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Termites In Mississippi: Common Termite FAQ’s

What causes termites?

Wondering what causes termites?  Any condition around or inside your home that leads to moisture may attract termites. These can include standing water around the home, leaks in pipes, and inadequate ventilation or airflow.  Termites main food source is moist or water-damaged wood.

To eliminate termites in your home, first correct all conditions contributing to the termite infestation.  Next, treat your property for termites using either a termite bait system or traditional liquid termite barrier treatments.

Does mulch attract termites?

Mulch can attract termites but probably not because of the material but because of the way it is installed.  Thick layers of mulch in flowerbeds around the home can retain moisture, creating an environment conducive to termites.  Also the type of mulch does matter.  Cedar mulch contains resins that are toxic to termites.

Any type of mulch can create an environment hospitable for termites if applied incorrectly.

Where do termites come from?

Subterranean termites come from the nests they build underground.  Termites are important to the environment as they feed on dead and decaying wood.  Unfortunately, termites may also be attracted to your home.  Termites can tunnel under brick ledges of the home or build mud tubes to help them get to wood inside your home.

Once inside, termites prefer to feed on wood that is moist.  Standing water around the home as well as leaks inside the home can help create favorable conditions for a termite infestation.  So where do termites come from?  Termites are everywhere in the soil around your home.

Drywood termite bugs that look like termites?

One of the biggest differences between drywood termites and subterranean termites is the type of wood they damage.  Subterranean termites prefer moist wood whereas drywood termites attack hard and dry wood.  Subterranean termites nest in the ground and use mud tubes to get inside a home.

Drywood termite droppings, or frass, looks like fine grains of salt and is another way to determine whether you have drywood termites or subterranean termites.

Early stage signs of termites in ceiling?

Termite damage usually occurs in moist wood.  If there is a presence of termites and/or termite damage in your ceiling, the likely culprit is a water leak.  Signs of termites in the ceiling can be as serious as the ceiling sagging due to damage of supporting wood beams.

Termite droppings from the ceiling also can indicate an infestation of drywood termites.

Flying termites in house?

The presence of flying termites in or around your house is a sign of a growing termite colony.  Flying termites, or reproductives, usually aren’t part of a termite colony caste until the colony is three to four years old.

The role of flying termites, or termite alates, is to leave the termite colony and establish a new one.

What are damp wood termites?

Of the two classes of termites, damp wood termites and drywood termites, damp-wood termites are the most common type of termite that infests homes in the Southeastern United States.  As their name suggests, damp-wood termites are attracted to wood with high moisture content.  Some of the causes of damp wood in the home include: poor drainage, plumbing leaks, and homes with high humidity caused by ventilation problems.

Prior to treating the home for damp-wood termites, moisture issues must be corrected to reduce the chance of a subsequent infestation.

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