Termites live in large social colonies and divide themselves into different castes: workers, soldiers, and reproductives. The workers are the most numerous members of the colony. They are creamy white, wingless and grow to be about ¼ of an inch in length. Worker termites have a soft body and are born blind. The soldiers look similar to the workers but have strong jaws and an elongated yellow head. The reproductives are the biggest members of the colony.
What Is A Termite Swarm?
A termite swarm usually occurs in the spring when the colony matures and reaches a certain size. When the weather is optimal, usually just after rain, the dark colored, winged, reproductive members swarm from the colony. Homeowners often see termites swarming because they do so during the day. Once the winged reproductives swarm from the colony they mate, loose their wings and then the females go on to start a new colony. Seeing a termite swarm or evidence (piles of wings) of one is a very good indicator that a termite colony is either living in or near your home or business.
- Termites feed on the cellulose of dead or decaying wood, leaves, and soil.
- Termites are responsible for creating 5 billion dollars’ worth of damage to homes and businesses all across the United States.
- Termites often enter into homes through cracks in the foundation when they are foraging for food. Once inside they often start feeding on structural wood behind walls, above ceilings, and underneath floors.
How Do I Know If I Have Termites?
A termite infestation can be difficult to spot because they nest and travel underground and eat wood from the inside out. Termites will however, leave behind some signs of their presence. Termites build mud tunnels out of dirt and saliva to travel through. If you have termites present you will notice mud tubes which are about the width of a pencil traveling toward your home or on exterior walls. Termites will build intricate tunnels through wood that they are living and feeding on. Over time these tunnels will weaken the structure of the wood causing floors and ceiling to sag and warp. Here are some other signs that could indicate a termite presence:
- Wall will become blistered or splintered.
- Piles of feces (tiny pellets) and wood shavings on the floor
- Seeing termite swarm
- Finding piles of wings underneath of windows and doors from swarms
If you've discovered termites or termite damage in your home, control is a must! Left un-treated, termites will cause extensive and costly damage. Mitchell Pest Services offers termite control in Virginia Beach and Richmond that will kill termites foraging around your home AND the entire colony including the Queen. Give us a call today to discuss our termite treatment options and how we can help you on your way to a termite-free home.
How Do You Prevent Termites?
It is almost impossible to stop termites from choosing your property to live on. Although professional pest control is the best and most thorough way to prevent termites, you can take some steps to help prevent them from choosing your property. The major way is to reduce the levels of moisture in or near your home or business. Here are some ways to make that happen and other tips to keeping your property termite-free:
- Make sure that gutters are directing water away from your home.
- Fix leaky outdoors faucets.
- Remove or replace decaying mulch from garden areas
- Replace any wood in your home that has been damaged by water.
- Remove piles of leaves, fallen trees, and tree stumps from your property.
- Seal cracks and crevices in the foundation of your building to prevent termites from gaining access inside.