Termites aren’t something many homeowners think about. Finding out you may have an issue with them can be a little intimidating. There are a few different types of termites, and it is important that you figure out which ones have made their way into your home. Once you have identified which termites are inhabiting your space, you can devise a plan of action to get rid of them once and for all.
Signs of termites
While several of the signs are subtle, they won’t be missed. The two biggest signs of a termite infestation are mud tubes and swarmings. If you are noticing mud tracks up the side of your house or alongside it, you know to do further investigation. Swarmings happen outside of the holes termites have used to begin their colonies. If you see something like this and discover a hole nearby, you most likely have an infestation.
3 Types of Termites
There are three types of termites, though one variety is more common than the others. Even though they live differently and thrive off of different things, the damage they create is almost identical. These are the different names, and where you may find them in regards to your home and property.
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Subterranean termites are the most common species in the United States. Almost 90 percent of the termite infestations across the country are attributed to these insects. In order to build nests and travel, the subterranean termites build mud tubes using soil. This would be the signal that sets off alarm bells when deciding which type of termite is infesting your home. If there are no mud tubes present, your infestation is not from a subterranean termite.
These are the types of subterranean termites
- Eastern subterranean
- Arid Land subterranean
- Western subterranean
The farther you live from the gulf coast, the greater the chance is that you are infested with subterranean termites versus the two other options. The Formosan termites are set apart from their family members in a big way. They often do more damage than any other type of termite, which has given them the nickname “super termite.” While the location for the Formosan termites has been known to be in the southern states and close to the gulf, they have been spotted in other states like California and Hawaii.
These termites get their name because they prefer damp places. Basements and crawl spaces are ideally where you may find dampwood termites because they need a moisture-rich climate. Broken trees and logs that have fallen or washed up onto shore often host these pests, especially around lakes and riverbanks. Unlike the subterranean termite,the dampwood termite does not use soil at all. In order to thrive in the area they are infesting, there must be an ample supply of free water for the termites. The damage they do is similar to the subterranean termite but once the moisture issue is corrected, they will die off. Homeowners must make sure there are no leaks, free standing water, or anything else that would attract these pests to their home.
Drywood termites like dry wood. They live in homes where the structure is sound to begin with, and then they eat their way through the home. Like the dampwood termites, these pests do not use soil at all. The wood they eat gives them the moisture they need to continue their journey and reproduce. One sure sign you are infested with this type of termite is the swarming over a small hole in the structure.It is referred to as the “kick hole” and indicates the entire colony of termites are living in your building. If an infestation is present you will likely find bodies of these pests in places like the window sill or in lighting fixtures attached to the ceiling.
Because the drywood termites devour all of the wood in their path, they produce fecal pellets. The presence of fecal pellets positively indicates that the drywood termites are in the structure of your home. When examining damage left behind, you may discover that both the soft springwood and hard summerwood have both been eaten. Drywood termites are the only variety of these insects that will eat through both types of wood, not just one or the other.
Finding out that your home or property has a termite problem could be a huge issue. If caught early enough, you may be able to head off a full blown infestation. As the homeowner you need to research the types of termites that could be building their homes in your place and figure out the easiest way to get rid of them. The subterranean termites are the most common, but the other varieties have been damaging as well. Once you identify the type of termite invading your space, you can begin the extermination process before it becomes a problem you can no longer handle alone.