Having termites is one of the worst sentences your home can have. As they are a silent killer, unless you are extremely observant, the signs are not usually obvious until the termites have been dining in your home for some time. Notorious for their insatiable appetite for wood, termites have cost homeowners and business owners in the United States billions of dollars a year in damages. Texas has Eastern Subterranean termites primarily raining down their destructive ways on the local homes and businesses and we at A-Tex Pest Managementwould like to take the opportunity to discuss the fundamentals of these termites.
How Do You Identify Termites in Wood?
With long narrow-shaped bodies averaging 1/8” long, subterranean termites have 6 legs and antennae like most insects. Dictated by their castes, their color varies from creamy white to dark brown and black. The swarmers, or the future reproducers (kings and queens), are the only ones with wings, which will eventually be shed.
What is the Caste of Termites?
Eastern subterranean termites are social insects, working together in the colony and are divided into different classes, or castes; soldiers, workers, and swarmers. Swarmers, as we previously mentioned, the future kings and queens. Once their current colony is well established, they will move on to settle a new colony, where they will become the new king and queen. Swarmers generally move on during the late spring, where termites are seemingly more active. After they find the place to begin the colony, they shed their wings; often tell as termites in your home or business. The workers do everything, from caring for the younglings, the queen and king, to foraging for food, and creating the nests, they do all the work. Soldiers are the protectors of the colony, their number one priority is the queen and they protect the colony from predators and enemies.
What Does the Eastern Subterranean Termite Eat?
Eastern subterranean termites require the moisture from soil to survive. They live underground, typically just underneath the foundation of the structure they are infesting for sustenance. These termites will build mud tubes to reach their spoils and pack more soil in the galleries, or tunnels, they excavate and harvest. Termites do not only feed on the wooden materials found in the structure, but the cellulose materials as well. Subterranean termites forage for wood 24 hours a day and 7 days a week using saw-toothed jaws that operate like shears and are capable of chewing off extremely small fragments of wood. Leaving these little destroyers unchecked for extended periods can leave a building in financial ruin even go as far as causing the building to collapse entirely.
What Keeps Termites Away So I Can Keep My House Termite Free?
You can significantly reduce the risk of having your home infested Eastern subterranean termites by applying the following preventative steps:
1) Do not delay in removing any dead tree limbs and stumps.
2) Elevate the firewood at least 18” and stored 20 feet away from the home.
3) Leaky or broken faucets, sprinklers, hoses, and pipes should be repaired quickly to prevent water from accumulating near the foundation. Subterranean termites require moisture in the soil, when the soil is overly dry, they avoid the area.
4) To avoid the swarmers and reduce the humidity levels, make the crawl spaces, attics, and basements are properly ventilated.
5) Keep any mulch 15” away from the foundation.
Termite Pest Inspections, Treatment, Control, Removal & More in Austin, Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville & Cedar Park Texas
If you suspect termites call in the experts of A-Tex Pest Management and let our specialist perform an inspection and from there, we can determine the most optimal solution for extermination before the damage becomes excessive.