With their ability to quietly reduce any home to dust in a few years, termites are a terrible pest. Working deep within the bowels of a house, they are usually invisible until they've done a great deal of damage. Many homeowners respond to attacking termites by dumping a ton of pesticide on them.
This is a misguided idea, however, one that experts gave up on decades ago. The modern approach involves learning about the habits of the pest, and going after it in an intelligent way.
Learn how to spot a termite problem
Termites usually spread in spring and early summer. This is the time that you should become alert for any signs. Start by looking out for alate swarms. Alates are young, immature termites with wings, taking flight from a nest nearby, to spread to new locations close by. They shed their wings when they get to a location that they plan to infest. If you can see tiny, shed wings on your porch, you should begin to worry.
It's also important to regularly inspect every wooden component of your home -- the fencing, decking, the attic, the basement and so on. Anywhere that you see mud tubes, or wood that seems to have been eaten up, you need to take immediate action protecting your home.
Understand how great the challenge is
According to top termite control specialists at Home Pest Control of Charleston, SC, most DIY termite treatments fail for the simple reason that homeowners do not invest in finding the route that termites take entering the house. A subterranean tunnel through one of dozens of wooden stakes in the concrete foundation, is the most common way. Drenching a home in pesticide will have no use at all if there is a tunnel out that the termites can escape to, and return from. Liberal use of pesticide can also poison the earth and local groundwater.
Modern methods include placing contact poisons in bait stations around a house. The idea is that when these termites come into contact with the poison, they spread it among their colonies. This can only work when stations are carefully placed along every single route that the termites take, however. It's important to cover everything from wooden foundations to deking, sewer lines and toilet lines.
The methods involved in termite control can be so sophisticated, termite control professionals are the only ones with a chance at success. It's important to focus one's efforts on finding true experts.