When you’re a homeowner, it’s natural to worry about termites. These pests may be small, but they can have a big impact on your home and cause extensive structural damage, leaving you to foot the bill. In fact, termites are so destructive that they cause over $5 billion in damages to homes across the US every year. That might sound overwhelming, but we’re here to teach you everything you need to know about termites here in Tennessee.
Types of Termites in Tennessee
There are over 2,000 species of termites in the world, all with their own unique appearance and behaviors. Luckily, only 50 of these species can be found here in the United States, and they each fall into one of three main categories: subterranean, drywood, and dampwood. The most common termites in Tennessee are subterranean termites.
Subterranean termites live underground and create mud tubes, a type of tunnel, to safely travel from their nest to their food sources. They have saw-toothed jaws which allow them to bite off small fragments of wood, which is how they inflict damage on structures such as a home. Subterranean termites are also active 24/7, which means they’re constantly eating, making them the most destructive type of termite.
Formosan termites are actually a species of subterranean termites, but are often differentiated due to their ability to cause extreme damage. A typical termite colony houses several thousands of termites, but a formosan colony can contain several million. While they do live underground, they can also create nests aboveground, allowing them to easily travel as they rapidly destroy a structure.
Signs That You Have Termites
Termites are small and discreet, making it difficult to spot them before it’s too late. Instead of searching for the pests themselves, it’s easier to keep a lookout for signs of termite activity instead. These include:
- Uneven flooring, including loose tiles, buckling wood, and warped laminate
- Stuck windows or doors that used to open easily
- Maze-like patterns or pinpoint holes on walls, floorboards, or furniture
- Hollow-sounding wood
- Flying termites or piles of their discarded wings
If you’re still uncertain whether or not you have an infestation, consult a termite exterminator who can perform a thorough inspection of your home.
How to Prevent Termites
While there are precautions you can take to help prevent termites, they aren’t foolproof. What works for your neighbor might not work for you and vice versa—it depends on your unique home, the soil around it, and how vigilant you are.
Some steps you can take include:
- Reduce soil to wood contact: remove plants, wood, mulch, timber, and other materials from your foundation, creating at least a six inch gap
- Promote soil drainage: ensure drain pipes are turned away from your foundation and there are no leaky fixtures
- Remove access: seal the gap between utility lines and where they enter your home to eliminate potential entry points
- Inspect new lumber: inspect all pieces of lumber for signs of termites before bringing it onto your property
How to Get Rid of Termites
Termites may be intimidating, but that doesn’t mean you need to panic if you discover an infestation. While DIY options may sound tempting, they’re often ineffective and actually give termites more time to do damage, costing you more money in the long run. Instead, contact Sherrill Pest Control at 888-656-3345 for professional termite treatment! We’ve been helping neighbors just like you reclaim their homes from termites since 1965, so you can feel confident you’re in capable hands. Our state-of-the-art technology not only eliminates existing termites, but prevents future infestations from taking hold, providing lasting protection for your biggest investment.