Characteristics of Termites
What does a termite look like?
Termite swarmers are similar to ants in appearance, except they have a straight waist, straight antennae, and are winged insects. Termite workers are yellow to brown in color and are found in mud tubes (tunnels) or in damaged wood.
Where do termites live?
The termites we most commonly encounter in Kentucky and Indiana are subterranean termites. These termites live in the soil year round and feed upon cellulose. A termite colony consists of a queen, worker termites (feed the colony), soldier termites (protect the colony) and reproductives (swarmers). Even though termites live in the soil worker termites will create termite mud tubes to gain access into your home in search for cellulose (food).
Are termites dangerous?
Known as the “Silent Destroyers,” termites thrive in your home or yard without any immediate signs of damage. However, where there are termites, there is hidden damage. The main reason is that termites consume cellulose-based plant material, which all homes, including yours, is built out of. Worker termites continuously forage for food to feed the other members of the termite colony. A single termite colony can reach thousands and sometimes millions in size.
How do I get rid of termites?
Termites are common in our area and multiple termite colonies can live near your home. Most homes have experienced termites or will experience termites at some time. Once termites are identified in a home a professional must treat the home to eliminate the colony. Eliminating the termite swarmers does not eliminate the termite colony in the soil.
There are a few things you can do around the house to help reduce the conditions that termites look for. They are:
- Eliminate moisture problems
- Repair leaking faucets, water pipes, and A/C units
- Divert water from foundation
- Keep gutters and downspouts clean
- Remove excessive plant cover and wood mulch
- Get rid of standing water on roof
- Keep all vents clear and open
- Seal entry points around water and utility lines or pipes
- Remove termite food sources
- Keep firewood, lumber, or paper away from your foundation or crawl space
- Get rid of stumps and debris near your house
- Check decks and wooden fences for damage
- Wood on your home shouldn’t contact the soil
Warning Signs of Termite Infestation
Some indications you may have a termite infestation:
- A temporary swarm of winged insects in your home or from the soil around your home
- Any cracked or bubbling paint or frass (termite droppings)
- Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
- Mud tubes on exterior walls, wooden beams or in crawl spaces
- Discarded wings from swarmers
Contact us today to learn more about termite protection.
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