Termite Identification & Prevention

What are termites?

Termites are eusocial insects, meaning that they have divisions among their colonies in terms of labor and care for other generations of termites. They belong to the family Rhinotermitidae, of which there are 345 individually recognized species; all of these species feed on wood. The most commonly encountered termite species is the subterranean termite, with other frequently seen species that include drywood and dampwood termites.

Subterranean termites

The subterranean termite is known to cause the most damage out of any termite species. This insect is small, not growing larger than a quarter-inch in length (though reproductive swarmer termites can reach about a half-inch). Subterranean termites are off-white or cream color and build mud tubes. These tubes help them reach food sources, expand their colonies, and protect them from open air. As their name suggests, subterranean termites prefer to live underground, but they will invade wooden structures and expand their colonies this way as well.

termites in a tube

Are termites dangerous?

Despite their small size, termites can be incredibly dangerous because termites chew through wood twenty-four hours a day and never take a day off; they have saw-toothed jaws that help them bite into wood one small piece at a time. Eventually, if a termite infestation goes on inside a structure for long enough, a serious risk of structural collapse occurs as these pests hollow out vital wooden areas. And even if a termite infestation doesn’t lead to total structural collapse, the termites can still create dangerous damages requiring costly repairs.

How can I detect a termite problem?

Termites can easily infiltrate a wooden structure without your knowledge, leading to serious damage before you realize there’s a problem. One of the best ways to get ahead of a termite invasion before it gets out of control is to look for early warning signs of infestation.

  • Discarded wings around your windows or doors can indicate that swarming termites are nearby or have moved in. Swarming termites are reproductive termites looking to start colonies.
  • Mud tubes crossing from the outside of your property to the inside or mud tubes along the foundation of any structure indicate a termite infestation.
  • Pinpoint holes in drywall may signify that termites have moved to internal wooden structures. These holes may have frass, which looks like small wood shavings, nearby.
  • Hearing rustling or clicking sounds in walls, especially at night when termites are more active, is a strong sign of infestation.
  • Tight-fitting doors and windows, sinking ceilings and floors, peeling or bubbling paint, or wood that breaks easily may start to appear with a full-blown termite infestation.

If you see any signs of a termite problem, take immediate action. Contact Womack Pest Control.

How can I get rid a of termite infestation?

Many individuals may think that DIY termite control is the best option for getting rid of these pests, but this is often a bad choice because DIY termite control doesn’t treat the root cause of your termite issue. The cause is often hidden in a colony outdoors or deep in the hard-to-reach areas of your walls.

For termite infestations, your best bet is to trust the professionals at Womack Pest Control. Only our Rockville, MD pest control specialists will be able to identify the exact sources of your termite infestation and provide you with safe, tailored treatments that completely remove these pests from your property using a liquid barrier and preventative solutions.

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