Termites are known to be pesky intruders who can silently damage your property and assets if unchecked. Even though they do not cause harmful health effects to humans, they’re known to cause structural swelling, eat through wood, and at times cause allergic reactions in humans. If not treated, a termite infestation can cause serious damage to the foundation, floors, and ceilings of the home. Here’s how to make your dwellings termite-free.
Know where termites live
Termites are dry wood, damp wood, or subterranean. There are certain places where they like to hide like furniture, walls, doors, windows, floorboards, dry wood, or ground; subterranean termites prefer sources of moisture above ground. You can also find termites living inside cracks of walls, tree trunks, and house plants. They have huge underground colonies that might surface on top too. These are especially common on ground floors where homes are in close contact with the dirt.
How to identify termite activity in your house?
Tap on wooden furniture and walls. If it sounds hollow, there may be termites festering within. Another sign is holes in walls or wood. They may also make quiet knocking/clicking sounds from the insides of the walls. If doors and windows are tightening up and difficult to open and close it may be yet another sign if the surface feels porous. One of the most obvious symptoms of termite infestation is the presence of termite droppings. This is a dust-like brownish powder that gets collected on the ground or surface due to termite dropping their feces. It looks like sand or sawdust and can be light/dark brown or black, depending on the color of the wood.
Keep your apartment uncluttered
Prevention is better than pest control. Keep your inner and outer surroundings neat and clean in order to generate healthy living conditions. Don’t let waste, leftovers and discarded items linger in or around the house for too long. Declutter your home from unnecessary junk in storage areas (newspapers, old magazines, cardboard, etc) cupboards, drawers, underneath the furniture, inside the loft and other places which have piles of dusty things. Termite may not directly grow on all household objects, but the presence of clutter, moisture and wet dirt encourages its growth. If the atmosphere is too humid in and around the home, you might want to invest in a couple of dehumidifiers. Keep your home dry and adequately ventilated. Don’t let garbage pile up and take out trash frequently. You must maintain an 18-inch gap between soil/mud and wooden partitions of your home for prevention.
Preventive scrubbing, spraying and care
Regularly disinfect your countertops, cabinets, furniture, floorboards, door and windows (any other surfaces) with termite resistant spray made at home or good quality store-bought anti-termite sprays. Choose something with instant kill ingredients against termite and borers. While painting, you could also make termite killing spray at home. Mix half a cup of white vinegar with four tablespoons of lemon in a spray bottle and scrub surfaces thoroughly. Orange oil is another powerful treatment for preventing dry wood termites. Other than that, when you’re painting wood and walls, you can use an oil-based termite-resistant additive. Inspect cracked seals for termites and have them sealed by professionals.
Another solution is to sun dry pest-infested objects and furniture. Dry/steam clean mattresses and beddings to control bed bugs and wash linen at high temperatures. Use organic bug killers to get rid of cockroaches, fleas, etc., but make sure you read the label to differentiate between indoor and outdoor pests.
Inform tenants, staff and other society members
Ask family members, domestic help, watchmen, tenants, etc. to be on the lookout for signs of termites and report it immediately. Oftentimes, inhabitants such as tenants ignore the signs of termite activity thinking it’s not their responsibility if the situation worsens. Even if they’re not responsible for getting rid of the termites, they most certainly should inform the landlord of termite damage. Maintenance and service staff of your apartment complex should inspect all areas of the premises and common spaces because even if the infestation may not be in your home but can spread if it originates in any other part of the building.
Hire certified pest control services
Professional expertise is necessary when things go out of hand and termites have already entered the property. It’s best not to take the risk of DIY pest management as you might not even be aware of the extent of damage and prevalence of termite activity. It’s best to hire a vendor after reading reviews and reputation. Agencies will inspect the damage and recommend scientific techniques for removal and protection. You can also opt for yearly contractual agreement.
Other than traditional methods, you could also opt for eco-friendly extermination techniques so that there are fewer health and environmental hazards. They’re targeted at killing specific pests without causing strong smells and using chemicals. This is also useful because over time, pests may build resistance towards chemical agents.
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