Termites can be one of the worst nightmares of homeowners. The thought that a pest is literally eating away the structure of your home can cause stress, fear, and worry.

If you see a termite, it can be pretty amazing to consider how this small little bug can join together with a band of brothers and cause loads of damage in a fairly short amount of time. These insects, with over 40 species in the US and 2,000 worldwide, have been nicknamed the “silent destroyer,” because they can chew through and destroy wood and floors without anyone noticing.

What are termites?

Termites are insects that chew wood, often chewing the structures of homes and causing billions of dollars of property damage each year. Most species are between ¼ and ½ inch-long with soft, white to light brown bodies. There are termite queens and kings that have the capability of growing up to an inch long. Some termites are able to fly, equipped with two pairs of wings.

Of the 40 US species of these annoying pests, there are a few types that are the most threatening to homeowners. These include:

Subterranean

Every state in the US, other than Alaska, has subterranean termites. As one of the most destructive and threatening species in the US, their underground colonies can hold up to 2 million termites. Subterranean termites live underground or in moist private areas, protecting themselves from the open air and making their way to their food source by building “mud tubes.”

Formosan

Formosan termites come from China, and have the fame of being the most aggressive of the 2,000 known species of termites. These voracious pests live in enormous colonies underground, building nests of mud inside the walls of the structure they are feasting upon.

Dampwood

Dampwood termites live on the pacific coast, the southwest, and southern Florida, infesting wood that is damp, with a significant moisture content. With the appropriate care, moist wood can be protected from infestation of Dampwood termites, which typically grow larger than other species.

Drywood

Drywood termites don’t actually need to make contact with soil, infesting drywood and building nests in wooden wall supports and roof material. They are also often found in dead wood that surrounds a home.

Conehead

Originally from the Caribbean and named Tree termites, Conehead termites have only been in the US since 2001. Instead of traveling through underground tunnels, Conehead termites move along the ground, enabling them to spread fast. These quick-moving pests are very aggressive and cause considerable damage.

Where do termites come from?

Termites travel through seasonal migration. As temperatures warm up, termites start to move north, looking for new homes.

Termite explorers head out first, looking like a winged-ant, scouring for a suitable structure to invade. They often settle on homes or structures that were damaged during the winter, finding a place ripe for infestation. Once the right place is found, the rest of these pests follow.

What do termites eat?

These common pests feast through the night and day on things made of wood, cotton, or plants. This is why they cause loads of damage to a home; if they settle in the area surrounding the house, they will begin to chew on the wood making up the structure. It’s important to keep an eye out for signs of a termite infestation in your home in order to prevent devastating damage. These signs include:

  • Mud tubes on the outside of the house.
  • Darkening of wooden structures.
  • Wood inside that is soft and sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Paint that is uneven or bubbling.
  • Small piles of what appears to be sawdust.
  • Wings near doors or windows.

If you notice any of these signs, make sure and contact Foundations Pest Control right away. If there is a termite infestation in your home, you will want to get it taken care of as soon as possible to keep the damage at bay.

I had an unexpected bed bug issue from travelling, and the Foundation Pest Control team gave me a competitive quote within 24 hours, and arrived to treat my house in two days. I had a new baby so the team even offered to assist me with putting mattress covers on the beds. I could not have asked for a better experience given the situation.
Lindsey O.
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