WE KNOW TERMITES
Termites are constantly foraging for food. Workers will leave a pheromone trail while they are foraging. This trail allows other termites to also locate the food source. Termites eat material that contains cellulose, such as wood, roots, plant debris, paper or cardboard. Termites can gain entrance into a structure through any part of the wood frame in contact with the ground, through openings in the foundation around pipes and conduits or through cracks in the foundation. Termites can enter through cracks that are no wider than 1/64 of an inch. Subterranean termites require moisture to survive. They will create mud tubes to obtain access to a structure that is above ground. These tubes are created from soil cemented with secretions and fecal material. The tubes are to protect the termites from exposure to sunlight or dry conditions. Termites are able to survive in a structure without contact to the ground if there is a sufficient moisture source.
Kinds of Termites
There are two major type of termites that can be found in the United States.
Termites can cause thousands of dollars of damage to wood homes. Below we show an example of termites creating tunnels through a wood block.Please click the images to enlarge them.
Types of Termites
- Drywood Termites
Termite colonies consist of:
- Primary reproductives - Function of reproducing and laying eggs
- Secondary reproductives
- Soldiers - defend the colony / nest from invaders
- Workers - forage for food and feed their nutrients to the rest of the colony
What Can You Do to Help Protect Your Home?
Small steps make a big difference. Start by eliminating food and moisture conditions around your home. These simple steps will deter termites, making your home a less attractive target.
Eliminate Moisture Problems
- Repair leaking faucets, water pipes, and a/c units
- Divert water from foundation
- Keep gutters and down-spouts clean
- Ventilate crawl spaces
- Remove excessive plant cover and wood mulch
- Get rid of standing water on roof
- Keep all vents clear and open
- Seal entry points around water and utility lines or pipes
Remove Food Sources
- Keep firewood, lumber, or paper away from foundation or crawl space
- Get rid of stumps and debris near house
- Place screens on outside vents
- Check decks and wooden fences for damage
- Wood on your home shouldn’t contact the soil
Warning Signs - Some indications you may have termites include
- A temporary swarm of winged insects in your home or from the soil aroundyour home.
- Any cracked or bubbling paint or frass (termite droppings).
- Wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
- Mud tubes on exterior walls, wooden beams, or in crawl spaces.
- Discarded wings from swarmers.