Termites

What are termites?

Termites are social insects that are known for invading wet or rotting wood. These destructive insects live in large colonies with a strict caste system consisting of worker, winged reproductive termites, a king, and a queen. When a colony matures, it will send out its winged reproductives to find a different location and start a satellite colony nearby. These satellite colonies are often found on the same property as the original colony they broke away from. In eastern Texas, property owners face two common types of termites. One of those species is Formosan termites, which live in the earth and invade wooden structures through direct contact with soil and/or mud tubes they create. The other species we find in our area is eastern subterranean termites, which are known for causing the greatest amount of destruction due to their massive colonies of 60,000 to 1 million termites.

a formosan termite crawling on damaged wood at a home in spring texas

Are termites dangerous?

Termites may not bite or sting, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous. Instead of being directly harmful to you, termites damage the structural integrity of your Spring, Texas property, which could end up affecting your life later. Termite infestations often aren’t discovered until after a large amount of damage has occurred. These silent invaders are capable of staying hidden for several years after the initial invasion. When left undiscovered, termites are capable of causing severe damage to your business or home.

Why do I have a termite problem?

Termite infestations usually start one of two ways: termites scouting for food find and enter your home or business, or winged reproductives are sent out from nearby colonies. Moisture is also a huge reason why termites invade. Water-damaged wood, gutters that don’t drain water correctly, and leaking pipes all contribute to termite infestations.

Where will I find termites?

Invading termites try to remain within the wooden structure they initially infest. You won’t see these tiny, wood-destroying pests roaming around in your kitchen the way you might with carpenter ants. Termites both live in and feed on the cellulose found in wooden components of your home. Formosan termites require direct contact with soil to infest your property, while eastern subterranean termites depend on their winged reproductives to discover new wood to infest. These termites are unique in the fact that they often construct and place carton nests above ground that allow them to nest near food sources while still maintaining their high moisture requirements.

Both eastern subterranean and formosan termite colonies live and nest underground, travel through specially constructed mud tubes to and from their nests to gather food for their respective colonies. Outside, termites create their underground nests in very moist soil that is near sources of food. Inside of a home or other structure, they are going to be out of view inside of structural wood located above ceilings, behind walls, below floors, or behind wooden trim.

When are termites most active?

In Texas, Eastern subterranean termites and Formosan termites remain active year-round, traveling daily from their nests to sources of food. Termites are in a constant search for food and workers gather food for their colony all throughout the day. Winged reproductive males and females emerge from their mature colonies between March and April, usually following a rainstorm. It is important to know, however, that swarms in our area can happen at any time of the year.

Eastern subterranean termites in our area usually swarm during the day; formosan termites usually swarm following a warm, rainy day. They prefer mild temperate climates and live successfully throughout the southern region of the United States. Formosan termites are most active in the late spring or summer during periods of high humidity.

Interesting facts about termites

Subterranean termites (eastern and formosan) are the most widespread and destructive species of termite living in the United States. Here are four interesting facts about them:

1. Termites are one of the few animals that can use wood/cellulose as a food source.

2. Kings and queens have the potential to live 10-15 years or longer.

3. It can take a termite colony five years or more to grow and mature enough to produce reproductive swarmers.

4. Eastern subterranean termites are native to the United States and are much more widespread than Formosan Termites. Formosan termites are not native (they were introduced from Asia) and have spread throughout the south, mostly through the transport of wooden construction materials.

How do I get rid of termites?

It is impossible to remove a termite infestation without professional termite control. Once you do find termite damage on your property, infestations often take a long time to be discovered and are difficult to pinpoint  The most beneficial and hassle-free way to remove these destructive pests from your eastern Texas home or business is with help from the experienced pest control technicians here at Kingston Pest Control. Our termite control program includes the use of Termidor, a highly effective termite control product.

Termites are responsible for costly structural damage in eastern Texas residential and commercial properties. The skilled pest control professionals here at Kingston Pest Control are prepared to deal with termite infestations, as well as a plethora of common Texas pests. To schedule your free inspection, reach out to Kingston Pest Control today!

How can I prevent termites in the future?

Termite infestations are not easy to defend against, but here are a few ways you can make your eastern Texas property less attractive to termites:

  • Remove any stumps, logs, and rotting wooden items from your property.

  • Replace water-damaged or rotting wood with sound, dry wood.

  • Ensure your gutters are free of debris.

  • Repair leaking drains, faucets, and pipes.

  • Seal gaps and cracks around the exterior of your home or business.

  • Cut tall grass, bushes, and foliage away from the exterior of your building.

 

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