Does My West Palm Beach Property Have Termites?
April 7, 2021
Termites can quite literally eat you out of house and home in West Palm Beach, Florida, though they are actually beneficial insects away from the house. Termites eat cellulose which is found in fallen trees in the wild, recycling the wood’s nutrients. But termites stop being beneficial the moment they start eating your house, furniture, cabinetry, and books!
It is estimated that termites cost United States home and business owners over $5 billion each year. Eighty percent of the damage is done by termites is done by subterranean termites. Drywood termites do most of the rest of the damage. Dampwood termites are seldom a home problem because they only eat wood that is wet all the way through.
Description Of Termites
Termites come in different castes. Swarmers are male and female termites that have wings. They fly and pair off to mate and form new colonies. When they find a good place for a colony, they twist off their wings and start digging a new nest. Now the queen starts laying eggs to raise into the other castes. Swarmers can be differentiated from ants swarming at the same time because ants have a waist and termites do not. This caste of termites is dark brown or black in color. It is 1/4th to 3/8th inches long.
Soldier termites can be either male or female but are not fertile. Soldiers defend the colony, so they have enlarged heads with big pinchers on the front. The head and pinchers are darker, but the rest of the soldier is pale yellow. They are 1/8th inch long.
Finally, the worker termites are 1/8th inch long and cream-colored. The workers do most of the work, from tending the queen to finding food. Workers are responsible for most of the damage termites cause as they chew up cellulose and bring it back to the nest to feed the termites there.
Signs Of Termites In Your House
Subterranean termites are hard to spot in a house because the bulk of the colony is in a nest in the ground. Drywood termites do not have to have contact with the soil, so may establish a colony in your walls or other parts of your home. It helps to have a yearly inspection by a pest control professional to make sure no termites have moved in. There are signs you can see of a termite infestation:
- Frass (termite poop and tiny shreds of wood and insect parts)
- Swarmers inside the house or just outside
- Mud tubes from the dirt up the side of the foundation (Subterranean termites only)
- Twisted off wings near doors and windows
- Musty odor
- Hollow-sounding places in the wood of your house
- Accidently poking a screwdriver or other tool thru the hollowed-out wood
Getting Help With Your Termite Infestation
Treating termites is not a DIY project. If you miss any, they will continue to damage your house. DIY treatments sold in stores are rarely effective. You need a professional pest control company to fix this problem. Native Pest Management can help. In many cases, we can even come out on the same day. When you call us, we will send our trained and licensed technician to do an inspection of your house, inside and out, and recommend a treatment plan for your termite problem.
At Native Pest Management, we believe in Integrated Pest Management (IPM). This means we try to prevent termites from getting into your home in the first place. Once they are in your home, however, we use the least toxic alternative that will kill them without harming you, your children, or your pets. If you think you have termites (or you'd like to never have them), call Native Pest Management at (516) 425-6895 today for termite elimination/prevention service.