Termite Identification Guide

What are termites?

Termites are wood-destroying insects; subterranean termites are the most widespread species living across our country and nest underground. Termites feed on cellulose and, when they find their way into our properties, they cause significant damage by feeding on its structural wood. These insects remain active throughout the year and work around the clock to gather enough food to feed their large colonies. Termites consume enough wood to cause billions of dollars in damage across the country each year.

many termites crawling on damaged wood at a home in new haven connecticut

Termites divide their colonies into different castes, with each caste having their own set of responsibilities. Workers are blind and have soft, cream-colored bodies that grow to about 1/4 of an inch in length. Workers are responsible for gathering food for the colony. Soldiers appear very similar to workers, except they are a bit larger and have elongated, yellow heads with large, strong jaws. Soldiers defend their colony from predators. Reproductives (queens and males) are dark brown to black and are the only winged members.

Are termites dangerous?

Termites are hazardous to properties. Once they find their way into your home and begin feeding on its structural wood, they won’t leave on their own. It is very rare to see a worker termite. These pests work silently and out of sight for months or even years before the destruction they've caused is detected. Termite damage has the potential to become quite extensive and expensive to repair; adding insult to injury is the fact that most homeowners insurance does not cover costly termite damage!

Why do I have a termite problem?

Termites have found their way onto your property because they have discovered suitable shelter and food sources. Things like leaf piles, fallen trees, trees stumps, and other organic debris attract termites, and they nest underground near these suitable food sources. As the workers are out searching for food, they may accidentally find their way inside through cracks in the foundation. They also make their way in through structures with soil-to-wood contact. If things like porch steps, wood trim, or deck posts are making direct contact with the ground, termites will take advantage and use them to get inside.

Where will I find termites?

Termites live outside in moist soil. If they need to travel above ground, they create mud tubes that protect them from predators and help to maintain their high moisture needs. Inside, termites invade and feed on the structural wood located above ceilings, behind walls, and below the floor. In the spring, reproductive termites swarm from their nests to find mates and create new nests. If you ever witness a termite swarm, it is an indicator that termites may be nesting on or near your property.

How do I get rid of termites?

Here at Connecticut Pest Elimination, our dedicated and licensed pest technicians provide the comprehensive pest control services needed to eliminate termites and other common pests and keep them from returning! Guard your home or business against pests with the help of a local, full-service pest control company with over 27 years of experience. For more information about our commercial and residential pest control services, reach out to Connecticut Pest Elimination today!

How can I prevent termites in the future?

In addition to our professional services, the following prevention tips will help you to avoid problems with termites here in Connecticut:

  • Leave a rock or crushed stone barrier of at least 12-18 inches between any soil or mulch and your foundation.

  • Place weatherstripping around all windows and doors.

  • Use dehumidifiers to keep your basement dry.

  • Fix leaky pipes, faucets, or fixtures.

  • Ventilate crawlspaces.

  • Replace mulch with non-organic options.

  • Use a caulking gun to seal cracks in your foundation.

  • Remove dead leaves, fallen trees, and tree stumps from your property.

  • Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris so they can direct water away from the exterior of your home or business.

 

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