KNOW THE ENEMY: TERMITES
These home invaders actually serve a purpose in nature. They digest wood and other cellulose material, breaking down dead trees and vegetation.
TYPES OF TERMITES
There are three termite types to worry about in the United States. Knowing the types helps you know where to watch out for termite invaders.
This type builds its colonies underground. They need contact with soil to maintain their moisture levels. A regular source of moisture is critical to a subterranean colony’s survival.
Subterranean termites are the most common type in the United States.
There are numerous species of subterranean termites – one of the most aggressive and destructive species are Formosan termites. They can form a carton nest above ground, limiting their need for ground contact.
This type colonizes in wood above ground. Unlike subterranean termites, they don’t need contact with soil to survive.
This type typically lives in damp and decaying wood. They require regular contact with water as well as a high humidity level to survive. Dampwood termites are the largest in size of the three types.
HOW TERMITES SPREAD
Termites are social insects and live in colonies with specific roles. There are workers, soldiers, reproductives and even queens.
As a colony matures, it may release winged males and females – or “swarmers.” If they survive, swarmers will settle, shed their wings and form a new colony.
Swarming season occurs in late spring through fall depending on the species and geographic location.
LOOKING OUT FOR TERMITES
Your eyes are your home’s first defense. Keeping an eye out for any signs of a possible infestation can help make sure they don’t take a big bite out of your wallet.
COMMON TERMITE ENTRY POINTS
It helps to understand ways termites might get into your home. That way, you can spot and shut down any vulnerable areas they might use before they get the chance.
These homewreckers only need a crack 1/32 inch wide to enter a building. Here are four ways they sneak in:
- Through cracks in the foundation around plumbing
- Through expansion joints
- Inside hollow block walls
- Up the side of foundation walls and piers
SIGNS OF TERMITES
There are signs to watch out for that could indicate a potential termite infestation. Here are 5 signs termites might be in your home.
BEFORE THEY GET STARTED
Stopping these invaders starts with understanding what they’re looking for.
When it comes to eating, a termite is looking for anything that contains cellulose. Most often, that’s wood, but paper, cardboard, carpet and even cloth might draw its attention. They also need a source for moisture to help prevent their bodies and even their colony from dying out.
STEPS TO STOP TERMITES
Two termite control steps you can take to help decrease the chances of invaders settling on your property are:
- Removing potential food sources
- Eliminating moisture problems – like moisture buildup – in and around your home
Also, a common entry point is through cracks in your foundation. If you see any cracks, fill them or monitor them closely for signs of termite mud tunnels.
Taking these steps will help you minimize your chances of accidentally attracting these homewreckers. However, there is no substitute for the effective termite control a trained specialist can deliver.
If you think termites might be in your home – or to make sure they never get the chance – call Terminix today for a FREE Termite Inspection.