Should I Worry About Termites In My Huntsville Home During The Winter?

January 30, 2020

Winter brings about a number of feelings for homeowners. It invokes feelings of seeking warmth, enjoying the holidays, and best of all, no more insects. However, despite the cooler weather that comes with the winter months, there are some insects such as termites that still remain active. In fact, termites never take a break. They remain active 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. 

a group of termites in nest

Termites are considered silent invaders due to their ability to infest the home for years before they’re discovered. That much time left alone can have a serious negative impact on the condition of the home, but we’ll get to that. First, we need to cover a little more about how termites operate.
Termites operate under what’s known as a caste system. The termite caste system looks like the following:

Bottom Tier

  • Worker termite: Immature from a reproductive standpoint, these termites are responsible for finding food sources and building nests. They make up the majority of the colony. 

Middle Tier

  • Soldier termite: This termite also can’t reproduce. However, they are the termites responsible for combat against other insects. Their central purpose is to protect the colony. 

Top Tier:

  • Alate or Reproductives: At the top of the heap is the termite that can reproduce. These are known as alates, which are winged termites born from mature colonies. In warm weather, these alates swarm, reproduce and develop new colonies within the structure. If you see alates swarming in your Huntsville home, you have a serious termite infestation and need to seek professional help immediately. 

Problems Caused By Termites

The single biggest problem caused by termites is without question property damage. Unfortunately, there are many types of property damage that termites are responsible for. The different types include:

  • Wall damage: The walls are a termite’s favorite habitat, which means extensive damage is in your future with an invasion. Fortunately, proper pest control can correct this problem if they have already invaded. 
  • Carpet problems: While termites prefer wood, they have no problem playing in the carpet and other similarly textured items. While the damage to the carpet is minimal (think minor marks), the main threat is the possibility they’ll travel to other locations in the house.
  • Foundation damage: Even the very foundation of the home isn’t safe from termites. They live underground, which means they forage in the soil. If the soil your home sits on is compromised, then the foundation will follow shortly afterward thanks to gaps or wood that might be underground.
  • Ceiling damage: Termites can get anywhere they want once they’ve entered the premises. That’s why if you suspect a problem elsewhere in the house, it’s also time to check the ceiling and attic for damage.
  • Moisture issues: Termites increase the level of moisture in your home which can cause further damage to drywall, wood, and paint. 

Looking Out For The Signs Of Termite Damage

At this point, it’s natural to feel concerned that termites may be chewing away at your home right now. Fortunately, there are some key signs of termite activity that can help you determine if the home is currently at risk:

  • Frass: Termites push their excrement out of their home through small openings in the wood. Frass looks like piles of sawdust. 
  • Mud Tubes: Termites create mud tubes to travel from their nest underground to your home. These tubes are most likely found along the foundation of your home. 
  • Hollow sounding wood: Termites cause extensive damage to wood as they eat cellulose, eventually hollowing out beams. If you tap on termite damaged wood, it will sound hollowed out. 
  • Buckling ceilings and door frames: Eventually, as termites eat away at your home, they will damage the structural integrity of the overall house. 

Though these tricks are not foolproof, there are some precautions you can take to prevent termites from getting inside your Huntsville home. First and foremost, termites love moisture and damp, water damaged wood. Therefore, you want to do your best to eliminate places where water may collect causing wood to rot. Check for leaking pipes and make sure drainage directs water away from the foundation of your home. Clean gutters and downspouts of debris that will collect over time. If moisture levels inside the home are elevated, use a dehumidifier. 

Secondly, to prevent any pest from getting inside, you want to do your best to eliminate entry points and make your home less appealing to the pest. Seal up any gaps or cracks that could allow pests inside. Also, make sure firewood is stored away from the foundation of your home. 

Prevent Termites with Custom Pest Control

In spite of your best effort, you may find yourself in the throws of a termite infestation. At Custom Pest Control, we know how problematic termites can be, and we have the solutions to help eliminate your termite problem. As a result of the severity of the pest, termite infestations are quite stressful. Therefore, its best to call a professional. 
Custom Pest Control has preventative plans to ensure that you won't experience a termite problem. Our quarterly plan will take measures to keep termites and other pests at bay. If you are experiencing termite damage, we will come up with a plan to eliminate your problem for good. 
Are you in need of termite services? Then give us a call to speak with one of our agents about our professional pest control services or fill out our online form to schedule your free quote.

Tags: termites | termite control | termite prevention |

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