What are Termites
Termites are one of the most destructive pests on the planet. Termites are beneficial in nature because they feed on decaying and dead wood. However, they can become a problem when they chew on structural wood in buildings. Each year, they cause billions of dollars worth of damage across the United States. Termites split the colony members into three distinct castes: soldiers, workers, and reproductives.
Termites like to eat dead plant matter such as woodchip, leaf litter, soil, and decayed logs. Although they are often called "white ants", they are not closely related to ants.
The United States has approximately 50 species of termites. These termites are most often found in American homes:
Can be found all over the United States. They live underground in nests, as their name implies.
Damp Wood Termite
The Damp Wood Termite prefers damp conditions and can live in extreme moisture. They enter homes through wood in direct contact with damp soil.
Dry Wood Termite
The Dry Wood Termite is found close to coastal areas. These termites don't require much moisture to survive.
How do you know if you have termite damage?
Termites can cause serious damage to homes
Termites can be ecologically beneficial as they help to reduce soil detritus and add nutrients to the soil. However, termites' feeding habits can also cause serious damage to homes. Termites can cause structural damage to wood structures by eating primarily on wood. Termite damage to structures can make them unlivable, even if expensive repairs are made.
Structural property loss
Not only are homes made mainly of wood at risk from termite activity, but so is any other structure. Termites can also infest homes made of other materials. They are capable of navigating through plaster, metal siding, and many other materials. These termites feed on wooden furniture, ceilings, cabinets, and floors within these homes.
It is important that termites are not missed before significant damage has been done. This is why it is recommended that homeowners with termite problems contact professionals before trying to solve the problem themselves. A professional will inspect the property to identify the problem. They will also discuss treatment options with homeowners.
How to Identify Wood that is Damaged
Different types of termites can cause damage to homes in different ways. Drywood termites are found in tropical areas that are humid and produce wood pellets or powders from their burrows. By tunneling too close, they can cause wood to become blistered.
Wood that is soft to the touch is a sign of dampwood termite infestation. Also, dampwood termite infestation is more common in moisture-damaged wood. The wood infested with dampwood termites usually shows no external damage, as the fecal material is plugged with any openings in it.
Subterranean termites, which are also more common, are even more prevalent. Subterranean termites cannot live outdoors so they create galleries in timber. Even wood that appears clean from the outside can be infested by tunnels. Tap or probe the area with a screwdriver to determine if it is infested. It is simple to puncture severely damaged timber as it sounds hollow. Most likely to be affected is untreated wood or damp wood that comes in contact with soil. Formosan termites, which are primarily soil-residing termites, can form aerial nests.
How to check for termites in your home
Termites cause more damage to American homes each year than all natural disasters. Homeowners can prevent future infestations by catching them early. Residents can catch any pest activity early by performing careful inspections. Termites can be identified by flying swarmers and wood damage as well as shelter tubes.
Termite Inspection & Removal
Many of these tests can be done by homeowners on their own. Professional pest control technicians are more knowledgeable about termite biology, habits, building methods and other aspects of the pest. They can conduct more thorough and effective inspections. Professional pest control technicians have the best tools and equipment to locate termite nests, assess the extent of damage, and provide termite treatment.