Subterranean termites operate under the radar. These wood-destroying insects can come into Colorado Springs yards and feed on structures for years without being detected. They eat structural supports. They eat subflooring. They eat studs and trusses. All of this damage can be done right under your nose with little or no indication that there is a problem. What's worse, the damage caused by subterranean termites can create cascading damage. The structure of your home can begin to warp. The walls can begin to bulge. Ceilings can dip and floors can sink. This is difficult damage to repair and it could cost you a fortune. But, there are some things you can do to mitigate the threat termites pose to your Colorado Springs property.
What You Can Do
There are factors that can increase your chances of having trouble with termites. If you're aware of these factors, you can address them. Here are a few to consider.
Decaying Wood — Any wood sources in your yard can attract termites and allow termite colonies to grow their populations. This could be a pile of dead branches you've collected into a stack. It could be scrap wood left over from a building project. It could be fire wood sitting near your backyard fire pit. It could be an old stump, log, or a tree with heart rot. Remove wood sources or elevate wood sources so that there is no wood-to-soil contact.
Wood Structures — There are many structures that can be made of wood. Your fence, your back deck, your shed, and many other structures on your property can be attacked by termites before termites set their focus on your home. You can deter termites by removing wood structures and replacing them with structures made of vinyl, hard plastic, and other materials that termites don't eat. If you have wooden deck posts that go into the soil, you could have to cut and place the posts on concrete supports. The goal is to have no wood-to-soil contact.
Leaves — When you rake or mulch your leaves, it can leave piles of termite food in your yard. It is best to bag and remove leaves as you clean them up from your yard. It is also particularly important to remove leaves from underneath your deck and other structures. If termites come in to nibble on the decaying leaves, they can begin to feed on structural wood.
Wood isn't the only thing that can attract termites to your property. Here are a few more attractants that can bring termites into your yard and close to your home.
Cellulose — Any plant that has cellulose can be an attractant for termites, things such as green vegetables and green-leafed ornamentals. Cellulose can also be found in cardboard, books, clothing, upholstered furniture and more. If you have objects stored in your backyard, even if they're on top of a wood pallet, they could be feeding termites.
Moisture — Termites are attracted to moist soil. All the water that is captured by your roofs should be channeled down and away from your home. If your gutters are clogged or broken, this can dampen your perimeter and promote termite activity along with many other pest issues. Dense landscaping can trap moisture, so make sure that your bushes, shrubs, and ornamental plants are trimmed, and remove weeds from your landscaping. This will help to deter termites.
Along with removing attractants, it is important to do routine inspections. While it is very difficult to detect subterranean termites, these insects can sometimes provide warning signs.
Look for white-winged, dark-bodied insects that are about ⅜ of an inch long. Termite colonies produce winged reproductives for the purpose of creating new nests. These insects have long white wings (compared to their tiny bodies). The wings of a swarmer stack on top of each other and are round at the tips.
Subterranean termites create shelter tubes on surfaces. Inspect your foundation slab or foundation walls. If you see mud lines, those are likely to be termite shelter tubes. You may also notice mud spots on wood. Termite workers use soil and saliva to patch up any breaches in their tunnel walls.
It is difficult to detect damage because most of it is done on the inside of wood, but you may find damage in dark, moist locations around or underneath your home.
What A Professional Can Do
It isn't easy to detect termites, and it is even more difficult applying treatments to protect a home from termites. A professional can help you with both. At Beeline, we offer annual inspections and industry-leading termite control for Colorado Springs property owners. Connect with us to request an inspection for your property and find out which termite control solution will be best for you. You don't have to wait for termites to damage your Colorado Springs home or business. Get proactive termite protection starting today.