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Termites: Small, Winged, Wood Destroying Insects

Termites are small, winged insects that are found in many parts of the world. These insects are often referred to as "white ants," although they are not closely related to ants. Termites are known for their ability to damage wooden structures, and they can cause significant problems for homeowners if left unchecked. In this article, we will take a closer look at termites, including their biology, behavior, and the steps you can take to protect your home from these pests.

Termites are social insects that live in colonies, which can range in size from a few hundred to several million individuals. Each colony is organized into a caste system, with different termites performing specific tasks based on their role in the colony. The three main castes in a termite colony are:

  • Workers: These termites are responsible for foraging for food, building and maintaining the nest, and caring for the young. Workers are usually pale in color and have soft bodies.
  • Soldiers: As their name suggests, these termites defend the colony from predators. They have large mandibles that they use to bite attackers.
  • Reproductives: These are the termites that are responsible for reproducing and establishing new colonies. Reproductives are typically larger than workers and soldiers and have wings.

Termites are known for their ability to consume wood, which they do by using a combination of their powerful mandibles and a special enzyme called cellulase. This enzyme breaks down the cellulose in wood, allowing termites to extract the nutrients they need to survive.

Termites are most commonly found in warm, humid climates, and they are often found in areas with a lot of wood, such as forests and wooded suburban neighborhoods. These insects are attracted to the moisture and cellulose found in wood, and they can cause significant damage to buildings and other wooden structures if they are left unchecked.

There are several different types of termites, including drywood termites, dampwood termites, and subterranean termites. Each type of termite is slightly different and tends to prefer a specific type of wood or habitat.

Drywood termites are found in dry, undecayed wood and are commonly found in homes and other buildings. These termites do not need contact with the soil in order to survive, and they can often be found in attics, walls, and other areas of a home.

Dampwood termites are found in damp, decaying wood and are commonly found in trees and logs that are in the process of decomposition. These termites do not typically infest homes and other buildings.

Subterranean termites are the most common type of termite in the United States, and they are found throughout the country. These termites live in underground colonies and build tunnels in order to access wood above ground. Subterranean termites are a particular problem in areas with high soil moisture levels, as they require contact with the soil in order to survive.

There are several steps you can take to protect your home from termites. One of the most effective methods is to have a professional inspect your home for signs of termite activity. This can help to identify any potential problems before they become too severe.

If termites are found, there are a number of treatments that can be used to control and eliminate the infestation. These treatments may include the use of chemicals, bait systems, or physical barriers. It is important to work with a professional pest control company in order to ensure that the treatment is effective and safe.

What Are Termites?

Termites are social insects that live in colonies and feed on wood and other cellulose-based materials. They are commonly found in warm, humid climates and are classified as pests due to the damage they can cause to structures made of wood. There are several different types of termites, including subterranean, drywood, Formosan, and dampwood termites. Each type has unique characteristics and behaviors. Subterranean termites live in underground colonies and travel to aboveground wood sources through underground tunnels. Drywood termites live and feed within the wood they infest. Formosan termites are a highly aggressive and invasive species, and Dampwood termites are commonly found in wood with high moisture content.

What Do Termites Look Like?

Termites are small, winged insects that are usually about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. They have a distinct body shape, with a broad waist and a narrow head. They can vary in color, depending on the species, but are typically either white, brown, or black.

The most common type of termites found in homes are subterranean termites. These termites typically have a pale white or cream-colored body, with darker brown or black heads.

Another common type are the drywood termites, they are also pale colored but are slightly smaller than subterranean. They are found in wood structures such as attics, decks, and door frames

When termites are mature, they will develop wings, which they use to fly during swarming season. During this time, they will leave their colony to start new colonies. The wings of the swarmers are usually twice as long as the body, and they can be easily distinguished by their uniform shape and size.

It is important to note that termites are often mistaken for ants, which have a similar body shape. However, ants have a distinct "waist" between the thorax and abdomen, while termites have a broad waist.

Also termites wings are typically of similar size and shape, ants wings are not.

If you suspect a termite infestation, it is best to contact a professional pest control service for identification and treatment.

