Termites

What are termites?

Termites are wood-eating insects, the majority of the species living worldwide live in tropical areas, but there are several species of termites residing throughout the United States. The subterranean termite is the most widespread species living in the U.S. and the type we deal with in Connecticut. While we are far from the tropics, subterranean termites have learned to adapt to our winters by slowing down their activity and tunneling deeper below the frost line.

termites in a mound

Subterranean termites are social insects, which means they live and nest together in large populations. To keep the colony running smoothly, they divide their members into different groups or “castes.” Each caste has a job that helps the colony run smoothly. The three distinct castes in a subterranean termite colony include the workers, reproductives, and soldiers.

As you can probably imagine, the reproductives are responsible for populating the colony, the soldiers for defending the colony, and the workers for doing everything else. Though tiny in size, the workers make up the colony’s bulk and work together to gather food and keep everyone fed. Termites can feed on wood and other items made of cellulose because of a unique enzyme in their stomachs. The enzyme converts cellulose into usable sugars.

Are termites dangerous?

Termites are a serious pest issue for people, not because they spread diseases to us or cause us any other physical problems, but because of the structural damage they create. Outside in tropical habitats, away from people, termites are very beneficial, helping to release nutrients back into the ground from the decaying wood they consume. But, as you can imagine, when termites find a way into man-made structures to feed, they are anything but helpful!

Subterranean termites living across the country are responsible for causing billions of dollars in damage that home and business owners are responsible for, because most insurance companies do not cover termite repair costs. 

Why do I have a termite problem?

Listed below are two of the most significant reasons why termites are such a problem for people and our structures:

  1. A termite colony can grow to massive numbers. A single colony may have between 60,000 and a million members.
  2. Subterranean termites move through the ground or mud tunnels without being seen and feed inside structural wood behind walls, below floors, or above ceilings — remaining unnoticed for months or sometimes years.

Where will I find termites?

Subterranean termites nest outside under the ground. The workers leave the nest each day to gather food for the colony. They do not nest within the wood they’re feeding on. Termites often feed on fallen or decaying trees, tree roots, and similar items made of cellulose.

As termites travel through the soil, it is easy for them to move into our homes at ground level through cracks in the foundation or pieces of wood, making direct ground contact. Once inside, they move through wooden floor joists and into structural wood, floorboards, wood trim, and other lumber.

Termites prefer decaying wood or wood damaged by water since it is easier for them to tunnel through. A slow leak in a pipe under your floors is something that can cause water damage to structural wood, and provide the perfect feeding ground for termites.

How do I get rid of termites?

Termites are not pests you want living in your home for a day longer than necessary. To quickly get rid of these wood-eating pests, it is vital to partner with a local and experienced professional. To eliminate termites from your yard and home and prevent a re-infestation, turn to the experts at Rescue 1 Pest & Termite Control.

With over 30 years of industry experience, you can count on us to meet your pest control needs. Through inspection, treatment, the installation of bait stations, follow-up visits, and more, we will protect your property from termite damage. Call today to speak with one of our professionals about our effective termite control services.

How can I prevent termites in the future?

Prevent problems with termites and other pests with the following prevention tips and the comprehensive pest control services from Rescue 1 Pest & Termite Control:

  • Avoid having water build up next to your foundation by making sure gutters are working correctly and creating a 12-18 inch barrier between any mulch or soil and your foundation.
  • Remove excess woodpiles, leaf piles, and brush piles from your yard.
  • Remove any tree stumps and fallen trees to stop hungry termites from being attracted to your yard.
  • Repair leaky pipes and fixtures in your home. Quickly repair any water-damaged structural wood.
  • Fix any cracks you discover in your foundation.
  • If your home has a crawl space, make sure to remove any wood debris from there and adequately ventilate it.
  • Use dehumidifiers in the basement to keep it from retaining moisture.

Learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control services.

 

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