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Mud tubesUnlike ants, termites do not roam around on the soil surface or out in the open. They will either tunnel through the soil or into wood (or other stuff ) or else travel inside pencil-size (or larger)"mud tubes" they build from dirt, wood contaminants and other substances. You'll find these tubes on foundation walls, floor joists or other areas of the house.
Tubes that are found on ceilings or on top levels of a building may indicate that you have an aboveground ("airborne") infestation, i.e., the termite colony actually resides in the building and the termites are traveling from the ground. Mud tubes constructed through an aboveground colony usually contain materials other than dirt, e.g., wood and sheet rock or whatever the termites are feeding on.
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In such situations, a comprehensive inspection may necessitate removal of siding or interior wallboards, etc.. More importantly for you, these aboveground infestations cannot be controlled using the usual soil treatment (see below) and are generally excluded by a termite contract warranty. In such situations, finding and correcting the moisture problem is the first step to eliminating the termites. .
We tend to think about termites as feeding/injuring wood only. Termites actually feed on almost anything that contains cellulose, the main component of wood, including wood paneling, paper products, cardboard boxes, art canvases, the newspaper covering of sheet rock, carpeting, etc.. While foraging and feeding, they could tunnel through non-cellulosic substances, such as plastic and foamboard.
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In fact, the amount of damage that termites cause depends on many factors. In areas with cold winter temperatures, termite activity (and feeding) often declines, but does not necessarily stop. If the termites are well-protected from colder temperatures (e.g., underneath a slab), then activity may continue year-round. From a practical standpoint, severe termite damage usually takes approximately 3-8 decades. .
There is no accurate method for determining the era of recently found harm. You need some reference point, i.e., some point in time when it was known there was no harm to this specific wood. That can be one reason why annual inspections (and keeping your records of these inspections) are important. Get the facts .
NOTE: These inspections are not a guarantee that you do not have termites or harm in areas that are not covered or not easily seen, such as inside walls. On the other hand, the inspections can reveal conditions that might suggest that damage does exist and additional investigation is needed.
If you have a termite protection contract, contact the pest control company quickly and arrange for them to take a look at the problem. If you do not have a termite contract, call 2-3 (or more) companies and have every one inspect your house and provide you with the details of their findings and any recommendations for a course of action to fix any termite conditions that they found.
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Termites do not cause significant damage in a short period of time, so spending a few extra days or even a couple weeks will not make any real difference in terms how much damage happens. .
Can there be damage That Needs to Be repaired or at least examined by a contractor or engineer before control measures are performed
Simply spraying swarmers or the surface of accessible infested wood can kill the termites that you see now, but it does not block the infestation nor does it shield your home from future attacks by termites. The most common type of termite treatment involves a"trench and cure" in which a liquid insecticide ("termiticide") is placed on the soil surrounding crucial areas of your house.
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The soil is trenched 6" deep and about 4-6" wide. For homes with crawlspaces, the dirt along the interior foundation wall must be treated within 4 ft of identified signs of termite activity. In some cases, the soil around supports (for example, piers) underneath the house are also treated.
When implemented correctly, this treatment forms a continuous chemical barrier that should prevent termites from reaching the foundation and piers in your residence. .
Concrete slabs which attach to the home, for example, a garage floor, or the slab of an earth-filled porch.