Termite Facts

Termites are difficult to detect, at least, until they have caused extensive damage to your home. They eat through wood and most other materials, building nests and ruining the structural integrity of your home, making them not only a pest, but a danger.

Lawrence Pest Control knows how to deal with termites, and has the solutions that you are looking for, and the solutions that you need. If you think you have termites, or aren’t sure if you do and want to find out, call us and schedule a free inspection today!

Facts about termitesTermite Control

  • Nicknamed the “silent destroyer” due to how they can conceal themselves and thrive in your home or yard without any instant signs of damage.
  • All homes can contain cellulose food for a termite infestation independent of their construction type. Termites eat cellulose foods.
  • The mouth of a termite can rip apart pieces of woody material
  • Typically 1 cm to a few millimeters in length
  • Feeding habits can cost property damage.

What do termites eat?

  • Termites eat cellulose-based plant materials.
  • Detritvores or detritus feeders meaning that they feed on dead trees and plants as well as dead pieces of living trees such as wood or the wood in the soil.
  • House foundations
  • Furniture
  • Shelves
  • Books

Where do termites live?

Subterranean termite 

The subterranean termite usually forms its home in the soil. Termites build elaborate tunnel systems and form mud tunnels within these mounds, which allow them access to above-ground food sources.

Drywood termites

These termites live within wood and they can often be found infesting walls and furniture.

Swarming termites

Winged, swarming termites can be seen once a colony has matured. They are often seen around doors and windows. They are highly attracted to light and most active in the spring time. After they mate, they find a new breeding site and create a new colony which in turn spreads the termite infestation through multiple locations especially in the case of a drywood termite.

How do I protect my home from termites?

To start, eliminate any moisture conditions and termite food around your home. Do so by following these steps:

Eliminate Moisture Problems

  1. Repair:
    • leaking faucets
    • water pipes
    • A/C units
  2. Keep water away from foundation
  3. Clean:
    • gutters
    • downspouts
  4. Ensure that there is no excessive plant cover and wood mulch
  5. Make sure that there is no standing water on your roof.
  6. Open and clear all vents
  7. Wherever there is water and/or utility lines or pipes, seal nearby entry points.

Remove Termite Food Sources

  1. Keep away from foundation or crawl space:
    • firewood
    • lumber
    • paper
  2. Clear any stumps or debris near your house.
  3. Ensure that all outside vents have screens
  4. Check for damage:
    • Decks
    • wooden fences
  5. Any wood on your home should not be in contact with the soil.

Termite Warning Signs & Identification

Infestation indicators:

  • Look for swarms of winged insects in your home or around the soil of your yard or home.
  • Termite droppings also known as frass.
  • Paint that is either cracked or bubbling.
  • The wood will sound hollow when it is tapped.
  • Mud tubes will be located on/in:
  • Discarded wings from swarmers.
    • Exterior walls
    • Wooden beams
    • Crawl spaces.

How long do termites live?

Because termites live in the soil, they are exposed to a variety of fungi and predators that can breach colonies. Because of this constant exposure to danger, termites have become fantastic survivors.

Queen termites can live up to decades under ideal climate conditions. Workers and soldiers live for one or two years.

Termite colonies can outlive the primary queen. By the time the queen dies, the colony can have quite a large territory.

Subterranean termites have been studied by scientists using DNA analysis to size and map out the vast amount of their territories and colonies. There was one study that concluded that there are over 20 colonies per acre in some areas. This shows that the long-living termite queens can die, but the secondary queens and reproductive termites can keep the reproduction progressing.

Because of the queens long life span, termite infestations can go on for years unchecked. This allows them plenty of time to do extensive damage to many different structures. The estimated cost in termite damage in the U.S. each year exceeds $5 billion.

Termite Eggs

  • Resemble caviar
  • Small
  • White
  • Translucent
  • Ovoid in shape
  • A queen’s first clutch will contain about two dozen eggs.
  • Queens can lay eggs throughout their amazingly long lives.
  • Termite eggs are large enough to be visible to the naked eye.
  • Typically located in wall interiors or underground nests
  • Rarely seen by humans.
  • Eggs are the first stage of the termite life cycle
  • Termite eggs are not an indicator of infestation.

Termite Larvae

Newly hatched termites are often referred to as “larvae,” not to be confused with the larvae of complete metamorphosis insects like flies. Termite larvae typically hatch within a few weeks and are the size of the egg from which they hatched. Larvae comprise a large part of the termite colony.

Termite Swarm

Spring is the main swarming season for many of the underground termites. Dampwood and drywood termites however, will usually swarm in the summer. Species typically swarm under favorable weather conditions.

Most termite colonies won’t produce a swarm unless the colony is at least three to four years old.

Termite Colony

Termites are social insects that live in colonies that are governed by a caste system. All three casts vary immensely in looks and duties.

Worker termites

  • The most numerous and most destructive members.
  • They can be found infesting walls or floor joists of a home.
  • Blind
  • They are white in appearance and navigate with their antennae rather than their eyes.
  • Responsible for:
    • Bringing food back to the colony
    • Caring for the other castes
    • Constructing the galleries and tunnels that form the physical colony.
  • A mixture of mud, saliva and feces are used to create mud tunnels to and from sources of food by subterranean termites.

Soldier termites

  • Pale yellow-brown in color
  • Have enlarged heads and mandibles.
  • Soldier termites rely on workers to assist them in eating due to their enlarged jaws that prevent them from doing so themselves.
  • Defend the colony from attacks
    • Occasionally attack other termite colonies
    • Main threat is ants.

Reproductive termites

  • Essential piece of the colony’s structure.
  • Young reproductive termites, which are known as alates, are black and winged.
  • Both the male and female reproductive termites participate in mating swarms when the weather is idea and has correct moisture and humidity.
  • After mating, they land and shed their wings.
  • New colonies are formed and these insects that recently mated become reproductive kings and queens.

Back to Lawrence Pest Control

termites 3Termites are very damaging to any home. They love the dark, so they will hardly ever come out into the light to be seen, and therefore are hard to detect. Not only do they eat wood, but they will also eat paper, cloth and carpets.

Termites have also been known to chew through plastic and even some metal! They use these materials in their constructions. Termites will use anything that is made of Cellulose, which is anything that is made of soft plastic, or other rubbery substances such as acrylic paint.

Termites cause extensive damage in the southwestern United States, with actual dollar damages in the billions.

Lawrence Pest Control is a local pest control agency that knows how to deal with termites in a safe, eco-friendly way. If you don’t know if you have termites, we can find out for you, with a free inspection! Our trained technicians will know what to look for, and even better you will have peace of mind, knowing that we will take care of your pest problems.

Call today for your free inspection!