How Dangerous Is It To Have Termites In My Ocean Isle Beach Home?
Ocean Isle Beach is one of the prettiest small towns in North Carolina, with its beautiful sea views, sandy beaches, and pristine homes lining its shores. Unfortunately, the humidity of the ocean air, the moisture of the frequent rain, and all that housing lumber combine to create the perfect storm of conditions for termite development. Termites are not enjoyable. They destroy property, trigger allergies, and cause major headaches for home sellers and home buyers alike. Below, we’ll outline a few things you need to know about these destructive pests.
Are Termites Harmful?
Short answer: yes! Termites are one of the worst pests you can get in your house because they are so destructive. These tiny, white/tan insects live in wood, eat wood, and above all, devastate wood by tunneling through it, eventually weakening it beyond repair. Because termites do not often leave their established nests, they can be difficult to spot until they begin to cause serious damage.
The termite life cycle begins with the mating flight. Reproductive males and females form a swarm, mate, and fly off to found a colony. Much like ants, a breeding female becomes the queen at the founding of the colony, and every subsequent stage of termite life revolves around her. She lays eggs which become workers, soldiers, or future breeders called alates. When they mature, the winged alates will go off to form satellite nests of their own. This means a mature nest will propagate itself through your whole house, causing even more damage.
Termites don’t carry any diseases that we know of, though the sawdust they create (called frass or carton) can trigger allergies. The real danger of termites is less to your health and more to your property. Untreated termite infestations are so destructive that they can cause your property to become unsafe for human habitation, leading to major structural repairs and even condemnation or demolition.
How To Spot And Prevent Termites
Termites are tough to get rid of, so an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. There are a few ways to avoid getting termites:
- Keep wood piles like lumber or kindling elevated off the ground and away from your home’s exterior.
- Stain the exposed outdoor wood like decks, support beams, and railings.
- Trim shrubs back away from your home and keep a barrier of at least six inches between your house and any mulch. Also, consider using pine needles rather than mulch.
- Fix any moisture issues like clogged gutters or leaky pipes. Termites prefer weakened, water-damaged wood over strong, dry lumber.
If you think you may already have termites, here are some signs to watch out for:
- Wood damage – discolored drywall, peeling paint, drooping ceilings, or buckled walls
- Warped doors and window frames
- Visible maze patterns in exposed wood like railing or floorboards
- Frass and carton (a mix of termite sawdust and droppings)
- Kick Out holes (holes termites use to expel unwanted material)
- Mud tubes leading to underground nests
- Termite swarms
- Termite Termination
Unfortunately, a lot of the time, prevention measures aren’t enough to keep termites out. When that happens, it can be a real nightmare. There aren’t a lot of DIY (do it yourself) remedies that homeowners can turn to in the case of termites because these remedies do not exterminate the whole colony. Add that to the fact that there may be satellite nests in your home that you don't know about, and the results of a failure to clear the entire infestation could be truly devastating.
The best thing you can do if you have a termite infestation is to call in the professionals. Here at Jay Taylor Exterminating, our termite control offerings range from traditional liquid treatment to pre-construction prevention to the Sentricon System with Always Active – the most effective termite control system on the market. Our services include termite inspections, initial elimination, and periodic maintenance to ensure that every termite on your property is eliminated. If you start seeing signs of termites, call Jay Taylor Exterminating immediately at (910) 387-4767 or visit our contact page to schedule your free estimate.