How to Eliminate Termites in Hardwood Floors
Termites are some of the most destructive pests that attack the woodworks in the house. Many homeowners won’t notice that their home is already under attack by a termite colony until the damage is already bad. Some of their favorite treats are the expensive hardwood floors and walls that many homeowners invest in.
So how can you eliminate the termites in the hardwood and laminate floors? Termite removal inside wooden floors is quite complicated because the damage is hard to spot instantly. Some pest management professionals treat termite infestations with liquid termite barriers, poisoned bait, boric acid, chemical treatment, and nematodes.
5 Ways to Get Rid of Termites in Hardwood Floors
Many homeowners love putting hardwood walls and floors in their homes for several reasons. They’re expensive but also highly durable. They also add aesthetic value to a home. But like any other wooden structure, hardwood floors are highly susceptible to termite attacks. Around 600,000 American houses report termite damages every year.
Termite damage on hardwood floors is not always visible to homeowners because these pests prefer eating the softer wood in the subfloor and other supporting components, such as the joists and beams. Once the termite infestation in the hardwood floors has been confirmed, here are a few effective ways to get rid of them:
1. Liquid Termite Barrier
Liquid termite barriers are both a good termite-killing solution and a preventative method to keep these pests from returning. The barrier is applied around the perimeter of the house and beneath the ground to disrupt the natural path of the termites. The chemical used in a termite barrier prevents the termites from reaching the house. Termites exposed to the treatment are instantly poisoned.
Most liquid termite barriers aren’t immediate threats for pets and children. There’s also low chances of exposure for anyone who accesses the area because the chemical is directly injected into the soil. But as a precaution, it’s best to keep the children and pets in a safe place while the barrier is being applied.
2. Poisoned Bait
While liquid termite barriers are undeniably effective, they might be an overkill solution for some people. The termite problem in the hardwood floors might not be serious enough to require a chemical barrier around the house. The same goes for the Formosan termites that attack PVC pipes. In such cases, poisoned baits are the better option.
Poisoned baits attract the termites and kill them after some time. Some termites might even take the bait back to their colony where it kills more termites. Baits are also strategically placed around the house’s perimeter.
3. Boric Acid
Boric acid is an effective solution for homeowners who want a more natural solution for their termite problem. The substance is effective for poisoning different kinds of insect pests indoors, such as ants, roaches, and termites.
Termites usually die within 3 to 7 days after coming in contact with boric acid. The chemical is also safe for pets and children because of its low toxicity levels. Just make sure to read the label before using the boric acid to prevent any mishaps.
4. Chemical Treatment
Direct chemical treatment is the best indoor treatment for eliminating termites. These liquid termiticides are also known as “spot treatments” because professionals apply them in specific places.
After finding the spot where there are termites in the hardwood floors, the pest management professional drills holes into the material to apply the foam. They might also utilize the existing cracks and crevices created by the termites to leak the termiticide. The substance kills the termites by poisoning the entire colony in the hardwood floors.
Nematodes are the most natural way to eliminate the termites in the hardwood floors. They’re microscopic roundworms that attack hazardous insects like termites. The nematodes used in a termite extermination process are completely safe and have no harmful effects on humans. Some parasitic nematodes might infect humans, but the roundworms used for termites are not the same kind.
When the nematodes enter the bodies of the termites, they invade the bodies and feed on them. The roundworms release bacteria into the termite’s body which causes blood toxicity and death. After the termite has died, the nematode inside its body breeds and multiplies to infect other termites.
Termites and Their Love for Hardwood Floors
Termites are often known as silent destroyers because the damages they cause often go unnoticed until it’s too late. Their main target is the woodworks in a property, which is why homeowners who have hardwood floors, walls, and ceilings need to be extra careful to avoid accidentally attracting these insects.
Why Do Termites Attack Hardwood Floors?
Termites eat hardwood floors and other woodworks because they need cellulose and other nutrients to survive. Their gut contains bacteria and protozoa that allow them to digest cellulose fibers. These materials are not edible for other insects, which is why termites have a monopoly over a food source that’s perfect for them.
But aside from wood, termites also attack other materials that have cellulose. The list includes bark, plants, paper, and cardboard. When these materials have enough moisture, it’s easier for some species of termites to munch on them. Other species like the dry wood termites don’t need as much moisture to start attacking hardwood floors and other wooden furniture.
7 Signs of Termite Damage in Hardwood Floors
Termite damages are easy to spot if you know what to look for. If you suspect a termite infestation in your home, here are some of the signs to watch out for:
- Hollow Sounds – Termites leave out cavities of the hardwood floors they attack. If some parts of the wood planks sound hollow when they’re stepped on, then they might need immediate replacement. However, it’s important to deal with the termite problem first before installing the new hardwood floors.
- Spongy Wood – Hardwood floors are made to be sturdy and solid. If it’s easy to poke through the materials with fingers and create holes, then termites might have started attacking the hardwood floors already.
- Mud Leads – Termites create tunnels of soil and wood to make traveling easier for them. Homeowners might find these mud leads on the hardwood floors or the ground.
- Frass – This refers to the termite excrements that look like wood shavings. Their frass is usually found near their exit holes. Termites don’t want to live near their droppings, which is why they push the frass out of the tunnels they created.
- Swarmers – Some of the termites in the hardwood floors become winged swarmers that are attracted to light. They’re usually the first sign of termite infestations that homeowners notice. There are tons of discarded wings in areas where swarmers usually stay.
- Water Damage – Moisture damage isn’t always caused by termites, but this makes it easier for them to chew through and digest the material. Formosan termites are the species of termites that chew through water pipes, causing leaks and water damage. Watch out for stains and softness on the hardwood floors before inspecting for water damage.
- Sagging and Raised Floorboards – Termite damage is rarely superficial. These pests attack even the wooden joists, subflooring, and other kinds of wooden support during an infestation. When the termites create tunnels or eat through the subfloors, homeowners may notice sagging structures and rising floorboards.
Get High-Quality Hardwood Floors at Zothex Flooring
Hardwood floors are a great addition to any home, but owners should be prepared for the care and maintenance it requires. While hardwood is highly durable, it’s also susceptible to termite attacks. The key to preventing termites from attacking hardwood floors relies on the right installation technique.
Zothex Flooring is a trusted provider of high-quality hardwood floors in Sacramento. Our team of experts also provides installation services to ensure that termites won’t easily get through and attack the hardwood floors. Call us now at (916) 925 – 1958 to learn more about our products and services.
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