Termites

There are over 2,000 known termite species found in areas from deserts to rain forests. In the United States, there are over fifty different species which are divided into three categories, Drywood, Subterranean and Dampwood.

 

  • Drywood termites build their colonies inside wood.
  • Subterranean termites live in underground colonies and construct mud tunnels from the ground up onto a structure for passageways to gain access to wood sources above ground.
  • Dampwood termites build their colonies in wet and decaying wood.

 

Termites are a social insect living in colonies that vary in size from hundreds to several million termites and can take up to five years to become fully mature. The colonies consist of nymphs that are responsible for gathering of food, soldiers that are responsible for defending the colony against predators, and queens and kings that are responsible for reproduction. Once a colony is mature, a swarm of both male and female insects (swarmers) are produced, and fly out of the colony to mate and create new colonies. Soon after swarming, both the males and females lose their wings.

 

Left unchecked, termites devour wood, and can cause extreme structural damage to a building.

 

Identifying swarming ants and swarming termites when you see them:

  • Ants have bent antennae – Termites have straight antennae.
  • Ants have two pair of double wings of uneven length – Termites have two pair of double wings of even length.
  • Ants have a thin abdomen – Termites have a straight abdomen.

 

Drywood termites have elongated oval shaped bodies that are pale white to light brown in color 3/8 to 1 inch in length. Soldiers have large, rectangular, dark heads with well developed jaws.

 

They are found in dry wood, and feed on all types of wood, and occasionally other materials such as books and carpet. Being nocturnal, they are unlikely to be seen in the daytime, but evidence of their activity can be found around windows and door frames in the form of  discarded wings, piles of sawdust or wood shavings and sand sized droppings the color of the wood being digested, known as frass.  Unlike Subterranean Termites, they do not require any direct connection to soil.

 

If you have issues with Termites, contact a professional, to inspect your home, identify the species and design a Termite treatment plan. We are highly trained and equipped to handle your situation.

 

Subterranean termites are creamy brown in color and are 1/8 to 1 inch in length with long, narrow, oval shaped bodies. They live in underground colonies, constructing passageways (mud tunnels) from the ground up onto a structure in order to gain access to above ground wood sources, and transport soil to these feeding sites to maintain moisture. Because of their thin skin, they require a constant supply of moisture.

 

If you have issues with Termites, contact a professional, to inspect your home, identify the species and design a Termite treatment plan, we are highly trained and equipped to handle your situation.

 

Dampwood termites live and feed on damp or decaying wood around the home or in homes with leaking water, caused by leaking plumbing or other water leaks keeping the wood wet. Also, gutters filled with wet leaves attract dampwood termites. They will tunnel their way into wood and hide while eating to stay undetected. To avoid these termites repair any water leaks in the home and keep damp decaying wood away from the exterior perimeter of your home.

 

If you have issues with Termites, contact a professional, to inspect your home, identify the species and design a Termite treatment plan, we are highly trained and equipped to handle your situation.