Termite Season is upon us this season!

The US Forestry has said this about termites:

Subterranean termites are the most destructive insect pests of wood in the United States. They cause more than $2 billion in damage each year, more property damage than that caused by fire and windstorm combined.

You can find the rest of the article here: US Forestry regarding Termites

Termites are subterranean meaning they live underground. Termite colonies can generally be found every 6 feet on a property. We like to say that it’s not a matter of “if” you will get termites but “when”! Hampton Roads is the Tidewater region of Virginia meaning that we are on the seacoast which lends to a more damp and humid climate. The high moisture content of our region causes more concern with groundwater and our high water table.  Why do I mention moisture? Termite bodies are 90% water. With this in mind, they must keep from drying out so they travel in protected environments when they leave the colony. They protect themselves by traveling in what is commonly referred to as “Mud Tubes”. They can build such tubes from the ground toward your floor joists in your crawl space in a stalactite fashion in order to get to the wood and begin their work of destroying the wood.  In short, moisture under and around your home is dangerous for the foundation as it opens itself up to attack not just by termites but also to wood destroying fungus and other organisms.

Generally, a crawl space can have issues with moisture because it is not adequately ventilated to allow the moisture to dry out of the crawl space. Many times we would recommend that the crawl space be sealed up and a device known as a dehumidifier be installed. This mechanism draws the humidity out of the enclosed space and pumps it outside of the crawl space. The added benefit is that it helps to maintain a constant temperature in the crawl space which in turn helps with your energy bill.

Termites do not only enjoy wood but other cellulose material also. They have been known to enter into garages and sheds and destroy boxes as well as the books and magazines that may be inside those boxes. In this video you see that the customer had left cardboard out in their yard:

Check out our Video of live termites that were found on a customer’s yard: Live action termites

What is the solution?

  • Be sure all wood to ground contact is remedied. If you have stacks of firewood against your house remove it immediately. You also want to be sure it is raised up and stacked off the ground so that they do not have immediate access to it.
  • Have a professional evaluate your crawl space to determine the wood to moisture content of the wood in your floor joists. This will help you determine what course of action you should take to protect your home.
  • Protect your home from termites by getting a termite treatment. Do not be fooled by the over the counter products at the store! A truly good treatment is performed by a licensed and trained termite technician using Termidor or Premise brand products.

Contact us today with any questions you may have! 757-233-0110

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