Termites in Nova Scotia: Understanding the Pests that Eat Away at Our Homes

Originally posted on June 16, 2023 @ 12:05 am

Termites are a type of insect that can cause significant damage to wooden structures and furniture. They are commonly found in warm and humid areas, and historically have not been present in Nova Scotia. However, there have been recent reports of termite activity in the province, raising concerns about potential damage to homes and buildings. This introduction will provide a brief overview of termites in Nova Scotia and their potential impact on the local community.

What are Termites?

Termites are small, social insects that feed on wood, causing damage to homes, buildings, and other wooden structures. They are often referred to as “silent destroyers” because they can cause significant damage before homeowners even realize they have an infestation. Termites have been around for over 250 million years and play an important role in the ecosystem by breaking down dead wood and other plant material. However, when they invade our homes, they become a serious problem.

Types of Termites

There are three main types of termites: subterranean, drywood, and dampwood. Subterranean termites are the most common in North America and are found in every state, including Nova Scotia. They live in underground colonies and build mud tubes to travel from their nests to their food source. Drywood termites, as their name suggests, live in dry wood and do not require contact with soil. Dampwood termites, on the other hand, live in damp wood and are less common in Nova Scotia.

Signs of a Termite Infestation

Termites are difficult to detect because they often live inside walls and other hidden areas. However, there are some signs that homeowners can look out for, including:

  • Hollow-sounding wood
  • Cracked or distorted paint on wood surfaces
  • Mud tubes on exterior walls, wooden beams, or in crawl spaces
  • Discarded wings from swarmers (termites that have left the nest to start a new colony)

If you suspect that you have a termite infestation, it is important to contact a pest control professional immediately.

Termites in Nova Scotia

Termites are not as common in Nova Scotia as they are in other parts of North America, but they do exist. The most common type of termite found in Nova Scotia is The eastern subterranean termite. These termites live in underground colonies and can cause significant damage to homes and other wooden structures.

How to Prevent a Termite Infestation

Preventing a termite infestation is key to protecting your home from damage. Here are some tips to keep termites away:

  • Eliminate sources of moisture around your home, such as leaky pipes or faucets
  • Keep firewood and other wooden materials away from your home’s foundation
  • Remove any dead trees or stumps near your home
  • Store mulch and soil away from your home’s foundation
  • Have regular termite inspections by a pest control professional

Treating a Termite Infestation

If you do have a termite infestation, it is important to have it treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage. There are several methods of termite treatment, including:

  • Liquid termiticides: These are applied to the soil around the foundation of your home to create a barrier that termites cannot cross.
  • Bait systems: These are placed around your home and contain a substance that is toxic to termites. The termites feed on the bait and bring it back to the colony, where it spreads and eventually kills the entire colony.
  • Heat treatment: This involves heating the infested area to a temperature that is lethal to termites.

It is important to consult with a pest control professional to determine the best treatment option for your specific situation.

FAQs – Termites Nova Scotia

What are termites, and what damage can they cause?

Termites are small insects that feed on wood and other materials containing cellulose. They are social creatures that live in colonies and can cause significant damage to wooden structures and other materials over time. They eat through wood from the inside out, which can result in weakening or structural failure of the wood. The damage caused by termites can be expensive to repair and can even lead to safety concerns.

What species of termites are found in Nova Scotia?

There are two species of termites found in Nova Scotia: The eastern subterranean termite and the dampwood termite. The eastern subterranean termite is the most commonly found species and is usually found in soil or in wood that is in contact with soil. The dampwood termite is typically found in decayed or damp wood, such as logs or trees that are in contact with the ground.

How do I know if I have termites in my home or business?

Signs of a termite infestation include hollow-sounding wood, unexplained cracks in wood or walls, discarded wings, and small mud tubes on walls or foundations. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to contact a pest control professional to have your home or business inspected for termites.

How can I prevent termite infestations?

There are several ways to prevent termite infestations. These include ensuring that any wood debris or sources of moisture are removed from around your home, repairing any leaks or plumbing issues, and ensuring that any firewood or lumber is stored at least 30 feet away from your home or business. Additionally, it’s important to have regular inspections by a pest control professional.

What should I do if I find termites in my home or business?

If you find termites in your home or business, it’s important to contact a pest control professional immediately. Attempting to treat the problem on your own can often make things worse and can result in more extensive damage. A pest control professional will be able to identify the species of termite and develop a treatment plan to eliminate the infestation.