Everything You Need to Know About Termites in Western New York

Have you ever gone on a walk in the woods and seen a fallen, decaying tree? It's likelytermites that an infestation of termites got to the tree. Warm weather brings a multitude of pests to the forefront of our lives (and homes). Termites are no exception. Eastern subterranean termites are the species most commonly found on the eastern coast of the U.S., including Western New York. These types of termites like to start at the ground and work their way up a structure, hollowing out wood with tunnels. Can this happen to the structure of your home? Yes. Termites can devalue a home by more than 25 percent! So, here is what you need to know to identify, prevent and get rid of termites:

Identifying termites 

Termites are often mistaken for ants! Flying insects that make tunnels through wooden structures can mean there are carpenter ants and not actually termites. Proper identification can be difficult! A termite body is a lot smaller than an ant, but the length of its wings can be misleading. A few tips to help decipher between them:

  • Termites have a straight waist, ants have a pinched waist
  • Termites have straight antennae while ants have bent antennae
  • Termite wings do not vary while ants will have different wing lengths

The problem with identifying termites is that they generally remain hidden on your property, even for years at a time! Spotting termite damage may be your best bet in becoming aware of their presence. Subterranean termites begin feeding (or damaging) from the ground up and enter homes from the ground-up. Check for small, hollow tunnels that develop along the grain of the wood in your home. A collection of tiny holes will be a clear indication something is entering your home and damaging its structure (termites or ants). 

Termite prevention

Home repairs are expensive! As homeowners, we want to do our best to ensure we don't have to deal with pests in any circumstance. Understanding what attracts termites to your home and deterring them from doing so is your first line of defense. Termites find many of the following things inviting:

  • Debris around the home (i.e. stacked wood)
  • Moisture from leaking pipes, hot water supply or built-up condensation 
  • Broken roof tiles or cracks in foundation
  • Tree stumps
  • Garden mulch
  • Fence posts, decks or porch particularly in contact with soil

Removing or fixing any of the above termite invitations will surely reduce your home's risk of an infestation. Termites like wood and moisture, so keep your home/property clear of debris and free of excessive moisture (when possible). Additional steps to take include:

  • Use only termite-treated wood in garden beds, retaining walls or fence posts
  • Construct wood fences and support posts with a 2-inch clearance between the wood and the soil
  • Divert all hot water services & air conditioning overflows away from the side of the house
  • Ensure that vents to subfloor areas are never blocked

Treating termites

When it comes to getting rid of termites, you want to enlist a professional. At Ehrlich, we use termite monitoring and baiting to ensure the infestation is completely wiped out. There are DIY-solutions for termite infestations, but they aren't very effective or safe for your family and pets. Bringing in a trusted pest control expert will guarantee your pests are gone for good. The best part? Ehrlich has different methods of treatment that you can decide on during your consultation! 

Worried that termites are eating away at your home? Don't let worry eat away at you! Contact Ehrlich today for a free quote!

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