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Category: How To Get Rid Of Mice | 03.03.2014
Termites are capable of causing serious structural damage to homes and require expert attention to detail. Termites are often called the “silent destroyer” because they may be secretly hiding and thriving in your home or yard without any immediate signs of damage.
When the colony has matured, winged, swarming termites can be seen around windows and doors.
Although reproductive termites bear a distinct resemblance to winged ants, both males and female reproductive termites survive beyond the mating swarm and go on to found colonies, whereas male winged ants die after mating.
Soldier termites often are equipped with enlarged mandibles which aid in defense against predators and other threats.
Although termites usually do not attack without provocation, their colonies are often assaulted by natural predators such as ants. Since termites are a constant threat to your home, here are some things you can do during the year to help maintain the effectiveness. Small steps make a big difference in termite prevention and sustaining an effective termite treatment plan.
Although termites are ecologically beneficial in that they break down detritus to add nutrients to soil, the same feeding behaviors that prove helpful to the ecosystem can cause severe damage to human homes. Homes constructed primarily of wood are not the only structures threatened by termite activity. Because termites are often not identified before considerable damage has occurred, it is advised that homeowners experiencing a termite infestation contact a pest control professional before attempting to address the problem on their own. Subterranean termites also access above-ground food sources through mud tunnels they create from saliva, mud and feces. Although termite damage may be reversed through professional repair, measures should always be taken first to ensure that the infestation has been fully exterminated and that the home is protected against future infestations. Contact a termite inspector to schedule an inspection of the home to determine if there is termite activity. After ensuring that your home is free of termites and risks of future infestation, existing damage should be repaired. In an average year, termites are responsible for $1 billion to $2 billion in property damage.
Common signs of termite infestation include sagging floors and ceilings, traces of dust similar to dust, piles of wings that resemble scales and areas that seem to be slightly water damaged. However, although structural failure due to termite damage is not at all uncommon, it can be easily prevented through the use of regular inspections and treatments.
Drywood termites are usually found in warm, southern climates, while subterranean termites are found  throughout the continental United States. In order to address a drywood termite infestation, exit holes should be located. Drywood termites nest and thrive inside the wood on which they feed, constructing elaborate mazes and gallery chambers within walls and furniture.
The first sign of a termite infestation may be wormlike mud tunnels that run up walls or foundations.
Ceilings and sagging floors result from both subterranean and drywood termite infestations. Subterranean termites live within the soil and access above-ground food sources through tunnels that workers construct of saliva, mud and feces.
Termites cause more damage to walls than to most other parts of infested homes: because walls are thinner, an infestation spreads more quickly and severely compromises the strength of walls. To prevent these costly procedures, it’s advised that homeowners schedule annual termite inspections with their local pest control experts to develop a solution specifically designed for their home. Termites consume a variety of cellulose, organic materials and may infest books, picture frames, window trims, furniture, floors and ceilings.
Repairing termite ceiling damage depends upon the level of infestation and the materials of which your ceiling is constructed. To prevent costly repairs, homeowners can employ the services of professional pest control companies to perform annual inspections.
Of the types of termites found in America, subterranean termites are the most common and are responsible for the most damage to structures.
In order to prevent extensive and costly damage to your home’s structure, a termite control barrier may be implemented. Although they are most commonly known for their wood-eating habits, termites are capable of damaging other noncellulose-based materials, such as carpeting. In late spring and early summer, termites participate in swarms wherein winged male and female reproductives mate and go on to form new colonies.
Other signs of termite infestation depend on species but may include sagging walls, loose plaster, piles of plaster or wood dust and stuck doors or windows. Dampwood termites get their name from the damp, sometimes decaying, wood that they use to locate their colonies.
The dampwood termites sometimes use their fecal pellets to seal the galleries where they live from the outside air.
Because moisture is critical to these termites, solving moisture problems is an important part of dampwood termite control. When a drywood termite colony is mature, swarms of winged male and female reproductive insects are produced.
