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Termites

Subterranean Termite
Termite Workers
Termite Swarmers
How Termites "Swarm"
Should I be concerned if my neighbors have termites?
What Termites Eat
If You See One, You're Probably Already in Trouble
No Home is Safe
Treating Your Home for Termites

(Shockwave Animation) Show Me How Termites Attack

 

Subterranean Termites

Termite Workers (approx. 1/8" long) are pale, white, soft-bodied insects in a termite colony that do major damage to a building, feeding on wood or almost any product containing cellulose or plant material. Colonies are usually underground where moisture is located. These termites build earthen tubes from the soil to the wood supply and can attack a house over bricks or concrete block foundations. Workers never have wings and rarely venture into the open.

Termite Swarmers (1/2" long) are the colony reproductives, both female and male. They develop four wings of equal length and fly from the colony to mate and start new infestations. Termite swarmers are easily confused with flying ants. Termite infestations result in costs over $500 million to building owners in the United States each year.

How Termites "Swarm"

In the spring and sometimes fall, swarmer termites leave their ground nests to start new colonies. These swarmers do not damage wood, only the worker caste does. If you think you have found swarmer termites in your home, retain a few specimens and call your local pest professional.

Subterranean Termites An Uninsured Threat

Subterranean termites are a more common threat to property than tornadoes, lightning, fires and hurricanes combined. No type of construction is safe from termites. They only need to find a crack about the width of a dime to get in. Subterranean termites are estimated to cost homeowners over $1 billion each year in repairs and treatment. Subterranean termites live in the ground and can travel up to 150 feet or more to find a food source. They do not hibernate, and never sleep. They are active all year. The only way to protect your home is through proper professional treatment. Remember, your homeowner's insurance won't cover termite damage.

What Termites Eat

Termites eat more than just wood. Termites are found in every U.S. state except Alaska. In fact, there may be several termite colonies in an acre of ground. They eat anything that contains cellulose: books, carpets, drywall, flooring, subfloor, furniture, trim, window frames and more.

If You See One, You're Probably Already in Trouble

Don't wait until you see a termite to do anything about it. Because they nest and eat in secret, it's likely they've already caused extensive damage by the time one appears in plain view. Hints of possible infestations include:

  • Sagging floors
  • Jammed doors or windows
  • Cracking paint
  • Loose plaster.

No Home is Safe

Termites can plague a whole neighborhood. If one house in the neighborhood harbors termites, an unprotected home may not be safe. Worker termites forage up to 30 feet or more in the search for new sources of food. And in the spring, swarmers leave a nest by the thousands to establish new colonies. It's difficult to detect termites until they've already invaded your home. A comprehensive prevention plan is your best defense against these relentless intruders.

Treating Your Home for Termites

Many things will affect how your home should be treated for termites. You should have a professional conduct thorough inspection of your home in order to customize a treatment plan for your house. The right professional will diagram your home to show where visible damage may already exist and where treatment is planned. Termite hazards identified should be matched with recommended solutions.

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