How to Identify and Get Rid of Termites: Protect Your Home and Your Wallet

Termites Control

Termites are not just annoying pests that buzz around and sting. They are destructive creatures that can cause extensive damage to your home. These hidden and hungry explorers can eat away at the wood in your house, leading to costly repairs. In this article, we will guide you on how to identify and eliminate termites from your home, saving you money and keeping these pests at bay.

Types of Termites

Termites can be categorized into three main types: subterranean, dampwood, and drywood termites. Each type has its own biology and behavior, but the methods for treatment are generally the same. You can identify these termite species by examining their bodies, colors, antennae, and wings. Look out for old wings, fecal pellets, or damaged wood, as these could be signs of a termite infestation.

Signs of Termite Damage

Identifying termite damage can be challenging, as most of it is hidden within the walls of your home. However, there are indicators that can help you recognize the damage caused by termites. Dr. Mike Potter, an entomology professor at the University of Kentucky, says that termites are responsible for the most structural damage to dwellings. Look for winged termites flying inside your home, especially during the spring. If you see a flying insect that resembles an ant but has wings of equal size, it is likely a termite. Other signs include mud tubes, swarmers inside the house, and wood fixtures that have been eaten away.

Methods for Termite Control

If you suspect a termite infestation, it is crucial to take action to get rid of them. There are several methods for termite control, including liquid or bait termiticides, heat treatment, and fumigation.

Liquid Pesticide

Liquid pesticide is the traditional approach to termite control. This method involves applying the product under and around the building to create a long-lasting chemical barrier. The barrier can either repel termites or contain a non-repellent but lethal chemical. However, this method can be invasive, requiring drilling and injection through porches, patios, and adjacent concrete.


Baits are a less invasive option for termite control. They use small amounts of materials that termites like to eat, containing a slow-acting insecticide. When the termites consume the bait, they take it back to their colonies, spreading the poison. Baits are typically installed below ground around the perimeter of the building. However, this method can take months to take effect and may require multiple visits to monitor and replenish the bait stations.

Heat Treatment

Heat treatment is another method for termite control, using heaters to heat all the wood in a structure. The temperature rises to a minimum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit and remains at that level for at least 33 minutes. The extensive heat kills the termites, leaving your home free from infestation. Heat treatment is particularly effective for apartments and condominiums and has the advantage of requiring only a few hours of evacuation.


If the termite infestation is severe, fumigation may be necessary. This method involves covering the entire home with an airtight tent and pumping in a precise amount of gas fumigant. The gas penetrates all parts of the home, killing the termites. However, homeowners must stay out of the house for at least 24 hours after application.

Preventive Measures

Taking preventive measures is essential to protect your home from future termite infestations. These measures include pre-construction chemical applications and the use of physical barriers to prevent the movement of termites.

Pre-construction liquid chemical barriers are considered the industry standard. After a termite inspection, termiticide is applied to the soil within the foundation footprint before pouring concrete. Soil treatments are also applied after construction, around the wooden structures in a trench dug 6 inches wide and 12 inches deep.

Physical barriers are becoming more popular as they do not involve chemicals that could harm the environment. These barriers prevent termites from crossing and damaging your house.

Professional Termite Treatment Costs

If you prefer to hire a professional pest control service, the costs for termite treatment can vary. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $500 and $2,500 for professional termite treatment.

Termite Activity by Region

Termites are most prevalent in the Southeastern U.S., Hawaii, and California’s coast. These areas experience heavy termite damage. However, other parts of the country may see light to moderate termite activity or even none at all.


Identifying and getting rid of termites is crucial to protect your home and your wallet. By familiarizing yourself with the signs of termite damage and utilizing the appropriate treatment methods, you can effectively eliminate termites from your home. Taking preventive measures and seeking professional help if necessary will ensure long-term termite control. Don’t let termites chew through your valuable asset; take action to keep them out of your home.

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