What are Termites?
Termites are insects that live and feed on wood. Many people in the world confuse them with ants because they might look just like ants, but there is a huge difference between termites and ants; learn the types of termites there are so that you can eliminate them properly. Termites feed on wood, and ants collect their food from its surrounding. The common thing between both of them is that they live in colonies.
Termites are whitish in color, have six legs, wings, segmented bodies and are so small ¼ to ½ inch long. They hide in warm, moist environments, and termites live in social groups called colonies. They are hungry all the time and eat 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Termites eat dead plants, cardboard, trees, and also paper backing on sheetrock to mention a few.
Types of Termites
There are three main types of termites:
Dampwood termites are one type of termite and are slightly larger than the others. As the name suggests, dampwood termites prefer to live and feed on moist and wet wood. Dampwood termites love to live close to the ground and don’t have a worker in their colonies; they work individually. Dampwood termites do not damage homes because they only live in moist and wet wood while in our homes, we use drywood. However, if your home contains leaking pipe and that pipe touches any wood, then there is a chance of them entering the house.
The next type of termite are drywood. They work in colonies of about 2,500. Like dampwood, drywood termites do not have a worker rather than they have a false worker who is juvenile in appearance who performs several duties like feeding colonies as well as caring for the eggs. Drywood termites are hazardous for the house because they love to feed on bare dry wood, as you know from the name. They are commonly found in door frames.
Subterranean termites build their nests underground, usually damaged wood has an accumulation of soil or mud within the tunnels of the wood they are eating. Since subterranean termites only eat the softwood, damaged wood appears to be layered, the result of the workers not eating the hardwood portion. In addition, subterranean termites feed “with the grain” rather than across the grain, as do drywood termites.
How Serious Are Subterranean Termites?
As the most common type of termite nationwide, subterranean termites cause billions of dollars in structural damage every year. In addition, they eat books, paper products, cellulose-based products, and a variety of other plant-based goods.
How to Detect the Types of Termites in Your Home?
If you believe you have termites in your home or office it is recommended to call a professional right away to ensure you measure the extent of the damage as well as to locate them all in your location.
Termites often live in your home for an extended period of time without you detecting them. The following are the top 4 signs there is termite activity:
- Blisters in wood flooring
- Hollowed wood
- Confirmation of swarms
- Mud tubes
Blisters in wood flooring
These areas show that they are feeding themselves within or below the wood floor. Subterranean ones damage the floor in this way that looks like it has water damage.
Hollowed wood is the most dangerous because they eat below and behind surfaces, just like walls and floors made of wood. They chew all the wood because they are in search of cellulose, and they leave behind a long pencil-like long mud tube. As time passes, these mud tubes weaken the wood and damage it from inside.
Confirmation of swarms
Discarded termite-wings are a sign that a new colony is starting. Most often discarded wings are found near windows, doors as well as other home-access. They twist their wings off because they no longer need them as they are now starting their new life cycle.
Mud tubes are basically found where the ground meets the edge of the house or any other place where your house touch with any tree or shed. Mud tubes need a specific type of humidity level to survive, and homes provide that temperature, that’s why you often find them in the house.
How can you prevent your home from different types of termites?
There are a few main methods by which you can prevent your investment from termites:
- Remove all lumber, wood, plants, mulch, paper, cardboard, etc., from around the foundation.
- Ensure sure storm drains empty a few feet from the foundation and that your soil drainage is effective in minimizing overly moist soil.
- Create a 4-inch barrier between mulch and your home. Ideally, only the concrete foundation should touch the soil, with siding starting at least 6 inches above the soil.
- Fix leaky faucets and eliminate other sources of excess moisture, as that creates perfect conditions for termite invasions.
- Keep plants a few feet away from your home for the best termite prevention.
- During swarming season (after the winter thaw as temperatures rise), turn off outdoor lights at night. If possible, relocate lights to recessed areas away from doors and windows, as the light attracts swarmers.
What to do when you have them?
When you see you have termites in your house, you can immediately do the following things.
- First, contact a professional to ensure the safe removal and protection of your investment.
- If you plan on doing it yourself, then, create a barrier around your house using a liquid termiticide treatment.
- Use termite bait or termite killing poison on the entire colony of termites.
- Use nematodes (roundworms that can kill termites) to destroy the whole termite colony.
- If there are a lot of termite colonies, then call a professional to remove termite colonies.
- Termites are in search of cellulose; try to remove cellulose based debris from your house.
- Put a gap between your house and the ground.
Tools That Professionals Use
Professionals use the following tools to detect the types of termites in your home:
- Acoustic emission detector: The best thing about this detector is that it recognizes them by their sound.
- Gas detector: Carbon-dioxide or methane are best to detect termites.
- Ice pick/Screwdriver: Screwdriver is used to prob the hollow spots.
- Borescope: Borescope has a flexible shaft as well as has fiber-optic light, which helps to suspect the tiny holes.
- Moisture meter: As we know that dampwood termites love to live in moist place. So, the moisture meter helps to check the moisture above 15%.
- Microwaves: Microwaves help to detect the termite moving through the wood as well as under the drywall or tile using a radar.
- Infrared imaging: Infrared imaging help to scan the elevated moisture level with the help of heater. It will help to make visible the termite colony.
Termite Pest Solutions
ProForce Pest Solutions uses an advanced bait systems to free your home from the termites. Our advanced technologies include the following steps to remove all types of termites:
- The professional management team will inspect your whole house for termites, if it is determined you have them, then we will install around the perimeter of your home the Advanced Bait System.
- Second, we will start checking termite activity once we find they are feeding on bait. As the bait starts to work on one termite, it will affect the others and eventually destroy the entire colony.
ProForce Pest Solutions serves; Residential, Commercial, and Industrial customers across Nassau Country, Suffolk Country, Queens, Brooklyn, and New York. If you believe you have a termite problem contact us.
Check us out on our new Facebook Page and leave us a comment or review.