It is estimated that termites cause over a billion dollars in damage to United States homes each year. Although drywood termites are far less common than subterranean termites and are found primarily in coastal, southern states and the Southwestern states, the damage they cause is substantial. Formosan termites prefer warm climates and densely populate certain areas of the American South. Formosan termites are native to East Asia and were introduced to the United States in the 1940s, following World War II. A subterranean termite infestation begins when warm temperatures and heavy rainfall trigger an established colony to send out a swarm of winged termites. If you are constructing a new home, especially in a high-risk area, it is advisable that you obtain estimates from reliable professionals for termite-proofing your home. These numerous species are broken down into subterranean termites, dampwood termites and drywood termites.
Alternatively, drywood termites make their nests within cellulose-based materials such as lumber, siding and wooden trim. Termites are difficult to detect because of this cryptic nature and are a destructive force when left unchecked. A further distinguishing characteristics of Subterranean Termites is the presence of protective tunnels constructed from mud, saliva and fecal matter. Termites are social insects in that they have an organized structure in a colony with a king, queen and various castes, each of which have a specialized function. SubterraneanTermites and Drywood Termites  are an integral part of local  ecosystems by breaking down dead cellulose material.
Unlike Drywood Termites, Subterranean Termites are more cold tolerant and therefore, are more common throughout Southern Australia.
Termites are an integral part of a fully functioning ecosystem, converting decaying organic cellulose material into fertile soil, out of which new generations of flora flourish. In these areas, the termite’s need to feed on cellulose causes considerable damage to homes and other structures. Termites swarm, and soldiers are known to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of their colonies. While termite colonies include a highly evolved soldier caste, these soldier insects are equipped to combat invading insects, such as ants and members of rival termite colonies. Although homeowners experiencing an infestation should not be concerned about receiving bites from termites, professional extermination methods should be sought and implemented to protect the structure of your home. Signs of termite infestation depend on the type of termite but can include termite droppings, damaged wood, sagging floors or ceilings, mud tunnels located near the foundation or winged swarmers. Depending on the termite species, mud-based termite nests may be either subterranean or above ground in the wood.
Termite nests have been reported to be extremely large, spreading over a 50 to 100 meter radius. Some tropical subterranean termites build amazing above-ground mounds which can grow to be extremely tall; some mounds found in Africa and Australia stand six meters high. Termites are insects that live in colonies composed of thousands of specimens and which appear to function as a single organism.
Flying ants have pinched waists and bent antennae and are often mistaken for swarming termites. Some buyers find it shocking that brick or masonry homes have termite infestation or damage. An inspection is a small investment which will give the buyer good information as to visible conditions related to termite infestation and damage. While Orkin only offers termite inspections to existing homeowners, you should consider hiring a traditional home inspector and employing a Termite Pest controller before purchasing real estate or buying a home. Contact your local pest control professionals to discuss preconstruction termite control methods available to you; the cost incurred by these preventive measures will be minimal in comparison to those potential costs incurred by an infestation. In order to identify a subterranean termite infestation, pest control professionals perform inspections and may employ monitoring stations.
Control of termites also involves homeowner assistance by reducing possible termite food sources such as woodpiles and addressing moisture sources. It is best to employ a variety of pest control methods when addressing a termite infestation.
Worker termites discover these baiting systems and believe the bait to be a viable food source. After subterranean termites have been discovered feeding within a structure, a professional exterminator can place monitoring stations into the soil. Termite control bait will contain one of a number of slow-acting insecticides, which kill termites over the course of a few weeks to a few months. While there are a number of do it yourself termite control methods available in stores, it is always best to employ the services of a pest control professional when combating a termite infestation.
Pest control professionals are possessed of the knowledge, technology and chemicals necessary to eradicate a termite population from an infested home.
