Termites, frequently called the "silent destroyers" by pest control technicians, cause major problems for property owners. They work in places that people rarely go, leaving behind clues to their presence that only a trained technician recognizes. This tendency enables termites to cause thousands of dollars in structural damage every year.
The eastern subterranean termite is the most often discovered termite species in Bensalem and throughout the Northeast. Colonies may have several thousand members, many of which are focused on finding food. Unfortunately, that food takes the form of structural components in houses, offices and other buildings. Identifying this infestation and getting prompt treatment are the key components to minimizing the damage.
Eastern subterranean termites live in large colonies. Each member has a specific role to fulfill, and their appearance varies depending upon this role. Workers are probably the most frequently seen. They are a cream color and only measure about one-quarter of an inch in length. Their thick waists and straight antennae may help to identify them from other, rarer termite species. Soldiers are a similar color, but their heads are brown and they have more prominent jaws. In the spring, people may see brown or black flying termites equipped with two pairs of wings. Known as swarmers, these colony members are reproductives and may establish new colonies.
Subterranean termites depend upon cellulose for sustenance. Cellulose is a common ingredient in plants, trees and other vegetation. It also may be found in fabrics and paper. Since all of these items may be located in or around human habitations, it follows that buildings are always vulnerable to termite infestations. Termites may feed on structural support beams, fences, decks, siding, drywall, furniture, clothing, linens and books.
As their name suggests, subterranean termites thrive underground. This guarantees higher humidity, an essential for termite health. Loose soil that is perpetually damp is the ideal place for termites to establish a colony. Accordingly, colonies may be located outside of structures where the termites are feeding. Tunnels are constructed from the nest to the building to provide the termites with a safe means of travel between the locations. A single colony may have as many as one million members, representing a voracious appetite for food. Without prompt extermination, massive damage may be caused.
PROBLEMS WITH TERMITES
The climate found throughout the region provides near-ideal conditions for termites year round. Accordingly, termite problems encountered by homes and businesses in the Bensalem area are particularly common and widespread. Colonies often experience explosive growth that has members searching for new sources of food and establishing satellite colonies. Their search for food leads termites to cause millions of dollars in damage to houses across the U.S. every year. Several thousand dollars can be spent repairing all of the damage after a large infestation.
Termites live in large colonies with thousands of members, all of which communicate using vibrations and pheromones. These communication techniques help termites to undertake concerted efforts to locate and exploit food sources. This is how a single termite can lead thousands of colony members to one specific property where they have found food.
Termites avoid interaction with virtually every other species by remaining underground for most of their lives. The one, highly visible exception to this is in the spring when swarmers appear. Successful mating pairs may go on to establish a new colony, sometimes quite close to the existing one.
Termites are not known to carry or transmit any illnesses to people. However, their tunneling behavior may prove to be problematic for people with respiratory concerns such as allergies or asthma. As they burrow into wood or other cellulose-containing items, termites leave behind small piles of dust. These particles can be swept up by heating, cooling and ventilation systems where they are released into the air. In households where there are known respiratory concerns, swift action should be taken to eliminate a termite infestation.
SIGNS OF A TERMITE INFESTATION
A termite problem may be exist if the following signs are seen:
• Water damage where no leak is identified
• Swarms of flying insects seen just outside or inside buildings in the spring
• Wings littering the ground or floors after a swarm
• Signs of small tunnels around foundations
• Shelter tubes climbing the sides of foundations
• Walls, floors and ceilings that are buckling or uneven
• Mold and mildew odors that do not have a known source
To help avoid termite issues the following precautions should be taken:
• Do not allow standing water to collect anywhere on the property
• Ensure that rainwater is diverted away from the foundation
• Promptly repair all leaks in plumbing and irrigation systems
• Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris
• Paint, stain or seal all wood used in construction projects
• Remove rotting tree stumps
• Place yard debris piles and woodpiles well away from all structures
• Routinely examine the exterior of buildings for holes or cracks that should be sealed
Subterranean termites are an incredibly common pest problem for Bensalem area homes and businesses. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that they are dealing with an infestation until it has been ongoing for months or even a few years. Panic may set in when the first signs of a problem are detected. This may cause people to seek a DIY method to eradicate the infestation.
However, these DIY treatments rarely are effective. Quite often these treatments only kill a few members of the colony while the vast majority of its population continues to feed on the structure. Additionally, proper termite eradication is time-consuming, labor-intensive and typically requires equipment most home and business owners do not have on hand.
Professional termite control is different. A trained technician will conduct a thorough inspection to identify that eastern subterranean termites are the problem. Then, they propose proven, scientifically tested methods for exterminating the population along with subsequent inspections. Combined, these measures can help property owners to live pest free for years to come.
For the past 20 years, SafeGuard Pest Control has been assisting area homeowners with all of their termite prevention and eradication needs.
As a certified Termidor® exterminator, our licensed technicians are skilled and trained in applying this and other products known for effective termite eradication, by infecting and killing termites as they come in contact with the termiticide, and by spreading to other colony members.
SafeGuard Pest Control, LLC is a leading pest control provider and can assist homes and businesses with successful termite extermination while helping to prevent future termite infestations.