Hints & HELP!
the Time to Look for Termites!
by Barb Ogg, Extension Educator
This article appears in the May 2, 2004
Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper.
though most homeowners do not have specialized training
in termite inspection, they are most likely to find termites,
simply because they spend so much at home.
termites feed on unprotected wood that is embedded in or
touching the soil surface. Wooden fences, landscape timbers,
garden stakes are termite fodder. So are decks and porches,
especially when the wood is close to the soil.
get indoors, termites either tunnel over the foundation
or find a crack to squeeze through. Termites can penetrate
a crack as small as 1/32 inch.
the home itself, there are some locations more likely to
have termites. These are places where structural wood is
close to the soil.
Basements are susceptible, especially in older homes
that have cracked foundation walls.
Homes built on a slab or above a crawl space, rather
than a basement, are susceptible to termites. Common
termite-infested locations include garages and home
Another place where termites are often found is the
common wall between the house and an attached garage.
Termites enter this wall through a crack in the slab.
are frequently found in the area of a concrete porch.
During porch construction, dirt is thrown into the void
before the top slab is installed. The soil level inside
the porch void becomes as high or higher than wooden
sill plate of the house and makes it easier for termites
to get into the home.
People who have brick homes sometimes erroneously think
their houses are immune to termites. Termites can enter
a brick home by tunneling under the brick veneer and
feed on structural wood in the walls.
to look for? Termites construct and travel in mud tubes
when they work above the ground. This mudand high
moisturewill always be associated with termites. Telltale
signs that should be checked out include:
Walls where paint cracks and peels or the wallpaper
wont stick. A moisture problem inside the walls
could indicate a termite infestation.
Small mud-covered pinholes in painted walls or wallpaper.
These pinholes show up after termites tunnel through
plaster and drywall. Once they bump into dry room air,
they plug up the hole theyve made with mud.
inspectors say it is tough to inspect a house filled with
furniture, simply because signs of termites can be hidden.
Sometimes folks find signs of termites when furniture is
moved or during remodeling activities.
if you find termites? Because treatment options are confusing,
homeowners need to get the facts before they make a treatment
decision. To avoid getting ripped off, come to a workshop,
Everything Homeowners Need to Know About Termites
& Termite Control Thursday, May 13, 6:30 - 9:30
p.m. at the Lancaster Extension Education Center, 444 Cherrycreek
Road. University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension personnel
present unbiased, research-based information that should
enlighten even the most confused homeowner. Cost is $25.
Please pre-register by calling 441-7180.
more information refer to the Insects,
Spiders, Mice and more web site
to Household Hints & HELP