Understanding Ant Removal Methods

Is Your Home's Wood Siding Vulnerable To Subterranean Termites?

No homeowner wants to find termites infesting their building, and subterranean termites are the worst of a bad bunch. These voracious insects can be found across the country, and can rapidly cause catastrophic damage to any wooden structures in your home.

If your home has wood exterior wall siding, it can be just as vulnerable to subterranean termites, especially if it has not been properly maintained. If you suspect subterranean termites are infesting your home's timber siding, you must act quickly to minimize damage and remove these unwelcome guests as quickly as possible.

Is Your Home's Wood Siding At Risk?

The vast majority of wooden wall siding products are pre-treated with powerful insecticidal chemicals, which will prevent termites from consuming the wood. However, these treatments have a limited lifespan, and constant exposure to the elements and UV light will degrade them over time. If you do not have your siding regularly treated, it will lose this anti-termite protection and become vulnerable.

Most species of termite, including subterranean termites, can only feed on moist wood, so preventing dampness and mold is equally important. If your siding is not treated with penetrating, moisture-proofing treatments, it can quickly become a feast for termites.

How Can You Tell If Your Siding Has Subterranean Termite Problems?

Subterranean termites tend to consume siding panels and other wooden structures from the inside out and will hide beneath the siding itself when moving from place to place. It can therefore be quite difficult to detect termite problems early, but there are a few signs you should watch for. 

Look for frass, a sawdust-like substance left behind when termites consume wood. If you spot small piles of frass near or underneath your siding, termites are sure to be close by. These frass piles can be washed away by rain or blown away by wind, so you should inspect your siding during prolonged periods of calm, dry weather.

Subterranean termites also leave behind a unique calling card — mud tubes. These hollow cylinders of mud stretch between the ground and the bottom edges of your siding. They are used as protection by termites as they travel between your siding and their underground colonies.

If termites have already caused extensive damage to your siding, individual panels may be almost completely hollowed out. If panels sound hollow when knocked, you almost certainly have a serious infestation on your hands.

How Are Subterranean Termites Removed From Siding?

If you spot any signs of subterranean termite problems in your siding, call in a professional termite control service to conduct a full inspection. These services will determine the extent of the damage, locate termite colonies, and check other vulnerable parts of your home to check if the infestation has spread.

Your chosen service will then deploy a range of methods to exterminate the termites. Commercial-grade termiticides can be used in liquid or powder form and will rapidly kill any termites that come into contact with them. For siding-related issues, they may use expanding pesticidal foams. These are injected into the spaces between your siding and the walls themselves and can be used without having to remove large sections of the siding.

To destroy the colonies, bait stations may be deployed. These stations contain baits with slow-acting poisons. As worker termites carry the baits back to their underground colonies, the poisons take effect, killing termite larvae and queens to prevent the colony from reproducing.

Once the termites have been completely destroyed, it is time to assess the damage. Depending on the extent of the damage, it may be necessary to replace some or all of your siding.

You should also take steps to prevent future infestations. Your termite control service will help you determine the most effective prevention methods, such as moisture control and crawlspace encapsulation.

For more information on termite control, contact a professional near you.