Less potent versions of these do it yourself termite control treatment are available for purchase in stores. Termite infestations oftentimes do not make themselves known until their severity has exceeded the abilities of most home-remedy treatments. There are various termite control methods readily available in stores. They include sprays, baits and other products. Many of the over-the-counter solutions are repellent to termites who will detect the application and find a way around it. A specialized assortment of products and equipment is necessary to effectively treat termite infestations. Pest control professionals first assess the severity of the infestation by performing a complete inspection of a home or property for termites and their damage. If constructing a new home, or trying to protect an existing home against infestation, one thing some homeowners do is install physical termite barriers.

Most subterranean termites favor loose, moist soil from which workers construct protective mud tunnels to access above-ground food sources. The ant's body is constricted, giving it the appearance of having a thin waist; the termite's body is not constricted. The ant's hind wings are smaller than its front wings; the termite's front and hind wings are about the same size. Winged female and worker ants have elbowed antennae; the termite's antennae are not elbowed. There are more than 2,500 different types of termites in the world and at least 17 different types of termites in California. The western subterranean termite, Reticulitermes hesperus, is the most destructive termite found in California. Most termite species swarm in late summer or fall, although spring swarms are not uncommon for subterranean and drywood termites. Homeowners might confuse the winged males and females that leave the nest on mating flights with termites. Carpenter ants don’t consume wood like termites but excavate it to make their nests, which in large colonies can consist of an extensive network of galleries and tunnels often beginning in an area where there is damage from water or wood decay. There are in fact over 350 species of termites in Australia of which only a few species actually damage timber in houses. Sometimes evidence of termites can be seen from the presence of mud-like tubes or galleries they build to travel away from their nest.
If you find live termites, damage or even suspect you have termites do not cause any disruption to the area and arrange to have an inspection carried out by a trained pest management professional.
Within these mounds, termites build elaborate tunnel systems and mud tunnels through which they access above-ground food sources. Winged termites are highly attracted to sources of light and are most active in springtime.
The Compass Termite (Amitermes meridionalis) of the Northern Territory is known for its tall (3 m – 4 m) mound nests. Swarms are comprised of male and female reproductives from fully established termite colonies. Although they vary slightly between species, there are typically three castes in a termite colony.
The enlarged mandibles also render soldier termites incapable of feeding themselves; worker termites are responsible for feeding other termite castes.
When this occurs, soldier termites sacrifice themselves by remaining outside of the breached colony while workers repair any damage. Because termites feed primarily on wood, they are capable of compromising the strength and safety of an infested structure. Homes made from other materials may also host termite infestations, as these insects are capable of traversing through plaster, metal siding and more.
Although subterranean termite species in Africa are famously aggressive and known for the obvious mounds above their colonies, signs of subterranean termite damage within the United States are much less obvious. The termite inspector will be able to offer services to deal with active infestations as well as preventatives.
Contacting several local contractors for estimates may be a good idea before repairing termite damage.
Contrary to popular belief, termites are not partial to aging wooden structures; they have been known to inhabit new buildings within a short time after construction. Trusted termite inspectors will provide two-part reports, outlining damage already present and potential causes and locations of future damage. Subterranean termites build their colonies underground and can travel above ground to access sources of food. When a colony matures and produces reproductive termites, workers create small holes to allow them to exit.
Termites are particularly attracted to damp wood which may be found in basements and tunnels, so termites are often discovered either within basements or emerging from them. The tunnels are created by subterranean termites who uses their feces, or frass, as part of the building material for the tubes. In the event of more severe infestations, wooden surfaces may become so compromised that they buckle or collapse. By the time signs or termites presence become visible, it is highly likely that a home is already experiencing a full-blown infestation.
Walls are particularly susceptible to termite damage for a number of reasons: they are accessible from the ground, and their surface area is considerable.
