Different species of termites prefer certain moisture and wood conditions. The subterranean termite is picky about the kind of wood it will destroy, and therefore, homeowners have a means of fighting against them. While these creatures are small, they often group together in colonies of tens of thousands to damage homes over years or decades until the damage is too extensive to simply repair. These pests are major players in home destruction, and their presence can be hard to spot.
How To Identify Subterranean Termites
This pest, while small, can be recognized by its appearance, its caste behaviors, and its leftovers from chewing through your home. Just like all other pests, it leaves traces of its presence.
- These termites have long, narrow, and oval-shaped bodies.
- Alates, the winged caste, have almost-black bodies with milky-colored wings. They usually swarm in the morning after a warm, rainy day. They are about ½ inch long.
- Workers are much smaller. They are ¼ of an inch long and have cream-colored bodies.
- Soldiers have large mandibles to chew wood. Their bodies are wide, flat, and creamy white, while their heads are rectangular and brown.
- Termites create mud tubes to travel through on the exterior of the home.
- They leave feces that look like sawdust and discarded wings from swarmers.
- The damage they cause may cause hollow, weak wood; darkening, blistering wood; and bubbling paint.
- They will destroy the wood in contact with moist soil, mostly below-ground, but they can choose wood above-ground if there’s a leaky pipe nearby.
Termites in the United States rack up an astronomical five billion dollars in damage each year. While termites can and do destroy the wood around windows and doors, they often harm structural wood that can put a home in danger of collapse.
Termite Prevention Tips
Because these critters are picky about the conditions they live in, there are a few ways to deter them from choosing your home and from getting inside. Home maintenance is usually the number-one way.
- Keep water away from the home’s foundation.
- Keep downspouts and gutters diverting the water away from the soil near the home.
- Don’t bury wood scraps or waste lumber in the yard.
- Keep crawlspaces adequately ventilated to reduce moisture.
- Seal cracks and crevices in the foundation to keep termites outside.
- Avoid soil contact with wood, keeping six inches between wood siding and the nearest soil.
- Repair any leaking pipes and get rid of sources of standing water.
- Before using any used lumber for home or garden projects, inspect it carefully for termites.
Taking steps to prevent termites is essential, but it can be hard to control some of the factors that make homes irresistible, especially in warm and moist climates. That’s just one reason why the best prevention method is regular home inspections from a pest control professional.
Ozone Pest Control Can Protect Your Chandler Home From Termites
Termites can be a stressful hazard to homeowners, and at Ozone Pest Control, our number one priority is preventing and eliminating threats to your health and safety. As a family-owned business in Arizona for over two decades, our community is our lifeboat. We want to be yours.
Treat your home for pests before they become a danger to your home that can’t be repaired. We’ll inspect each corner for intruders, treat any problems we see, and prevent future ones with our comprehensive visits. If the pests return before our next scheduled visit, we will, too. Call Ozone Pest Control for pest solutions in Chandler. We offer both residential pest control as well as commercial pest management services.