Termites: Wood Destroying Pests

Termites are important to understand because they can cause significant damage to structures made of wood. They are considered pests because they can infest homes and other buildings, as well as other wooden structures such as fences, decks, and even telephone poles. They feed on cellulose-based materials such as wood, paper, and other organic materials, and can quickly cause structural damage to a building. This can lead to costly repairs and in severe cases, make the building unsafe to inhabit.

Termites also have an impact on the environment, as they play an important role in breaking down dead and decaying wood in natural ecosystems. They are also an important food source for many other animals.

Another reason to understand termites is that termite control and extermination methods can be harmful to the environment and human health if not done properly. Therefore, knowing more about termite biology, behavior and habitat can help people to take preventive measures to avoid infestation and to minimize the use of chemical treatments.

Overall, understanding termites is essential to protect one's property, minimize the impact of infestation, and to live in harmony with nature.

Types Of Termites

There are several different types of termites, each with unique characteristics and behaviors. Some of the most common types include:

  1. Subterranean termites: These termites live in underground colonies and travel to aboveground wood sources through underground tunnels. They are the most destructive type of termite and are responsible for most of the damage caused by termites in the United States.
  2. Drywood termites: These termites live and feed within the wood they infest. They do not need contact with soil moisture, and can infest structures such as houses, furniture and wooden objects.
  3. Formosan termites: This is an invasive species that is highly aggressive and known to cause more damage than native subterranean termites. They are also capable of building much larger colonies.
  4. Dampwood termites: These termites are commonly found in wood with high moisture content. They are typically found in dead and rotting trees and logs, as well as in moist areas of structures such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and crawl spaces. They are less common than subterranean and drywood termites but can cause significant damage if present.
  5. Other, less common types include conehead termites, desert termites and mushroomback termites

It's important to note that types of termites can vary depending on the region, and it is important to consult with a professional to identify the specific type of termite present.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are one of the most common types of termites and are responsible for most of the damage caused by termites in the United States. They live in underground colonies and travel to aboveground wood sources through underground tunnels. They are called subterranean termites because they live in the soil, constructing underground colonies and tunnels to travel and forage for food.

The colony is headed by a reproductive queen and king, and the colony is divided into different castes, including workers, soldiers, and reproductives. The workers are responsible for foraging for food, caring for the colony, and maintaining the tunnels. The soldiers defend the colony from predators and other invaders. The reproductives are responsible for producing new termites to expand the colony.

Subterranean termites are known to cause significant damage to homes, buildings and other wooden structures, as they feed on cellulose-based materials, such as wood, paper, and other organic materials. They are known to consume both the softwood and hardwood of the structure. They can quickly cause structural damage to a building, which can lead to costly repairs and in severe cases, make the building unsafe to inhabit.

Preventive measures such as regular inspections, creating a barrier between the soil and the structure, proper moisture management, and preventative termite bait stations are important to avoid subterranean termite infestations. Professional extermination services can also be used if an infestation is detected.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites are one of the types of termites that infest and feed on dry, sound wood. They do not need contact with soil moisture and can infest structures such as houses, furniture and wooden objects. They live and feed within the wood they infest and produce small, round fecal pellets that are pushed out of small holes in the wood they infest. They live in smaller colonies than subterranean termites and reproduce more slowly.

Like other types of termites, drywood termites colonies are headed by a reproductive queen and king and are divided into different castes, including workers, soldiers, and reproductives. Workers forage for food and care for the colony, soldiers defend the colony from predators, and reproductives create new termites to expand the colony.

Drywood termites are known to cause significant damage to homes, buildings and other wooden structures, since they eat the wood of the structure and cause a significant weakening of the structure. They can infest in many different wooden parts of a house or building such as walls, ceilings, floors, and window frames.

The detection of drywood termites can be difficult since they live inside the wood, and they don't need contact with soil, also they do not produce mud tubes as subterranean termites do. However, signs of infestation include small, round fecal pellets that are pushed out of small holes in the wood and swarmers (winged reproductives) that can be found around light sources.

Elimination of drywood termites usually involves fumigation or localized treatments such as injection of the chemical into the infested wood. Also, preventive measures such as regular termite inspections, proper moisture management and avoiding wood-to-soil contact can help prevent infestations.

Formosan Termites

Formosan termites are an invasive species of termites that are native to Asia and have been accidentally introduced to other parts of the world, including the United States. They are known to be highly aggressive and to cause more damage than native subterranean termites.

Formosan termites colonies can be very large, containing millions of individuals. They establish underground colonies like subterranean termites, but they also build aerial colonies in trees, utility poles, and other above-ground structures. They are also known to infest buildings by building underground colonies and then entering the building through expansion joints, cracks in the foundation, or by building mud tubes up the outside of the building.

Formosan termites are known to consume a wide variety of wood types and can infest both the softwood and hardwood of a structure. They are also known to consume non-cellulose materials such as plastic and insulation. They can cause significant damage to homes, buildings and other wooden structures, making them a serious pest problem.

Formosan termites are difficult to control and eliminate, as their colonies are larger and more spread out than those of native subterranean termites. Detection and extermination can require the use of specialized equipment and chemicals. It is also important to take preventive measures, such as regular inspections and proper moisture management, to avoid Formosan termite infestations.

If you suspect a Formosan termite infestation, it is best to contact a professional pest control expert who is experienced in dealing with this invasive species.

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites are a type of termite that are commonly found in wood with high moisture content. They are typically found in dead and rotting trees and logs, as well as in moist areas of structures such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and crawl spaces. They are less common than subterranean and drywood termites but can cause significant damage if present.

Dampwood termites colonies are usually smaller than other types of termites, and their colonies are usually located inside the wood they are infesting, rather than underground. They have a similar social structure to other types of termites with a reproductive queen and king, workers, soldiers, and reproductives.

Unlike subterranean and drywood termites, dampwood termites do not require contact with the soil and are not attracted to dry wood. They are only found in wood with high moisture content and do not survive in dry conditions.

Dampwood termites cause damage by eating the wood of the structure, which can lead to structural weakening, and can be difficult to detect since they are typically found in moist and hidden areas of the house. They can be recognized by the presence of fecal pellets that resemble small wood shavings, swarmers and by their excrement which is a small, dark-colored pellets.

Elimination of dampwood termites typically involves the removal of the infested wood and any sources of excess moisture. Treating the infestation with chemicals can also be effective. It is also important to take preventive measures such as proper moisture management, regular inspections, and avoiding wood-to-soil contact.

How Do Termites Get Into Homes?

There are several ways that termites can get into homes:

  1. Through the soil: Termites can enter a home through small cracks or gaps in the foundation or floors.
  2. Above-ground: Termites can enter a home through openings in the walls, such as electrical and plumbing penetrations.
  3. Wood-to-ground contact: Termites can also enter a home if there is wood-to-ground contact, such as a deck or stairway that is in contact with the soil.
  4. Trees and debris: Termites also can be introduced to a home if there are trees, stumps or other debris in close proximity to the home and termites from there colonize the house.
  5. Man-made constructions: Termites can also be brought into homes by humans through infested firewood, lumber, or other cellulose materials.

It is important to note that, termites are subterranean species, that means they live and breed in the soil, so by reducing the contact between the soil and the structure, and having regular termite inspections can help prevent termite infestations.

Signs Of A Termite Infestation

There are several signs that can indicate a termite infestation. Some of the most common include:

  1. Wooden structures with signs of damage: Termites can cause significant structural damage to wooden structures such as homes and other buildings. They eat away at the wood from the inside, making it appear thin, delicate, and easily breakable. They also create small, pencil-sized holes in the wood, which are used for foraging and for waste elimination.
  2. Discarded wings near windows and doors: Termites, especially swarmer termites, have wings and they shed them after a colony is established. If you find discarded wings near windows and doors, it could be a sign of a termite infestation.
  3. Mud tubes on exterior walls: Termites, specifically subterranean termites, build mud tubes to provide protection and moisture as they travel between their colony in the ground and the wood they're feeding on. These tubes are usually about the width of a pencil and can be found on exterior walls, foundations, and other parts of the structure.
  4. Presence of termite swarmers: Termites reproductives, also known as swarmers, are the reproductive members of the colony that are capable of flying. If you see a swarm of termites inside or outside your home, it is a sure sign of an infestation.
  5. Termites damage can also be indicated by sagging floors, hollow wood, blistered and cracked paint or wallpaper, as well as other signs of damage.

It's important to note that termite damage can be mistaken for water damage or other types of damage, it is always recommended to consult with a professional to confirm the presence of termites.

Termite Damage

Termite damage can often be difficult to identify, as it can resemble other types of damage such as water damage or rotting wood. However, there are several signs that can indicate termite damage. Some common signs of termite damage include:

  1. Wood that sounds hollow when tapped: Termites eat the wood from the inside out, leaving a thin outer layer that can be easily tapped. When you tap a piece of wood that has been damaged by termites, it will often sound hollow.
  2. Small, pencil-sized holes in the wood: Termites create small holes in the wood they infest, which they use for foraging and waste elimination.
  3. Wood that appears thin and delicate: Termites can consume a significant amount of wood, making it appear thin and delicate. This can be especially noticeable in larger structural beams or floor joists.
  4. Sagging floors or ceilings: As termites eat away at the structural integrity of a building, floors and ceilings can begin to sag, indicating significant damage.
  5. Paint or wallpaper that appears blistered or cracked: As termites eat away at the wood behind paint or wallpaper, it can cause the surface to bulge or crack.
  6. Presence of small, round fecal pellets that resemble sawdust
  7. Mud tubes on exterior walls

Keep in mind that termite damage can often be subtle, and it is best to consult with a professional to confirm the presence of termites. Also, it is important to note that a termite damage can take months or even years to be noticeable, so regular inspections can be critical to detect an infestation early and prevent severe damage.

Flying Termites Discard Their Wings

Yes, certain types of termites, particularly the reproductive or swarmer termites, discard their wings after they establish a new colony. This happens when the reproductive termites, which have wings, leave their parent colony to start a new one. Once they find a suitable location, they will shed their wings, which are no longer needed. The discarded wings are often one of the first signs of a termite infestation and can often be found near windows, doors, or other light sources where the swarmers have congregated.

The reproductive termites will then establish a new colony and start reproducing, the colony will continue to grow and eventually produce new swarmers, which will repeat the process of leaving the colony to establish new ones.

The reason why termites discard their wings is that wings are not necessary once they have established a new colony, and they shed them to conserve energy and resources for the colony's growth and survival.

Termite Mud Tubes

Subterranean termites, as their name implies, live in underground colonies. In order to reach above ground wood sources, they construct mud tubes, also called shelter tubes, to provide a protected, moist environment for traveling between the colony and the wood they are feeding on.

These tubes are made of soil and termite saliva, and are used as a protected passageway between the colony and the food source. The tubes provide protection from predators, such as ants, and also help the termites to maintain a consistent moisture level, which is essential for their survival.

Subterranean termites need to maintain a high level of moisture in order to survive, since they lose moisture quickly when they're exposed to the dry air above ground. The mud tubes act as a humidity-controlled pathway that allows them to maintain the necessary moisture levels as they move between the colony and the food source.

The tubes are usually about the width of a pencil and can be found on exterior walls, foundations, and other parts of the structure. They can also be found on wooden items in contact with the soil such as decks, fences, and landscape timbers. They are usually one of the first signs of subterranean termite infestation and it is important to inspect them regularly.

Termite Swarmers

Termite swarmers, also known as alates or reproductives, are the reproductive members of a termite colony that are capable of flying. They are typically about 3/8 inches long and have two pairs of wings of equal length. They are usually dark in color, ranging from brown to black.

Swarmers are produced by mature colonies in order to establish new colonies. They will fly out of the colony during specific times of the year, usually during spring and summer, usually after a rain, or in search of a mate to establish a new colony.

Swarmers are often one of the first signs of a termite infestation, since they are usually seen in large numbers. They are attracted to light and often congregate around windows and doors. If swarmers are found inside the house, it is a sure sign of an infestation.

It is important to note that not all termites swarm, and not all swarmers will establish new colonies. For example, dampwood termites and drywood termites do not swarm as frequently as subterranean termites. Also, some swarmers are attracted to light sources but are unable to establish a colony, for example, when there is a lack of suitable nesting sites or food.

If you suspect a termite infestation, it is best to contact a professional pest control expert who can confirm the presence of termites and recommend the appropriate termite treatment options.

Preventative Measures For Termites

There are several preventative measures that you can take to protect your home or building from termite infestations. Some of the most effective include:

  1. Regular inspections: One of the best ways to prevent termite infestations is to have your home or building inspected for termites on a regular basis. Professional pest control experts can identify potential problem areas and take action to prevent an infestation before it occurs.
  2. Moisture control: Termites are attracted to moist environments, so it is important to keep your home or building as dry as possible. This can be done by fixing leaky pipes, faucets, and roofs, and by ensuring proper ventilation in areas such as the crawlspace and attic.
  3. Eliminating wood-to-soil contact: Subterranean termites often enter structures by traveling through soil and up wooden structures that are in direct contact with the soil. Removing wood-to-soil contact by installing a physical barrier such as a metal flashing or cement slab, or by placing wooden structures such as decks, fence posts and landscape timbers on concrete blocks, can help to prevent termite infestations.
  4. Proper landscaping: Proper landscaping can also help to prevent termite infestations. Keep bushes, trees, and shrubs well-trimmed and away from the foundation of the building. This will not only prevent termites from entering the structure, but it will also make it easier to identify potential problems and inspect for damage.

Chemical Treatments For Termites

Chemical termite treatments are a common method of controlling and eliminating termite infestations. These termite treatments involve the use of chemicals specifically designed to kill termites, either by directly contacting and killing the termites or by creating a barrier that the termites cannot cross. There are different types of chemical treatments available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Soil Treatments For Termites

There are a variety of methods used to treat termites in soil. Soil treatments typically involve the application of a liquid termiticide to the soil. These are chemical pesticides labeled for use against termites, that are applied to the soil around a building. They create a barrier that termites cannot cross, and if they do come into contact with the chemicals, they will be killed. There are two types of termiticides: repellents and non-repellents. Repellent termiticides create a barrier that termites can see and smell, so they are less likely to come into contact with the chemical. Non-repellent termiticides are invisible and odorless to termites, so they will come into contact with the chemical before realizing it. The chemical forms a barrier that termites cannot cross, preventing them from reaching the structure. This type of treatment is often used to prevent termite infestations in new construction. It's important to note that chemical termite treatments require the use of professional exterminators and should be done under the proper guidelines of a licensed professional in order to ensure safety, efficacy and regulations compliance.

Wood Termite Treatment

There are several methods used to treat wood for termites. One common method is called "pressure treatment." This involves injecting a chemical solution, such as a solution of borate, into the wood. The chemical is forced deep into the wood fibers, making it difficult for termites to consume the wood without coming into contact with the pesticide. The chemical will remain active for several years, providing long-term protection.

Another method is called "surface treatment." This involves applying a chemical solution to the surface of the wood. The chemical creates a barrier on the surface that termites cannot penetrate. The chemical must be reapplied periodically to maintain its effectiveness.

There are also some types of oils that can be applied to wood to act as a repellent for termites. Some examples are neem oil or eucalyptus oil. They can be applied on the surface of the wood and have to be reapplied regularly as well.

You can also use termite-resistant wood species in construction. Some species like red cedar, black locust and osage orange are naturally more resistant to termites than other types of wood.

It's important to note that wood treatments do not guarantee 100% protection and the best way is to keep a regular termite inspection, to detect early signs of infestation and take action accordingly. If a significant infestation has already occurred, a professional pest control service should be consulted to deal with it.

Termite Fumigation

Fumigation is a method of termite control that involves sealing a building in a tent and filling it with a toxic gas. The gas penetrates all areas of the structure and kills termites, including those in hidden areas such as wall voids, attics, and crawl spaces.

Fumigation is a highly effective method of eliminating termite infestations, as it can reach and kill termites in all areas of a structure, including those that are difficult to access or see. This is particularly useful for drywood termites that have infested hidden parts of a building, such as inside walls, attics, and crawl spaces.

The process of fumigation typically starts by sealing the building in a tent, which is then filled with a gas such as sulfuryl fluoride, which is toxic to termites. Once the gas has been introduced, the building is sealed for several days to allow the gas to penetrate all areas of the structure and kill the termites. After the building has been aired out and deemed safe, the tent is removed and the structure can be re-entered.

It's important to note that fumigation is a highly technical and dangerous process that should only be done by a licensed and experienced professional.

