Posts tagged: termite damage

Termites 101: A Basic Primer on Termites and Termite Inspection

When anyone mentions the word “termite”, images of damaged homes usually come to mind. And rightly so as termites feed on wood, and wood is the number one material used to build homes in the U.S. But just what are termites, what do they do to wood, what can be done about them, and how does termite inspection help homeowners?

Meet Mr. and Ms. Termitoidae

Worker Termites on Rotten Wood

The scientific name for a termite is termitoidae. Not every termite is bad, as many feed on dead leaves and plants, soil, animal waste, and some forms of wood. But the destructive kind can cause havoc on crops, forests, trees, and significant damage to homes and buildings.

Termites are social animals that live in colonies numbering from a few hundred to a million or more. These insects live in different types of environments and form colonies underground, in large pieces of timber or wood, in mounds above ground, in trees, and in the wood of buildings.

Some species of termites are “polycalic” or form more than one nest. As a result of this behavior, termites are sometimes hard to get rid of because they form multiple nests throughout an area. One nest may be eliminated from a home, but the underground tunnels that termites form are connect to other nests and reinfect the original location.

Subterranean and dry-wood termite species are the ones responsible for damage to buildings and homes, and these pests must be detected to prevent serious long-term damage to property. They literally eat up the wood in a home and cause extensive damage by weakening and destroying the beams, walls, floors, and joists.

How Do I Detect A Termite Problem?

Termite Evidence

Termite Evidence

Termites are shy creatures and rarely make a public appearance in the open because they are usually tunneling underground or infesting the wood of buildings. Although a termite inspection by a pest control expert is the best way to find out if your home is infested, there are also some common tip-offs that may indicate there is a termite problem:

Mud tubes: These look like long quarter-inch diameter tubes running up and down outside walls, fences, floor joists, and other similar structures; they appear brown in color like mud. There are many stands of tubes, are hollow, and serve as a transportation system between underground termite nests and the upper levels where buildings are.

If a mud tube is broken, inspect the inside to see if small, cream-colored insects are there. If there are, these are worker termites.

Insect swarms: In some cases termites are mistaken for ants. During the warmer months of the year, termites swarm and can be identified by their cream-colored bodies, small wings, and narrow-long shapes.

Little holes and residue: The telltale signs that termites may be present in a building are little holes appearing in plaster or drywall. If termites are present, there will be small bits of soil that line the rim of the hole.

Wood that has been damaged by termites may appear sunken or dented and may be weak or soft when pushed upon. There may also be “sawdust” or dirt in and around wood.

Solving The Problem

Pest Control Tech Termite Damage

If you suspect that your home has a termite infestation, the best way to approach this potential problem is to call a professional pest exterminator for a termite inspection of the premises. He or she can tell you if your home or building is infested with termites.

The solution for termite elimination are varied and can incorporate insecticides, soil treatment, fumigation of the premises, or green methods using natural oils from fruits and plants, or by using methods to disrupt the insect’s digestion through the use of certain strains of microbes. For new home builders who want to greatly reduce the risk of a termite infestation before it even happens, there are several pre-construction treatment options available.

Check with your pest control professional to see what options are available to you.

Author Bio

Frank Ling writes for websites and companies and thinks it is fun to learn about so many different things, while on the job. His favorite food is anchovy pizza—something that not many others seem to appreciate; but he finds that there are always more slices left for him to eat.


Termite Control – How To Control A Termite Infestation

Coptotermes formosanus shiraki; Formosan subte...

When you spot termites in your home it is cause for alarm; they could soon be eating their way through all your favorite wooden furniture. They will attach any wood inside your home, including structural elements like ceiling beams, tables, chairs, work surfaces and more. Severe termite infestations can be costly to cull and can wreak havoc in a home. This article is all about identifying and removing termites in your home.

Termites can be very hard to spot. Many people aren’t even aware of the termites in their home, let alone the damage that they are inflicting on the structure of the property and any wooden furniture within it. The problem with termite problems is that they do not live in the wood that they consume. They are smaller than ants and can be very hard to locate, as they build nests in the grass.


One of the most telling signs of termite presence is small deposits of sawdust, and portions of wood that look to have been eaten. If you’re trying to locate the termite’s nest it is usually located outside the home (not far, maybe a foot or two from the property).


Once you have identified your unwanted guests it’s time to remove them. Whether you have a go yourself, or hire professional pest control services, it starts by removing any visible termites. Once they have been removed you can begin examining furniture and the property’s structure for damage. At this point a decision should be made about whether important structural repairs are needed to avoid further damage being done.

It’s important that termite removal is done efficiently, as leaving just a few termites will result in a repeat infestation at some point in the near future. Termites will literally eat the home from around you so removing 100% of them is crucial.

The Professionals

Professional termite exterminators will examine every corner of your home for the pests. They may use gas to get them to leave, which can result in termites simply migrating to another nearby property. There’s a good chance that your termite infestation was actually triggered by them being evicted from a nearby property. For this reason it’s a good idea to take some preventative measures including using chemicals on wooden structures and furniture that will help to make it taste unappetizing to termites.

It can be tempted to deal with these sort of pest problems yourself, but when it comes to termites you really are best hiring the services of a professional for treatment as well as prevention. They will be able to inspect for signs of structural damage and offer treatment options.

Once you find termites within your home, the damage has probably already been done, but at least you can do something about evicting them from your home. Contact a professional pest control company to see how they treat termite infestations and the options available to you.

Alan Derry writes on a number of subjects including  humane pest control for rodents.

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