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Termite Roundup: The Ultimate Guide to Termites

March 21, 2016

If you’re a homeowner, there may be no pest more threatening to your home’s stability than the termite. Although termites are tiny insects, they can do a ton of damage. For many homeowners, the thought of dealing with termites leads to a long list of questions. What do they look like? How do I know I have them? Should I be worried? What should I do?

There is plenty of information available online to answer these questions; however, you want to make sure you're looking to a reputable source. That's why Scherzinger has taken the time to round up some of our best articles and information available.

What?

Did you know there are different kinds of termites? And which kind you have influences how much time they spend in your home and how much damage they do. While we only have the subterranean termites in our area, here are the common types of termites found throughout the United States: 

Subterranean termites. These are the most destructive termites in the United States. According to a study from Texas A&M University, they’re responsible for more than $2 billion in damage every year.

What makes them so destructive? Mainly they’re ability to access your home virtually undetected. As the name implies, they live underground. They build their colony in the soil around your home and then tunnel into your wood frame, where they feast on your studs and other support elements. They can do this for years without being noticed.Termit

Drywood termites. These termites are also dangerous because they actually build their colonies inside your home. Again, as the name suggests, they prefer to live in and around dry wood, which makes your frame a perfect target. They enjoy warm areas that have mild winters, so they’re common in Southern states and some parts of the Midwest.

Formosan termites. These termites are especially destructive because of the sheer size of the colony. They live in your home, behind your drywall. They build water reserves in the colony, which allows them to reproduce quickly and generate an army of wood-eating insects. Because of the colony size, they can do a lot of damage in very little time.

Dampwood termites. Again, the name tells you a lot about these termites. They like wood that is moist or is near water. They’re often found in outdoor wood, like log piles or even telephone poles. When they are found in the home, they’re usually near kitchens or bathrooms so they can take advantage of the moisture in the area.

Learn more about the types of termintes by reading: Important Facts About Termite Species.

When?

Spring is generally considered to be termite season, as it’s thought to be the time of year when termites are most active. That’s only partially true. Termites are actually active year round, especially in warmer climates. However, they’re often most noticeable during March and April.

If you have termites, spring is probably your best opportunity to identify them. What should you look for?

Termite swarms. You may see groups of termites moving together in small, clustered colonies, or massing in flight. These swarms aren’t dangerous, but they may be evidence that you have a larger termite problem.

Discarded wings. Termites often shed their wings when they form new colonies. You may find wings around your baseboards, on windowsills, or even in spiderwebs.

Damaged wood. A surefire sign of termite damage is wood that is chipped, rotted, cracked, swollen, or otherwise damaged. Termite-infected wood often looks like wood that has suffered moisture damage.

Learn more about when termites are active by reading: Termite Season?

Where?

One of the reasons termites are so destructive is that they’re hard to detect. They either live in the soil around your home or the wood behind your drywall. As mentioned above, you can look for discarded wings and damaged wood. Other than those signs, though, it may be difficult to find evidence of termites.

Another sign is something called a mud tube. This is a small tunnel that termites construct from mud. They use it to safely travel from the soil to the wood in your home. If you see a mud tube in or around your home, try tapping on nearby wood with a hammer. If the wood sounds hollow, it could be because termites have destroyed the interior of the structure.

Learn what else to be on the lookout for by reading: Would You Recognize Termite Activity in Your Home?

The pest library section on termites may also be helpful in answering your questions. 

How?

Once you find termites on your property, the next step is getting rid of them. Every termite elimination strategy has three components: detection, elimination, and monitoring. The detection stage involves a thorough examination of your home and surrounding areas. We look for evidence of termite activity and then pinpoint the exact location of the colony.

In the elimination stage, we set up stations around your home. These stations bait the termites and then kill the colonies. We then monitor your home with inspections every 30 days in the short-term and then every quarter on an ongoing basis. If termites are ever detected again, we repeat the baiting and elimination process. Detection, elimination, and monitoring – that’s a proven formula for keeping your home safe from termite damage.

You can read more about the process of getting rid of termites in Termite Elimination Solutions for your Home and in this information about our special Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System.

If you’re worried about termites in and around your home, contact us today. Scherzinger Termite and Pest Control is a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We've been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Authored By: Eric Scherzinger

Quality ProNational Pest Management AssociationOPMABetter Business Bureau Angies List Super Service Award

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