Termites can show up in your space and stealthily go about their destructive work of destroying the structural soundness of your house or building. But these are the worker termites not to be confused by their larger flying cousins that are also known as swarmer. Swarmers typically appear after a rain storm that is followed by sunny weather. If it rains at night they will swarm a lighting fixture thinking that it is the sun.
Here is a fun fact about flying termites: they are a rich source of protein consisting of 38% protein not to mention the calcium, amino acids and zinc that they also possess in reasonable quantities. The species found in Venezuela has 64% protein. These little creatures can be very nutritious when they are not being harbingers of the bad news that you are probably having or about to have an infestation of the worker termites.
Seeing termites flying around your compound may signify you have timber that is damaged by the worker termites. This should be especially concerning if the termites appear to be coming from indoors. Outdoor sighting signify that they have already reproduced and their young may be burrowing looking for a way to reach the timber in your structure.
Termites with wings tend to fly most in the spring as the temperatures start to rise. The change in temperature prompts the young adult termites to leave their nests. The termites leaving the nest at this time are sexually mature and looking to make their own colony. The males will find a female, break off her wings and mate with her effectively becoming the king and queen of the new colony. Interestingly the queen will outlive the king living even up to 30 or more years.
Protect your home from termites
Take care of moisture in the house by containing leaks like drainage leaks and excessive condensation in the basements and other parts of the house.
Remove moisture damaged wood from your space like remnants of wood or timber used in construction because these attract the termites.
Make sure if you have a wood shed or timber in your compound it doesn’t have direct contact with the soil. Also keep mulch away from the foundation of your buildings including areas like the tool shed or outhouse.
Never keep firewood stacked up near the house as this attracts. Construct an elevated area for the wood further away from the house.
Only use treated wood when building and also for wood furniture to be used in the house. This includes the benches and tables used outdoors during barbeques.
Winged termites are not a threat to you or your property in any way. They do not eat the wood and they can be easily gotten rid of compared to the worker termites. You can destroy their nest which is usually visible on a hill. Pour some orange oil into their nest to disorient them and scatter their population. Remember that seeing a swarm of winged termites means the destructive worker termites are not far behind.
Signs of termite infestation is something that we do not want in our homes.
Despite our reluctance, we can’t be so sure about preventing termite damage since termites do not choose which homes to attack; therefore, making all of us at risk for grave property damage.
It is truly not pleasurable to have termites at your home and with them causing a lot of damage; this can be a great misfortune to anyone.
The best way to protect your property from serious termite damage is to have good knowledge about termites and to be able to determine their presence.
In fact, the reason why termites can cause multibillion-dollar damages is that they are difficult to determine. With large numbers of termites in a colony, these termites can already cause damage just in a short period of time.
These termites can affect any home and they are not choosy as long as the home has wood structures in it.
How To Know Signs Of Termites
The main problem why termites cause severe damages is because homeowners are not informed and they do not know that termites are already infesting their houses and causing damage.
Even in a small period of infestation, termites can already cause problems and damages at homes.
Termite damages are not easily seen and unfortunately, they are always found out very late wherein the damage is already severe. If you already have some knowledge about the early warning signs of termites, then you will be able to protect your house from major termite damage.
You need to know the signs that will alarm you that termites are already present in your home and you need to do something about it immediately before it can cause more problems.
Generally, not all of the termite damage is visible because termites would normally eat inside out. Because of this, it will take some time before you can detect the problems brought about by these termites.
You also need to be very careful when doing your inspection because these termites actually live on wood and that would include the walls of your house, your flooring, and your wooden furniture.
There are also different kinds of termites that can infest your home so you also need to know about these different termites.
You need to carefully check on for the presence of mud holes or the presence of mud and dirt woods inside your home.
This can be an indicator of the presence of termites and you need to do more inspection to find out more evidence of presence of termites in your house.
When you want to detect the presence of termites, you have to check on the areas where termites are more likely getting their food source.
Check your garden and look for tree stumps and mud holes. This can be an indicator of termites. You should be keen on identifying termites before it’s too late.
Drywood termites, really do not need to return to the ground for moisture.
There is enough moisture content in the wood that they are infesting to keep them happy. Subterranean Termites, on the other hand, need to return to the ground on a regular basis to get the moisture that they require.
While they may invade a structure such as a house, they are always coming from the ground up. As homeowners, this gives us an advantage in controlling them. We can treat the foundation of homes and businesses to catch them coming from or going back into the ground.
In general, the drywood type of termites lives in wood that does not have a lot of moisture.
