What You May Not Know About Termites

What do you know about termites, other than they eat wood and damage structures? Even if you haven’t had an experience with these sneaky pests, they can still live and ravage your house for months before you notice any signs of infestation. Let’s go over some important information about termites, including how to keep termites away from your house.

Most Common Termites in Texas

Image via Unsplash by Morten Jakob Pedersen

Termites are often regarded as one of the world’s most devastating pests. These colony-building insects are similar to ants, serving a queen and potentially growing to significant numbers. They consume plant material such as wood chips, rotting wood constructs, or leaf litter. In the U.S., there are around 50 different species of termites. The following are the most common species of termites found in, Austin, Texas, which is a frequent problem area for termites.

  • Subterranean Termites: These termites prefer living underground, and their species causes the most property damage by far. Even a small colony can eat over an ounce of wood per week, and that’s assuming the colony does not grow.
  • Dampwood Termites: One of the larger species of termites, this variety prefers damp environments. These termites infiltrate homes through wood that has been exposed to moist soil and started to rot.
  • Drywood Termites: Most common to the southern end of Texas, these termites prefer dryer, higher wood above the ground, such as old dead trees. However, they are willing to explore lower areas, like near a home foundation or door gaps, and wood that is higher up, such as in the attic.

Signs of Home Termite Infestation

If you are concerned about termite property damage, do not wait until you see visible damage or termites moving around somewhere. Those are things you would likely not see until the colony had been growing in your home for a long time. Here are some of the telltale indications of termite infestation to look out for:

  • Discarded wings
  • Mud tunnels
  • Hollow sounding wood

  • Tiny droppings
  • Light, paper rustling noise

Most importantly, watch out for swarmers, which look like small termites or ants with big wings. Swarmers are particularly concerning since their job is to find new places to expand an already existing colony.

How to Stop a Termite Infection Early

When you find termites in your home, do not attempt to kill the termites or disturb them. The termites will simply move to new, nearby parts of your home, continuing to inflict damage and making it harder to fully remove them. Professionals should be trusted when it comes to termite removal, and often for proper prevention measures. For instance, pest control Austin companies have proper, distinct solutions for both treating termite infections and warding them off in the long term, based on the species and how they got inside.

Termite home damage can be incredibly costly. Keeping standing water and old wood away from your home is helpful, but don’t forget that different kinds of termites can get in through different ways. If your goal is to eliminate your risk or to get rid of termites completely, professional assistance may be the most practical option.

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