Termites are pests that many people are all too familiar with. These tiny insects have the power to wreak havoc on a home, and without proper extermination, can leave homeowners with costly repairs. The most common termite species seen in the United States is the eastern subterranean termite. While harmless to humans, these pests can inflict detrimental structural damage in a short period of time. Here we explore what termites are, what they look like, why you may be experiencing a termite infestation, and how to prevent these insects from harming your residence.
Termites are classified as eusocial insects and typically live in colonies that feed on plant matter (such as wood). Recent studies have shown that these insects evolved from cockroaches, with the first appearance of termites dating back to thousands of years ago. These insects divide themselves similarly to wasps and bees, with designated “worker” and soldier” termites being sterile and the “kings” and “queens” of the colony being fertile. Termites are one of the most widespread insect groups in the world, as they can be found on almost every continent.
Termite colonies vary in size and can be anywhere from a few hundred insects to millions of insects in one colony. These colonies are concerned superorganisms, as the termites inside each colony contribute in a way that makes the colony completing self-regulating. Each termite experiences an incomplete metamorphosis in which it changes from egg to nymph and finally to its adult stage.
There are several species of termites, with the most common being:
Termites are very small, measuring between just 4 to 15 millimeters. Each different species of termite will vary in its characteristics, but most species look similar to the human eye. They have straight antennae and soft bodies. The colors of a termite vary between white and light brown. Some termites, known as reproductive termites, have two wings and can fly.
The following are descriptions of the most prominent termite species:
The most common species of termites you may find in your home are subterranean, drywood, and dampwood termites. Subterranean termites typically reside in the ground and will go back and forth from the wood they eat to their underground colony. Drywood and dampwood termites reside in the wood they are eating.
There are several factors that may contribute to termites in your home. Each species of termite is attracted to wood, but each species also has a specific preference for the wood they consume. Dampwood and drywood termites look for damp and dry woods, respectively, while subterranean termites require moist soil close by and will eat any wood that’s close to or in contact with the earth.
The following are factors that contribute to an infestation of termites in your home:
Knowing what to look for is key when determining if you’re dealing with a termite infestation. A few signs to keep an eye out for include:
If you notice signs of a termite infestation, a professional pest control company can help confirm your suspicions and get the infestation under control before it causes further damage to your home.
Preventing termites from infesting your home is the best way to avoid costly damages to your home’s structure. There are several things you can do to keep your home termite-free, including:
Termite infestation can cause serious damage to your home. For information regarding termite infestation and how to prevent it, contact Bulwark Exterminating today.