It is believed that around 10 quintillion individual insects are alive at any given moment. You might think that all the critters crawling around are pretty much the same, but you will be surprised to know how distinct they are from one another.
You don't often see termites as much as other insects because they hide in sneaky corners and build their colonies.
What Are Termites?
Termites are insects that feed on wood and are usually found in the corners of your homes where you least expect them — crawl spaces where other pests may not survive.
The two most prevalent types of termite colonies seen by homeowners are the worker termite and the swarmer termite.
What Do Termites Look Like? (Pictures)
You will see in termite pictures that worker termites can come in cream color and are smaller in size.
They are usually only observable when a mud tube or a wooden structure has been fed on by them and is ripped apart.
The reproductive caste of the termite colony is known as swarmers. These winged termites are longer in size and dark brown or black in hue.
These flying termites lose their wings immediately after emerging; therefore, you may not know that termite swarms are not uniform, and some may or may not have wings.
The subterranean termite can be found all year, although swarmers are most common in the summer. Swarming flights of the eastern subterranean termites often occur during the day.
While these classifications only cover the most common termites, there are several distinctions between these termite swarms, and termite infestations can take on many forms.
With the help of termite photos in our termite photo gallery, you can learn about termite identification, how to find termites and how to deal with this termite problem.
How Can You Tell If You Have Termites?
Termite infestation affects around 600,000 houses in the United States each year, costing homeowners and landlords structural damage, termite control, and hundreds and thousands of dollars.
Most termites, like ants, are workers — continually seeking cellulose to feed the colony and maintain the queen termite laying her eggs.
Termite populations play a crucial role in forests, breaking down dead trees and returning them to the soil. However, if the termite colony makes its way into your house and establishes itself, you will have a termite problem and will need pest control.
Tell Tale Signs Of Termites
Windows Or Doors Jamming
Do you have window frames or door frames that have lately become stuck or have become considerably more difficult to open or close? This is occasionally an early warning sign of a termite infestation.
Termites live and like to attack exposed and easily accessible timber, such as windows and doorframes. As termites chew through the wood, the frames of your windows and doors may bend, making it difficult to open and shut them correctly.
Aside from stuck windows and doors, termite damage can cause other structural issues in your houses, such as disintegrating baseboards or drooping floors and ceilings.
Termite Swarmers & Discarded Wings
Swarmers are female and male flying termites, also known as reproductives. Termite swarmers emerge from their nests in the spring after the final frost to look for a new spot to build a colony, which frequently involves our homes.
As a result, termite swarmers, or lost wings near windowsills and doors, are frequently the first and only visible indicators of termite infestation.
Because swarmers are drawn to light, they like to congregate around doors and windows. Because they don't live long indoors, you may encounter dead swarmers or abandoned termite wings around windowsills and entryways.
Swarmers are frequently misidentified as flying ants. Flying termites have straighter bodies and two evenly-sized sets of wings that set them apart from flying ants.
Termites utilize mud tunnels to shelter themselves from air dryness. As a result, they require a humid atmosphere to survive.
They may securely go from their colony to their food supply thanks to mud tunnels.
If you discover mud tubes, it can determine whether or not you are dealing with a termite infestation. Try to break a portion of the mud tube and then inspect it for live termites.
Even if you don't locate any termites right away, return later to see whether the tube has been fixed.
There is another evidence of termite activity: termite droppings, sometimes known as "frass." Termites chew down the wood, digest it, and push it out of the colony to avoid accumulation.
Humans can only see frass from drywood termites, mostly found in southern coastal states.
Drywood termite frass is wood-colored and pellet-shaped, and it frequently resembles wood dust or shavings.
You have termites if you tap or bang on your wooden structures and hear a quiet thud or hollow sound. You may further test your wood with a screwdriver.
If you press the screwdriver into the wood and it quickly yields, this is not a good sign.
You could notice a peculiar clicking sound originating from within your walls. When soldier termites perceive a threat, they warn other termites by pounding their heads on the wood and shaking their bodies.
When termites attack drywall, moisture enters the gap between the surface and the paint, causing the paint to bubble or peel.
There are numerous reasons your paint may buckle, but if this occurs in conjunction with other symptoms, you may have a termite infestation.
You will probably encounter some live termites. It's critical to distinguish them from flying ants to know what you're up against.
The posterior wings of termites are uniform in size, their abdomens are robust, and their antennae are straight.
On the other hand, Flying ants have wings that vary in size, are narrower in the middle, and have bent antennae.
Different Types Of Termites
A solitary termite may not appear threatening or scary. Still, a colony of termites can do major structural damage to a home in a very short amount of time.
Because of their ability to gnaw through wood, flooring, and even wallpaper unnoticed, termites are known as "silent destroyers."
We will help you identify termites using termite pictures, descriptions, and signs of a termite infestation.
As the name implies, these termites reside underground and form underground colonies that can number in the millions.
An intriguing aspect about these termites is that they must dwell in moist circumstances to thrive. Thus, they construct mud tunnels known as "mud tubes" to keep wet and migrate from place to place.
These tubes also help them defend themselves from the elements and locate food sources. Fence posts, trees, and building timbers are common food sources.
These termites are notorious for their quick wood-eating ability, making them the most damaging termites.
Forming honeycomb-like holes in damaged wood is one method to identify whether subterranean termites have attacked your home's wood.
Eastern Subterranean Termites
Eastern Subterranean termites are a more structured termite colony. Each member performs a specific duty to ensure the colony's success.
These workers are cream-colored and help feed the entire colony. The alates are generally winged and are known to leave the present colony to start a new one. The soldiers are the colony's principal guards who attack invaders with enormous jaws.
They are generally one-fourth inch (6mm) long and are particularly well-known for their destructive behaviors. Their feeding abilities can drastically undermine building structures, causing the entire frame to collapse.
Formosan termites, which originated in China, are the most greedy, aggressive, and cunning of the roughly 2,000 termite species known to science.
Formosans form massive subterranean colonies and construct elaborate mud nests within the walls of structures.
These termites are difficult to manage after infesting a structure due to their aggressive character.
They have a well-ordered colony, and as a result, the termites are allocated diverse responsibilities.
Some of them, for example, are reproductive termites, while others are worker termites, hunter, and gatherers, as we call them.
These termites may appear similar to subterranean termites; however, there are important differences.
If there is a termite infestation around you, the termites will most likely congregate around light sources, and there will either be discarded termite wings or termite corpses.
If you don't come across any of them, you're probably fine. The Formosan termite prefers wood. Looking for decaying wood or eaten-away wood is another approach to check for infestation.
Termite colonies infest wood that has high moisture levels. Dampwood termites can be bigger than other termites you will come across.
Due to the low moisture levels of wooden structures, they seldom infest them. Nonetheless, you must ensure you don't end up with a dampwood termite infestation in a structure.
These termite colonies are the only ones that are not soil-dependent. This increases their relevance and danger in comparison to all other termites.
Consider a termite that does not require mud tubes to establish a colony. In other words, a colony might be forming inside the planks of your hardwood bed frames while you are unaware.
Termite infestations originate on moist wooden items as well as living trees. Because they consume so quickly, they may destroy many square meters of crops.
Worse, if it becomes moist enough, the colony may thrive on a single piece of wood. These termites are easily identified because of their reddish-brown pigmentation and robust caste structure.
So, if you discover termite droppings and shredded wings with red termite indications, you'll know who's to blame.
You should note that the simplest approach to eliminate such an infestation is to discard damp boards after wrapping and sealing them in polythene.
The drywood species termites infest dry wood and do not require soil contact. This termite species frequently build nests in roof materials and wooden wall supports and can infest deadwood near dwellings.
Although they do not require as much moisture as other species to survive, they can be found in dead wood near a water source, such as a leaking pipe or a water heater.
These termites have a slender body shape, almost translucent bodies, and a variety of winged forms. They dig underground but fly to infest the higher ground and create a new colony.
Again, there is no discrete labor class in the new colony. As a result, the population of Swarmers and Reproducers is inherently high. They even take on what is known as a mating flight.
In other words, they are more adaptable in terms of colony expansion than other termites. Unlike other termites, drywood termites are not black.
They have a considerably creamier color, are about the same size as white ants, and can develop wings.
Because moisture doesn't influence these termites, you'll usually see them swarming on a hot, bright summer day.
The winged termite tends to like dry wood, such as firewood, and discarded wood. This is why they are referred to as dry wood termites and makes termite identification easier.
Some termites, such as the conehead termite, prey on timber and trees. The termites in this class are well-known for their aggressive troops that will do anything to protect their termite queens.
It just so happens that the soldiers' heads are conical on top. This finally resulted in the insect's moniker. As you've probably observed, each termite species has a favorite, and these termites' preferred food is cellulose polymers.
In other words, these termites are a pest to timber and trees. Many people refer to them as "tree termites" as well.
The coneheads don't mind if the wood is soft, hard, damp, or dry. The conehead termite, unlike most termites, does not move through subterranean digging.
Instead, they feed like ants on the ground, allowing them to spread swiftly. After identifying termites, you will see they are a very aggressive termite species notorious for wreaking havoc on property in a short amount of time.
They will eat anything that includes cellulose. This puts your garden, house, tool shed, siding types, and even fences at danger of infestation.
These termites are often quite tiny and may flourish in arid circumstances. Worker termites are normally light brown and have an ant-like look.
Their soldier termites are rather large with enormous mouthparts and heads shaped like rectangles, and reproductive termites are half an inch (12mm) long. These winged insects have a yellowish-brown tint.
Desert eastern subterranean species rely heavily on food supplies such as structural timbers in buildings, utility poles, and woody plants such as cactus.
These termites also construct mud tubes for shelter and prefer to forage in damp and shaded soils.
These types of termites' common infestation symptoms include the unexpected emergence of swarming termites and mud tubes.
They are prone to drying out and losing moisture. As a result, one of their most important survival strategies is to construct a moisture-retentive sheet or tube out of the carton.
Carton is essentially a combination of excrement and damp dirt bound together by the termite's saliva.
Swarming termite workers and layers of protective sheets or tubes within the earth are common desert termite symptoms.
How To Get Rid Of Termites
If you believe that you have termites in your house, you must act promptly. Telltale indicators of their presence include hollow-sounding timber and mud tubes.
It pays to be cautious because termites may inflict significant damage before you know it. A professional pest treatment business is the best approach to get rid of termites.
Even the most knowledgeable homeowner cannot compete with a trained specialist's expertise, understanding, and commercial-grade goods and equipment.
Moisture is one of the primary factors attracting pests to wooden structures, such as termites, into your house. Getting rid of excess moisture in your property will aid in the prevention of termites forming new colonies.
If you live in a humid climate, a dehumidifier might be beneficial. In the summer, you may turn on the air conditioner intermittently throughout the day to keep the house cool and remove extra moisture from the air.
Termites thrive in wet, dark environments. Allow your wooden furniture to sit in the sunshine for two to three days. Termites cannot withstand high temperatures and perish quickly.
This procedure also aids in the removal of moisture from the furniture, so preventing additional infection along with preventing anymore costly damage.
Declutter Your Home
Whether you hire termite or bed bug treatment specialists, it is critical to conduct a decluttering campaign in your home.
Pay careful attention to discarded papers, cardboard, old magazines, and newspapers since these offer an ideal environment for pests such as termites to grow.
If termites have infested one of your rooms and caused termite damage, never move the contents of that room, including furniture, to other areas of your house that are not infested.
Treatment with oil
Orange and neem oils are also quite effective. The former includes d-limonene, which may quickly kill termites when they encounter it.
When the termites begin to consume the oil, they will most likely start to die out. You can spray or apply the oils on problematic areas frequently for optimal termite control.
To get rid of an existing termite infestation, use bait where there is termite damage. Consumer baits are stakes placed in the ground near your house.
Foraging termites are drawn to the bait, and they bring the poison back to the colony. The bait takes three to fourteen days to destroy the termite colony.
Avoid Future Infestations
Aside from applying a barrier treatment regularly, homeowners may take various non-chemical preventative actions to avoid new infestations, but you can get a free inspection.
Such steps include removing termite damage to the structural integrity of the wood or other buildings that come into touch with the soil, installing effective gutters to direct rainfall away from the foundation, and utilizing gravel in garden beds instead of wood mulch.