Did you know that termites cost Americans over 1 billion dollars per year? Hall County is in the heart of the Southeastern United States, one of the worst regions for termite infestation.
Daniel R. Suiter, Ph.D. and Brian T. Forschler, Ph.D. of the University of Georgia are experts on termites. They state that any yard in a suburban context in this region is likely to have a termite infestation. The proximity to your home or business means that termites might be just a few yards away from your foundation at any given time.
How do southern termites end up in a home structure?
Different types of home construction, landscaping, and maintenance contribute to the presence of termites in a structure. Suiter and Forschler describe the type of termites we have here in the Southeast as subterranean, soft-bodied creatures that need a lot of water because they get dehydrated quickly. So they love to get moisture from the soil around them, which means they are attracted to leaks, pooled water, backed-up gutters, or other sources near the home.
What do termites eat?
Yes, the stereotype is correct. Termites love wood! But they don’t just love your wall studs, floor joists, or foundation beams. They love anything with wood pulp from wicker to paper to door frames and sub-flooring. They even like books! If it has wood, termites are ready to feast.
How can Hall County residents spot a termite infestation?
Termites are bad here in the Southeast, and Hall County is no exception. One obvious sign that your property has been infested is when you see a winged termite flying from a structure. If you look at wood structures on your home or outbuildings, you may see termites there. Or you may see their shelter tubes running along the wood grain.
If you see winged termites flying in your home, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you already have an infestation. Suiter and Forschler state that they may have just gotten inside your home, but can’t find a good water or wood source and can be vacuumed up and removed.
However, a termite swarm inside your home can also mean that an infestation has occurred somewhere. This could be the foundation or in the home’s construction. This is called a mature termite infestation.
Outdoor swarms may or may not indicate that your home is infested. Termites swarm as part of a mating ritual, and if they are not close to your home, this may not directly affect your home. Here in Hall County, Georgia, these mating rituals begin around February and peak from March through May. However, there are a few types of Georgia termites that swarm later in the season. Some swarms can be seen throughout the year.
What does termite damage look like?
When termites chow down on the wood structure of your home, they leave behind tell-tale signs. You may not see any live termites, but you will see soil lines along the grain. Other wood-consuming insects do not leave soil behind, but termites do. This soil is the termite calling card. Termites also leave behind shelter tubes, made up of soil, termite secretions, and termite waste. Sometimes these tubes are only a result of termites exploring your home. But they can also be the left behind signs of a destructive infestation that has already damaged your home.
Over time, termite damage can seriously affect your home. However, it does take a long time for termites to seriously damage a residence. Prevention is the key.
How to deal with termites
Suiter and Forschler do not recommend that homeowners try to treat termites without the help of a professional. Experienced professionals know how to identify, treat, and prevent termite infestations. This includes expert inspections, regular treatments, and retreatments. This also includes the application of protective barriers around the home.
Read more from Dr. Suiter and Dr. Forschler of UGA at https://bit.ly/UGAtermites
We know Hall County, Gainesville, North Georgia, and the termites here very well. We install and maintain termite defense systems that defend the structural integrity of our customers’ property. Contact us today to get started.