Don't Let Termites Overtake Your Katy, TX Home!
Close up picture of a termite

Don't Let Termites Overtake Your Katy, TX Home!

Is My Home In Katy Safe From Termites?

Here in Katy, TX, we’ve got it all. Our unique city is located just 30 miles west of Houston, and we offer a charming, old town heritage that residents and visitors can enjoy all year long. It’s genuinely a thriving community with a hometown feel, making it an ideal location for families to lay down roots and build a beautiful life for themselves. Katy is undoubtedly a fantastic place to own a home. A lot of work goes into being a homeowner, and maintenance is a massive part of that. A well-maintained home is less likely to experience pest infestation, and when it comes to termite activity, homeowners need to be careful. 

If you own a home here in Katy, the reality is that your property is susceptible to termite activity, exposing you to the devastation of termite damage. Not only does termite damage destroy your home, but it puts your loved ones in harm’s way. It’s also a complete financial nightmare. You’ve likely heard about the threat of termite damage, warned about the destructive abilities of these wood-eating insects. Though people may seem dramatic about termite damage, the reality is that the dangers they pose can’t be overstated. They are a considerable threat to homeowners, and not only do they threaten your safety, but they also take a toll on your wallet. But, before we get into that, it’s a good idea to know some general facts about termites. 

To start, let’s cover some of the termite basics. Knowing the characteristics and behaviors will help identify termite activity and get ahead of a potential infestation. This will also help you differentiate them from ants and other wood-eaters. Here are some general things to keep in mind:

  • Termites generally measure anywhere from 1/8 – 1 inch long.

  • Their bodies are comprised of two segments, with a straight abdomen, two antennae, and six legs.

  • Their coloration varies from translucent white to brown, to black, depending on their life stage.

  • Their colonies operate with a caste system, divided into three groups, becoming either workers, soldiers, or reproductive termites (also known as swarmers). 

When it comes to a termite’s life cycle, all termites begin as eggs. After that, they turn into larvae and then develop into a distant colony member with a specific purpose. Three castes divide the colony, and adult termites become one of the following:

Worker Termites

  • Look like the typical image of a termite, embodying the characteristics mentioned above. These termites are sterile, blind, and wingless. They perform essential tasks that keep the colony running property, such as maintaining the nest and gathering food.

Soldier Termites 

  • They’re similar to worker termites in terms of their appearance. The only difference is that they have powerful jaws that help them protect the colony from intruders. They protect the queen, primarily serving the purpose of security.

Swarmer Termites (“reproductive termites”)

  • Reproductive termites become nymphs after the larval stage. The nymph then becomes an alate, which is also known as a reproductive termite. The alates have two sets of wings that are equal in length. They use these wings to act as swarmers, flying around the property searching for new breeding sites. 

Now that you’re aware of their caste system and how their colonies function, it’s time to address the dangers of termite infestation. Termites are the “silent destroyers” of the pest world. They feed on wood and other construction materials like plaster and siding, making their way into the core of your house and threatening its structural integrity. 

When termites breed, they eat through wood and other structural timbers of your property, laying eggs and spreading their populations. They set up colonies near wood for easy access to food and can quickly set up multiple infestation sites on your property, both inside and outside. One colony can contain thousands upon thousands of termites. 

As they feed on the construction, they compromise the structure’s integrity by weakening and eroding it over time. By weakening the construction over time, they put the safety of you and your loved ones at risk. As the infestation spreads, the results can be detrimental. Imagine the ceiling starts caving in, or you fall through the floorboards. The possible scenarios are endless, but the bottom line is that the unforeseen structural damage puts you at risk for all kinds of accidents.

Imagine thousands of little wood-feeders crawling around the inside of your walls, eating their way through the structure of your house. It’s a nightmare. The colossal property damage caused by termites is what gives them their wood-eating reputation of destruction, and what a reputation it is. 

Financially speaking, termite damage is very costly, especially because most homeowner’s insurance plans don’t even cover it. The NPMA (National Pest Management Association) estimates that U.S. property owners spend around five billion dollars every single year on termite damage repair and prevention costs. That’s a ton of money, especially for a problem that could have been avoided. It’s not easy to avoid termite damage, but there are some ways to be proactive.

What Can I Do?

Now that you understand the consequences of termites, you’re likely wondering what you can do to avoid the problem. Well, we can tell you that discovering an infestation in its earliest stages can help minimize the scope of the damage. The sooner you detect termite activity, the sooner you can address the problem, and the more likely you will avoid large-scale infestation.

That’s why knowing what signs to look out for is so important. If you’re unsure how to tell whether or not you have termites on your Katy property, there are some telltale indications to know about. Here are some of the most common signs of termite activity around your home:                 

  • Any ceilings and walls that buckle.

  • Common signs of water damage.

  • Crumbling windowsills and loose tiles.

  • Damp, damaged, or weakened wood.

