Which Type of Termites Are Eating Your Home?

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Termites – you might be surprised to know that there are quite a few different varieties. In fact, termites have their own order. Entomologists call them Isoptera. We know them best as those pests that eat our homes. Termites and ants are not relatives, though both insects form colonies. Why is it important to know what kind of species of termites that reside in your area? Mostly because knowing that information helps your pest control specialist better control termite populations.

What Do Termites Do?

In their role in nature, termites are recyclers. It is their job to remove dead wood from the landscape and return the nutrients trapped in dead wood back to the soil where young trees and plants can then use the nutrients to create forests and crops. They do this with the help of specialized bacteria that live in their guts. Termites digest dead plant material to consume the cellulose found in the cell walls of plants. To that end, there are three major groups of termites that homeowners may encounter. Those are drywood termites, dampwood termites, and subterranean termites.

Telling Termite Species Apart

Many species of termites look much the same as their cousins. They also appear different during different stages of their lives. Swarmers are often the form of termites that homeowners see. This is a swarm of emerging termites.

Drywood termites are larger than subterranean termites, but that is not a sure way to tell the two species apart. Size of the insect can be a good clue, but not a sure method. Dampwood termites are wide and often a caramel color.

Subterranean termites build mud tunnels with underground chambers and even underground tunnels that lead to their food source. These are amazing structures that use many of nature's forces to provide natural air conditioning and air circulation. Drywood termites, on the other hand, live inside of dry wood, and their home is also their food source. They tunnel and burrow through dead wood by eating it. For homeowners, this often means your house becomes their meal.

How To Tell if Your House Has Termites?

The number one clue is sightings. If you see termites, usually swarmers, gathering around window frames or doors, it is a pretty good bet that your house has termites. If you see frass, which is termite droppings, around the seams where two boards join, then your home is probably infested. If you notice tiny holes, about 1-2 mm wide in your sheetrock, furniture, or the exposed wood structures of your house, then your home probably has termites.

What to Do If You See Swarming Signs of Termite Infestation?

The best thing to do is call Bug Out Service of West Florida and ask for a termite inspection. Our trained experts can help identify the type of termite or termites that you have seen. If your home is free of termites, then the professionals can provide a preventative program. The sooner you deal with termites, the easier it is to repair the damage that they cause.

For more information about how to identify or deal with termites, just call Bug Out Service of West Florida for more information about termites and termite control.

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