Termites can and probably will eat your house around you if you let them. Read these fifty facts and learn all about termites before you start to tackle them, it will help you to get your problem into perspective.
Getting Started With Treating Termites
You can't detect the differences between termites and other insects without close visual inspection. That's why the very first purchase of any do-it-yourself termite exterminator has to make is a good magnifying glass and a strong flashlight. An extendable, adjustable mirror will help you look behind beams.
It's always helpful to carry a pocket knife or a wood knife, so you can dig into wood to look for termite damage, and white and colored chalk to mark areas of damage and infestation. A step-ladder is also a must, and a fold-up ladder that you can use to reach high places is even better.
Then there are items you'll need if you actually find termites. For your personal protection, sooner or later you will need gloves, safety glasses, dust masks, boots, coveralls, rubber knee pads, and a safety hat. Each of these relatively inexpensive purchases (at least in comparison to what you'd pay the doctor, chiropractor, or massage therapist) goes a long way toward preventing aches, pains, and minor injuries as you look for infestations. It also helps to have an assortment of small tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers, crescent wrenches, hammers, crow bars, brooms, dust pans, and a keyhole saw to cut small holes in dry wall to get to the frame of your house for inspection.
And unless you live in the middle of a desert, there are many situations in which you need to put down a protective barrier against subterranean termites even if you don't see obvious signs of an infestation. However, let's start with the most common signs of termite problems and the kinds of termites they indicate.
If you see:
- Signs of infestation around damp, rotten wood that isn't in contact with the ground, eating across the grain of the wood, with no mud in tunnels, read step-by-step instructions for treating dampwood termites.
- Signs of infestation in dry wood or furniture that never follow the grain of the wood, always crossing it, with neat piles of wood dust and insect feces accumulating under holes insects have eaten through the wood, read step-by-step instructions for treating drywood termites.
- Signs of infestation that appear first in wood that is in contact with the ground, with signs of mud in tunnels, read step-by-step instructions for treating subterranean termites.
- Enormous swarms of unusually large (½ inch, or 12 mm, long) yellowish-brown termites that attempt to bite you, read step-by-step instructions for treating Formosan termites.
- You can also read about the termite project run by the University of Hawaii.
Each section will include the steps for treating similar insects that can be mistaken for each of the four common kinds of termites.
Learn how to get rid of termites, what to look out for and discover the best termite control products on the market which are designed specifically to eradicate your problem.