This large surface area appeals to termites as a food source, as many insects can feed on the same piece of wood without having to travel and forage too far. By choosing the correct materials, having a pest control professional pretreat the home, and having a regular termite inspection by a termite control specialist, your home may remain termite free. Damage caused to laminate flooring by termite infestations can appear similar to typical water damage. However, the first visible signs of termite damage often indicate full-scale infestations and can require expensive replacement. Almost any exposed wood or gap underground can allow these termites enough access to cause significant damage to a home’s foundation. Pest control professionals may treat soil with pesticide and wooden frames with repellents. Dampwood termites are much larger then the subterranean termites that are common across the country. Because these treatments require special tools and equipment, it is advisable to call a termite control professional. While subterranean termites burrow underground, drywood termites do not need the soil. After a colony of drywood termites has gained entrance to a home, they are capable of dispersing widely throughout many rooms and floors. Formosan termites were thought to have entered the country via various port cities, resulting in patchy concentrations. Pest control professionals are best equipped to take preventive measures, which could save homeowners from severe loss.
Wood that is in contact with the soil or wood that is constantly wet are ideal nesting sites for these termites. Subterranean Termites tend to move within foundation cracks and feed on damp wooden sections of the home or structures around the home.
Today, the same biological traits that make termites ecologically beneficial also make them costly pests in suburban and urban environments.
Termites will consume wooden floors, support beams, foundations, furniture, books and many other materials found inside. Soldier termites are equipped with enlarged mandibles, which they use to defend their colonies against enemies such as ants and other termite colonies. Both subterranean and above-ground termite nests also function as shelter and a place to rear their offspring. Subterranean nests are comprised of internal roads which allow worker termites to gather and deliver food to the colony.
When two colonies compete for resources, both colonies can be harmed. There are several well-documented subterranean termite colonies that stretch for acres in barren deserts. Termite damage far exceeds damage caused to homes by tornadoes, hurricanes and flooding and is rarely covered by homeowner insurance policies.
Resinous woods are naturally termite resistant, and some other woods are chemically injected to deter termites. These monitoring stations allow for detection of high-traffic areas where termite control bait will be most effective. Although extremely effective in ensuring that a colony will perish, treating infestations solely with termite control bait may be a lengthy process. Pest control professionals are likely to use multiple custom control methods when treating a termite infestation. These highly destructive insects are notoriously difficult to exterminate and can cause substantial, costly damage to your home if not treated with a science-based solution.
Professionals are trained to address termite infestations with several methods of treatment that mayinclude bait stations, monitoring stations, sprays, foams and fumigation tents depending on termite species and situation.
However, they are less likely to be entirely effective and your home is likely to experience continued infestation if they do not successfully eradicate the entire termite colony. Termites are extremely destructive and can cause costly damage to the home when left untreated for long periods of time.
One of the other challenges is that the size of termite colonies requires a thorough and complete treatment which many of these spot treatments will not accomplish. Termite control methods may be ineffective if incorrectly administered; it is advised that a pest control professional be contacted in the event of any suspected infestation. Insecticide residuals neutralize areas deemed immediate threats in order to prevent costly damages caused by continuous termite feeding. However, there are several species of subterranean termite that prefer sand over other types of soil. Sand termite barriers can be made from uniform sand particles of an approximate 16 grit size. Many people are confused when they see 'flying ants' and cannot determine if the insect is truly an ant or a termite. Reproductive winged forms of subterranean termites are dark brown to brownish black, with brownish gray wings.
However, you can distinguish between ants and termites by the differences in their antennae, waist, and wings. Once termites find an entry point into timber, they eat if from the inside out, leaving a thin outer layer intact to protect them from the outside environment. Contact us and we will put you in touch with a local pest control company in your area who specialises in termites who can inspect or treat your home. Unfortunately, all homes, regardless of their construction type, can provide cellulose food for termite infestation. Drywood termites live within the wood they consume and oftentimes infest walls and furniture.
After mating, these termites locate a new breeding site and create another colony, spreading infestations throughout multiple locations in the case of drywood termites.
Hormones are thought to control the numbers of each caste, with imbalances corrected by nymphs developing into whichever form is needed at the time.
Unlike worker and soldier termites, these reproductives are equipped with wings, and many species are dark in color.
