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Close up termites or white ants

Common FAQ’s About Termites and Termite Swarmers

What do termites eat?

Termites eat many types of materials containing cellulose, with the most common being wood and sheetrock. Subterranean termites prefer moist and damaged wood; whereas, drywood termites feed on dry wood.  Outside the home, termites eat dead and decaying wood, fungi, and plants.

For subterranean termite control in the home it is essential to correct all issues leading to moisture problems.

Images of termites?

Comparing termites found inside or around your home to images of termites can be helpful in determining the type of termite you are dealing with.  For subterranean termites the most common species include eastern, Formosan, and southeastern.  Drywood termites are another type of termite infesting homes in the U.S.

Images of termites can also be helpful distinguishing between termites and ants, especially flying termites and ants with wings.

Termite droppings but no termites?

What does it mean when you see termite droppings but no termites?  It is not unusual to see signs of termites, such as termite droppings, wood damage, or shed termite wings, before you see live termites themselves.  Subterranean termites spend most of their time underground, where they can’t be seen.  Drywood termites tunnel inside of wood and are also difficult to see.

Signs of termites inside your home, including termite droppings, may indicate a termite infestation and warrant a thorough termite inspection of your home.

Termites vs flying ants?

Termites and flying ants can look very similar.  Flying ants, especially, can look almost like flying termites, or alates.  Differences to look for in termites vs ants include: ants have a pinched waist vs termites thick waist, ants have elbowed antennae vs termites straight antennae, and ants two sets of wings are asymmetrical; whereas termites wings are symmetrical.

To determine the difference between termites and flying ants, use these criteria to help you properly identify.

Drywood termite droppings?

What do drywood termites droppings look like?  Drywood termite droppings are fecal pellets also known as frass.  Hard and oblong in shape they are tiny at approximately 1/20th of an inch in length.  Drywood termite droppings vary in color, from light brown to dark brown or black, depending on the type of wood they are eating.

Drywood termite droppings often appear as a small pile of frass inside the home.

Can termites fly?

Most termites do not have wings and lack the ability to fly.  But in the termite caste system, there is a type of termite that can fly.  Flying termites, also called winged alates, are the reproductive termites.  Alates leave the termite colony with the goal of establishing and growing a new termite colony.

Flying termites are often the first sign a homeowner may notice indicating a termite infestation or nearby termite colony.

How to prevent termites?

There are a number of steps involved in reducing or prevent termites from attacking your home.  First, think moisture.  Termites preferred food of choice is moist wood.  Eliminating areas of standing water around your home, installing gutters, repairing interior plumbing leaks, and insuring adequate ventilation are key.  After that, there are two types of termite treatments which can help prevent termites.  The first is the standard liquid termite barrier treatment.

Recently technology in termite prevention also includes termite bait systems.  Termite bait systems have the advantage of not requiring messy digging around the foundation of your home. Additionally termite bait systems do not need to be repeated. Each year you simply replace any consumed bait in each station.

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