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Man prying sheetrock and wood damaged by termite infestation in house.

How to Get Rid of Termites in Your Mississippi Home

Termites are a type of insect that you can find in your home. Unlike typical insects you might expect to come across, like ants, termites feed on wood and plant matter.

That means that if a termite colony infests your house, it’s going to eat through all of your furniture, skirting boards, doors, frames, and more.

Of course, no termite is going to eat through your entire home without you noticing. On average, it takes a colony of around 60,000 five months to eat one foot of a 2×4 beam. This might not sound all that bad, but that’s all the damage it takes to force you to replace something.

What do Termites Look Like?

A lot of people mistake termites for ants. They don’t realize that they’re dealing with a termite colony until it’s too late, and that can cost them some furniture. However, there are a few key differences between the two that you can look out for:

  • The wings of a termite are the same length.

With the wings on ants, the front wings are typically longer than the hind wings. This isn’t the case with termites at all. Almost every single type of termite you ever come across is going to have the same sized wings on its back.

  • Termite antennas are straight.

Both termites and ants have antennas. However, the antennas that ants have protrude out at a 90-degree angle. Termites, on the other hand, have antennas that stick straight out of the head.

Aside from those two differences, a termite looks remarkably similar to an ant. It’s a small insect, measuring between a quarter-inch to a half-inch, although the kings and queens can measure up to a full inch in size.

Types of Termites

There are a few different types of termites that you should be aware of. Not necessarily for genealogy, but so that you can recognize what kind of infestation you’re dealing with.

First of all, there are two main types of termite to pay attention to in a colony:

  • Swarmers.

Swarmers are the type of termite that has wings. That makes them easier to identify than the others. As you might expect, swarmers travel in swarms, particularly outside. If you see a large swarm of flying termites outside, then you’re about to have an issue on your hands.

Swarmers are responsible for reproducing and establishing new colonies. When they are inside, their wings tend to fall off. If you find a swarmer termite or a swarmer termite’s wings in your house, then the chances are that you’re already dealing with an established colony.

  • Workers

The other type of termite to keep an eye out for is the worker variety. Worker termites are sterile and cannot breed. They also don’t have wings as swarmers do.

Worker termites are responsible for feeding the colony. All of the damage that you see in your wood from a termite infestation has come from worker termites.

Aside from those two, there is a third type of termite that is indicative of an infestation, although you’re likely to spot the other two types before this one.

  • Soldiers.

Soldiers are responsible for protecting the colony. They don’t have wings, and they don’t collect cellulose like the workers. Nonetheless, seeing soldier termites in your house is still going to tell you that you’re dealing with an infestation problem.

The easiest way to identify and distinguish soldier termites from the others is by the mandible jaw that this type has on its head.

As well as the three different colony types of termite, there are different classifications that dictate where a colony establishes itself and what it feeds off of. On your end, an infestation is an infestation, so this doesn’t really affect you. However, it can still be useful to know about them:

  • Dampwood termites.
  • Drywood termites.
  • Formosan termites.
  • Subterranean termites.
  • Conehead termites.

How to Identify Termites in Your Home

Aside from spotting a big hole in any of your wood, there are a few telltale signs of a termite infestation.

First of all, you can check to see if the colony has built mud tubes outside of your home so that it can access more food sources.

It’s important for you to remember that termites don’t necessarily eat into your wood from the outside inwards. They can infest internally and hollow out any beams in your home. If you have any wood that is blistering or darkening that sounds hollow when you tap it, the chances are that’s because there is termite damage.

You can also lookout for any paint that is uneven or bubbling, piles of sawdust-like feces lying around the floor, or the discarded wings of swarmer termites near any entry points to your home.

How to Get Rid of Termites

Before you get rid of termites, you need to determine whether or not you have subterranean termites. This type of termite tends to do a lot more damage than the others and may require more extensive extermination.

There are no real easy solutions to your termite problem. The only real way to deal with them is to either leave the infected wood out in the sun for several days to kill off the workers or two use a natural/chemical solution.

If you want to go the natural route, you can purchase beneficial nematodes from your local garden center and introduce them to the termite colony. There are parasites that seek out and feed on other parasites, including termites.

Alternatively, you could purchase a termite killing chemical solution and apply it to the colony and infested areas yourself. These chemical solutions can be harsh, so make sure you keep it away from any pets, use gloves, and keep it out of your eyes.

Lastly, if you’re dealing with a large colony of you don’t feel confident enough to exterminate it yourself, you could call a professional termite exterminator to take care of the problem for you. This can be a costly solution, but it is easily the most effective way to get rid of termites quickly.

If you’re looking for the right team to handle the issue for you, Synergy² is here to help. We provide trusted services throughout the area, so contact us for the best pest control services around.

Feel free to read more about us and decide if Synergy² is the right company for you.  We have over 270 Five-Star Google reviews for pest control service in the Jackson metro area (Jackson/Madison/Brandon/Ridgeland). Check out our newest location reviews for pest control service in Jackson, MS here at Synergy² Jackson Pest Control!

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