  • Excessively squeaky/noisy floors.

  • Frass left around the property. 

  • Gallery tunnels through the drywall.

  • Hollow-sounding wood when tapped upon.

  • Mud tubes in the ground traveling to openings along your foundation.

  • Painted walls that bubble and peel.

  • Small tapping sounds from inside the walls.

  • Swarmer termites flying around looking for nesting spots.

  • Visible cracks and crevices along the foundation.

  • Windows and doors that are hard to open.

  • Wings discarded on the floor near doors and windows.

  • Worker termites in the soil that look like white ants.

It can be hard to spot termite problems at first because many of these signs result from ongoing infestation and damage that has occurred over a long time. In fact, termites could be feeding away at your structure for years before you’re even made aware of the problem. They’re small and often inhabit remote areas that aren’t easily accessible to homeowners and are rarely in plain sight.

One of the most considerable indications of a termite problem is seeing swarms of termites. Here are some facts to know about termite swarms and some things to look out for:

  • Termite swarms are often the first and most visible sign of a termite problem. 

  • They exist solely to reproduce and start new colonies.

  • They travel in groups to find new nesting areas to breed, grow, and spread their population.

  • Swarmer termites emerge from the colony’s mud tunnels and gravitate towards sources of light. 

  • They’re commonly found in doorways, walls, and windowsills, leaving discarded wings where they gather. 

  • The swarms last about 30-40 minutes. In this time, the swarmers must find their mate and then look for soil where they’ll start their colony. If they cannot find any, they die.

  • Once they couple up in male/female pairs, swarmer termites lose their wings and begin reproducing.

  • Termite swarms usually happen in the spring, often after rainfall, as the weather begins warming up.

  • The individual swarmers are black or dark brown and grow to about 3/8 of an inch.

Even if you don’t yet see any swarms or other signs of termite activity, it’s a good idea to be proactive in your termite control efforts. When considering how to prevent termites, it’s crucial to know that termites are moisture pests. Not only do they depend on water to survive, but they produce moisture when they feed. They tunnel deep into wood and feed on it, moistening it and weakening it from the inside out. So, reducing sources of moisture in and around your home can help you avoid a termite infestation. Eliminating attractants and conducive conditions around the house can aid you in your termite control efforts.

Some other ways in which you can be proactive in your prevention efforts include:

  • Avoid any wood-to-soil contact.

  • Eliminate excess moisture around the property.

  • Eliminate rotting or moisture-damaged wood.

  • Fix rotten areas of the roof to prevent entry.

  • Inspect all wood before bringing it onto your property. 

  • Install a dehumidifier in moisture-rich areas.

  • Keep downspouts extended away from the structure.

  • Keep woodpiles away from the perimeter.

  • Repair leaky faucets and faulty pipes.

  • Use vent fans in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

  • Use weather stripping for all doors and windows.

No matter how diligent you are in your prevention efforts, the reality is that termite infestation can be hard to detect, hard to eliminate, and hard to control. The only guaranteed way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to secure ongoing services from a team of highly experienced pest professionals. We recommend getting annual professional inspections to ensure your home is guarded against these wood-eaters all year long. 

At the first sign of termites, call in the professionals right away. Don’t waste your time, and don’t waste your money trying alternative solutions like DIY treatments. These methods are ineffective long-term and usually end up costing you more money in the long run, experimenting through trial and error.

The best source of termite control and prevention is help from the pros at Modern Pest Control. There is no other way to secure guaranteed protection from termite infestation and the serious consequences that comes with it. Here at Modern Pest Control, we offer year-round coverage from these wood-eating pests. Our process includes:

  • Inspection - One of our licensed pest control technicians arrives at your home to conduct an entire interior and exterior inspection, looking for signs of termite activity as well as entry points, conducive conditions, and active areas. 

  • Treatment - We install Sentricon® stations at precise intervals around your property. The Recruit HD termite bait attracts termites, causing them to leave a scent trail that draws the rest of their colony. They take this bait back to their colonies, effectively eliminating the population. 

  • Ongoing Protection - We use the Sentricon® System to monitor your property for any new termite activity.

There are various benefits to the Sentricon® System, and we’re proud to offer this safe, effective technology to successfully exterminate termites from your home and protect you from the perils of infestation. Here are some Sentricon® benefits to keep in mind:

  • It strategically uses natural termite behavior, such as the foraging nature of worker termites, to draw them to the bait, which they then spread to their colonies.

  • This termite control technology battles subterranean termites in the local area and all across the country. 

  • It’s a green product, using only a few grams of targeted ingredients to eliminate entire termite colonies around your property, including the queen of the colony. 

Reach out to Modern Pest Control today for all your termite control and prevention needs. We’ll work with you to develop a strategically developed treatment plan, giving you lasting, pest-free results you can count on. Our team of experienced pest experts works hard to accurately detect, exterminate, and prevent all termite activity in the present and the future.

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