With the Alamo, the San Fernando Cathedral, the Riverwalk, the Tower of the Americas, and so much more, there’s a lot to love in San Antonio. In addition to world-class attractions, we enjoy amazing dining, great watersports, and year-round warm weather that’s sometimes a little too warm.
Unfortunately, one of the worst parts about having few to no hard freezes during the winter is that we can’t count on frigid weather to help us out with bug control. That means that pests like termites can be a problem year-round. Termites are one of the hardest infestations on property owners because of the devastating structural damage they can wreak on homes and businesses built with wooden materials (i.e. almost all modern construction).
Termites are small, social insects that live in highly structured colonies underground or inside wooden items like logs, trees, and your house’s walls. Their society is structured much like that of ants: during the “mating swarm,” reproductive males and females fly, mate, and go off to found new colonies. The fertilized queen of the new colony will lay her eggs, which will eventually become workers, soldiers, and new reproducing individuals.
Unlike ants, however, termites only eat cellulose materials. While they’re famous for chowing down on wood, they can also get cellulose from other things like carpet, insulation, plants, cardboard, and even animal dung. Unfortunately, a lot of times the wood in our homes proves too tempting for termites, especially if that wood is aging or rotten – making it easier to chew through and consume.
Are Termites Harmful?
While termites don’t transmit any diseases to humans, their nesting and eating activities can leave behind waste called frass and carton, waste materials that can trigger allergies and asthma attacks in people with vulnerabilities. Their decomposition of wooden materials can also lead to mold growth that can be harmful to pets and humans.
However, the biggest threat termites pose is not to you, but your house. Left untreated, termites can destroy wooden structures in 3-5 years, weakening support beams, decomposing structural materials, and making your house unfit for human habitation.
There are several things you can do around your home to prevent a termite infestation:
- Repair aging or damaged wooden materials around your house – siding, window/door frames, shutters, decking, and beams.
- Make sure wood items, including firewood, branches, mulch, etc. are at least a foot away from your home’s walls and foundation.
- Prevent moisture buildup by making sure plumbing pipes aren’t leaking, storm drains and gutters remain clog-free, and your home is well-sealed from rainwater.
- Stain decks, porches, railing, stairs, and any other wood that’s out in the open.
Unfortunately, even the most stringent prevention measures can often fail when it comes to termites. If you’ve got an infestation, it won’t be long until you start noticing signs like:
- Frass/carton – the termite waste mentioned above. Frass looks like little piles of pellets that will usually be near the termites’ nests. Carton is a mixture of pellets and “sawdust” that resembles paper mâché.
- Kickout holes – passageways for pushing frass out of the nest.
- Shafts or maze-like patterns in wooden components like walls or floors.
- Bucking or rotting wood that looks like water damage.
- Termite clusters or swarms.
- Mud tubes – tunnels to subterranean nests.
How To Get Rid Of Termites?
If you see any of these telltale signs, don’t panic, but also don’t try to take care of the problem alone. With termites, attempts by homeowners to eradicate the infestation usually make the issue worse because they either fail to kill the entire termite colony or simply make room for a new colony to take the place of the exterminated one. The best thing to do if you find an infestation is to call the pros.
Here at Romney Pest Control, we’re standing at the ready to help you deal with all your pest problems. Our technicians are certified to install and maintain the mother of all termite terminators: the Sentricon System with Always Active.
The #1 termite control system on the market doesn’t only eliminate current infestations, but effectively prevents new ones. If you’re ready to bid the bugs goodbye, give us a call at (210) 446-5267 or visit our contact page to schedule your appointment today.