Termites are well-known insects for their ability to feed on and damage timber. They are often called “silent destroyers” because they secretly hide and thrive in your personal or commercial spaces without any immediate signs of damage.
Importance of Early Termite Detection
It is important to know the early signs of termite infestation. They can cause irreparable damage to everything – from personal properties to commercial structures.
- Extensive Damage to Structures
Termites feed on cellulose materials in wood. They cause wooden structures, such as beams, pillars, and ceilings, to weaken by hollowing them out. This will eventually lead to severe structural damage to properties when left unattended.
- Electrical and Fire Hazard
Besides wood, termites gnaw through electrical wirings and cables. They get easily attracted to old electric wires that contain cellulosic material. Subterranean termites infest electrical components such as circuit boxes and wire trunkings, which humans rarely access. The risks of short circuits increase when these wires and cables are damaged, resulting in fire and electrical accidents.
- Internal Damage
Aside from compromised structural integrity and safety, a termite infestation can also cause cosmetic and aesthetic damage that can be costly to repair. Evidence of termite infestation includes chipping paint, uneven surfaces, hollowed-out grooves on wood, and grown mud tubes on walls.
- Damage and Repair Costs
When termites severely infest an object or structure, it needs immediate replacement to fully serve its purpose. The damage can be immense and costly. You are likely to replace more and more items if a termite infestation is not detected early.
- Health Risks
Termites do not transmit diseases to humans as mosquitoes and flies do. But due to the humid and moist environment where they thrive, they carry mould and fungi. Mould is scattered when they eat and crawl through the wood. It puts everyone at risk because mould can become airborne, resulting in different health issues. It includes allergies, asthma, and fungal infections.
Types of Structures Prone to Infestation
Two factors affect the rate at which termites can damage a structure: the size of their colony and the susceptibility of the environment to termite infestation.
The types of homes or buildings that are at more risk of an infestation are those:
- constructed without applying termiticide chemical barriers within the ground soil
- that use lumber that has not been chemically or pressure-treated to repel termites
- that are not assessed by a pest management professional for their susceptibility to termites
- that are not treated for pest prevention or which treatment has already expired
- that are 70 years or older
- Older houses that have poor structural integrity, poor ventilation, and compromised plumbing
- with fences and landscapes with wooden materials
- with a history of pest infestation
- with any wood furnishings and other wooden structures
The list could go on. Consult a pest control company and ask if your property is prone to termite infestation.
Places Where You May Find Termites
The following are places you must look for the presence of termites to detect whether your space is prone to infestation.
Check the flooring if there is a raised or split portion, dried mud, or maze-like tunnels. It may indicate an infested wooden flooring.
- Wooden window and door frame.
Look for small holes in the wood, faecal pellets, and discarded wings in the area. A hollow-sounding wood also indicates the presence of termites.
- Exterior walls
You may find thin mud shelter tubes crawling towards the wood frames. It will be costly if you neglect these kinds of early signs.
- Pipes and other humid areas
Termites can be found around leaky pipes and usually in moist and humid areas, such as the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry area.
- Furniture and cabinets
Furniture, cabinets, baseboard, and drawers are wooden structures, which make them susceptible to termite infestation. Check these frequently, especially if they are in a moist and humid area.
Termite Treatment Methods: What You Need to Know
Self-help Measures: Prevention and Control
You can apply self-help measures to prevent termites from invading your space. These simple tips could help you prepare before discovering evidence of termites.
- Make your property as termite-proof as possible. Remove any potential food sources of termites: excess wood, decaying wood, and water leaks.
- Remove unwanted wooden structures and treat any wooden material for termite protection. Consider removing any old wooden structure that is not in use. Also, for any wood, you wish to keep, treat them for added termite protection.
If you have already discovered the presence of termites in your space, you can adopt these three methods in termite control: liquid termiticides for barrier and soil treatment, termite baits, or natural home remedies such as orange oil to kill termites.
Challenges in DIY Termite Control
The methods in termite control mentioned above can be effective in managing the symptoms, but these measures can do so little in resolving the termite problem. You might expose your family or colleagues to higher risk if you cannot eradicate the termite infestation. Treating termites yourself is unsuitable, as it may cause more harm than good.
The success of termite control relies on a person’s knowledge of structures, awareness of termite hotspots and behaviours, and expertise in using appropriate pest control chemicals and equipment. As soon as you see signs of termite presence, contact a pest control company in Singapore that offers high-quality and extensive pest control solutions. Leave the complete treatment to the hands of highly-experienced pest professionals.