Frequently Asked Termite Questions

April 3, 2020

It’s one of the least-welcome phrases that any property owner anywhere can ever hear: “It looks like termites.” Instantly you feel invaded by these small intruders who have made themselves at home in the house where your family and friends gather and sleep. Not only that, but you’re worried about the expense that can come with the immense damage that these small bugs can cause in a very short amount of time.

Termites can be a huge problem, so we’re not surprised that we get so many termite questions in Central Illinois. We’re happy to give our own professional thoughts on what you can do to minimize the impact of these bugs on your home and property.

What do their homes look like?

Termites live in something called a “mud tube,” so named due to its resemblance to a muddy tunnel that can run along a surface like a floorboard, a baseboard, plumbing pipe or any other fixtures that might exist around your house. These tubes are about the size of a drinking straw, and they provide shelter and hiding spaces for termites. The bugs themselves can be quite brazen, so these tubes might even run along exterior surfaces—keep an eye out for them everywhere on your property.

Termite questions in Central Illinois often touch on the question of how to spot the insects, and looking for these small lines of “mud” is one of the easiest ways to accomplish that task.

What do they do to wood?

One of the easiest ways to spot termite damage is by doing a simple test. First, you’re going to need a firm piece of material—something like a crowbar or a screwdriver typically works very well. Next, you’re going to tap along your home’s wooden surfaces and listen—if it sounds hollow, then chances are it’s been cleared out from the inside by the termites we all hate so much.

Another termite question in Central Illinois that we hear pretty often is whether rotting wood might actually be termite damage, and the answer is actually yes. “Rotting” wood that appears to be flaking off with a screwdriver’s pressure might in fact be termite damage.

How bad are they?

Termites are extremely impactful pests that can do incredible damage in a very short amount of time. Estimates indicate that, on average, termites cause $5 billion of damage in a year, and more than 4 million homes in the United States are at risk of a termite infestation in any given year. They can cost you a lot of money to exterminate and remediate, as they contribute to the worsening of the structural integrity of your home by attacking the wood that it relies upon.

Termites are an incredibly invasive and bothersome species of pest. If you think you’re at risk of infestation, or just want to learn more about this problem and get answers to your termite questions in Central Illinois, give your neighborhood team at Crist Termite and Pest Solutions, Inc. a call any time and we can walk you through your options and what you need to know.

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Crist Termite and Pest Solutions, Inc.