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FUN FACTS ABOUT TERMITES: Termites are attracted to moisture and fungus. They are not attracted to wood, they just suck out the cellulose from inside the wood. Termites need about 1/64″ to enter a structure and can do hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to homes.
Subterranean termites are by far the most common type of termite, and have been estimated to cause over 90% of all termite damage in the US. They are the most destructive insect pest of wood, causing more than $3 billion of damage each year in the United States. To make matters worse, most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover termite damage. This variety of termite is found throughout the United States with the exception of Alaska and is especially common in the southern and pacific coastal states. While subterranean termites are often found in homes, they actually live in the soil, and return to the soil after feeding on a home. Subterranean termites require moisture to live and will always return to their colonies in the soil.
Subterranean termites typically follow the grain of the wood, feeding primarily on the soft spring wood. Damage by subterranean termites is often not noticed because the exterior surface usually must be removed to see the damage.
Usually at the end of February or the beginning of March is considered subterranean termite swarming season. The swarmers are the identifier and their job is to fly from one part of the ground to another part of the ground where they mate to form the new colonies. If a customer wakes up one morning and sees about 100 dead swarmers in their home that is an indication that there are subterranean termites in their walls. If this happens call McGrath Pest Control for a free termite check and to learn more about treatment solutions.
TREATMENT: Since subterranean termites come from the soil, a liquid soil treatment is recommended. The chemical is transferred up into the walls and out to the nest thus killing the entire colony. The termicide then creates a barrier to prevent any future damage. McGrath feels the liquid treatment is the best and most productive and we have over 15 years of non pretreatments to back that up. Call today for more information.
Drywood termites are social insects that live in colonies in sound, dry wood. Each colony consists of offspring termites which are larger than local, southwestern subterranean species. Drywood termites tend to cut across wood grain destroying both the soft spring wood and the harder summer growth.
Drywood termites often establish nests in roof materials and wooden wall supports accessed under eaves. However, despite being capable of surviving on low wood moisture they are also found in wood associated with a water source such as a leaky pipe or water heater.
Drywood termites are hard to identify early because they do not come from the ground or need any type of outside tunnel to live. Drywood swarmers fly into a crack or crevice of your home and start eating the callous of the wood. The first sign of identification is usually a pile of small light brown pellets. These pellets are actually their fecal matter and are pushed out through little kicker holes.
TREATMENT: Treating drywood termites can be a little tricky since their actual location cannot be fully identified. Two main ways of treating usually consist of spot treating the areas where the pellets are found or fumigating the entire house. Call McGrath Pest Control for further questions or to set up an inspection appoitment.
Formosan Subterranean Termites
The Formosan subterranean termite is often nicknamed the super-termite because of its destructive habits. This is because of the large size of its colonies, and the termites’ ability to consume wood at a rapid rate. A single colony may contain several million (compared with several hundred thousand termites for other subterranean termite species) that forage up to 300 feet (100 m) in soil. A mature formosan colony can consume as much as 13 ounces of wood a day (ca. 400 g) and severely damage a structure in as little as three months. Because of its population size and foraging range, the presence of colonies poses serious threats to nearby structures. Once established, Formosan subterranean termite is difficult to eradicate from an area.
TREATMENT: Yes the formosan termite is a subterranean termites, the treatment and identification is a little different. From the outside tunnel it looks the same. Once broken open the formosan head is more of a tear drop shape where the eastern subterranean termite has more of a longer head. An outside liquid treatment is needed as well as locating the carton that is formed inside the walls. This carton must be removed. If not, then the formosan termite will recolonize in the wall and continue to spread.