Termite Bait Stations

Bait stations are a method of termite control that involves the use of small, plastic stakes or cartridges that contain a slow-acting poison. These are placed in the ground around a building, and termites will feed on them and bring the poison back to the colony, eliminating it. Bait systems are often considered a more environmentally friendly option for termite control compared to traditional chemical termite treatments.

The bait stations are placed in the ground around the perimeter of the building and are designed to attract termites. Once the termites have been attracted to the bait stations, the bait is replaced with a slow-acting poison, which the termites will consume and bring back to the colony. The poison will then spread throughout the colony, killing all the members, including the queen, leading to the eventual collapse of the colony.

There are two types of bait systems, the in-ground and above-ground bait systems. In-ground bait systems are the most common and consist of small plastic stakes placed in the soil around the building. Above-ground bait systems are designed to be placed on the surface of the soil and can be more visible, and are used for structures that are not suitable for in-ground installation.

Bait systems can be an effective method of termite control when used in conjunction with other methods, such as regular termite inspections and moisture management. However, it's important to note that bait systems require regular monitoring and maintenance to ensure that the termites are still active on the bait and that the poison is still effective. It is also important to keep in mind that bait systems may take longer to achieve control, and professional monitoring is needed to be sure that the colony is eliminated.

What Bugs Look Like Termites?

There are several bugs that can be mistaken for termites, due to their similar appearance or behavior.

One of the most common bugs that are mistaken for termites are ants. Ants and termites have a similar body shape, but ants have a distinct "waist" between the thorax and abdomen, while termites have a broad waist. Additionally, ants have bent antennae while termites have straight antennae, and ant wings are not uniformed in size, unlike termites wings.

Carpenter ants are another bug that can be mistaken for termites. They are black or dark brown in color, and they also tunnel through wood, which can cause damage that is similar to termite damage. However, carpenter ants do not eat the wood, they just tunnel through it.

Swarming termite lookalikes are beetles, such as powderpost beetles, which leave small round holes in wood and can also cause damage similar to termite damage.

It is important to note that identification of the bug is crucial for the proper treatment, it is best to contact a professional pest control service if you suspect a bug infestation and need to confirm the identity of the bug before proceeding.

Termite Inspections

A termite inspection is an examination of a building or structure for the presence of termites and termite damage. The inspection is typically conducted by a professional pest control inspector, who will use various tools and techniques to identify the presence of termites and assess the extent of damage.

During a termite inspection, the inspector will typically check the following areas:

  • The foundation of the building and surrounding areas, looking for evidence of termites, mud tubes, and damage.
  • The wood structures in the building, such as floors, walls, and ceilings, looking for termite damage or evidence of termites.
  • The attic and crawl spaces, looking for evidence of termites, damage, and mud tubes.
  • The exterior of the building, looking for evidence of termites, damage, and potential entry points.
  • The surrounding property, looking for evidence of termites, damage, and potential food sources for termites.

The inspector may also use various tools to help with the inspection, such as a moisture meter, which is used to measure the moisture content of the wood and identify areas that may be more attractive to termites.

After the inspection is complete, the inspector will typically provide a written report that summarizes the findings and recommends a course of action. The report may include information about the extent of the infestation, the type of termites present, and recommendations for termite treatment.

It's recommended to get regular termite inspection, especially if you have an existing infestation or have experienced termite damage in the past. It is also recommended if you are buying or selling a property or after major renovations. Preventive inspections are important too, to detect early signs of infestation and take action accordingly.

When To Call A Termite Exterminator

It is important to contact a professional termite exterminator when you suspect a termite infestation or have noticed signs of termite damage in your home or building. Some signs of an infestation include:

  • Sighting of termites or termite swarmers (winged adults) inside or near your property
  • Presence of mud tubes on exterior walls, foundations or crawl spaces
  • Presence of small holes in wood or other materials
  • Buckling or sagging wood
  • Paint or wallpaper blisters
  • Evidence of termite droppings, which look like small piles of sawdust or wood shavings

If you have seen any of these signs, or have any concerns about termites in your home or building, it's important to contact a professional exterminator as soon as possible. An exterminator will be able to confirm the presence of termites, determine the extent of the infestation, and recommend the most effective treatment options.

