Spring’s arrival brings a smile to most, but warmer weather can also bring homeowner concerns in the form of unwanted guests. With the start of the spring housing market, we reached out to our Specialty Services partner, Orkin Canada, to help educate clients about termites and why it is necessary to be aware of these damaging insects.
One of the major things termites require to thrive is warm temperatures. As the temperature rises, it is important to recognize the conditions conducive to termite infestation and how you can protect your property. Dan Dawson, National Marketing Manager at Orkin Canada explains the magnitude of the threat posed by termites: “Subterranean termites typically cause the most structural damage and are most prevalent in the southern coastal areas, the dry climate of the Okanagan areas of British Columbia, southern Ontario, southern Quebec, and the Maritime provinces.”
Enjoy our interview with Dan below to learn more about termites and how to protect your home.
Carson Dunlop (CD): What are the most common neighbourhoods for termites in the Greater Toronto Area?
Dan Dawson (DD): “Termites can be found throughout the GTA. Though each species of termite thrives in different climates and eats different types of food, all termites require four things to survive:
- Optimal Temperatures
These conditions can be found in all buildings, regardless of their construction type. However, older homes typically face increased termite threats as wood rot is more common in them.”
- Remove all wood debris in contact with the soil, and store any firewood away from the house and off the ground
- Fix any leaks in pipes and drains. Damp wood creates ideal conditions for a healthy, large and robust termite colony
- Make sure the soil around the structure is sloped away from the home and drainage from the roof doesn’t collect near the property
- Dense vegetation should never grow against siding or the foundation of a home
- High humidity in the crawl space can lead to termite problems. Insulate or put down a moisture barrier to help reduce humidity and condensation
- Replace mulch that is close to the home with gravel. If mulch is used around the home, make certain to keep the mulch layer as shallow as possible. Thick mulch beds create soil moisture conditions that encourage termite activity
It is highly recommended to schedule an annual inspection with a licensed pest control provider to ensure that termites don’t invade your home.”
- Hollow-sounding wood: If wood sounds hollow when tapped, it may be because termites are eating the wood from the inside out.
- “Swarmers” (a group of winged insects) or discarded wings: Reproductive termites called swarmers take flight to create new colonies. Subterranean termites typically swarm in the spring. A swarm of insects or groups of discarded wings is typically a sign of termite presence.
- Mud tubes on walls: Termites construct mud tubes to travel between their home in the soil and the wood that they feed on. These tubes also provide moisture while they search for food.
- Frass: Termites produce wood coloured droppings as they eat their way through wood rot. This is another sign of their presence.”