What are termites?
Subterranean termites are species of wood-destroying insects that live together in large colonies. Their nests are mainly located underneath the ground. Termites feed on things made of cellulose, preferring decaying plants, tree roots, tree stumps, fallen trees, and tree limbs. Termites have a complex social structure and each colony is made up of three different groups, or castes: workers, soldiers, and reproductives (queens and kings).
The most common subterranean termite species living in Texas are the Formosan termites and the Eastern termites.
Formosan subterranean termites live in large colonies. A single colony may have several millions of termites in it. Due to their large colony size, they are able to cause more damage in a shorter period of time than other species such as the Eastern subterranean termite. Formosan termites live across the southern United States, including Hawaii.
Eastern subterranean termites are more widespread than Formosan termites and live across the entire United States. Their colonies, while not as large as Formosan termite colonies, are big, and over time can cause significant structural damage in any home or building they have invaded.
Are termites dangerous?
Each year both Formosan termites and Eastern termites are responsible for causing billions of dollars in structural damage across the United States. A termite infestation should be taken seriously and quick action should be taken to eliminate them. Eastern subterranean termites have the potential to work without notice for months, or even years because they feed on wood from the inside out. Due to their large colony size, Formosan termites have the potential to cause significant damage in as little as six months. It is also important to note that most homeowners insurance policies do not cover termite damage because it is viewed as something that is preventable.
Why do I have a termite problem?
Termites often find their way onto properties after reproductive termites emerge from a colony located on a nearby property. Termites "swarm" from their colony in order to mate and begin a new colony. If your property provides an environment suitable for nesting they will quickly establish a colony. Termites may also find their way onto your property from a neighboring property while out foraging for suitable food sources. Once nesting or foraging for food on your property, it is only a matter of time before workers accidentally find their way inside your home. Termites emerge from the ground, entering through cracks in your home's foundation or through objects that have direct contact with soil. Door frames, deck posts, wood shingles, and porch steps can act as entrance points. Formosan termites also have the potential to enter homes through the roof.
Where will I find termites?
Subterranean termites don’t live in the food they are feeding on. Instead, they travel back and forth from their food source to their nest each day through underground tunnels or mud tubes they have created. Their mud tubes are typically found running along the ground, up foundation walls, or along basement walls. Inside homes, termites invade and feed on structural wood behind walls, above ceilings, and underneath flooring. If the termites are not quickly eliminated and the infestation is allowed to progress, they will eventually begin to feed on sound wood and non-wood items, such as insulation, sub-flooring, and foundations. Formosan termites don’t only nest in the ground, they also create carton nests. Carton nests allow Formosan termites to nest above the ground while maintaining their moisture levels. Their above ground nests are created from termite excrement, chewed wood, and soil. These aerial nests are often found on buildings with flat rooftops.
How do I get rid of termites?
The best way to solve your property’s termite problem is to partner with a local pest control company. When you partner with Cantu Pest & Termite, our knowledgeable and friendly professionals will provide the comprehensive services needed to eliminate termites and prevent their return. With over 30 years in the pest control industry, we are proud to provide all of our customers with dependable, affordable, and eco-friendly home pest control and commercial pest control solutions. To learn more about eliminating termites and other household pests from your Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, or surrounding area home, reach out to Cantu!
How can I prevent termites in the future?
- Clean gutters regularly to stop water from backing up and seeping into your home’s walls.
- Places weather stripping around all windows and doors to help prevent water damage.
- Remove fallen trees, tree stumps, and other organic debris from your property.
- Leave a barrier of at least 12 to 18 inches between any soil or mulch and your home’s foundation.
- Repair leaky pipes, faucets, or fixtures located inside or outside your home to reduce excess moisture.
- Use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture levels in your home and make sure crawlspaces are properly ventilated.
- Remove water-damaged wood from your home and limit soil-to-wood contact around your home and on your property.