Even if you haven't seen any of these signs, regular termite inspections are a good idea, especially if you live in an area where termites are known to be a problem, or if you are buying or selling a property.

Exterminators will use the latest techniques and technologies to eradicate the termites, and they will also provide recommendations to prevent future infestations and to prevent any damage. They can also give you a guarantee for the treatment and often will have annual inspection to make sure the termites are gone and stay away.

Termite Control Services

Miche Pest Control is a family owned and operated pest control company that provides residential and commercial pest control services for pests, including termites, in Washington DC, Maryland & Northern Virginia. Our expert termite exterminators get rid of termite infestations fast, and use preventative methods to help keep termites from coming back after they've been eliminated. Miche Pest Control has a 4.9 star rating and over 1,000 reviews online - give us a call today!

What are termites?

Termites are social insects, living in cooperative and cohesive colonies, that feed exclusively on wood and other cellulose containing materials. In termite societies, the efforts of each member are directed toward the success of the whole colony. Individual termites are relatively long-lived, with workers living approximately 2 years, and colonies are self-perpetuating, with a virtually unlimited supply of food. Termites are also protected from enemies and environmental extremes by their cryptic (secretive) nature. Termites cause billions of dollars' worth of damage every year. This is due in part to their abundance - while some smaller termite colonies may number in the thousands, the larger colonies can contain millions of individual termites. Larger termite colonies can ingest over one pound of wood each day.

In nature, termites are very beneficial, since they recycle wood and other cellulose-containing materials that other organisms cannot. Feeding by termites enhances the decomposition of organic matter and the return of nutrients to the soil. Their tunneling helps to aerate soils and promote plant growth. Birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, ants, and other arthropods consume termites as an important part of their diet.

Are termites dangerous?

Yes, termites are dangerous pests because of the amount of damage they can inflict on the structure of a home or other building they have invaded. Termites are responsible for causing upwards of $5 billion worth of property damage across the United States each year. Another factor that makes termites so dangerous is that most homeowners insurance companies do not cover termite damage, as termite damage is viewed as being preventable. Termites are difficult to guard your property against because they enter structures through the ground, inhabiting areas that are difficult to reach or see, and can remain unnoticed for months or even years.

Why do I have a termite problem?

Termites generally invade properties after a swarm or while foraging for food from a neighboring property. They enter homes through cracks and crevices in the foundation, or through wooden structures that make contact with soil such as deck posts, door frames, wood shingles, and porch steps/supports. Termites feed on cellulose from wood, as well as leaf litter, soil, and excrement; properties with excessive amounts of these will attract termites. Termites are highly attracted to properties with moisture issues.

Where will I find termites?

Eastern subterranean termites create nests underground in loose, moist soil. They do not nest inside the wood they are feeding on. The workers move back and forth from their food source to their underground nests or through mud tubes that they've built along the surface of the ground or the foundation of the structure they have invaded. Inside, termites feed on and tunnel through structural wood found above ceilings, behind walls, and below floors. Termites are initially attracted to rotting or water-damaged wood, but they will eventually begin to feed on sound wood and non-wooden items in your home or business, such as insulation and walls.

How do I get rid of termites?

If termites have become a problem in your home or on your property, it is best to seek the help of a pest control professional. When you partner with the licensed experts here at Miche Pest Control, you will have the peace of mind to know that your entire termite infestation will be eliminated. Our friendly, highly trained professionals use effective and modern pest control methods and products to control termites and other common household pests living in and around your home or commercial property. To find out more about our exceptional termite control services offered throughout our service areas in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC, contact Miche Pest Control today!

How can I prevent termites in the future?

Preventing problems with termites is difficult, but we want to help you guard your property against termites by offering these helpful prevention tips:

  • Place a barrier of crushed rock or stone between your property's foundation and any mulch or soil.
  • Place weather stripping around doors and windows to prevent water leaks.
  • Seal any cracks or crevices in your property's foundation.
  • Limit soil to wood contact on your property.
  • Remove fallen trees, tree limbs, and tree stumps from your property.
  • Fix leaky pipes, faucets, or fixtures located inside or outside of your property.
  • Clean gutters regularly to stop water from backing up and seeping into your walls.
  • Use dehumidifiers and make sure crawlspaces are properly ventilated to reduce moisture levels.

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