termite colony damaging wood

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What are termites?

Termites are wood-destroying insects. They are very good at living near or inside of our homes, feeding on wooden structures for months or even years without detection. Termites are formidable pests and are responsible for causing billions of dollars worth of damage across the United States each year.

Eastern Subterranean Termites

eastern subterranean termites eating wood

Eastern subterranean termites are the most common and widely distributed termite in the United States. These termites divide the members of their colony into three castes: workers, soldiers, and reproductives. Workers make up the bulk of the termite colony. They are cream-colored, have soft bodies, are wingless, blind, and spend their entire lives either in their underground nest or inside the wood that they are feeding on.

Their colonies, while not as large as Formosan termite colonies, are large and can cause significant structural damage in any structure they have invaded over time. These termites are attracted to water damaged or decaying wood.

Formosan Termites

formosan termites on mud tubes

Formosan termites are a species of subterranean termite. They have a much smaller distribution than Eastern subterranean termites. Formosan termites are only found living only in the Southern portion of the United States and Hawaii. Despite not being as widely distributed as other subterranean termites, they still cause a lot of damage due to their extremely large colony size. A single colony could have several million termites in it.

Due to their large colony size, they can cause a lot of damage in a short period of time (six months or less). Like Eastern subterranean termites, they divide their colony into castes: workers, soldiers, and reproductives.

They may enter into homes at its ground level from the soil, but also have the ability to create nests above ground. Formosan termites are also attracted to water damaged or decaying wood.

Drywood Termites

drywood termites hollowing out wooden beam

Drywood termites get their name because they feed on drywood, or wood that has not been damaged by water. Drywood termites make their nest inside the wood they are feeding on. Unlike other termite species that have high moisture needs, drywood termites get all the moisture they need through the air or the wood they're nesting in.

Drywood termite workers look similar to subterranean termites but are larger in size. However, drywood termite colonies are much smaller than subterranean termite colonies. Drywood termites can enter homes through small spaces in the exterior or be accidentally introduced inside of wooden furniture, wooden timbers, and other wooden objects.

Are termites dangerous?

All termites are considered dangerous because of the significant structural damage that they can cause. Termites will invade structures and feed on a variety of wooden structures including furniture, doors, support beams, wooden frames, flooring, and trim. Drywood termites only consume sound wood that has not been damaged by water. Eastern subterranean termites and Formosan termites are initially attracted to water-damaged wood, but as they populate, they will also attack sound wood. Termite damage is costly to repair, especially because most homeowner's insurance does not cover termite damage as it is considered a preventable expense.

Why do I have a termite problem?

Termites often find their way onto properties after a termite swarm. This is when termites emerge from their colony to mate, find a suitable nesting location, and begin a new colony. Termites may also find their way on your property from a neighboring property while out foraging for new food sources. Eastern subterranean termites enter homes through the ground level, emerging from the soil in hidden, out-of-the-way areas. Formosan termites enter at the ground level or through openings found in the roof. Drywood termites are most often introduced into a home through infested wooden furniture and other wooden structures.

Where will I find termites?

Inside homes, termites invade and feed on the structural wood behind walls, above ceilings, and underneath flooring. Subterranean termites and Formosan termites don’t live inside the wood that they are feeding on. Instead, the termites travel back and forth from their food source to underground nest each day through the soil or mud tubes. Formosan termites also create carton nests, which allow them to nest above the ground and still maintain their moisture levels. Their aerial nests are often found on the rooftops of buildings with a flat roof. Drywood termites live, feed, and nest inside of the wooden structures they are feeding on.

How do I get rid of termites?

To get rid of termites from your property or structure, partner with the Texas pest control experts at Romney Pest Control. Our experienced professionals provide reliable and comprehensive termite control services that eliminate termites and then the routine services needed to keep them away for good. If you are looking for high-quality pest control services to keep your Dallas/Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Austin, or Houston area home or business free of termites, contact Romney Pest Control today.

How can I prevent termites in the future?

Keep termites out of your home by following these termite prevention tips:

  • Clean gutters regularly to stop water from backing up and seeping into your home’s walls.

  • Place weather-stripping around all windows and doors to help prevent water damage.

  • Fix leaky pipes, faucets, or fixtures to reduce moisture problems.

  • Use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture levels in your home and make sure crawl spaces are properly ventilated.

  • Repair any damage to the roof as soon as possible.

  • Remove water damaged wood from your home and limit soil to wood contact around your home and on your property.

  • Remove fallen trees, tree stumps, and other organic debris from your property.

  • Leave a barrier of at least 12-18 inches between any soil or mulch and your home’s foundation.

  • Inspect newly purchased furniture and other wooden items for signs of termite damage before bringing it into your home.

 
 
 

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