What are termites?
Termites are social, wood-destroying insects that live and work together to maintain their large colonies and are commonly found invading homes and businesses here in Maine. These pests have long, narrow bodies, grow to be about 1/8 of an inch in length, and vary in appearance depending on their role within the colony.
Within these colonies, termites divide themselves into three different castes:
- Workers, who are responsible for gathering food for the colony
- Soldiers, who are responsible for defending the colony
- Reproductives, who are responsible for producing offspring (this caste includes the kings and queens of the colony)
Outside, termites feed on decaying plants, tree stumps, fallen trees, and other cellulose-rich materials. When living outdoors, termites are beneficial, getting rid of decaying plant materials and releasing nutrients back into the soil. However, when termites find their way inside a structure, they quickly turn from beneficial to destructive!
Are termites dangerous?
Termites are dangerous, though they don’t cause any physical harm to people, and they aren’t known to transmit diseases. Rather, termites cause a lot of structural damage to homes that can be extensive and expensive to repair. In fact, these pests are responsible for causing more than $5 billion worth of damage across the country each year, damage that isn’t typically covered by homeowner’s insurance. In addition, termites are difficult pests to deal with because they enter properties unseen and can remain unnoticed for weeks, months, or even years until the damages they've caused become extensive, costly, and sometimes, even irreparable. And that's the last thing you want!
Why do I have a termite problem?
Worker termites typically leave the nest in search for food. While foraging, they may accidentally find their way into homes and other buildings through cracks and crevices in their foundations. Termites often find their way inside homes in the following ways:
- Wood-to-soil contact. Termites can also utilize soil that comes into contact with door frames, deck posts, wooden shingles, and porch steps to gain access to homes. Once inside, they travel behind walls and under flooring, tunneling through and feeding on the structural wood of your home, initially preferring moist, water-damaged wood.
- Termite swarms. If there is a mature termite colony living on one of your neighbor’s properties and winged termite swarmers emerge in order to mate and establish a new colony, those termite reproductives may end up on your property and eventually inside the structural wood of your home!
Where are termites commonly found?
Termites are attracted to properties that provide them with the things they need to survive and thrive such as moist soil and decaying plant matter. Outside, termites create their nests in the ground. However, when they find their way inside, termites can be found tunneling through and feeding on wood and non-wood items such as structural supports, flooring, wooden trim, insulation, plastic plumbing pipes, sub-flooring, and foundations. Termites travel from their food source, which is oftentimes our homes, to their nest through underground tunnels or mud tubes that they create on the surfaces of walls and foundations and along the ground.
How do I get rid of termites?
To eliminate termites found on your property or inside your home, it is best to partner with a professional like Kanga Pest Control. Our dedicated experts will provide the services needed to find and completely eliminate destructive termites. Kanga is committed to using the best products on the market to get rid of wood-eating termites and prevent their return through our subterranean termite extermination service. To learn more about eliminating termites from your Oregon home, contact us today!
How can I prevent termites in the future?
Keeping termites off your property and out of your home can be a difficult task, but there are a few things you can do to deter them, including:
- Clean gutters regularly to keep water from backing up and seeping into your home’s walls
- Repair leaky pipes, faucets, or fixtures that are located inside or outside your home to reduce excess moisture
- Remove water-damaged wood from your home and limit soil-to-wood contact on your home and property
- Use de-humidifiers to reduce moisture levels in your home and make sure that crawl spaces are properly ventilated
- Remove fallen trees, tree stumps, and other piles of organic debris from your property
- Create a stone barrier between any soil or mulch and your home’s foundation
For more information about how our residential pest control services can protect your home from termites, give us a call at Kanga Pest Control today!