Termite Facts

Termite Facts

By: Ashley Elvington
                They say home is where the heart is. And while many guests grace the welcome mat at your front door, there’s one guest that’s always unexpected and uninvited – termites. These pesky visitors have the ability to turn a home into a feeding ground and, before you know it, you’re in need of an exterminator in addition to home repairs, which at times can be quite serious if they aren’t excavated soon enough. Below are some facts about these unwelcome guests.
1.       Over 2,300 species of termites are active in the world today; over 50 are residing in the U.S., with the three main types being Dampwood, Drywood, and Subterranean.
2.       These are known as “silent killers,” with most homeowners not realizing the invasion until serious damage has been done. Each year, these pests cause up to $1 billion in home damages.
3.       The six common types of termites are Dampwood, Drywood, Formosan, Subterranean, Conehead, and Desert.
4.       As suggested in the name, Dampwood termites prefer just that – damp, decaying wood that is close to the ground. These may be found in basements are any other room where wood would hold or come in contact with moisture.
5.       Drywood termites prefer dry wood with no close proximity to the ground needed. These are often found inhabiting attics and can also destroy floors and furniture if in contact.
6.       Formosan termites are typically found in the Southern region of the U.S., as they thrive in warmer climates. These can be the most aggressive of the group. Unlike the Dampwood and Drywood types, these build their colonies in the ground then work their way up to the wood. Mud tubes are often an indicator that this group is present.
7.       Subterranean is the most common group, and they too build their nests in the ground. This group prefers to eat only soft wood and are known for constructing rather large and intricate tunnels underground that assist them in getting from the colony to the wood supply, and vice versa.
8.       Conehead termites are a type of Drywood termite. They unashamedly build their nests above ground, often in plain sight (nests can be found in trees, on the sides of buildings, etc.), and have a diet that consists of anything containing cellulose material.
9.       Desert termites prefer a dryer air climate, found in states such as Arizona and New Mexico. Although this is their environment, this type lacks the ability to sustain moisture and can be found nesting underground, even in manure, as well as amongst grasses on top of soil. Their diet is focused mainly upon plant materials.
10.   Invasions are usually spotted in March – May. Winged termites enter homes during this time (known as swarmers), as they prefer warm climates as well as rainfall. If you spot the shedding of wings, which is what they do after finding a mate to build a colony with, you have an invasion in process.
11.   Like moths, swarmers are drawn to light and can be found near windows and doors. If you spot them or mud tubes indoors, you have an infestation in your home.
The most important fact of all? We at Southern Perimeter Pest Control are here to help rid your home of these unwelcomed guests. If you suspect you have an invasion, call us at (843)601-2791.