The termite queen is responsible for maintaining and increasing the population of the colony. These three castes all work to ensure the ultimate survival of the colony. Of the three castes, soldier termites are responsible for the protection of their colony. Outward signs of termite damage include buckling wood, swollen floors and ceilings, areas that appear to be suffering from slight water damage and visible mazes within walls or furniture. Drywood termite infestations may only become apparent after a colony has burrowed so deeply into an infested item that the veneer cracks and the maze-like tunnels beneath become visible.
Drywood termites leave small piles of feaces that resemble pellets where they have eaten or nested. These tunnels are constructed of mud, feces and saliva and are used to protect worker termites as they journey above ground for food.

Drywood frass can be different colors, depending of the color of the wood termites have been eating, but all drywood droppings are six-sided. In the event of any signs of termites, contact a termite Pest Controller to discuss treatment options. Worker termites also build tunnels from mud, saliva and feces, which they use to remain protected while traveling to above-ground food sources. If you suspect an infestation in any area of your home, contact a local pest control professional to schedule an inspection. They will invade wood that is on the ground, especially if it is decaying. Dampwood termites are common along the Pacific coast. If the wood is very damp, the fecal pellets may stick to the sides of the termite galleries. Subterranean termite colonies are usually active for three to five years before winged reproductives appear. Pest control experts will also be able to make recommendations that can help to prevent termite infestation.
Subterranean termites build large colonies  underground, which are composed of elaborate tunnels and chambers. Drywood termites can be more difficult to detect and aren’t typically noticeable until small piles of pellets (their feces) collect.
Termites also have four wings of equal size, while the flying ant’s four wings are two distinct sizes. These species cause problems to human structures: subterranean termites and drywood termites.
The presence of these mud tunnels are sure certain sign of current or past Termite infestation and activity. Although ants attack termites as a source of food, termites usually only attack ants in defense of the colony. If you have questions about reading your termite reports, consult the pest control provider who created the report.
Purchasing a Termite inspection is an important way to understand whether the home has evidence of current or past infestation and damage.
If considering the purchase of a newly constructed home, ask the seller whether home has received a termite pretreatment. Traditional home inspectors often are not thoroughly trained to recognise existing or potential termite damage.
Mature colonies require constant feeding and can inflict damage every day that they are left undetected. For these reasons, it is highly advisable to engage in preconstruction termite control when building a home or other structure.
While no method can guarantee safety against natural pests, termite-resistant wood has been remarkably effective in protecting new homes from infestation for a time. This is an important step in controlling an existing infestation as well as preventing future ones.
While waiting for the baits to take effect, pest control professionals will supplement treatment with liquid residual barriers in order to limit further damage in areas identified as active. Contact a pest control professional to arrange an inspection and discuss treatment options.
It is best to allow pest control professionals to design and implement a comprehensive extermination plan for your home. Monitoring stations can be replaced by termite bait stations, which contain slow-acting termite control bait. These termites pose a particular threat to houses, which they may enter through garages, foundations and poorly fitted pipes and insulation.
Their presence in structures is seldom noticed until damage is discovered or the termites swarm within the building. Pellets tend to accumulate on surfaces located below the kick holes and are usually the first evidence of a drywood termite infestation. Because of their high moisture requirements, dampwood termites most often are found in cool, humid areas along the coast and are typical pests of beach houses.
Also, carpenter ant sawdust is fibrous versus the 6-sided shaped pellets of drywood termites. Seeing these colonising flights doesn’t necessarily mean there is a termite colony attacking your home however it can be an indication that a large nest is nearby. This ability is what causes concern in human dwellings: while termite workers only measure approximately 1 cm to a few millimeters in length, their feeding habits are capable of causing costly damage to property.
This is especially the case for subterranean termite species, which gain most of their water from the soil. Addressing these threats may prevent termite infestation and can save homeowners considerable money on structural repairs.
Subterranean swarming termites most commonly start new colonies around homes in the late spring and summer, when mating swarms are active.
