Unfortunately, some Utah termites are not daunted by our freezing winter weather.
Although they do slow down a bit in the cold months, these damaging pests continue their march of destruction, aided by the heat in the buildings they occupy.
Learn how to recognize these nasty pests and what steps you can take to protect your property.
Recognizing Termite Damage
Unfortunately, termite damage can go unnoticed until these insects have eaten their way through your walls.
Subtle signs of their presence include tiny holes in drywall. Outside, keep an eye out for mud tunnels, the tubes termites use to travel from the ground to your home.
In the basement, attic, crawl space or anywhere you can see exposed wood, look for signs of degradation along the grain, including holes or areas that appear to have been eaten away.
On the ceiling, beware of any bubbling or small patches of discoloration that resemble water damage. Sometimes you might notice a small, brownish tube dangling from the ceiling. These drop tubes are a sure sign of an active colony, feasting on your home’s support structures.
Recognizing a Termite
Although you’re not likely to see many out and about this time of year, it’s helpful to know what a termite looks like, since they can easily be confused with flying ants.
Termites have straight antennae, a segmented body with a thick waist, tan or black coloring and matched pairs of wings. Flying ants have a narrow waist, bent antennae and longer wings in front than in back.
You can see photos and read more about Utah termite species on the Utah Department of Agriculture website.
Eliminate Termite-Friendly Conditions
Although you can’t easily prevent or eradicate termites without professional assistance, you can take steps to minimize your home’s risk.
Dispose of any scrap wood on your property, especially if it’s near the house or garage, or in contact with the soil. Never use wood chips (or any cellulose product) as mulch, as this attracts termites, and remove old tree stumps and downed trees promptly.
Termites need water, so keep leaks and drips repaired. They can come into your home at any point where doors or windows don’t form a tight seal. Basement windows and doors are a favorite, so maintain weather stripping, and caulk any holes or openings, or seal them with foam.
Aim for Moisture-Free
Be sure to keep critters out of the attic too. Even accumulated rodent urine is enough moisture to attract termites.
Get rid of cardboard boxes and newspapers in your home, as even the tiniest bit of moisture in or around them can create an attractive environment. Once termites invade your home, they will enter the walls and wreak havoc that you won’t see until it’s too late.
In northern Utah, All Green Pest Control and Lawn Care specializes in helping you keep your home and business pest-free. It’s important to treat your property all year long, because damaging Utah termites never rest, even in winter.