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Termites & The Problems They Bring To Your Raleigh Home

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Are termites dangerous? How do you get rid of termites? For the answer to these questions and more, here's what Raleigh homeowners need to know. Keep reading to find out how to identify a termite, what kind of damage they cause, how to prevent termites, and how to fix termite damage with pest control in Raleigh.

How To Identify A Termite

Termites can vary in appearance based on the type of termite and their position in the colony. In Raleigh, there are two main kinds of termites you'll encounter: subterranean termites and drywood termites.

The easiest way to identify subterranean termites is by their soldiers and alates. Subterranean soldier termites tend to have pale bodies and are easily identified by their large mandibles and rectangular-shaped heads.

More commonly seen in the open are alates, also called swarmers. They have dark brown to black bodies and wings that look translucent. These termites are responsible for reproduction and will leave mature colonies to reproduce. After mating, these termites shed their wings and start new nests nearby.

Subterranean termites are the most common type of termites in the country as well as North Carolina. They build their colonies underground and the swarmers are often the only termites to emerge above ground outside of their tunnels and nests.

Drywood termites, on the other hand, are more flexible in their living arrangements and tend to live above ground, often in the walls of houses. These termites have long, narrow bodies and coloring that ranges from creamy white to light brown. Their colonies usually don't grow quite as large as subterranean termites. Rather than build underground or in the foundation of homes, drywood termites often hide in attics, studded walls, and even furniture.

Damage Caused By Termites

While you may occasionally spot the termites themselves, most people discover an infestation by finding termite damage. At first glance, termite damage can sometimes look like water damage or just structural problems in an old house, which is why it's important to know exactly what termite damage can look like.

The signs of termite damage include:

  • Tight-fitting doors and windows that constantly get stuck when closing or opening and no longer seem to fit on their frames
  • Tiny holes in the walls that may look like pinholes
  • Loose floor tiles, which can be the result of excess moisture that termites bring into your home
  • Odd, maze-like patterns that show up on wood furniture, walls, or floorboards in your home
  • Floorboards that start squeaking
  • Peeling or drooping paint that may look like it's bubbling or water-damaged
  • Walls or floorboards that sound hollow when you tap or step on them 
  • Soft wood that begins to crumble or easily gives way when you probe it with a knife, screwdriver, or another implement
  • Thin, gritty brown-gray film that may get left behind on the surface of damaged wood

If you notice these or other signs of termites, don't delay in addressing the problem. The longer termites are able to live inside your home, the more damage they will do.

How To Fix Termite Damage

When it comes to getting rid of termites, these pests are far harder to get rid of than they are to bring into your home. The best foolproof way to permanently rid your home of termites and determine how much damage they've done is to contact us at Southern Pest Solutions.

We've been serving the Raleigh area and local homeowners for years, and we can put our experience and effective treatments to good use with your termite inspection. If you see signs of termites, don't wait any longer – call us today at Southern Pest Solutions to learn more about how our termite control services in Raleigh work.

Termite Prevention Is Best

Effective termite control in Raleigh means actively working to prevent them. Here are some quick tips to prevent termite problems around your Raleigh property:

  • Make sure you're keeping firewood, mulch, and cellulose materials (like cardboard) off your property or several feet from your home.
  • Don't let mulch or other wood touch your home's foundation, and if need be, use a gravel barrier to prevent this. 
  • Keep overhanging branches or shrubs trimmed back. 
  • Minimize any sources of moisture, such as flooded or obstructed gutters, from collecting around your home's foundation.
  • Inspect your property for rotting or damaged wood regularly, and get rid of any that you find.

Of course, working with a pest management professional can also help you catch termite infestations early and before they've caused too much damage. We recommend yearly termite inspections, even if you do not see any signs of a termite problem.