By James Stuart
Termites usually swarm out in the Houston Area in mid March. Eastern Subterranean Termites are the most common termite along the gulf coast and it is the fully developed adult of this termite that swarms out in large numbers and causes a lot of concern for homeowners.
The number of swarmers does not indicate the severity of a problem it is however visible proof that a termite colony has been living for a few years.
Everyone has heard horror stories of termites destroying homes but my experience inspecting and treating homes for four decades has convinced me that termites are only a symptom of a moisture problem.
A typical case of termites swarming on the interior of a home involves a slow leak on shower stall that should have been repaired one or two years before the termites show up. A careful look at the damage usually shows that the termites were only able to live in the wood and sheetrock that was moist from the leak. This damp wood would have rotted anyway so the termites are blamed for a slow developing moisture problem they did not cause.
Once the moisture problem has been resolved and repairs are started tis the best time to address the termite problem. Treating exposed framing and applying chemical to penetrations through the foundation is almost always easier therefor cheaper when the area concerned is dismantled.
Termite treatments are easy enough without taking things apart but the treatment does not address the moisture problem or the needed repairs.
There are lots of termite infestations that can be eliminated without removing any sheetrock or trim by injecting foam formulated insecticides and applying pesticides that have systemic effects on the termite colony.
Pest control technologies have advanced so that there are no unpleasant odors and minimally invasive techniques allow for treatments that leave no evidence behind. These newer chemicals and procedures are also much safer and easier on the environment.
If you call a professional you should get a safe, effective, and guaranteed treatment for a reasonable price. Also remember that termites work very slowly. Take your time investigate the problem thoroughly and don’t let the termites that fly out this spring upset you. The best way to deal with the swarmers is to vacuum them saving a few for the termite professional to identify them and make sure they are not ants.
Like us on FaceBook.