A termite infestation can be a devastating discovery. These invading insects can cause damage to your home's structure and leave behind lots of repair work to complete. If you suspect a termite infestation, here are a few steps you can take to solve the problem and begin to bring your house back to order.
Hire A Pest Control Expert
A pest control expert can perform a termite inspection to determine how severe the problem is and choose the right course of treatment. Show him or her the signs you believe point to an infestation, including discarded termite wings and termite tubes. Termite tubes look like long brown lines, and they can be found along the foundation walls of your home. Don't attempt to disturb the tubes, as you may simply force the termites to move further into your home's walls.
Take Precautionary Measures
While you are waiting for an inspection and treatment for your home, there are a few measures you can take to help prevent more termites from entering your home. This might include moving piles of firewood you have outside or trimming back shrubbery close to your home. Keeping your lawn free from clutter, particularly wood clutter, can be a big help in preventing future infestations.
Clean Up The Evidence
To clean up after the termite problem has been treated, use a shop vacuum to remove the insect bodies and wings. If you have termite tubes on your walls, you can use a putty knife to scrape them away. You may prefer to power-wash the walls after removing the tubes to further sanitize your home. Be sure that the termite problem has been completely solved before removing the tubes.
Inspect And Repair The Damage
Once the termite problem has been abated, it's time to determine the extent of the damage. You may find that your home's floorboards, walls, and window sills have been damaged by the termites. You can hire a contractor to assess the damage for you, or if the damage is minimal, you may want to perform some DIY repairs. Termite damage tends to follow the grain of the wood, so you may see long lines of damage across floorboards and paneling. This may mean you can simply replace that length of material that's been damaged, leaving the rest untouched. If the studs or support structure of your home have been compromised, leave the repair work to an expert.
Your pest control expert can also put you in touch with a contractor that specializes in post-termite cleanup and repair. Once these damaging insects are gone, keep a close eye out for future infestations so you can prevent further damage to your home.