How do I Handle a Termite Infestation?
- Choose a pest control company carefully – Firms offering termite services must be licensed by your state. Ask to see the company’s license and, if you have any concerns, call your state pesticide regulatory agency EXIT. Please read our Citizen’s Guide to Pest Control & Safety for more tips on how to choose a company that will do a good job.
- Read the pesticide product label – The label tells you exactly how the product is to be used and provides information on potential risks. If the label does not include directions to control termites and protect the structure, then the product is not intended to protect the structure against termites and should not be applied. If you wish to see a copy of the product label, ask the company representative for a copy.
- Be aware of how soon you can return to the treated residence – The time required before the residence can be reoccupied will vary by product and will be indicated on product labels. Make sure the applicator has told you when you are allowed to reenter the building.
How do I Know if I Have Termites?
The first step in prevention is to be on the alert for termites. Termites rarely emerge from the soil, mud tubes, or food sources through which they are tunneling. Most people are not aware they have termites until they see a swarm or come across damage during construction. Some of the ways to discover if you have termites are listed below:
- Examine, by probing, exposed wood for hollow spots (using a flathead screwdriver or similar tool).
- Identify termite swarms (sometimes ant swarms are mistaken as termites).
The most common form of termite in most of the United States is the native subterranean termite. EXIT Other, less common, types of termites include the smaller dry wood termite EXITand the invasive Formosan termite.