Could Termites Be Silently Destroying Your Tyler, Texas Home?
Subterranean termites have earned the nickname "silent destroyers" because this nickname perfectly describes these insects. They don't come into your yard and crawl around in your grass, threatening to attack your home. They tunnel into your yard and come up from the ground to feed on the inside of the wood in your home. And, if they are feeding on your wood right now, you're not likely to know it. These insects give little or no visible warning signs when they infest. This is what makes them so destructive.
How bad are Tyler, Texas termites?
If you're on the fence about whether or not your Tyler home is at risk for termite damage, there are a couple of facts you should consider. The gulf coast is rated the 4th most termite-infested region in the United States and Tyler-Longview is number 7 on the Top 50 Cities that needed termite services last year. It isn't a matter of "if" you're going to have a termite infestation but more a matter of when. Why is this? Because subterranean termites require two things that the Greater Houston area has in abundance: heat and moisture.
Subterranean Termite Detection
There are three ways you may detect termites in your home. You may see shelter tubes (also called mud tubes) attached to your home, you may see termite swarmers crawling on the outside of your home, or you may see termite damage. But if you're hoping to see these warnings signs, you may want to consider these points:
- Shelter tubes: Worker termites have a strong aversion to light. They do not willingly expose themselves to even the dimmest light. Therefore, the shelter tubes they make out of soil and moisture are usually created in dark locations, such as under decks, patios, porches, stairs and other external structures. You may wonder, what about nighttime? Do they create mud tubes in noticeable locations during the night? The skin of a worker termite is very thin and, without enough moisture, workers dry out and die. For this reason, they tend to work in locations that are shielded from the wind. So mud tubes are rarely created on the outside of homes where they can easily be seen.
- Swarmers: You might think that swarmers will give you the warning you need but they aren't nearly as helpful as you might think. Termite swarms do not last for more than 30 minutes, and when they break up into reproductive couples, the kings and queens quickly disappear into the ground.
- Damage: The only termites in a colony that eat wood are worker termites. All other termites get their nourishment from the workers through a sharing of fluids. Therefore, the aversion workers have to dry conditions and sources of light keep them from damaging wood in a way that is easily seen. Damage is usually noticed after it has become severe. Doors and windows stick. Floors begin to sink. Ceilings begin to dip down. Walls bulge. When this begins to happen, it is too late.
Termite Prevention Around the Home
When kings and queens look for a place to create a colony, they search for areas that are moist. Their workers need moisture to survive, and moist areas usually have rotting wood, which is the ideal food source for termites. If you reduce dampness around your home and remove any dead wood, you can resist termites.
- Trim tree branches to allow the sun to dry locations that are shaded and moist.
- Inspect your gutters and clean out any obstructions.
- Fix spigots that have a leak.
- Consider putting space between densely packed plants in your landscaping. This will allow for better airflow.
- Remove stumps and logs.
- Move any firewood or construction materials away from your exterior walls.
Professional Termite Control
If you want guaranteed termite protection for your Tyler, Texas home, we can help. Innovative Pest Control offers effective termite control solutions for homes and businesses in Tyler and the Greater Houston area. Reach out to us today to learn about our many control options or to schedule a visit from one of our certified termite control professionals. We are standing by to assist you with this essential service.