The most common species of termites in Pennsylvania are the Eastern subterranean termite and the Southeastern subterranean termite, with the Eastern subterranean being the most destructive. These termites will start swarming during the daytime from March to May and during the summer with smaller swarms. Swarming usually occurs in the morning after a warm rain shower when the soil temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The Eastern subterranean termite causes millions of dollars in damage making it a costly pest to deal with. It’s estimated that 1 in 5 homes located in high areas of activity have been or will be attacked at some point by these pests.
How Do You Identify Termites?
These termites will rapidly devour structural timbers resulting in a thin shell with a honey-comb of layered sections packed with moist soil. They will swarm to find a mate from other colonies to start a new colony. They need moisture to survive and they will search for an area that’s dark and moist with and available timber food source. Moisture from leaking pipes, shower recess, faulty plumbing and gutters into the wall cavities are prime nesting sites. Workers the largest part of the colony and are the ones that cause all the damage. They are small in size, measuring 1/8” long with soft bodies. That’s about half the size of a match-head. They are translucent creamy in color and have no wings. They are sterile and blind and their job is to work 24 hours a day for the 2 years they will live. They gather food, construct tunnels, fix the nest and make it larger. They also groom each other, take care of feeding the soldiers, king and queen along with taking care of the nymphs. They will enter buildings through cracks and crevices in concrete or under flooring with openings as small as 1/16” wide.
How Can You Tell if You Have Termites
You probably won’t see the termites, so you’ll need to look for the signs you have them.
*Droppings that are tiny, ridged and wood-colored.
*Pencil-sized mud tubes located where the ground meets your house. These tunnels work to block out cool, dry air and provide the humidity they need.
*Discarded wings found near closed windows, doors and other areas they’re using to get in. Once they land at the new colony they discard their wings because they don’t need them anymore.
*Wood damage. This damage will be found below and behind surfaces like walls, floors and more. Termites chew through the food and leave long grooves behind. These are the grooves that will eventually weaken the wood. You will also notice very thin layers of wood. If these layers break, the termites will cover the holes with a mud-like material.
Termite Inspections & Treatment Control
It’s important to remember that the absence of these signs doesn’t mean the aren’t there. If you notice a swarm of flying insects in your home, don’t panic. If they happen to be termites, they haven’t done enough structural damage yet. You can contact a pest control company to assess the situation. You’ll need to know what kind of termites you’re dealing with in order to come up with the appropriate control program. Your home if your most important investment. Contact Stewart Termite & Pest Control to have your home regularly inspected for termites.