Each spring, the National Pest Management Association hosts Termite Awareness Week to educate homeowners on all things termites. This year, Terminix is joining the conversation by helping to prevent, control, and eliminate termites from your home. So, what are the most important things to know about these pests? Check out our tips below for a successful national termite control week:

What Attracts Termites?

Termites look for three elements in an environment: moisture, darkness, and nourishment. One of the most common areas of infestation are neglected areas with undetected leaks. Since termites feed on wood, they also make sure to build nests close to these sources. As so, these areas will likely also include lumber, firewood, newspaper, or other cellulose material. Removing these elements from your home can help diminish infestations.

What are the Different Types of Termites?

There are three different types of termites: subterranean, drywood and dampwood. Each of these species exists throughout the United States. That said, they may be more common in certain regions. For example, the subterranean and drywood species are popular in warmer, southern states. On the other hand, dampwood termites are popular in the northwest. While they have many similarities, it’s important to familiarize yourself with each species. Doing so can better help you identify the termite in your home.

How to Help Keep Termites Away?

Identifying and eliminating attractions can help keep termites out. As so, you should regularly monitor your property for leaks and immediately clean spills. Preventative measures should even be taken outside. This includes keeping the soil around your home dry. If left unattended, the moisture can seep into the ground near your home’s wood foundation. The result? A moist, dark, wood-filled environment inviting termites to nest. Consider using gutters, downspouts, and splash blocks to divert water. Additionally, you should not overuse sprinklers or irrigation systems. These termite control week tips can help you be more cautious of your environment. That said, you should still consult a professional to receive a proper inspection of your home.

When are Termites Most Active?

While termites are active all year long, you’re most likely to see them during swarming season. This is when the “swarmer” caste breaks away from the colony and flies to another location to start their own. Swarming usually occurs during the spring, following a rainfall. However, termites may swarm during other parts of the year. This depends on your geographical location. Technically, the only requirements for swarming are warm weather and rainfall.

How Long do Termites Live?

A termite’s lifespan will depend on its caste in the colony. For example, queens can live for over a decade whereas workers may only live one to two years. That said, you should not rely on outliving a termite infestation. Their aggressive swarming habits mean that the colony is continuously growing and the infestation can worsen if left unattended.

How to Tell if Termites are in Your Home?

Besides seeing swarmers, you can identify termites in your home by spotting mud tubes and frass. Mud tubes are pencil-thin tubes that line walls or wood structures. Termites nest inside of these tubes. While checking for termites inside can help confirm an infestation, we do not recommend you do so. Instead, keep an eye out for other signs of infestation like termite droppings – also referred to as frass. If you see mud tubes, you may also spot frass nearby.

How to Choose the Right Termite Control?

According to the EPA, termites cost billions of dollars in damage each year to homeowners. As so, you should not let Termite Awareness Week 2019 go by without taking action. When you schedule an appointment with Terminix®, our trained technicians can help investigate your property. Best of all, they’ll work with you to help install the right treatment for your environment. Let this be the week that you finally kick termites to the curb.