Each year, Maryland properties face a scourge of wood-destroying insects. These formidable insects can cause serious damage to Baltimore's homes and businesses. Termites are one of the more dangerous wood-eating pests. Each year, they cost home and business owners around five billion dollars for repairs and prevention. To understand the dangers of a termite infestation for your Baltimore property, it helps to know some facts about termites and the signs of termite infestation.
The most common termites in Maryland are eastern subterranean termites. Like other termites, eastern subterranean termites live and work in colonies where termites are grouped into castes with a specific job to accomplish. The worker caste is responsible for the damage to the wood in homes.
Worker termites have an intense work ethic. They will eat their way through wood 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While their diet consists of mostly wood, they have been known to chew through other materials to get to wood. Subterranean termites are also notorious for feeding on books, papers, and fabric.
Subterranean termites live beneath the soil in warm and humid climates. Their massive colonies can tunnel for hundreds of feet in search of food sources, creating a dense labyrinth of tunnels as they go. If they find a way into your home, they can connect their underground colony below with the food above. That’s bad news for your home.
Is It Bad To Live In A House With Termites?
Termites are not known to transmit diseases. But, as they produce droppings and dust, termites can trigger allergies that can range from watery eyes to asthma attacks. They can also bite! But they tend to keep to themselves unless handled.
The immediate danger that comes from an infestation is damage to the structural integrity of your home or business. Termites will tunnel their way through support beams, joists, window and door frames, even furniture. One termite consumes several pounds of wood per year. Over time, termite infestations could structurally destabilize your property. This damage is rarely covered by insurance policies, causing financial burdens to property owners. Severe cases require the evacuation of the property until the structure can be repaired.
Know The Signs
To avoid catastrophe caused by these insatiable insects, be on the lookout for signs of termites on your property. The most common sign of termites is the presence of swarms in your home. Swarmers, one of the three castes in the termite colony, will leave their underground colonies to find mates. These winged termites can be identified by their black or brown color. They range in size from one-quarter to one-half inch. Property owners may spot active swarmers, or they could spot their wings lying around. Because when swarmers successfully find a mate, they shed their wings. This is a good indicator that you may have termites. Some other signs of termites include:
- Peeling or bubbling paint
- Cracking or bulging windowsills, baseboards, or entryways
- Blisters of dark spots in wood flooring
- Mud tubes in or around your property
Keep Termites Out Of Your Home
There are some preventative measures to take to guard your property against termites, but only before an infestation. Avoiding excess moisture in and around your home through proper drainage outside and well-ventilated areas inside can deter termites from camping on your property. Here are a few other tips from the professionals at Pest Czar:
- Trim overgrown vegetation where mud tubes could be hidden from sight.
- Avoid wood-to-soil contact, especially for structural wood.
- Store wood off the ground and away from your home.
If you do spot any signs of termites, the best thing to do is to contact the professionals right away. Pest Czar is an industry leader, providing comprehensive solutions and guaranteed services. Book your free inspection or enroll in our professional termite control program. Pest Czar will help protect your Baltimore property against termites.