Termites

What are termites?

Termites are wood-destroying insects that live and work together in large colonies, dividing themselves into different castes or groups: workers, soldiers, and reproductives (kings and queens). Workers make up the largest part of a colony. They are blind and wingless, and have soft, creamy white bodies. They forage for food to feed their colony and are responsible for causing the structural damage termites are known for. Soldiers look similar to workers but are a bit larger; they have elongated yellow heads, large jaws, and short legs. Soldiers work together to defend their colony. Finally, the reproductive members are the largest, and the only members that are winged. These wings allow them to leave a mature colony, find a mate, and start a new colony. The most common species of termite living throughout our area is the eastern subterranean termite.

a termite chewing wood in a home in fairfax virginia

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, D.C., 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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