Is Your Home at Risk for a Termite Infestation?

One of the most costly mistakes a homeowner can make is by not protecting their home from a termite infestation. Termites can cause large quantities of damage to a family’s home without detection due to their silent nature of destroying homes from the inside out.

How to Properly Identify a Termite vs. a House Ant

A termite’s life begins in an underground nest called a colony, and grow from a fertilized egg to a larvae and then finally into its final winged form. These winged forms are often first believed to be ants by the untrained eye, but the presence of this pest may be your first indication that you have a growing termite problem. To be able to identify the difference between a stray winged ant and a possible termite infestation is that an ant’s body is sectioned into three spherical parts-head, body, and tail- while a termite’s body is elongated and oval in shape. The next clue to identifying a termite would be color and antennae. Ants are usually one single color, often black, with antennae that are bent at a 90 degree angle, while termites are a combination of black and brownish gold with straight antennae.

The similarity termites have with ants does not simply stop at just their physical form, but goes beyond into their communities. New nests are made every year when the seasons, mainly between spring and summer, and the correct amount of moisture in the air are enough to sustain new termite life. Fully matured male and female winged termites swarm, and then pair off. Before mating the pair must first burrow into softened wood or soil to begin to build their very own colony. Though the queen may only produce a few subsequent eggs at the beginning of this process, over time the queen will begin to produce more and more offspring until she can produce over 35,000 eggs in a single day. Such a high rate of production can easily grow out of hand and result in costly damage to a home’s support structure.

Different Types of Termites that Could Put Your Home at Risk

There are over 2,000 species of termites throughout the Western hemisphere and in parts of Europe, and are often fueled by moist climates. Despite the wide variety of species that can be found in the world, only 55 of those species inhabit the United States. The most common of them are damp wood, dry wood and subterranean.

Subterranean termites burrow through moist soil until they come across moistened wood, this often means that this species of termites begin their destruction of a home from the ground up beginning with the home’s structure. Indication that you may have a subterranean termite infestation are visible “mud tubes,” or tubes that the termites have built in order to move around in. These mud tubes may be found anywhere in your home, and will diverge off resembling small roads.

Dry wood termites are of the larger variety, often half an inch in length, usually live in colonies of over 1,000 members. Much like what their name implies this species invades dry stray wood or wooden structures where they then establish their nest, yet they can actually feed off dead materials such as wood, paper, and even carpet. To detect if these insects have invaded your home check for shed wings of newly matured termites, termite feces (hexagonal in shape) and numerous small holes in a given wooden structure.

Damp wood termites, unlike their dry wood loving brothers, need moist or wet wood to thrive resulting in frequently being found along the coast, or in humid regions. To detect if these insects have invaded your home check for shed wings of newly matured termites, termite feces (oval in shape) and numerous small holes in a given wooden structure.

Call CANTU at 972-562-9999 (Dallas, Fort Worth) or 713-956-7822 (Houston) if you believe that termites may have infiltrated your home and effectively eliminate these intruders today.