Everything You Need to Know About Termite Damage

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You may want to sit back for this fact:

In Arizona, there are 3-5 termite colonies per acre of land. There are 60,000 – 1 million termites per colony. We don’t even need to do the math  – that is a TON of termites per acre of land in just Flagstaff alone! 

Arizona residents on average spend $500 – $2,500 on termite treatment, depending on the extent of damage. We know that’s a lot of staggering stats and numbers, but the goal of this article isn’t to scare you. Mammoth Pest Control is here to educate you and provide you with solutions to make you feel empowered and in control when it comes to those troublesome termites! We believe that being informed about them and the damage they can do is the first step in preparing to beat them. 

Overview of Termites, Their Role, & The Damage They Cause

Here’s a quick science lesson about termites. (Don’t worry, there’s no quiz at the end of this article.) Termites are small, social insects that usually swarm in the spring and summer. They are known for their ability to break down cellulose, a compound found in wood and other plant materials, and recycle it back into the soil. Termites play a vital role in the ecosystem by helping to decompose dead plant matter and enriching the soil with essential nutrients. Termites are also important for their role as prey for other animals such as birds, reptiles, and mammals. 

Beyond those few factors, termites serve no other positive purpose. They are one of the top pests that humans have to deal with, as they cause significant damage to the structure of buildings and are costly and challenging to eradicate.

Signs Of Termite Damage

Once you notice physical signs of termites, that means they are already doing what they do best – damaging your home. Here are the exact signs to look for in confirming you have termites: 

  • Visible damage: This can include mud tubes or tunnels on the walls, wooden surfaces, or floors, and damaged paint that appears to be peeling or blistering.
  • Sounds produced by termites: Some species of termites produce soft clicking or rustling sounds that can be heard when they are eating or moving through wood.
  • Termite droppings: Also known as frass, are small, pellet-shaped pieces of wood or other material that termites have digested and excreted.
  • Hollow or damaged wood: Termites eat wood from the inside out, which can cause it to become hollow or weakened, leading to sagging floors or ceilings, or even collapse in severe cases.
  • Tight-fitting doors or windows: If doors or windows suddenly become harder to open or close, it may be a sign of termite damage. (Confirm this one using other confirming factors, as tight doors and windows don’t always mean termites.) 
  • Swarmers: Winged termites, known as swarmers, are often the first sign of a termite infestation. They emerge in large numbers to mate and establish new colonies and will enter through the exterior of your home. 

Types of Termites

There are three main types of termites: subterranean termites, drywood termites, and dampwood termites. Subterranean termites are the most common and destructive type of termite, and they live in soil and build mud tubes to reach above-ground sources of wood. These are the most common type of termite in Flagstaff as well. 

Drywood termites live inside dry wood and do not require contact with soil, while damp wood termites live in moist wood or areas with high humidity. Identifying the type of termite is crucial in developing an effective plan to eradicate them. 

Prevention of Termite Damage

What’s the best way to get rid of termites? Not getting them in the first place with solid prevention methods in place! Here are some key things you can do to help prevent against termite damage: 

  1. Regular inspection: Regularly inspect your home for signs of termite activity, such as mud tubes, damaged wood, or termite droppings.
  1. Moisture control: Fix any leaks in your plumbing or roof and ensure that your home has adequate ventilation to prevent moisture buildup.
  1. Removal of wood debris: Remove any fallen trees, stumps, or other wooden debris from your property, as they can attract termites. This includes storing firewood against your house. 
  1. Use of termite-resistant materials: Use treated or naturally resistant materials such as concrete, steel, or cedar when building or renovating your home.
  1. Application of termite repellents: Apply termite repellents, such as borate or neem oil, to exposed wood surfaces or use insecticide-treated mulch around your home’s foundation.

By following these preventative measures, you can reduce the likelihood of termite infestations and minimize the potential damage to your home. It’s important to note that even with preventive efforts, it’s essential to schedule periodic professional termite inspections to catch any signs of infestations early on.

Treatment for Termite Damage

However, if you are like lots of others in Flagstaff who have found themselves with termite damage, just know that it’s not too late to change things around! 

There are effective treatments that you can apply that are effective in helping to get rid of the pests that are termites! 

Here are the ones that are the industry-standard at being the most effective in getting rid of them: 

  • Chemical treatments: Termiticides are chemicals that can be used to create a barrier around your home or to treat localized infestations. They can be applied as liquids or foams and are designed to kill termites upon contact.
  • Baiting systems: Baiting systems work by luring termites to a bait station filled with a slow-acting poison that the termites will carry back to their colony, eventually eliminating the entire colony.
  • Heat treatments: Heat treatments involve raising the temperature inside the infested area to a level that is lethal to termites. This method is effective but requires specialized equipment and expertise.
  • Fumigation: Fumigation involves sealing the infested area and releasing a gas that kills all the termites inside.

The best treatment option will depend on the extent of the infestation, the type of termite, and the location of the infestation. It’s recommended to seek professional assistance to evaluate the infestation, determine the most effective treatment method and help you to apply that treatment in an effective and safe manner.

Hiring Professional Pest Control for Termites

When it comes to something as invasive, stressful, and damaging as a termite infestation, you don’t want to mess around with DIY methods. They may seem more appealing at the time, because they are cheaper and more convenient, however, it will likely end up costing you more in the long run, as the infestation is more likely to recur. 

Here’s some solid reasons why going with the pros is the best decision: 

Expertise and experience: Professional termite control services have the knowledge, training, and experience to identify and treat termite infestations effectively.

Proper equipment and tools: Professional termite control services have access to specialized equipment and tools that are needed to treat termite infestations safely and effectively.

Customized treatment plans: Professional termite control services can develop customized treatment plans that are tailored to your specific needs and the severity of the infestation.

Ongoing prevention: Professional termite control services can provide ongoing prevention services to help ensure that termite infestations do not reoccur.

Guaranteed results: Many professional termite control services offer guarantees that their treatments will be effective, giving you peace of mind that the problem will be resolved.

Key Questions For Your Pest Control Company About Termite Treatment

Again, termites are nothing to mess around with, and you want the company and the pros you choose to do the job to be great at what they do, reputable, and come through on their promise to get rid of your termites. 

As a pest control company ourselves, here are the key questions we recommend you ask the one you are considering: 

  1. Are you licensed and insured?
  2. What is your experience in dealing with termite infestations?
  3. What treatment options do you offer?
  4. How long does the treatment process take?
  5. What kind of guarantee do you offer for your services?
  6. Are your treatment methods safe for pets and children?
  7. Do you use environmentally friendly products?
  8. Do you offer a free inspection, consultation, and quote?

Bottom Line

In short, termites are flat out terrible. They destroy your home and peace of mind. There are key things you can do to help prevent them in the first place, but if you are finding it’s too late for that and they’ve already entered your home and done some damage, then there are effective treatments out their from reputable pest control professionals.

Are you in the Flagstaff, AZ area and ready to get ahead of the termites this year? Schedule a free consultation to beat the pests here.

Article by: Northern AZ Digital



Make Mammoth Pest Control your dedicated provider of specialty pest control services in the local area. Call us or fill out the form to let us know how we can help you or for an inspection.