Unlike damp wood termites, these termites will not harbor in decayed wood. Aside from that, this termite also does not need soil contact just to live, as compared to subterranean termites that are mainly found in soil.
Because of that, the drywood classification of termites can actually cause more damage as it can damage movable objects that are made of wood, such as furniture.
Typically, a male and female termite would start their own colony as soon as they pair and they find a perfect location for their nest.
When we say perfect location, this would actually refer to the wood that has no moisture but can be a good source of food. The queen, who is the founder of the colony, would then begin laying thousands to millions of eggs and let the colony grow.
When the eggs hatch, nymphs will primarily comprise the colony. Reproductive and soldier termites would then be developed from these nymphs.
Just like subterranean termites, the drywood classification does not have a worker caste in their colony.
Even though the drywood classification of termites prefers wood with less moisture, it can possibly attack any kind of wood products.
However, it is easy to identify if the wood is attacked by a drywood type of termite because the damage that it can cause is very different as compared to other types of termites.
These termites would generally cut across the grain of the wood and excavate large chambers that are connected by small tunnels.
Wooden structures in buildings, furniture, and other wooden objects can be attacked by the drywood type of termite.
Although it can generally cause serious damage to structures, it is less injurious as compared to subterranean termites because of the fact that the drywood kinds of termites are not as widespread as the subterranean classification.
When it comes to treating your property for drywood classification of termites, you have two options to eliminate these pests and stop them from destroying your hard-earned home.
You can do wood treatment and structural fumigation. If there is a limited infestation or if the infestation is only localized, you can consider spot wood treatment.
On the other hand, if the infestation is already extensive and widespread, then the best solution for you to employ would be structural fumigation through the use of chemicals which can drive away from the drywood termites.
Termites are never pleasing to the eyes. If you see an infestation though, don’t panic – look for termite treatments.
Termite Treatment is a term you do not want to hear if it is an experience you are bound to need for your house. You only have to be aware of the right methods and your termite treatment plan will succeed.
Termites are wood eaters but they work slowly, so you can be sure that your house will not collapse in a matter of days. A discovery of infestation during inspection can greatly decrease the value of your house so make sure to look for effective termite control.
The destructive nature of the termite makes it a difficult pest to exterminate and a potentially expensive hazard. Fortunately, they can be done away with and you can protect your home from continued infestations.
There are several termite treatments that exterminators use to control these pests:
This kind of treatment requires a cellulose product soaked in a chemical that kills the termites. This requires the applicator to have knowledge and experience on the application of the baits.
Controlling termites using this method takes a few weeks to more than a year.
Soil barriers are among the termite treatments frequently employed to control these destructive pests.
The chemicals used in the barriers mostly repel termites from entering but they are also deadly once in contact. Chemical treatments can last at least 5 years under the soil, depending on the weather conditions.
Trenching involves digging 6-8 inches wide and 10 inches deep of soil next to the outside foundation wall on slab homes. Soil is removed from against the foundation, piers, and beams.
These are then treated with termiticide along with the soil to cover the dug holes. Trenching generally takes longer but gives a better and more consistent barrier.
Rodding is another type of termite treatment barrier commonly used together with trenching. It uses a long rod with a specially designed tip used to penetrate the soil. A combination of the three is also done to ensure efficiency of the treatment.
Using foam to apply termiticide to hard-to-access parts of the home is also used for termite treatments.
This, however, does not work in treating the soil directly. As for the rest of the house, liquid termiticides are applied first followed by the foam.
Proper termite treatment is a multistep process. If your home (or the home you are hoping to close on) has an infestation it is not necessarily a problem that will cause long-term effects.
For existing infestations, you will need to have the home fumigated. Make sure to contract with the professionals for this. A termite control company will be able to perform this application for you. Follow the fumigation with soil treatment, either baits or barriers.
And, make sure to apply deterrent paints to susceptible areas such as chimney bases and dirt-filled patios.
Soil slabs, holes drilled through concrete slabs in your home, prevent termites from entering your house through plumbing entries and other holes into the house. An insecticide is injected to prevent their advances. Continued treatment should prevent new infestations and vigilance is the best prevention.
Termites are known to be responsible for a significant amount of damage to properties. Repairing the damage caused by an infestation of termites is reported to cost millions of dollars each year.
An effective preventive measure to avoid the potential damage of a termite infestation is to call on the services of a skilled inspector to thoroughly inspect and treat either a business or residential property.
