Termite Inspections

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A proper termite inspection can save you thousands in repairs

Termites

It is estimated that termites damage approximately 600,000 U.S. homes every year. Residents will spend an estimated $5 million every year to control termites. A homeowner will spend on average around $3,000 to fix termite damage once it is discovered. In Texas, subterranean termites cause millions of dollars of damage each year. For most homeowners it is not a question of “if” but “when” termites attack their home. The probability of termites attacking a structure within 10 to 20 years of being built is higher than 70%…..don’t let your home be one of them!

Termite Identification

One of the most common mistakes made when identifying termites is to confuse the winged reproductive adult aka “swarmer” with a winged ant.
There are 3 major differences between the two:

1) WINGS: Termites and ants have 2 pairs of wings. Termites have wings that are longer than their body and the wings are the same length. Ants have wings of different lengths, one long and one short.

2) WAIST: Termites have a broad waist. Ants have a narrow waist.

3) ANTENNAE: Termites have a straight, beaded antennae. Ants have an elbowed antennae.

ants versus termites

Life Cycle of Termites

Termite colonies consist of three different castes. Each termite has a role to play for the colony. The worker is responsible for termite damage. They white or yellowish in color. They make up the bulk of termite colonies. The Soldier defends the colony. They are distinguishable by their large mandibles. The reproductive termite aka “swarmer” is responsible for the reproduction of the colony. They swarm when the conditions are right, then pair up and leave to start new colonies. The colony’s queen will always be at the deepest part of the soil so that she is protected. The queen termite regulates the balance of the castes in the colony with pheromones. If the queen dies or becomes sterile, a supplementary reproductive termite will take her place.

termite life cycle
flying ant versus flying termite
flying termite

Termite Activity

Termites eat wood. More specifically they eat cellulose. Cellulose can be found in paper, books, magazines, cardboard and sheetrock. Termites prefer to eat decayed wood, and are attracted to odors produced by wood-decaying fungi. It is important to know the signs of a termite infestation. Our inspectors look for termite frass, termite tubes, exit holes, live termites, wings of reproductive termites, and visible termite damage. Termite frass is termite feces, left behind by active termites. It will appear in areas that the termites frequent, and will look like brown, dirt-like specks.Termite tubes or mud tubes, are tunnels constructed by the termites that connect their nest to their food sources. The tubes are made of a mud-like material that is a mixture of saliva, feces, and soil. These tubes allow for protection and for the termites to retain the moisture they need to survive. Exit holes are tiny holes sometimes found in walls. These holes are about the size of a nail head or smaller. These holes are used by the termites to determine environmental conditions outside of the colony. 

termite activity
termite burrow

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