Termites are wood destroying insects that are known for causing a lot of damage, therefore, costing homeowners a lot of time, stress, and money. With over 40 different species of termites in the United States, they are divided into three main types: Subterranean, Drywood, and Dampwood termites.
- Subterranean: the termites that fall under this category live in the soil. These termites are known for building the largest nests of any species of termites. They also make mud tubes that connect their nests to their food source (trees, fences, decks, and other wooden structures in and around a home). This type of termite is found in every state in the US except Alaska, and is known to be the leading causes of termite damage to homes.
- Drywood: these termites are commonly found in wood structures that have naturally dried (such as dead trees) or in wood structures that have been treated to keep moisture off (like hardwood floors). These termites can cause serious damage to a home, but because their colonies are typically on the smaller side, the deterioration of infested areas happens slower.
- Dampwood: these termites feed off wood that contains high levels of moisture. Due to homes containing lower moisture levels, these termites are rarely found in homes and other man-made wooden structures.
How Do You Get Termites?
Termites are sneaky insects, they can fir through a crack that is only 1/32 of an inch wide. Termites feed on cellulous such as wood, paper, and cardboard.
- Since Subterranean termites live in the ground, they often enter a home through cracks at ground level or below the surface. Structures such as porch steps, deck posts and doorframes are common entry points for these termites.
- Infestations of Drywood termites are typically started by swarmers which locate gaps in wood and seal themselves a nest to produce eggs and build a colony. If not spotted early, these nests can cause serious damage in a few years. Since these termites don’t need contact with soil the range of their damage is much wider than that of Subterranean termites. Their points of entry are unlimited, any crack from the foundation up is a possible entry point for these termites.
Signs You Have Termites:
A common misconception is that termites are only active during the Spring. The truth is, termites are active all-year-round. The following are a few signs to look out for – if you notice any of these signs, it would be in your best interest to call an exterminator right away.
- Rippled surface or sunken areas on the walls – tunneling done by eating away at wood can cause distortion on wood surfaces like uneven wall covering or bubbling paint.
- Hollow wood – a simple tap on the wood can help determine if there is termite damage. The more damaged the wood, the more hollow the sound.
- Drywood termites leave piles of wood-colored droppings where they have nested and eaten.
- If you see swarmers, which are commonly mistaken for ants, but are white, straight and have beaded antennas, and thick segmented bodies, that is a big sign that you have a termite problem.
If you think your home is infested with termites, or you want someone to check for preventative reasons, call 910-455-5888 and one of May Exterminating’s friendly team members will be happy to assist you.