Action is required whenever Bristol homeowners suspect a termite infestation. These intrepid insects spend the majority of their life cycle underground or in places like crawlspaces and basements where they rarely encounter people. This enables them to inflict serious damage on the structural components of buildings, frequently without the human inhabitants being aware of their presence.
Subterranean termite colonies have a voracious appetite for wood and other cellulose-containing items. Because of this appetite, the species is capable of causing multiple-thousands of dollars-worth of damage each year. Termite infestations tend to be persistent, making the assistance of a professional pest management company a necessity.
Each member of a termite colony fulfills one of three roles. A king and queen are responsible for ensuring the survival of the colony. Accordingly, they produce a population of swarmers, which are brown or black insects with a pair of wings. These are the most visible colony members. Their emergence in the spring frequently is the first indication property owners have of a problem.
Workers are more rarely seen. The small size of one-eighth of an inch is partially responsible for this. However, they also almost never come out in the open. Their predominant color is a creamy shade of white.
Soldiers are a similar hue, but they are noticeably larger. Their heads are yellowish and their jaws are far more prominent than the jaws on other colony members.
Termites survive thanks to cellulose. This substance is found in all wood and wood-based products. Accordingly, paper, fabric, siding and sheetrock all may be food sources. It also is worth noting that termites gravitate toward damp conditions. When wood that is perpetually wet is discovered, this may be a particularly attractive source of food.
Subterranean termites do not just prefer to live underground; their survival requires it. Exposure to sunlight and wind quickly dries out this insect and significantly shortens their life expectancy. When they are underground or otherwise sheltered from the elements, this species thrives.
In order to travel between the nest and a source of food, the workers must construct a mud tunnel that protects them from exposure. Nests frequently are established close to a foundation, a rotting stump or a fallen log. This ensures that food is always nearby.
PROBLEMS WITH TERMITES
A typical termite colony may consist of millions of individuals. Each of these individuals needs to be fed a cellulose-based diet. The outsized nutritional needs of the colony mean that the workers are constantly searching for new food sources to exploit.
Typically, these sources are found in dark, damp, subterranean areas. This means that basements and crawlspaces are particularly susceptible to an infestation, but attics, roofs, furniture and other cellulose-containing items may be vulnerable. With so many pests feeding on structural elements of a building, it is possible for it to become uninhabitable. Even if the damage is not that severe, people may have to spend thousands of dollars repairing and replacing components that suffered termite damage.
Termites do their utmost to avoid contact with humans and other potential predators. This habit, coupled with their need for dark and moist conditions, makes much of their behavior mysterious to the casual observer.
However, it is known that termites are social insects, each of which has a distinct role to fulfill. Workers spend their time building mud tunnels and searching for food which must then be taken back to the nest to be shared. Soldiers protect the nest, and the king and queen ensure the survival of the species with their prodigious reproductive habits. The swarmers emerge each spring to mate and establish new colonies. This typically is the most visible and noticeable termite behavior.
The subterranean termites in Bristol generally do not bite people or pets. Similarly, scientists are unaware of any illnesses that may be transmitted between these pests and people. Nonetheless, the tunneling and feeding activities of the termite do have a direct effect on air quality in indoor spaces. Microscopic bits of dust, dirt and shavings make their way into heating, cooling and ventilation systems, and this may exacerbate the symptoms of an individual with a respiratory problem. With prompt pest management services, this risk can be minimized.
SIGNS OF A TERMITE INFESTATION
Signs of a termite infestation include:
• Walls sound hollow when they are tapped
• Floors appear to buckle or sag
• Walls that bow inward or outward
• Foundations are marked by mud tunnels
• Flying termites swarming inside or outside buildings
• Piles of shed wings after a swarm
To help prevent issues with termites the following measures should be taken:
• Immediately repair plumbing and irrigation leaks
• Ensure that the stumps of trees and woody plants are not left behind
• Yard debris piles and woodpiles should be placed distant from structures
• Make certain that any wood on structures does not make contact with soil
• Paint or stain all wood on the property to make it less vulnerable
• Seek out and get rid of standing water on the property
• Look for holes and cracks in building exteriors so that they can be covered or sealed
When termites are suspected, the best course of action is to call in the experts at SafeGuard Pest Control. Our technicians are licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and are certified Termidor exterminators.
As certified Termidor® exterminators, our technicians are skilled and trained in applying this and other products known for effective termite control, by infecting and killing termites as they come in contact with the termiticide and then spread it to other members within the colony.
For nearly 30 years, SafeGuard Pest Control, LLC has been assisting Bristol area homes and businesses with all of their termite eradication and prevention needs.