How To Spot Termites
Termites gathering in the ground

How To Spot Termites

If you find pests spending time in and around the wooden products of your home, before you can begin a pest control process, you'll need to first determine if you have termites or ants. The two pests are often confused for each other because they look similar, but there are identifying characteristics that can help you determine if you're dealing with termites or ants. For example, termites have thick waists, short legs, and straight antennae. If there are wings, they will both be the same length. When it comes to ants, they have pinched waists, bent antennae, long legs, and have front wings that are longer than their back wings.

Termite Activity Can Go Unnoticed For Some Time

When the king and queen alates find a location underneath your house, porch, or deck, they do not cause damage instantly. The queen does not produce many eggs during the first year or two, and only workers and soldiers are born in the new colony. However, when the queen matures, she produces thousands of eggs annually. Generally, it takes five to ten years for a termite colony to grow to the point when alates are born and begin swarming.

The size of a mature colony and the speed of damage depends upon the termite species. Subterranean termites create nests of 60,000 to two million workers; however, a subset of subterranean termites, known as Formosan termites, build nests of 350,000 to three million workers. 

A full-sized subterranean termite nest of workers can consume about five grams of wood daily or the equivalent of 2.3 feet of 2x4 foot board in one year. On the other hand, Formosan or "super termites" can consume 31 grams of wood daily or one foot of a 2x4 foot board every 25 days.

Drywood termites do not create nests as large as subterranean termites. A full-sized drywood termite nest has about 2,500 workers, so the rate of destruction is slower with this species. 

It takes several years for a nest to reach its capacity of wood-eating workers, but that does not mean damage to your house isn't occurring as the nest expands. As the nest grows and damage increases, you can expect to see these signs of termites in the home:

  • Blistering paint or wallpaper
  • Warping door and window frames
  • Sagging floor corners
  • Wood discoloration
  • Hollow-sounding wood
  • Crumbling wood
  • Crunching sounds when walking across floors

Once evidence of termite damage appears, you can expect a few thousand dollars of damage has already occurred. Repairing termite damage often requires a licensed contractor to repair or replace structural beams in the crawl space or trusses in the attic. 

Avoid costly repair by securing the termite service near your home from Modern Pest Control. We have seen it all during our five decades of battling termites. We have the expertise, knowledge, and tools to stop termites from causing more damage to your Greater Houston home. 

Why Annual Termite Inspections Are Worth It

It is tempting to delay a termite inspection because you may not see any signs of damage. It takes several years before the termite colony reaches maximum strength, and it may be a few years before you notice the damage. But, once you see a problem, it is only the tip of the iceberg. 

When a licensed inspector or technician from Modern Pest Control examines your house, here is what to expect in a termite inspection: a complete walk-through of your property. Our inspectors have 50 years of termite experience, and they know the early warning signs of termites. Our inspectors will:

  • Review the entire property
  • Inspect the foundation
  • Examine the crawl space, basement, and attic
  • Probe wood for signs of termite infestation
  • Identify the construction materials to determine the correct treatment options.
  • Determine entry points and attractants
  • Create a detailed report 

Our service team members know the habits and behaviors of Formosan, subterranean, and drywood termites. Once they determine the termite species, they will create a custom strategy using Integrated Pest Management solutions to provide a holistic approach. You will receive a detailed report of our findings and recommendations for treatment. 

We understand that many people put off a termite inspection out of fear of a termite inspection price. Because our goal is to protect you against termite damage, we offer a free, no-obligation termite inspection.

Problems Caused by Termites

Termites are the leading cause of property damage in the United States, generating billions of dollars in damages every year. They reproduce and spread quickly, making it difficult to get rid of a termite infestation without the help of a professional pest control company. Termites cause damages to walls, especially in areas with loose wooden paneling or damp areas. They have also been known to find areas with cellulose-based materials, such as carpets, books, and photo frames. Termites can damage ceilings and laminate flooring.

The most expensive damages termites cause is generally made to the foundation of a structure. Subterranean termites live underground and look around in the soil for food. As they burrow around in the soil, it creates gaps which can make a foundation cave in over time.

Early signs of termite damage may appear similar to damages caused by water. You might see floors or ceilings swelling, buckling wood, or even visible mazes within walls and furniture. There may also be a mildew or mold-like smell if your home is infested with termites.

Seek Professional Termite Pest Control

 If you suspect you have a termite problem, you should call Modern Pest Control immediately. We will come in and complete a thorough inspection of your home and its structures to determine if you are, in fact, dealing with a termite infestation. If termites are present, we will develop a plan for eliminating the existing termite colony while preventing future termites from infesting your home. We'll install the Sentricon® System with Always Active™ in strategically placed areas around your home. Then, we'll monitor for termite activity to make sure it is not increasing and that no new termites are taking up residence in or around your home. Our termite control solutions include regular maintenance of Sentricon® with Always Active™ to ensure it remains effective in eliminating and preventing termites.

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