Termite Identification & Prevention

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What are termites?

Termites are social insects that eat cellulose and live in huge colonies similar to those of ants. Termite colonies have a queen and king, and these two individuals take care of the reproduction for the entire group. The rest of the colony is divided into castes based on their role in termite society. Reproductive alates are future queens and kings, soldiers protect the colony, and worker termites perform all the necessary functions like caring for young and fetching food, and they make up the vast majority of termite society.

Common termites in the Middle Tennessee area include:

  • Subterranean termites
  • Drywood termites
  • Dampwood termites
  • Conehead termites
  • Formosan termites

We have so many termite varieties because our humid climate and comparatively mild winter allow them to flourish. 

Four termites chewing on wood

Are termites dangerous?

Termites are not dangerous to people at all. While termite sawdust can trigger allergies for some, they are not considered a health threat because they cannot sting or bite and do not spread illness. However, a termite problem is incredibly dangerous to your property.

Termites eat the cellulose found in wood. While this is great news in the forest because it helps speed up the decay of dead and dying trees, it is very bad news in your house because it can cause expensive damage. In fact, termite infestations left alone for long enough can even lead to structural damage if they feed on things like floor joists, support beams, or wall studs. This is why termite control is so vital.

Why do I have a termite problem?

Most people wind up with an active termite infestation because they have inadvertently made it easy for termites to enter their homes. For example, wood-to-ground contact is often what introduces termites from the outside into the house's structure. Mulch contacting your foundation or firewood pressed up against your home's siding can lead termites inside.

Moisture and wood rot are also problems that can lead to termite infestation. Termites like to invade rotten wood because it is softer, and they also often need moisture inside their nests. This means wet, rotten wooden components of your house are attractive to most types of termites.

Where will I find termites?

One of the biggest problems with termites is that you won't find them at all, not until they have done damage, at least. Many times, the signs of termites only show up once they have already invaded your home and done at least some damage. Many homeowners don't realize they have a termite infestation until they start seeing their ceilings sag or their walls warp.

At this point, termite damage is likely to run into the thousands of dollars, so it is important to look for earlier signs of termites, like:

  • Termite sawdust (called frass)
  • Hollow-sounding walls
  • Pinholes in drywall
  • Mud tubes around your foundation
  • Piles of shed wings 
  • Scratching or rustling noises inside walls

If you pay attention to these signs and notice them early, it is possible to avert the worst termite damage. This is why you need to be vigilant for termites all year long. 

How do I get rid of termites?

Termite removal is essentially impossible for home and business owners to do on their own. To remove an active termite infestation, you need specialized equipment and specialized training to get the whole colony. Otherwise, you are just temporarily reducing termite numbers and maybe even encouraging them to speed up reproduction and spread out to make up for their losses.

For this reason, you need to reach out to Midstate Termite & Pest Control as soon as you start noticing signs that you might have a termite infestation. We can help you protect your home from more termite damage and get rid of the main termite nest and any satellite nests that came from it. 

How can I prevent termites in the future?

The best way to prevent termites in the future is to have an annual termite inspection to ensure they have not invaded your home and catch any problems early. Between inspections, you can make sure to get rid of wood-to-ground contact, fix moisture problems and wood rot as soon as you notice them, and seal up cracks and holes in your home's exterior to make it harder for termites to enter. And remember, the moment you see signs that you might have a termite problem, you need to contact Midstate Termite & Pest Control because every second you delay is a second that termites are damaging your home. Reach out to get started and to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Cookeville and Crossville, TN.

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