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Pests: Termites 101

posted this on Aug 4, 2016


You find out that you definitely have a termite problem, now what? It’s always a good idea to learn a bit more about the pest inside your home, so you can act accordingly. So, here’s some info about termites that you maybe don’t know about.


Termites are often called the “Silent Destroyer” because there’s a chance they’re secretly hiding and flourishing in your home or yard without any immediate signs of damage. All termites eat cellulose-based plant materials, but unfortunately, all homes, regardless of their construction type, can offer cellulose food for a termite’s belly.


ermites are detritivores, or debris feeders. They love to munch on dead plants and trees as well as dead parts of living trees, including wood and wood in the soil. A termite’s mouth is capable of chewing through pieces of woody material. Their ability to chew on wood is what causes concern in human homes. While termites only measure approximately 1 cm to a few millimeters in length, their feeding habits are capable of causing costly damage to property. House foundations, furniture, shelves and even books are all possible feeding sites for termites.


Subterranean termites live in colonies underground, from which they build tunnels in search of food. They are able to reach food above the ground level by building mud tube, and are dependent on moisture for survival. Subterranean termite colonies are usually active for three to five years before winged reproductives appear. A subterranean termite infestation begins when warm temperatures and heavy rainfall trigger a colony to send out a swarm of winged termites that are ready to mate and reproduce. After mating, swarmer termites land and shed their wings, leaving them in piles that resemble fish scales. If there are piles of wings on windowsills of your home, check to see if they are all the same size, if they are the same size, they could be termite wings.


Although drywood termites are far less common than subterranean termites and are found primarily in coastal, southern states and the Southwestern states, drywood termite damage is still substantial. Drywood termite soldiers have large mouthparts with teeth. Also, most drywood termite soldiers and workers are larger than the soldiers and workers in subterranean termite colonies. Drywood termites create colonies in wood, with no connection to the ground necessary. They are often found in attic wood and need very little moisture. Just like subterranean termites, when a drywood termite colony is mature, swarms of winged termites are produced. These reproductive termites fly out of their colony to create new colonies after mating. Drywood termites have very distinct fecal pellets called frass. They are a hexagonal and all are a similar size of 1 mm long. The termites kick them out of their tunnel, and if you start noticing mounds of these pellets it indicates activity.


If this information about termites has convinced you that you definitely need to do something about the termites in your home, go to ePest Solutions to effectively get rid of those termites!

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