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What Are Termites?

The Eastern subterranean termite is a common species of termite that is found across the United States, living in underground nests. Termites feed on items made of cellulose, such as decaying plants, tree roots, tree stumps, fallen trees, and tree limbs. Outside, away from homes and other buildings, termites are beneficial, helping to speed up the process of breaking down decaying plant matter. However, inside, termites are highly destructive pests that can cause extensive structural damage.

Termites have a complex social structure, and a colony is made up of three different groups, or castes:

Workers

Workers make up the bulk of the colony. They have soft, cream-colored bodies, and are responsible for gathering food for the colony.

Soldiers

Soldiers defend the colony from danger using their large, powerful jaws.

Reproductives (Kings and Queens)

Reproductives are the only members of the colony that are winged and fertile. They swarm from a mature colony to mate and start new termite colonies.

Are Termites Dangerous?

Termites pose no direct threats to people. They don’t transmit disease, and they rarely ever come into contact with people. But, because of the significant structural damage they can cause inside homes and other buildings, they are considered to be dangerous pests. When termites enter homes, they do so silently. They are then capable of tunneling through structural wood for months, or even years, before they do enough damage for the infestation to be noticed.

Why Do I Have A Termite Problem?

Termites live and feed in soil. They are attracted to properties that have damp soil and decaying wood. If termites are nesting and feeding on your property, there is a good chance they will find their way into your home. Termites invade wooden structures (door frames, deck posts, wooden shingles, porch steps) after emerging from soil, or when finding their way inside through cracks in a property's foundation. A termite swarm is another way termites are introduced onto a property. If there is a mature termite colony nearby, when termites swarm from it to mate they may end up on your property.

Where Will I Find Termites?

Termites are attracted to properties that have moist soil and decaying plant matter. Outside, termites create their expansive nests in the ground. Termites do not nest inside the wood they are tunneling through and feeding on. They travel back and forth from their food source to their nest through the ground or inside mud tubes they have created. Inside homes, termites tunnel through and initially feed on wooden items like structural beams. They are especially attracted to wood that has been water-damaged. As an infestation grows, termites will eventually feed on sound wood and non-wood items such as insulation, plastic plumbing pipes, sub-flooring, and foundations.

How Do I Get Rid of Termites?

To eliminate destructive termites, partner with an experienced pest control professional. At Pest & Termite Consultants, we offer the modern services needed to solve your property’s termite infestation. Our qualified professionals provide accurate identification, cost estimates, and perform effective termite treatments. To learn more about our quality termite control services and how they can protect your Raleigh-area property from destructive termites, reach out to us!

How Can I Prevent Termites in the Future?

To discourage termites from choosing your property and home to invade, we suggest doing the following:

  • Maintain gutters.
  • Repair leaky pipes, faucets, or fixtures.
  • Place weather stripping around all windows and doors.
  • Reduce moisture levels inside your home by running dehumidifiers.
  • Remove fallen trees and tree stumps from your property.
  • Replace water-damaged wood inside your home with sound wood.
  • Limit soil-to-wood contact located on your property.
  • Create a barrier between any soil or mulch and your home’s foundation.
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