6 Facts about Termites You Should Know
May 19th, 2015
Most species on the planet perform a specific, important purpose. Even the termite falls under this category. There are over 2,300 species of termites worldwide, and over 40 of these species are found in the United States, particularly in the Southwest. While many of these species keep to themselves, performing their own tasks, some of them can also be a major problem. In fact, about $5 billion worth of damage can be attributed to termites in the United States each year. To help you understand more about this pest, we have 6 facts you should know about termites and the appropriate methods of pest control in St. Augustine, FL, for getting rid of an infestation.
1. Termites Are Detritivores
Termites are an insect that is often mistaken for ants. Unlike ants, however, they have a more tube-shaped body, 2 sets of wings that are matching in size, and straight antennae. In the natural world, termites serve a very important purpose. This purpose is to break down dead plant and tree material, making way for new plant growth. Because they consume dead plant material, termites are considered detritivores.
2. Two Main Types of Termites
While there are thousands of different species of termites, they can generally be categorized into 2 types: subterranean and drywood. Subterranean termites live in the soil, creating tunnels and mud tubes that lead them to food sources above ground. Drywood termites, however, prefer to live in the wood that they consume.
3. Either Type Can Be a Threat
While drywood termites are more likely to be found living within the home, subterranean termites will create tunnels leading into a home to get at any materials they might deem as consumable. In the home, termites have been known to consume framing within walls, furniture, insulation, books, paper, base boards, and other plant-based materials.
4. Termites Are Hard to Spot
Knowing whether your home is playing host to a colony of termites can be tricky. One of the best ways to tell is by actually seeing a termite in your home. Unfortunately, this is not a common occurrence. Termites prefer the dark, and do not often leave the colony. Once a year, however, usually in the spring, some of the termites may leave the nest in what is called a “swarm,” looking to begin a new colony of their own. These termites will often be found near windows or doors, as they are attracted to the light.
Other ways to spot a termite infestation are to look for mud tunnels on the home’s foundation or on beams. For drywood termites, you may find termite droppings, called frass, which look like small wood-colored pellets. These pellets are often found near wood that sounds hollow when tapped. If you are still not sure if you have termites, it may be time to call a professional at Champion Termite & Pest Control. They are trained to know what to look for in the home when it comes to termites.
5. Treating an Infestation
It’s always best to call a termite professional. They will be able to identify the extent of the damage, the location of the colony, the species of termite affecting your home, and the best method of treatment to safely rid your home of the damaging pest. They will also be able to help you prevent future infestations.
6. Termites Are Preventable
One of the best methods of pest control is prevention. For termites and many other pests, you should be sure to have any leaks repaired in the home, and to remove standing water. Termites, particularly subterranean termites, are attracted to moisture. You should also be sure to avoid stacking wood near the home, make sure that any wood on the home is not making contact with the soil, and that any cracks or other points. These tips are helpful but should never be considered as a stand-alone termite prevention. In almost every case, it’s much cheaper to have a professional do a preventive service than a corrective treatment later after damages have incurred.