Colonies are usually small, but in ideal conditions dampwood termite colonies can become large.
If you find piles of tiny pellets in your home, it could be a sign of a drywood termite infestation.
This can allow them to build nests that do not require them to return to the soil like most subterranean termites. Most scientists believe that Formosan termites can be spread through infested wooden railroad stakes. Winged, reproductive termites are frequently mistaken for flying ants, but are smaller than ants and have straight, rather than bent, antennae. Worker termites then construct protective tunnels made of mud and saliva in order to reach above-ground wood. When termites attack homes, though, they are a pest and cause over $5 billion in damages in the U.S.
Even when visible within the home as flying insects, termites can sometimes be mistaken for Ants. Subterranean termites nest underground, while drywood termites establish their colonies within the wood on which they feed and do not need the soil. Essentially, termites definitely bite wood and do attack other insects, but they do not bite people.
Soldier termites are capable fighters and will sacrifice themselves to protect their colonies. Newer foundations may be built with termite-resistant wood or may be treated to prevent infestation.
They are often applied to soil prior to building slabs being poured. These barriers can be effective in preventing a subterranean termite infestation.
Bait stations contain slow-acting baits that worker termites bring back and feed to the other members of their colonies. The costs incurred by employing the services of a professional will pale in comparison to those incurred by rampant structural damage caused by thriving termite colonies. Although chemicals included in bait stations vary by manufacturer, all baits operate in the same manner: worker termites bring bait back to the colony and feed it to nymphs, soldiers and queens. Dampwood termites are very limited in their distribution: most species are found only in California and the Pacific Northwest. Drywood termites are found in the southern tier of states, from North Carolina through the Gulf Coast and into the coastal areas of California.
Drywood termites tend to cut across wood grain destroying both the soft spring wood and the harder summer growth. House foundation, furniture, shelves and even books are all possible feeding sites for termites. Should this occur on new furniture or the floors or walls of your home, contact a pest control professional to discuss the severity of your infestation, as well as extermination options. After winged drywood termites swarm, their wings shed and can be found in small piles throughout an infested home. The presence of these tunnels near the foundation of your home is a sure sign of subterranean termite infestation. If your home has leaky pipes or other moisture situations, it may be attractive to dampwood termites.
Some homeowners will dismiss the termites as pesky ants and ignore them with no preventive science-based or extermination methods taken.
During swarms, an existing termite colony sends out a large number of winged reproductive males and females. To create a barrier to protect your home from termites contact pest control professionals to avoid damage to foundations and to ensure that beach homes are efficiently protected. Dampwood termites derive their name from the fact that they live and feed in very moist wood, especially in stumps and fallen trees on the forest floor. In comparison to other termites drywood colonies are rather small (a few thousand individuals), and the colony develops relatively slowly. Subterranean termites typically follow the grain of the wood, feeding primarily on the soft spring wood.
Because of the moisture requirements of subterranean termites, they are often found in wood that has wood rot. Most species of termites have microscopic, one-celled animals called protozoa within their intestines that help in converting wood (cellulose) into food for the colony. Just like drywood termites, subterranean termites produce winged swarmers which indicate an active termite colony.
If mud tunnels are visible on the walls or foundation of your home, it is highly likely that you are experiencing a subterranean termite infestation. These mating swarms may result in several newly fertilized king and queen termites attempting to establish colonies of which many may be within or around a home. Drywood termites are common on most continents and can survive in very dry conditions, even in dead wood in deserts.
Dampwood termites produce distinctive fecal pellets that are rounded at both ends, elongate, and lack the clear longitudinal ridges common to drywood termite pellets. Termites that nest in dry wood don’t have such strong water requirements and may attack wooden structures that are not necessarily very damp. After mating, swarmer termites land and shed their wings, leaving them in piles that resemble fish scales. In the desert areas of California, Heterotermes aureus, is the most destructive species of subterranean termites. Subterranean termites are very numerous in many parts of the world and live and breed in soil, sometimes many feet deep.

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