The ideal first step towards termite control is to be aware of their presence. Termites very rarely come from soil, mud tubes, or food where they are infesting.
Usually, it takes a full-scale infestation or a swarm to actually come to know that termites exist in that given area or space.
How does one come to know of termite infestation?
Look carefully into exposed wood for any hollowness in it. Sometimes one can mistake termites with ants. However, there are points of difference between the two. For example, in ants, the front wingers are longer than the hind wings. Also, their antennae are bent at ninety degrees. In termites, the front and back wings are almost of the same length and breadth. The antennae are straight and may droop a bit.
In the United States, the most often found variety of termites is the native subterranean termite. Other varieties, also found here but less often, are the smaller dry wood termite and the Formosan termite.
How can one stop termite infestation?
First and foremost, make use of a concrete foundation and make it a point to leave some ventilation space between the soil and wood. Make sure that exposed wooden articles are covered up with a sealant or a metallic barrier.
Even after all construction activity has finished, certainly try to keep the soil around the foundation as dry as is possible via a systematic method of grading and drainage. Narrow down openings which provide termites the entry points to the building. These could be cracks in the foundation et al. Any leakages which occur should be immediately catered to. All possible vents should not have anything obstructing them. Trees and other plants should not be grown too close to any building that they begin growing on the structure itself.
Do not collect and pile up wooden things or firewood right next to the house. Keep your eyes open to any kind of termite infestation by scrutinizing your property carefully every few months.
Which are the different ways to control termites?
One can have a physical barrier erected at the time of construction itself to keep termites at bay. Steel mesh and sand are good barriers for termites. There are certain biological agents like nematodes and fungi which too can be useful for this purpose.
Certain approved methods of treatment are liquid soil applied termiticides, building materials filled up with termiticides and certain other formats of wooden treatments. Traditional barrier treatments include soil applied barrier treatment. However, one has to be careful with this method. If it is not done in the given manner, it can lead to contamination of the home or office environment. Also, since very recently, different kinds of termite baits have come into the market. These are effective in the sense that they do not cause any damage or side effects due to the process of termite elimination.
For details, contact: B J Riley Pest Control, PO Box 3590, York, PA 17402. Phone: (717)840-1966.