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What do termites look like?

Subterranean termites are a common species of termite that creates its nest underground. Termites are a wood-destroying pest that can cause extensive damages to the properties that they have decided to invade. Subterranean termites live and work together, dividing themselves into three different castes- workers, soldiers, and reproductives.

feeding termite

Workers- Workers make up the majority of the termite colony, and spend their entire lives under the ground or inside of wooden structures that they are gathering food from. Worker termites have a soft creamy white body, are wingless, blind, and grow to be a bit longer than a grain of rice.

Soldiers- Soldier termites look very similar to the workers, but they are slightly larger in size and have an elongated yellowish colored head, large strong jaws, and short legs. The job of the soldiers is to defend the colony against threats.

Reproductive Members- The winged reproductive members of the colony are the largest members of the colony; they are winged and are dark brown to black in color. Reproductive members will emerge from a mature colony in order to find a mate and start a new colony of their own. Witnessing a reproductive termite "swarm" is often the first indicator that a termite colony is living and feeding nearby. Winged termites are often mistaken for winged carpenter ants which can lead homeowners to mistakenly think that they are dealing with an ant infestation when in reality their home is being eaten away by thousands upon thousands of termites.

Are termites destructive?

Yes, termites are an extremely destructive species of insect. These insects are responsible for causing billions of dollars worth of damages to properties all across the United States each year; damages that typically are not covered by homeowners insurance. Termites feed on the cellular material that is found in wood and other plant matter. The termites feeding habits help to break down decaying matter and are very beneficial to the environment, however when termites find their way into homes and begin feeding on the structural wood found inside, their feeding habits suddenly become very destructive. Termites are initially attracted to moisture-damaged wood, but once established they will move on to feeding on and damaging sound wood and personal items like carpets, photo frames, furniture, molding, and books. Also, the build-up of their fecal pellets can cause staining to occur on the surfaces of walls and flooring and can even create an unpleasant odor inside of your home.

What are the signs of a termite infestation?

Termites leave behind many signs of their presence, knowing the signs of a termite infestation and scheduling routine professional termite inspections are great ways to prevent major termite damage from occurring inside of your Virginia home. Common signs of a termite infestation include:

  • Finding mud tubes running along the ground toward your home, running up your home’s foundation, or running along basement walls. Termites create mud tubes, which can be as small as the width of a pencil, to safely travel back and forth from their nesting area and food sources.
  • A termite swarm. A termite swarm occurs when the reproductive members fly from a mature colony in order to mate and create a new nest; in the process, they create a termite “swarm.” Witnessing a termite swarm is a good indication that a termite colony is located near your home.
  • After a swarm, the reproductives lose their wings very quickly. If termites are nesting in or near your home you may find piles of their wings on window sills, around doorways, or on porches and walkways.
  • Discovering walls or flooring in your home that are splintered, weathered, or that have small holes on its surface, floors that feel spongy when you walk across it, or doors and windows that have become warped and are no longer opening or closing properly.

Why do I have a termite problem?

Termites feed on the cellulose found in wood and other organic materials. Termites are on your property or inside of your home searching for food sources. Termites are attracted to wood that has been damaged by water or that is decaying, having water damaged wood on your property or in your home can attract termites to it. Termites are also attracted to moist soil; soil that comes into direct contact with wooden structures on your property allows termites to have easy access to food, moisture, and shelter- the three things they need to survive.

How do I get rid of termites?

Eliminating and preventing problems with wood-eating termites is a job that is best left up to a highly trained professional who has access to the latest treatment options and technology. At RichPro Pest Management, Inc., our termite control professionals can provide the accurate identification and treatment services needed to completely eliminate a termite infestation from your Virginia home and property. Our professionals understand termites and can quickly get rid of them through our dependable termite control services. To learn more about controlling and eliminating termites through our Termite Defender™ service or to schedule your no obligation, free inspection and estimate contact us today at RichPro Pest Management.

How do I prevent termites?

To keep termites from choosing your Virginia property to invade, the termite professionals found at RichPro Pest Management want to suggest some helpful termite prevention tips. First, it is important to remember that termites are attracted to moisture, to help reduce moisture levels in your home use de-humidifiers or air-conditioners and make sure that ventilated fans have been installed in all bathrooms. To avoid water seeping into your home’s walls make sure that gutters are working properly and are not clogged. It is also important to fix any leaky pipes, fixtures, and faucets that are located inside or outside of your home. To prevent termites from being attracted to your home and property remove any wood in or on your home that has been damaged by water, limit soil to wood contact on your property, and eliminate piles of leaves, sticks, fallen limbs and other organic debris from your property. It is also important to seal any cracks found in your home’s foundation to help prevent termites from being able to make their way inside of your home.

Additional Termite Articles

What Does Termite Damage Look Like?

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