Termites are tiny, wood-eating insects that can cause extensive damage to homes and other wooden structures. While they may be small in size, their destructive nature can have a significant impact on the integrity of your property. Identifying the presence of termites early on is crucial to prevent further damage and take necessary steps for their elimination. Treatment & prevention of termites is crucial to saving the integrity of your home and wallet. But how do you tell if you have termites in your building?
What are Termites?
Termites are social insects that belong to the order Isoptera. They are often mistaken for ants due to their similar appearance, but there are distinct differences between the two. Termites have straight antennae, a broad waist, and equal-sized wings, while ants have elbowed antennae, a narrow waist, and different-sized wings. Termites feed on cellulose, a component found in wood, plants, and other organic materials. Their digestive systems contain special enzymes that allow them to break down cellulose and derive nutrients from it. How do you tell if you have termites … well, they aren’t ants.
Where do Termites Live?
Termites can be found in various regions around the world, except in extremely cold environments. They typically live in colonies, which can range in size from a few hundred to millions, depending on the species. Termite colonies are organized into different castes, including workers, soldiers, and reproductive individuals.
Subterranean termites, one of the most common types, live underground and build their nests in the soil. They construct elaborate tunnel systems called mud tubes, which provide them with moisture and protection as they travel between their nest and food sources. Drywood termites, on the other hand, live within the wood they infest. They do not require direct contact with soil and can establish their colonies in wooden structures such as furniture or timber.
Signs of Termites in Your Home
Detecting termite infestation early is crucial to prevent extensive damage. How do you tell if you have a termite invasion… here are some signs to look out for:
Termite swarmers are winged reproductive individuals that emerge from mature colonies to mate and establish new colonies. These swarmers are often seen flying around windows, doors, or light sources, particularly during the spring season.
After termite swarmers mate, they shed their wings. Finding discarded wings near windowsills, doorways, or other entry points can indicate the presence of a termite infestation.
Subterranean termites build mud tubes to protect themselves from desiccation and predators. These pencil-thin tubes can be found on the exterior foundation walls, interior walls, or other wooden structures. Breaking open a mud tube may reveal live termites.
Termites feed on the internal parts of wooden structures, leaving a thin layer of wood or paint on the surface. Tapping or knocking on an infested wooden area may produce a hollow or papery sound.
Drywood termites push out their fecal pellets, known as frass, from small kick-out holes near their nests. Accumulations of tiny, hexagonal-shaped pellets can be found near infested wood.
Sagging Floors or Ceilings
Extensive termite damage can weaken wooden structures, causing floors or ceilings to sag or become uneven. This is a more advanced sign of infestation and requires immediate attention.
How To Eliminate Termites
If you suspect a termite infestation in your home, it is essential to take prompt action to eliminate them and prevent further damage. Here are some effective methods for termite elimination:
Consult a Pest Control Professional
Hiring a professional pest control company, like Priority Pest & Mosquito Solutions, that specializes in termite treatment is often the most efficient and reliable option. They can perform a thorough inspection, identify the extent of the infestation, and recommend appropriate treatment methods.
Professional pest control companies, like Priority Pest & Mosquito Solutions, can apply liquid termiticides to the soil around your home’s foundation or directly on infested wooden structures. These termiticides create a barrier that repels or kills termites upon contact.
Termite baiting systems are another effective method for termite elimination. These bait stations are placed in the ground around your property and contain substances that are attractive to termites. Once the termites feed on the bait, they carry it back to the colony, effectively eliminating the entire colony. These baiting systems are best installed by an exterminator.
For localized infestations, treating the infested wood directly with termiticides or heat can be effective. This method is often used for drywood termites infesting furniture or small wooden objects. Although this will kill termites at a localized location, it will not stop termites from infesting other areas of your home.
Prevention is key to avoiding future termite infestations. Regularly have your home inspected by an exterminator for signs of termites. Keep wooden structures away from direct contact with soil, and address any moisture issues promptly.
Choose Priority Pest & Mosquito Solutions to Exterminate Termites
Termites can cause significant damage to your home if left untreated. By learning what termites are, where they live, and the signs of their presence, it will help you answer the question of how do you tell if you have termites in your building. It will also allow you to take proactive measures to eliminate them and protect your property. If you suspect a termite infestation, it is advisable to contact Priority Pest & Mosquito Solutions as soon as possible before your infestation gets worse. Our exterminators are highly trained in eradicating termites and preventing them from coming back. We have been serving the OKC area for many years with superior pest control services. Not only can we rid your home of termites, we can also rid your home & property of all types of insects & rodents including roaches, wasps, spiders, silverfish, bed bugs, mice, rats, moles, gophers, and most importantly, mosquitoes. Call us today for a free estimate to see what it will take to make your home pest free.