What You Need To Know About Subterranean Termites
If you are a homeowner, it is very important that you protect your home from termites. These little insects can do thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home.
Early detection and extermination is the meaningful to protecting your home from damage. But what does a termite look like and where are you most likely to find them? How do you get rid of them? This article will answer these questions about subterranean termites.
Subterranean termites are secretive creatures that like to live just beneath the surface of the soil and bury themselves in wood. They travel by mud tubes and are rarely exposed. There are a few indicators that your home may have termites.
- If you see a swarm of winged insects around your home, especially after a rain, you should speculate termites. The swarm does not last long. Look around window sills, doors, heating vents and bathtubs for wings that have been left behind. This is a good indicator of termites.
- Look around your basement or crawlspace for tubes about the diameter of a pencil that are made of mud or dirt. These tubes are the way the termites travel from the soil to the food source. These tubes can be against a structure or free standing. They disappear into the fractures of masonry, or around doors or window frames.
- Since termites eat the wood from the inside out, damage is not noticeable upon first visual inspection. Tap the wood with a screwdriver or hammer. If it sounds hollow in places, break a piece of this wood off. Termites leave a honeycombed pattern that is sometimes packed with soil.
- Sometimes you will come across live termites in the wood. They are about the size of a grain of rice and are light colored with a soft body. They will move away quickly when exposed to light.
Termites have colonies much like ants. The worker termites are the ones that you would see in the wood foraging for food. They are white and soft bodied. The soldiers are responsible for protecting the colony. They look much like the worker termite except they have an enlarged head that contains two large jaws to fight off predators.
Winged termites are responsible for reproducing and increasing the colony size. The king termite will assist the queen in initiating the colony and building it. The queen creates the colony by laying eggs and attending to it. She can live for ten years and produce hundreds of eggs each year. It is not uncommon for one colony of termites to have millions of members.
If you speculate that you have termites the best thing to do is to call a specialized exterminator. Shop around, ask friends and neighbors for recommendations. Get the best quality for the best price. Your home is a long term investment. Don’t take a chance on the do it yourself products on the market today. The faster you get rid of those subterranean termites, the less damage they can do.
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