Lately a lot of people are asking us “What do termites look like?” While knowing what they look like is important, understanding their behavior and what the signs of a possible termite infestation may look like is important also. Unlike other pests that you are able to visually identify because you see them, termites are actually a creature that lives and reside either underground or inside something. Yes, it’s important to know what a termite looks like, but there’s more to termite identification than what meets the eye!
The two termites that we deal with the most here in Florida are the subterranean termite and the drywood termite.
The subterranean termite, like its name suggests, lives almost exclusively underground. These wood destroying insects come in 3 varieties: the worker, the soldier, and the reproductives. The worker is a ¼ inch long, creamy white, soft bodied wingless termite. They spend their whole lives working and caring for the colony. The soldiers resemble the workers, except that their jaws are larger and they have an elongated yellow head. Their job is to defend the colony. The reproductives are the largest members of the colony; and as you probably guessed, they are the ones that are constantly growing the colony with their reproductive efforts. They are about ¼ to ½ inch in size. They have wings and are a dark-brown color. These reproductives are the ones that are seen flying around when there are termite swarms in the spring.
Drywood termites infest any type of wood that has very low moisture content. This wood can include portions of your home, furniture, playground furniture, fences etc. These wood destroyers are a bit larger than subterranean termites in that they grow to be about 3/8 to 1-inch long. They have a brown, oval shaped, long, narrow body. While these termites do have different type classifications of soldiers and reproductives, they do not have a distinct worker class like subterranean termites.
Now that you have an idea of what they look like and their basic colony structure, let’s look at their behavior and possible signs that you may see that could point to a termite infestation.
Subterranean termites feed on the cellulose that is found in wood, leaf litter, soil, and feces which isn’t so bad out in their natural habitat, but when they get on your property and in your home and other wood structures, they are extremely destructive. Signs of a possible termite issue are:
- Swarmers in the spring. Swarmers come from mature colonies to go start a new colony, and they don’t travel far from their original colony. Chances are that if you have a lot of swarmers around, their colony of origin isn’t far either!
- Mud tubes on and around your foundation. These are tubes that the termites use to travel in.
Drywood termites often reside in dry wood for years before being detected. These termites often infest in smaller groups, but they will infest any dry wood. Some signs that you may have a drywood termite issue are:
- Seeing buckling paint or tiny holes in the wood inside or outside of your house.
- Hearing hollow sounding wood in, on, or around your home may mean that termites have hollowed out the wood.
- Finding piles of ‘frass’ or fecal pellets that drywood termites have ejected out of their nest area periodically.
It is estimated that termites cause over 5 billion dollars in damages per year here in the United States and the majority of these damages are not covered by any type of insurance. So termites can really take a bite out of your wallet. Keep these destructive pests from eating away at your equity or your possessions with help from the experts here at Hoffer Pest. We utilize a 3 step process to rid your property of termites and keep it that way. These steps include a thorough termite inspection of the inside and outside of your home, implementation of a termite control plan where we will exterminate any existing termites, and we will do termite monitoring to keep you protected. Whether you choose the award winning and world renowned Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System or another termite control services, we know you will be choosing the best. We have so much faith in our company and the services that we provide that we offer a Million Dollar Termite Repair Guarantee! Don’t take a chance on termites of any kind, contact us today and get protected!!