefore, dry wood termites are often found in areas far from where they originated.
Helpful Or Hurtful?
All termites feed on dead organic materials. This helps support the ecosystem by recycling waste matter such as dead animals, dead wood, plants, feces, and cellulose. They also break down complex molecules that plants are not able to use by feeding, decomposing, and defecating into the soil. This helps recycle and increase the nutritional value of soil. However, even though they are extremely beneficial to the environment, they can cause significant damage to homes and businesses.
If termites happen to invade your home, it is important to be aware of any possible warning signs to keep their damage to a minimum. So, keep your eyes open for any drooping or discolored drywall or peeling paint that looks like water damage. Also, if you tap on any wood and it sounds hollow, that is not a good sign. If you happen to notice any buckling or squeaking floorboards, these are also signs of possible infestation. Lastly, if you see discarded wings near doors or windows, they may indicate a recent termite swarm. Inspect the wings or save them and have an entomologist or your local pest control company take a look.
Termite Prevention Tips
In states like Oklahoma, termites are widespread and pretty active, so it's important to exercise as some preventative measures to mitigate your risk of a termite infestation. Here are some helpful tips:
Completely eliminate soil to wood contact.
Store firewood a safe distance from the house.
Restore/replace moisture-damaged wood.
Seal gaps around water lines and the foundation of your home.
Inspect your property for leaks or water damage, locate the source, and repair as needed.
While these little critters can be easy to miss before they become a mass infestation, taking extra measures by having a professional inspect your property is always a smart choice. Our experts at Dandi Guaranty have the tools and experience needed to control current and prevent future termite infestations. Reach out to us with questions and to learn more about our termite control options.