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Why You Should Be Worried About Termite Infestations in Your House

Termites are tiny, usually invisible insects that can cause serious structural damage to your home. They live in colonies and feed on cellulose in wood and other materials. When left unchecked, they can leave you dealing with expensive home repairs. If you think termites have set up camp on your property, contact an experienced exterminator in Seattle right away. There is a chance that termites may have compromised some wooden structures in your house for a long time. 

How Termites Cause Damage

As termites feed on wood and other materials that contain cellulose, they cause home damage. They have powerful jaws that they use to break down wood fibers. Then, they digest these fibers using their gut bacteria. Eventually, such feeding activity can compromise the wood’s integrity and make it susceptible to damage. 

Aside from wood, termites may also feed on paper, insulation, or cardboard. Thus, your house does not need to be fully made out of wood to sustain termite damage. 

The Dangers of Termite Infestations

Aside from structural damage, termites are also associated with the following less obvious dangers:

  • Health risks. Some people develop allergic reactions to termite saliva, experiencing swelling, itching, and respiratory issues. such reactions can be mild or serious and are especially risky for people who have pre-existing respiratory problems. In addition, termite activity can create dust and debris that can exacerbate respiratory conditions like asthma. This can result in coughing, difficulty breathing, and other health issues. 
  • Fire hazards. As termites chew through materials in your house like electrical wiring, they can create fire hazards. This can lead to electrical shorts. Also, termites chew through insulation, exposing the electrical wires and putting you at risk of electrical fires. Also, they can chew through the wood near a heat source like a fireplace or store, creating a fire hazard. 

Termite Prevention and Treatment

To avoid the dangers associated with termites, you must prevent an infestation from happening. Below are tips you can consider:

  • Control moisture. Termites nest, forage, and reproduce in moist environments. Thus, keeping your house dry can help prevent an infestation. This means fixing water damage or leaks promptly as well as ensuring proper ventilation. 
  • Do not store firewood near your house. If you use firewood to keep your home warm, keep it away from your house. This prevents termites from using the woodpile as a means to get into your house. 
  • Eliminate yard debris. Yard debris like leaves and deadwood can offer food sources to termites. To keep your space less attractive to these pests, eliminate this debris. 
  • Seal openings. Termites can find their way into your home through tiny cracks and crevices. So, seal up gaps in the foundation or walls to prevent entry. 

Termite Treatments

If a termite issue is active on your property, address it promptly to reduce the damage to your house. Below are treatment options for termites:

  • Chemical treatments. These involve applying pesticides to infested areas. 
  • Baiting systems. These draw termites to bait stations. The termites will then consume a poison that they bring back to their colony. All colony members will consume the poison and die. 
  • Fumigation. This involves sealing your house and introducing a deadly gas for termites. 

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