Termites may seem like exotic bugs that only bother people living close to the woods. However, it’s actually a common problem we see at Progressive Pest, and unfortunately, you may not realize you have a problem until the damage is severe. Keep reading to learn how to identify termites in your home and to implement termite protection.
What Do Termites Look Like
Termites often get mistaken for ants, as these two insects are similar in appearance. And depending on the season, some will grow wings so they can scout out new territory. These scouts look like flying ants at first glance. However, flying ants have two sets of wings, and one is larger. And the wingspan compared to the length of the ant will be closer. On the other hand, termites have two sets of wings with equal wingspans, and these wings will appear much longer than the insect’s body length. While ants are typically reddish-brown to black, termites are white ants with tan heads.
Types Of Termites
In Georgia, we have two kinds of termites.
These termites like to make a home where there’s lots of moisture. Outside, you can find them living underground or in decaying trees or woodpiles. However, if your home provides that same environment, they may choose to move in. They use mud tubes to protect the colony members as they travel above ground and search for food. Damp, leaky attics, and basement foundations with cracks are common entryways for these types of termites. They also can find their way in through exterior insulation finish systems (EIFS). More on this later.
Drywood termites will eat hard and softwoods alike. They are the most common type found in the states and can live in any wooden structure of your home, causing substantial damage to the building’s integrity. Drywood termites are also known to eat wooden furniture.
How To Tell If You Have Termites
There are many ways to tell if you have termites in your house. Here are the most common symptoms.
This is usually what people think of when they think of termites. You’ve probably seen a cartoon where a swarm of termites devours wood like a school of piranhas devouring a piece of meat. Luckily, termites can’t devour wood that quickly, though it’s important to call an exterminator as soon as possible. Unlike carpenter ants, which don’t actually eat wood, termites will eat wood fibers, so one of the most obvious signs of their presence is damaged wood. The trail they leave behind will look like long narrow tubes. And speaking of damaged wood:
Walls Sound Hollow
If you suspect you have termites, tap on the affected wall, door, or furniture leg. The bugs devour the wood from the inside out, and as they carve out their tunnels, you’ll notice a distinct change in how sound travels through these surfaces. If the damage is advanced, the wood may crumble under the slightest bit of pressure.
Presence Of Termite Tube
Subterranean termites build tubes of mud to protect themselves from predators and travel between a food source and their colony. The texture looks similar to that of damp sand. If you spot a termite tube, do not hesitate to call termite control services. By the time you’ve spotted the tube, the infestation is already very advanced. You’ll most likely see termite tubes in the corners and walls of your house.
Swarming Insects Or Discarded Wings
As mentioned above, termites will send out scouts or “swarmers” to look for new territory. If you notice a swarm of flying insects in your home, it could be these very scouts. Another clue you’re dealing with termites: once these scouts complete their mission, they discard their wings.
As unsettling as it may be, you can actually hear termites eating if you listen carefully! Place your ear against the surface of the area where you suspect termites are. Their chewing sounds like a soft clicking or scratching.
“Frass” is a polite way of referring to termite poop. It looks like a pile of sawdust or birdseed. These frass piles are typically close to the “kick-out hole” – another thing to look for. Termite kick-out holes are where worker termites remove the waste from the wall and drop it on the ground. Your first reaction upon finding a pile of termite droppings may be to clean it up. However, it’s best to leave it until an exterminator inspects your property. Kick-out holes make it easier for us to get to the heart of the colony, which means we can treat the problem faster.
How To Get Rid Of Termites
At Progressive Pest, we offer different pest control services depending on your property.
Residential Termite Protection
We employ a tried-and-true chemical soil barrier called Termidor®. This chemical insecticide is applied around your home’s foundation, including under the concrete, to create a protective barrier around the perimeter that saturates the soil. This will not affect the structure of your home. This chemical is odorless and nearly impossible for termites to notice until it’s too late. As termites tunnel through the treated soil, the chemical sticks to them. Because Termidor® releases slowly, the termites will unknowingly carry the poison back to the colony. You can expect the entire termite infestation to be gone within 48 hours of us applying it.
At Progressive Pest, we use the most effective means of termite control. Other soil barriers merely repel termites but don’t treat existing problems. The installation of this chemical soil barrier requires expert knowledge and specialized equipment. Our Termite Control operators are trained to take care of your property and deliver swift results.
Exterior Insulation Finish System (EIFS) Removal
Another termite control service we offer is EIFS removal. EIFS is an exterior insulation system made of foam that provides an insulated, water-resistant, finished surface. It’s used to prevent moisture from entering the wall cavities. The problem with EIFS is that, unfortunately, water can still find its way in. Remember how subterranean termites love damp wood? EIFS creates the perfect environment for those termites. And because EIFS panels are up to four inches thick, you likely wouldn’t even notice termites. Our team members are trained to remove EIFS and create a new termite barrier to keep future pests out.
Get The Best Termite Control In Athens, GA
Progressive Pest Control is equipped and trained to handle even the toughest termite infestations. Our residential pest control is so effective that we will retreat your property free of charge and repair the damage if there are any live termites left. We can also remove EIFS, assess, and repair any termite damage that may have gone unnoticed.
To learn more about other pest control topics, from rodents to roaches, check out our monthly blog here.