We all know that termites can do a lot of damage to structures, especially houses or buildings that are primarily made of wood. These insects eat anything with cellulose – be it wood, cardboard, wood chips, and even decaying matter. In any given area, there really are so many things that termites can get attracted to.
It’s perfectly fine for termites to go and eat wood and other organic items. Their actions actually contribute something positive to the earth. Termites enrich the soil, making the ground better for various kinds of plants. But for us, it becomes a different story once these critters start gnawing on our homes that we’ve worked so hard to build.
Most of us are aware of the basics regarding how termites damage structures – they eat wood. But if you want to get a pretty good idea about how termites cause damage, here are some issues to mull over.
1. Termite Damage to Wood Paneling
Wood paneling gives a more polished and elegant look to any space. But termites can tunnel inside your walls and destroy not only the parts inside a wall, but also the panels. Termites can do so much damage inside your walls before you even know that they’re there. Once they’ve thoroughly infested the interior of walls, they’ll start on the paneling. It’s common to observe tiny holes on walls, sawdust-like particles from minute holes or cracks, as well as peeling paint. A severe infestation can also loosen panels and nails.
2. Termite Damage to Ceilings
It will be hard to spot termites that have taken residence on the upper sections of rooms or houses because who regularly checks their ceilings, right? Most of the time, the first indication that there are termites living above you is that you’ll notice dust particles from what you think have come out of nowhere. You’ve just vacuumed, but then you see these sandy particles on your carpets, sofas or beds. When you look up, you’ll see tiny holes. If you don’t take action right away, you’ll soon see termites creating hanging mud tunnels. It is extremely dangerous to have termites in ceilings because once the damage gets severe, the rotten wood or beams could collapse on you.
3. Termite Damage to Floors
It is also difficult to determine if there are termites underneath floorboards because you won’t normally see the tell-tale dust particles on surfaces, particularly if the infestation is a few feet below the floor. In time, however, you’ll notice your floors becoming softer or getting more brittle, and floorboards could work loose as well. You might also see termite wings near cracks or crevices.
4. Termite Damage to Ornaments and Wood Furniture
Termites could snack on just about anything with cellulose, including that heirloom coffee table from your great grandmother. If you have valuable pieces of wood ornaments or furnishings, be sure to protect these from termites. Such items are irreplaceable and it will be too sad to see these things shatter or break because of termites.
Although there are so many do-it-yourself methods to eradicate termites, it is better to call pest control experts especially if an infestation is pretty widespread. They know how, when and where to target termites, plus they have access to the right equipment. In addition, this is also one way to reduce you and your family’s exposure to dangerous chemicals.
Claire Brent is a freelance writer who regularly contributes articles about pest eradication, prevention and management. She also blogs for preventivepestcontrol.com where you can get more info about ant and termite elimination.