Come March and April, the Eastern Subterranean Termites are going to begin getting active again, which means homeowners must get ready. Stewart Termite & Pest Control will share how to identify eastern subterranean termites and what you can do to begin preparing your home and how to can protect your home from a termite invasions.
Eastern Subterranean Termite Species Identification
Eastern subterranean termites are a common species of termite that retreat underground when the temperatures drop. As the temperatures drop the termite activity also slows down. Come the spring, as the temperature begins to warm up they will begin to get more active. Even though Pennsylvania is still rather cold the temperatures will begin to warm up soon and homeowners will want to get ready.
Eastern Subterranean Termite Colony Castes
When the temperatures first begin to warm up, the alates will come out first which is the reproductive members of the colonies. The males will mate with the females and shortly die. The females will look for a suitable place to begin her own colony and become the queen. Alates look very similar to winged ants. They are all black with an ant like body and have long teardrop shaped wings that are whitish in color. The female, after finding a suitable place to start her future colony, will remove her own wings. Often you will find their discarded wings which are an early sign of a future infestation. The queen will lay eggs and begin producing workers and soldiers. Workers are smaller and are a yellowish cream in color. Soldier termites are slightly bigger and have a bigger and larger jaw that is darker in color. The soldier termite protects the colony from invading species such as ants. While the worker termites search for food, create the nest, and feed the larva. The workers will also create mud tunnels which can be seen on the ground and climbing up the side of homes.
How to Prevent Termites at Home
Before the temperatures begin to warm up you will want to begin preparing your home. Start by trimming any overgrowth from plants and be sure to dispose of the trimmings and wood. For those who have a fire wood stack, make sure the wood doesn’t make contact with the ground. Firewood should be stacked on a firewood stand that is at least a foot off the ground. Clean up the yard. Rake up leaves and other fallen vegetation. Next, inspect the outside of your home for any wooden material that is close to the ground. Make sure it is protected from moisture which usually includes applying a protective sealer over the wood. Additionally, look for holes, cracks or gaps on the side of your home and fill with caulking. Make sure your windows are shut tightly and have a good screen. Another suggestion is to cover attic vents with a fine screen or cover to prevent termite queens from invading the attic which is often where colonies start.