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How Do Termites Get Into Your Home?termites access home

There is perhaps no bigger threat to a homeowner’s precious property than a case of termites. Termites damage homes recklessly at an alarming rate because of their affinity for consuming wood.

Often times, homes need to be repaired because the structure has been obliterated by significant termite wood damage.

Termite wood damage repairs can be terribly expensive and even more so, hiring an exterminator to assess termite damage and eliminate termites can be doubly expensive as well.

That’s why it’s important to weigh your options and one smart option would be to do it yourself. In order to be successful in your home termite treatment, you have to know how termites come into your home to begin with.

Understanding how termites find their way into your home – and what draws them to your home in the first place – is a vital part of preventing an infestation. Armed with this knowledge, you can then have the right approach for a  termite inspection, knowing where to look, what signs of termite activity exist and what points of entry the offending termites have been using.

Understanding what Drives Termites To Your Home

The basic building blocks of life which termites need to survive and thrive are simple, no matter what type of termite infestation you have. All termites require food (in this case the cellulose found in your home’s wooden structure), warmth and shelter (another thing your home structure provides) and moisture.

All the wood materials which make up your home’s structure – from the basement, to the foundation and all the way to the attic – can provide termites all the food they need to live their entire lives.

Construction issues and plumbing problems around the home that haven’t been addressed end up accumulating moisture, such as puddles forming near foundation and air conditioning units, can give termite colonies the moisture they need to carry out their wood destroying duties.

When it comes to termites, their small size makes it very easy to gain access into your home. Termites can fit through cracks as thin as a credit card. This is why exclusion is such a major part of a termite control program as you should use something such as caulk to seal up as many gaps and cracks and hole as you can find around your home. However, it can be practically impossible to get to every single crack and hole in your home, so termites may still find a way indoors.

Depending on the species of termite, there may be different approaches and points of entry which the termites utilize to get into your home and roam around. We will cover the various termite types and their infiltration habits below.

How Subterranean Termites Get Inside

Subterranean termites don’t actually like living in wood, they primarily live underground in the soil, hence their name. Subterranean worker termites do the foraging in the colony and will travel from the underground nest to your home in search for cellulose to bring back home.

During their foraging, they build mud tubes to make it convenient for them to travel back and forth from their nest to the colony.

When conducting a termite inspection, you have to make sure to place close attention to parts of your home where the wood comes into contact with the ground. This can include doorframes, deck posts, and porch steps or supports. If you happen to see any mud tubes around these areas you can be sure that you have a subterranean termite infestation on your hands. Subterranean termites are also know to find their way into your home through cracks in the foundation and cracks in brick mortar. Sometimes, they even use the holes in concrete blocks to travel through foundation walls.

In order to tackle the subterranean termite problem and cut off their points of entry, you will have to combine environmental modification--drying up areas by fixing plumbing leaks and addressing moisture issues--along with monitoring signs of termite activity. One of the best ways to carry this out is the use of a termite bait station such as the Red Eye Termite Monitoring Station.  Aside from this we also recommend a termiticide soil treatment (such as termite trenching) as well as directly treating infested wood with Boracare.


Read More About How Termites Get Inside a Home

How Drywood Termites Get Inside

Drywood termite infestations aren’t as common as subterranean termites, but they can be just as destructive. Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites do not need moisture to survive and don’t like to live underground but rather in the very wood that they infest.

The way a drywood termite may get into your home is when a swarmer termite would travel to your home and locate a point of entry in the structure which they will sneak into, craft a little nest and seal themselves inside and get right to producing eggs. As time goes by, the colony can grow large in size right under your nose and that’s when the serious drywood termite damage will occur to the point where it can no longer be ignored.

Drywood termites don’t create mud tubes either which can make them harder to detect. However they are known to leave behind piles of wood pellets known as frass which is a big indicator of their presence.

Preventing drywood termite infestations may prove to be quite difficult due to the drywood being able to enter the home on any floor, not just near the foundation or soil like the subterranean termites can. Some of the most common reasons they may gain entry is via vents in the attic or foundation not being screened, cracks around window frames, door frames, soffits and roof sheathing or even from furniture you may unsuspectingly bring into the house that is infested with drywood termites.

To keep drywood termites from gaining entry, keep the outdoor wood of your home in good condition, cut trees and shrubbery away from your home, keep firewood piles away from touching your home as well.

Tackle Termites With Solutions Termite Control Products

Now that you are equipped with the knowledge of how these termites like to get into your home, you can now equip yourself with the products necessary for successful termite control and preventions. Check out our termite control page for more details as well as check out our helpful how-to videos on termite control.

These resources will make it easy for you to carry out a DIY termite control program to protect your home from any further termite wood damage.


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