termites damaging wood

During the summer months in Livingston and throughout Essex County, termites are a serious threat for property owners because summer is the season when subterranean termites are most active. Let’s take a look at the environmental factors that boost termite activity as well as explore some exclusion and prevention methods to help you protect your home from costly termite damage.

There are two environmental factors that impact subterranean termite populations: warmth and moisture. Summer provides both of these factors which allows termites to thrive. In warm weather, termite workers operate like well-oiled machines, feeding 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in order to bring food to their colonies and inspire the queen termites to produce more offspring. As termite colonies mature, they begin producing winged male and female reproductives termites whose prime purpose is to leave their colonies and establish new colonies. When these reproductive termites, also known as swarmers, leave their colonies to start new ones, they will be looking for the second environmental factor that impacts subterranean termites listed above: moisture. To keep these swarmers from choosing your home to establish their colonies in, it is important to make sure they don’t find any excess moisture in your yard and, especially near your foundation walls.

Termite Prevention

  • Trim tree branches to allow sunlight to reach the moist areas around your home and dry them.
  • Trim back bushes and shrubs on your property to allow the ground to dry in between them.
  • Space plants out in your landscaping to allow rainwater and hose water dry faster.
  • Fix any broken gutters and downspouts to make sure rainwater is channeled down and away from your foundation walls.
  • Fix any leaky exterior spigots or hoses.
  • Keep any leaves, twigs, or other organic debris on your property raked up.
  • Moisture isn’t the only thing that could attract termites to your yard, however. Check out this article for more insight into what termites look for when choosing a property to invade.

Termite Detection

When termites invade your yard, there are a few ways you may be able to detect them. The signs of termite activity are subtle, however, so you will have to look very closely in order to see them.

  • Termites may establish themselves under a food source; if you have mulch in your landscaping, dig into the ground underneath it and inspect for termites.
  • Termites come up from the ground in dark places. If you have a crawl space under your home, deck, porch, or patio, make sure to check those areas with a flashlight for signs of termite activity, like shelter tubes on foundation walls and piers.
  • If you have areas of wood-to-soil contact around your home, dig some earth up and examine it for termite workers; termite workers are tiny, pale-colored insects with six legs, two antennae, and three body parts.

Since termites are so hard to detect, it is best to invest in a professional termite inspection, and if termites are spotted, a termite treatment. To learn the four biggest reasons why professional inspection is the best option when dealing with a termite infestation, click here!

The professionals at ChemTec Pest Control can help eliminate infestations and prevent problems with termites in the future as well. For dependable, ongoing termite protection in Livingston, Glen Ridge, Montclair, Caldwell, Essex Fells, Roseland, and throughout Essex County, start here!