Termite Identification Guide
What are termites?
Termites are small wood-eating insects that are often confused with ants. Termites are destructive year-round pests. Even when the weather gets cold, these insects tunnel deep into the ground and continue actively feeding and breeding. The most common type of termites that live in our area are subterranean termites. These termites nest under the ground and move to the wood they are feeding on each day.
Listed below are some ways that you can tell these two species apart:
- Termites have straight antennae, while ants have a bent antennae.
- Termites feed on cellulose. Ants are omnivores and feed on carbohydrates, sweets, and proteins.
- Ants have a distinct pinched waist, while termites have a straight waist.
- Both insects have four wings. However, termite wings are uniform in size, but ants have large wings in the front and a shorter pair in the back. Also, termite wings are longer than their body.
Are termites dangerous?
Termites move into structures unnoticed where they can work for long periods, causing dangerous and expensive damages inside of homes and other buildings. Termites are not directly dangerous to people as we rarely come into contact with them and they aren't known to spread diseases.
Why do I have a termite problem?
Termites live outside, and while traveling through the soil or mud tubes, they often find their way inside our homes and other buildings through cracks in the foundation. Once inside, they invade wooden floor joists and then move to structural wood found behind walls and under floors. These termites are most attracted to wood that has been previously damaged by water.
Subterranean termites also move inside through pieces of wood that are making direct contact with the soil. Porch steps, deck posts, wood trim or siding, are other common entry points for termites.
Termites can find their way into any home. The best way to protect your home and bank account from their damage is to put a proactive termite control service in place with the help of an experienced professional.
Where will I find termites?
Subterranean termites nest under the ground. They feed on decaying or water-damaged wood that they find outside — trees, logs, tree stumps fences, and playsets. If they find their way inside, they will begin to feed on structural wood found behind walls and under floors.
- Signs of termite damage within a home include:
Discovering mud tubes that they have built. Subterranean termites travel back and forth from their nest to a food source in mud tubes to protect themselves from the sun and predators. They are about the width of a pencil and often run along the ground and up foundation and basement walls.
- Witnessing a termites swarm. Termite swarms usually occur in the spring. It is when winged reproductive members emerge from the colony to find a mate and build a new colony.
- Piles of wings. After swarming, termite wings drop off. Seeing piles of their wings on the floor, around doors, or around windows, commonly signal a nearby nest.
- Blistering paint. Finding blistered or splintered paint on walls is a telltale sign of termite damage.
- Spongy floors. Finding your floors feel spongy when you walk across them is an indicator of severe termite damage.
- Hard-to-close windows and doors. Doors and windows that don't close easily may be due to bowing from termite damage.
How do I get rid of termites?
Termites are difficult pests to control and eliminate. If you are experiencing problems with termites in your Oklahoma, Kansas, or Arkansas home or business, let the professionals at BugBros Pest Control help. We take pride in offering the consistent and convenient services needed to eliminate pests and prevent them from returning. We dedicate ourselves to providing our customers with a pest-free environment that can be enjoyed by family and friends. We kill bugs and create #CrazyHappyCustomers!
How can I prevent termites in the future?
Let the professionals at BugBros in conjunction with our helpful prevention tips help you avoid problems with termites:
- Subterranean termites have high moisture needs. Eliminate excess moisture by repairing leaking pipes, clearing clogged gutters, and using dehumidifiers in your home.
- Replace any wood inside or outside your home that is water-damaged or decayed with sound wood.
- Keep crawl spaces well ventilated.
- Rake back leaves, mulch, and other debris away from the foundation.
- Cut back shrubs and bushes away from the exterior of your home.
- Remove fallen trees, brush piles, leaf piles, and tree stumps from your yard.
- Keep traveling termites out of your home by repairing cracks in the foundation.
- Eliminate wood to soil contact on your property, especially around your home.
- If wooden fences, playsets, or furniture start to decay and become damaged by water, remove or replace them from your property.
For more information about our termite control services, reach out to BugBros Pest Control today. We would love to work with you to ensure that your residential or commercial property is free of termites and other pests!