In general, the termite inspection is commissioned for two main reasons:
Firstly it might be because the homeowner believes that the property might have an infestation of termites.
Secondly, it might be because a property is being put up the sale and the prospective new owner has initiated a full home inspection. If it is the homeowner that initiates the termite inspection, then the inspection might be more targeted and the inspection might relate to a specific area of the property.
Whereas, with the home transaction, the inspection is likely to be wide-ranging and the report could inspect all vulnerable areas of a property.
If you are planning on having a termite inspection carried out on a property you will want to be aware that an inspection is either full or limited. A full inspection is designed to examine every aspect of a property to search for vulnerabilities and damage caused by termites.
A skilled inspector will check all relevant areas, as well and other destructive creatures such as beetles and carpenter ants. A full inspection also involves inspecting both the interior and exterior surfaces of a property, from the roof to the foundation.
A limited inspection is often conducted in a specific or localized area of the property where an infestation is already believed to have taken hold.
The inspector will conduct an in-depth examination of this area to establish the degree of damage if any. If the homeowners’ concerns are legitimate and that the localized area is infected, then the pest controller can offer an estimate to treat the area.
On completion of the inspection, the inspector provides a written report on any potential damage and details what course of action might be taken to rectify the problem.
The report will detail the level of structural damage to the property and detail the cause of the damage, especially if it was done by something else other than termites.
Other entities that can be a cause for concern related to fungi or beetles. If any significant structural damage is clear, then that will be clearly highlighted in the generated reports.
Termites are known to favor wet and damp areas and dark places – these are the places to look out for and you will need to remove wood that is lying around as also pools of water as these will attract termites and cause a termite infestation that can destroy the very foundation of your home.
Termites will always leave a trail and tiny holes where they have dug into the wood – these are signs that you need to look for, and when you suspect that you have a termite infestation, you can get in touch with the termite Inspector who will do a professional analysis and advise you on the treatment you will need to implement.
Once termites get into your home they will spend day and night eating every wood in your house. If you don’t get termite treatment from your pest control experts, you will find yourself in a lot of trouble that could cost thousands of dollars of damages.
However, termite treatment costs can get very costly especially if the problem is not acted immediately.
Although termites normally eat wood, they also eat the insulation and other materials made of wood like books and paper. They even attack the foundation of your house which is very costly to replace or repair.
Therefore, if you have pest infestations in your house have a termite inspection as early as possible.
How can termite treatment help?
Termite treatment cost varies due to a number of factors such as the level of pest infestation, the size of the house and the method employed to eliminate the termites.
The several methods of termite treatments include spraying of pesticides, borax treatment, steam method, fumigation, and many others.
The cost of such treatments can increase especially if you want to add protection and shield the house for a longer period of time.
Some people think that they can reduce the termite treatment cost by doing the job themselves but they couldn’t be more wrong.
Such actions might just result in more costs because the termites are not properly exterminated. They might need to do it all over again.
Professional pest control companies are trained to perform termite inspection properly.
Moreover, professional treatment can also exterminate cockroaches and moths. It’s an added bonus.
In order to survive, termites get into a home they spend their lives trying to eat away at it. If the homeowner does not get the home treated for termites they will find themselves with thousands of dollars worth of damage.
Unfortunately, termite treatment cost can get very expensive if homeowners do not act quickly.
Termites cost people all over the world billions of dollars worth of damage every year. Although termites generally eat wood they can also damage other items in the home such as the insulation.
This, of course, can cost the homeowner a great deal of money in repairs and replacement items.
Those that are thinking about selling their home anytime in the future will need to be aware that potential buyers may ask for a termite report. If there are active termites in the home or damage from previous infestations the homeowner will need to get this repaired before the home is sold resulting in further expenses.
Termite treatment cost will vary depending on the size of the structure that is in question. Other factors that affect termite treatment cost is how infested the home is and what treatment method is used. Treatment may require a simple spraying or a more complicated baiting system. This will be determined once the severity of the infestation is discovered.
Termites are one of the most destructive pests anyone can have in their home. They are very difficult to detect in advance until the damage can be seen, typically on your walls and flooring. If you don’t see any damage, you may still be able to tell if you have termites by other signs they leave behind – they may produce what appear to be wood shavings or piles of dirt, but are actually frass or termite droppings.
Another way you can tell if you have termites is if you spot a termite swarmer. During certain times of the year, termite colonies produce swarmers, or winged adults. These winged termites then fly away to make their own colonies.
If you see these termite swarmers outside, then you may have a termite colony on your yard, possibly near an old tree or landscape timbers.
If you find these swarmers indoors, then you likely have a termite colony inside your house (or place of business), behind your walls or under your floor.
What do termite swarmers look like?
Termite swarmers are often confused with other types of small winged insects, particularly ones produced by ants. And of course, it’s important to know what it is you’re dealing with so you can deal with it properly.
Some key differences are:
- Termite swarmers are typically smaller than ant swarmers, at only about 0.37 inches long, or 9mm.
- Both swarmers can be similar in color – most termite swarmers are black, with some species red or dark brown. Ant swarmers can be black, brown, or reddish.
- They have a straight waist, while ants have a pinched waist.
- Termite swarmers have 4 wings which are equal in size and length. Ant swarmers also have 4 wings, but the front pair of wings are longer than the rear pair of wings.
- Termite swarmers have long wings that go far beyond their abdomen, whereas ant swarmers have wings that only go a little beyond their abdomen.
- They have mostly straight antennae, whereas ant swarmers will have bent antennae.
What do I do if I find these swarmers inside my home?
After you’ve identified the kind of insect swarmer you have, you can then search for its nest to eliminate them before they do more damage. Knowing their diet and behavior goes a long way in getting rid of the problem.
What do termites eat and where can I find them?
They have single-celled organisms living in their stomachs called protozoa, and it’s these protozoa that break down the cellulose material termites feed on to get their nutrients. Cellulose is found in most plant matter, and that’s why we see termites feeding away on wooden walls, drywalls, wallpaper, flooring, and wooden fixtures, though their diet may also include other things like paper, books, and cotton. They feed on dead or decaying wood.
A few things to note is that termites don’t eat plastic, but they can chew through plastic to get to a food source. They also don’t eat concrete, though they will crawl through cracks and crevices on concrete to get to a food source.
Check out our other blog entries on termites (and for ideas on how to get rid of them) here.
If you suspect that you have a termite infestation, don’t hesitate to reach out to a pest control service right away.
The word termite is derived from Latin and Late Latin words that mean “woodworm” and “to erode”. With a name like that, you know termites would be not just a nuisance, but a problem for your house.
There are currently over 3,000 species of termites classified, and of those, only 50 species are found in North America. They’re usually very small, measuring between 0.16 to 0.59 inches in length. The largest of these termites are the queens, which can measure over 4 inches.
To the average person, they may look like white ants, but there are a many differences. They’re antennae are almost straight, while ant antennae are elbowed. Their wings are also much longer, being twice as long as their body. Termite workers and soldiers that protect the colony don’t have wings. Ants have a thin waist, while termites have broad waists.
Each year, approximately 600,000 households in the US are damaged by termites, and each year, people spend $5 billion to control infestations and repair damage. Taking care of a termite problem at the first sign is key to saving your house from costly repairs in the future.
How do you know if you have termites in your house?
Termites feed on cellulose material, which may include paper, books, cotton, structural wood and wooden fixtures, and a termite colony can have as many as 20,000 to 5 million workers, with the primary queen of the colony laying as many as 10,000 eggs a day.
If you spot what looks like to be a pile of wood shavings or dirt, that may be a sign of termite activity nearby (carpenter ants also leave behind piles of wood shavings as they hollow out their nests). What termites do leave behind that look similar is frass or termite droppings.
Brittle-looking wood may be because termites are consuming the wood from the inside out, and are eating too close to the surface.
Tapping on an area with termite damage also produces a hollow sound.
If you hear faint, clicking noises from your walls, these may be soldier termites sending signals to others in the colony. Worker termites are noisy eaters, and you may even hear them munching away if you put your ear close to the wall.
So how do I get rid of them and make sure they don’t come back?
Doing your own termite pest control can be tricky, since they tend to be found in hard to reach places, and the damage they do may be structural. Products you can buy in the market to treat termite infestations tend to be expensive too.
A few easy ways you can safeguard against termites is to make sure it’s not that easy for them to get into your home. Remove mulch from your house, and consider putting down sandy soil around your home as a barrier. Make sure any outside vents are covered with a screen (steel mesh works great).
Sunlight is a great ally – if you have any infested furniture, simply take it outside and let the sun do its work.
You can also use a wet cardboard as a trap. Place it near an infested area, and once you see termites have moved on to it, you can move the cardboard outside to burn it.
You may also consider buying parasitic nematodes that feed on termites. You can mix them with water and place in a spray bottle, to be sprayed on infested areas.
For heavier infestations, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional pest control company!