Out of all the termite species, Pennsylvania is most often bombarded by the Eastern Subterranean Termite. While there are many species of termites found throughout our State, the Eastern subterranean termite seems to be the most persistent invaders of our homes and other buildings. Stewart Termite & Pest Control will share how you can identify and control the Eastern subterranean termite and why you should contact a professional pest management company to help treat and protect your home from these hard working and determined pests.
Termite Social Structure; Workers, Soldiers, Queen & King Alates (or Winged Swarmers)
The Eastern subterranean termite has three major castes in a colony. There are the workers and soldiers, as well as the third group, being the winged swarmers or Alates; the queens and kings of the termite colonies. The workers often look very close to all other termite species making them hard to identify as to exactly what types of termite species you may have. The Eastern subterranean termite workers are light cream or pale in color with a long body. The soldiers look very different from the workers. The Eastern subterranean termite soldiers have a light cream color abdomen with a darker yellowish head. They also have a larger pair of mandibles or jaws which they use to defend the colony with. Where the termite queen, like the ant, is a major part of the colony, the queen and king are larger and born with a set of long wings which they use when it comes time to the leave the nest and breed. The now pregnant female flies in search of a suitable spot to begin her new colony. She usually selects a new home very close to her original colony. The queen will then twist off her wings. Seeing the presence of discarded wings is a common sign of a termite invasion. The flying around, these termite swarmers often get mistaken for flying ants.
How Do Termites Gain Access to Homes? Mud Tubes & Foundation Cracks
The Eastern subterranean termite is a social species of termites. they will multiply into sub colonies which make them more of a threat to homes. With multiple colonies feeding on your home and going undetected, they can have a devastating affect in quite a short time. The termite species need to feed on anything that contains cellulose, which of course is wood, cardboard, and paper. Where most termites will build their nest with their food source the subterranean species of termite build their nest underground and create tunnel systems leading to their food source instead. This applies to the Eastern subterranean termite. Depending on the nest location, they may be easily detected. The Eastern subterranean termite will create tunnels on the surface of the ground, sides of a home or building where it is easy to find them. These tunnels will look like veins of mud. Actually, the tunnels are made by the workers using sawdust, dirt, saliva, and termite feces. However, sometimes the subterranean termites will gain entry via cracks in the foundation of homes that leads to your home’s framing and interior structure. Should this happen, they can be rather difficult to detect unlike the obvious mud tunneling systems that often can be easily found. Termite swarmers will often fly in through the vents of attic spaces and even open windows. This is why their discarded wings are often found on window seals.
Termite Inspection & Treatment
If an Eastern subterranean termite has indeed begun infesting your home, it is best to contact a professional termite control pest management company to help identify what species you might have. If it is the Eastern subterranean Termite, they are a labor intensive pest to control or treat. Where the Eastern subterranean termite often has joint colonies they can be more destructive than other termite species. That’s why it is best to contact a professional pest control company. Stewart Termite & Pest Control can help save your home from the destructive force of termites. If you fear your home has a termite infestation or is at risk of a future termite infestation, contact Stewart Termite & Pest Control today for a full inspection and treatment.