Termite control in Baton Rouge has become a growing issue for many homeowners over the past few years. Termites cause millions of dollars of damage in Louisiana every year. The worst part? New Orleans and Baton Rouge are known as hotspots for termite activity.
The Truth About Termite Control in Baton Rouge
For homeowners, even just the idea of a termite infestation can create a panic. This is because termite colonies can cause thousands of dollars in damage to homes and businesses in a relatively short amount of time. While their colonies begin slowly, they can quickly evolve into massive colonies of millions of workers. Worse, this damage is not generally covered in the average homeowners’ insurance policy. That means repairs to infested homes come directly from homeowners’ pockets.
In Louisiana, Formosan termites cause more damage to homes and structures than in any other state. It’s estimated that Formosan termites cause nearly $1 billion in damage in the United States each year. Half of that total amount is in the state of Louisiana. This is why termite control in Baton Rouge is absolutely essential. The majority of damage done in Louisiana each year takes place in New Orleans. However, Baton Rouge’s close proximity has allowed it to become one of the worst cities in the country for termite damage.
Types of Termites in Louisiana
To understand termite control in Baton Rouge, you first need to understand the types of termites in Louisiana. There are two types of termites that cause problems in Louisiana: subterranean termites and drywood termites. These two species of termites are quite different, but both can cause equal amounts of damage given enough time.
Drywood termites live inside of dry wood and don’t require soil or an external moisture source. These termites will eat through dried wood, creating galleries inside the wood they infest. They produce six-sided pellets, referred to as frass. Seeing this kind of evidence can help further identify the species you’re dealing with in your home. Their other main identifying marker is their wings, which have three distinct veins on the edge.
Subterranean termites build colonies in both wood and soil. Colonies begin in the soil and with the use of mud tubes work their way into homes and above-ground structures. Subterranean termites require moisture, and can often be found near areas with moisture build-up. They may also move above ground seeking water sources, such as leaky pipes or damaged roofs.
Subterranean termites also construct above-ground carton nests. These cartons are a mixture of chewed wood, saliva, and excrement. They have a similar appearance to their mud tubes.
Native subterranean termites are often confused with Formosan termites, which are actually a different species of subterranean termite. The primary difference between them is that the Formosan termite has small hairs on their wings.
Common Signs of Termite Infestation
One of the best ways to protect your home from termite damage is to know the warning signs. When termites have entered your home, they leave a variety of evidence. Since termite colonies can last for years, the signs of an existing infestation will be much more noticeable than a new one. Be proactive! Make checking for these signs part of your regular home maintenance to help protect your home.
1. Hollow Sounding or Damaged Wood
The most obvious sign of termite infestation is damaged wood. While some damage will be visible, some will be quite a bit more subtle. As termites dig through the wood, it leaves the wood splintered internally and hollow. One of the easiest ways to identify damaged wood is by knocking. If the wood in the walls or attic of your home sounds slightly hollow, you may have termite damage.
2. Mud Tubes on Walls
Mud tubes are one of the most recognizable signs of termite damage and one of the easiest to spot. They are usually about the size of a pencil and can be seen anywhere the soil meets your home. They look like their name sounds, like skinny tubes made of mud or dirt rising from the ground and entering your home. Mud tubes can also be found inside the home and will usually make an appearance near water sources such as toilets or underneath sinks.
3. Termite Droppings or Frass
When termites tunnel through wood, they like to make sure that their tunnels and colonies are clean. As a result, they leave some fairly noticeable signs of infestation by discarding their feces outside of the colony. The discarded droppings are known as frass and can be seen in small mounds resembling sawdust or coffee grounds. Should you find small mounds of dirt in unexpected places, it could be a sign of a termite infestation.
4. Discarded Termite Wings
Discarded termite wings are one of the most common signs that termites have been near your home. However, they are not necessarily a guaranteed sign of infestation. During swarming season, termites will leave their nest in search of places to mate and build new colonies. When the termites land, they discard their wings and begin searching for a place to call home. You may notice discarded wings on the ground near exterior light sources as well as on window sills. Should you see discarded wings in or around your home, it may be a sign of a problem and you should contact a termite control company in Baton Rouge as soon as possible.
What to Do When You Find Termites
Finding signs of termite damage or even the presence of termites can be incredibly stressful as a homeowner. Fortunately, it’s not always a cause for panic. The first thing you should do when you find signs of termites is call a termite control company in Baton Rouge and schedule a termite inspection.
Get a Local Termite Inspection
Scheduling a termite inspection with your local termite control company will not only confirm whether or not termites are in your home, but will give you peace of mind knowing your home will be protected. While it’s best to protect your home from termites before they can infest, treating them as early as possible is the next best thing. By scheduling an inspection and setting up a treatment plan, you can prevent further damage from occurring.
Termite Treatment Options
Dealing with a termite infestation can be a stressful process for any homeowner, especially if you try to do it yourself. When you work with a local termite control company, there are several ways that they will protect your home from termites or treat existing infestations.
Termite Baiting Systems
Termite baiting is a common treatment for termites that involves strategically placed bait stations around your home. These bait stations attract subterranean termites who will ingest the bait and bring it back to their colonies. Once the bait is brought back to the colony, it works to gradually eliminate the population, stopping infestations at the source.
Liquid Barrier Treatment
The most common treatment for termites is the use of liquid termiticide. Termidor, a virtually odorless chemical treatment system, is an extremely effective liquid termite treatment that not only stops existing infestations but prevents them from occurring in the future.
Not Sure What to Do? Contact The Experts
Ultimately, your best solution to stopping termites is to protect your home before an infestation happens. Are you looking to protect your home from termites or control an existing infestation? Your best choice for termite control in Baton Rouge is to contact the experts at Arceneaux Pest Management Services and schedule your termite inspection today.