Termites are the major wood-destroying structural pests in the southern United States. According to some estimates, over $2 billion are spent annually in the U.S. controlling or preventing termite infestations. Our main problem in North Carolina is with subterranean termites, i.e., termites that normally live below ground and may move up into a structure where they cause damage.
WHAT ARE TERMITES?
Termites are “social insects”; they live in a nest or colony which is typically found underground, often near a tree, stump, wood pile or other source of ‘food’. Each colony contains a king and queen who are brown in color. The queen is able to lay thousands of eggs each year. There are also soldier termites which have large heads equipped with large mandibles (“jaws”). The soldiers protect the colony from invaders (such as ants). The majority of the colony consists of thousands of workers (whitish in color) who have various jobs within the colony. Some workers take care of the queen and the newly hatching immatures (sometimes called “larvae”). Other workers forage (search) for food. The foraging workers are the ones that we find infesting wood. As the colony grows, the workers expand the nest and their feeding area. A mature colony will contain 200,000 to 2,000,000 workers, although many colonies contain as few as 50,000-60,000. Studies have also shown that termites from a single colony may forage across an area of one-third acre and travel over 200 feet from their nest. One acre of land may support several termite colonies (although this doesn’t mean that all of them are invading your home!). A large termite colony does not usually occupy a single underground nest. As the foraging area expands the colony actually splits to form several smaller “nesting sites”.
Here are some key signs of a termite infestation:
Without a periodic inspection of your home, termite activity can remain undetected for years. Some signs of their activity show up unexpectedly, while others are discovered by accident or during renovations.
A termite colony matures in 3-5 years and begins to produce swarmers (winged adults). In North Carolina, we have at least three species of termites that begin swarming in late winter and continue into September or October.
Unlike ants, termites do not roam around out in the open. They will either tunnel through wood (or other material) or else travel inside pencil-size (or larger) mud tubes that they build from soil, wood particles and other materials. You will find these tubes on foundation walls, floor joists or other parts of the house.
HAVE SIGNS OF
Schedule your initial termite inspection today – it’s free.
We offer home owners a choice of full house treatments or spot treatments of any infested area. When your house is termite free, we offer our Termite Protection Plan. This plan includes:
- Regular inspections at least once annually
- Recommendations on keeping your home termite free
- Termite damage repair coverage
- Any re-treatments found necessary at no additional cost
Preventative measures you can take:
- Avoid water accumulation near the foundation of the home
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the home
- Keep mulch at least 15 inches from the foundation.
- Proper ventilation of crawl spaces, attics and basements
A great read for more information can be found at: