When you fear you may have termites, decisive action may be the key to saving you thousands in out-of-pocket repairs, as termite damage often isn’t covered by insurance. Termites are especially dangerous because they are difficult to spot with the untrained eye. If left unattended, these insects can eat 5 grams of wood in a day, and with multiple colonies, termite damage can quickly get out of control. Not only are these destructive insects small and hard to spot, but they may also be targeting areas of the home where damage isn’t as easy to see.
How To Identify Termites
One reason that termites often go undetected for so long is that termite identification can be tricky. Commonly confused with other insects and varying in appearance within one colony, homeowners may misidentify termites without wings as ants, or the signs of an infestation may simply be invisible to them. While there are many different species of termites, North Carolina residents most often have to worry about subterranean termites.
Subterranean termites are exactly what they sound like. Their names tell us that they live underground, so proximity to moist soil is a draw for these pesky insects. Unlike drywood termites, subterranean termites have large, diverse caste systems in which several different-looking termites perform specialized tasks. With one queen capable of producing 1,000 eggs per day, reaching a mature colony of 60,000 termites doesn’t take long.
Workers make up the largest group in the caste system. Workers only grow to about ¼ of an inch and usually have cream-colored bodies. They have small jaws to help them chew and move materials. Soldiers are also cream-colored, but their heads are a darker color brown. They have larger jaws, rectangle-shaped heads, and flat, wide bodies. If you see termites without wings, you are likely seeing one of these two types.
The other level of the caste system, winged termites called alates, are also called swarmers. They are dark brown, almost black with milky-colored wings. They can grow up to ½ an inch long. Alates are often referred to as swarmers because they may swarm around kick holes in the wood after certain weather conditions like a warm rain.
Termite identification is a lot easier when you know what they look like, but knowing the signs of an infestation may be even more critical.
How To Tell If You Have Termites
Spotting a termite isn’t as easy as spotting the signs of a termite. Subterranean termites avoid exposing themselves to outside air, choosing to stay underground or traveling through mud tubes to stay moist. That is why it’s essential to know the signs of an infestation and where to look for damage.
When looking for signs, keep a lookout for these termite tells:
- Mud tubes on the home’s exterior that look like long, brown tunnels
- Soft wood that sounds hollow when tapped
- Dark or blistering wood
- Uneven or bubbling paint
- Feces that look like sawdust
- Discarded wings near doors and window sills
- Swollen doors and windows that are hard to open or shut
- Wood that easily splinters when prodded
As subterranean termites are most successful when they have nearby access to moist soil, there are a few things you can do to limit the damage to your home and the allure it provides to termites. Keeping your soil at least eight inches from wood siding should provide a buffer to keep termites at bay. Making sure your soil moisture level is under control can also help make your home and yard less attractive to termites.
Unfortunately, termites are not pests that can be dealt with through do-it-yourself methods. For the most effective termite prevention and extermination, rely on the best termite control company in Apex.
Termite Inspection Near Me
For the best termite control company in Apex, call Southern Pest Solutions at the first sign of termites. Not only can regular visits from a pest control professional help you catch termites early, but they can keep your home safe from pests year-round.
Southern Pest Solutions has a unique approach to termite treatments that keeps your preferences in mind every step of the way. After the initial inspection, we will treat the soil around your foundational walls. After the first year, you can get our termite services for 10% of the service price every year for up to ten years. During that time period, we will spot treat for termites at no extra cost to you.
For satisfaction-guaranteed pest control services in Apex, NC, and surrounding areas, call Southern Pest Solutions and protect your home from termites, today.