The Importance of Annual Termite Inspections


mud tubes found on home

Termite infestations can go unnoticed for long periods of time until major damages have noticeably occurred. By then, it’s too late. It could get out of control quickly causing you to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on repairs or worse - the rebuilding of structures damaged beyond repair and standard home insurance policies rarely cover the cost.

Two of the most common species of termites are the subterranean termite and the drywood termite. Subterranean termites live underground where there is moist, loose dirt. They live in huge colonies sometimes numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Above ground, they make mud tunnels using dirt, their feces, and their saliva. Drywood termites live in the wooden structures where they eat. They can be found in walls and furniture and can go undetected until maze-like tunnels show through or cracks are created in the wood.

If your neighbors have any type of termite infestation, then mostly likely you do too, as they can travel more than 100 yards from their colony. If you have sagging ceilings and floors, piles of insect carcasses and wings, or areas of your home that have an appearance of water damage, you probably have an infestation. You can also discover that you have an infestation when you see the mud tubes appear on the foundation of your home. Termites also excrete a particular scent like of mold or mildew, so in large infestations, this smell will be quite noticeable. They do not usually pose a health hazard to humans but can cause asthma in some people.

What Do Termites Look Like?

Termites have a distinct look regardless of the type. They have six legs, a head, two antennae, a thorax and an abdomen (the thorax and abdomen look like one part). Two of the six legs protrude from the thorax and the other four from the abdomen.

The queen is usually hidden from sight so that she can produce offspring. Her abdomen will usually be much larger than that of the other termites. She will have dark brown lines on a paler abdomen.

Workers are the ones you are most likely to see. They are the ones eating their way through the wood in your home. They are pale and slimy with no particular features, almost like a large maggot.

Soldiers protect the nest and are not usually seen unless the nesting site is disturbed. Their heads are dark yellow with pincers that are dark brown, almost like an earwig.

Swarmers you will probably see. They have large white wings on their back and their bodies are black or very dark brown and closely resemble flying ants. They can swarm on outside walls and window sills in great numbers. If you see these swarmers, your termite infestation is most likely full blown.

To eliminate termites from your home You need:

  • A thorough termite inspection by a professional annually

  • Elimination of current termites

  • Termite monitoring

  • Maintenance on a regular basis

To stay ahead of any termite infestation, it is imperative that you seek the aid of a professional pest control service like American Pest. Our experts are certified operators of the very effective Sentricon® System with Always Active™ which effectively eliminates existing colonies and remains discreetly in place to deter future foraging termites.

Don’t stress wondering if you have an infestation or get frustrated over all the steps involved in trying to get rid of them yourself with products and tips that don’t work. Let the highly trained and trusted termite experts at American Pest help protect your home!

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