Termites

What are termites?

Termites are social insects that live together in large, socially complex colonies. Termites feed on items made of cellulose. When living and feeding outside, termites play an important environmental role, helping to get rid of decaying matter. When these pests make their way inside, they are quite destructive, as they feed on structural wood found in homes and other buildings. The most common species found living in our service area is the Eastern subterranean termite.

termites crawling on ruined wood in dundalk

Members of termite colonies are divided into different groups or castes: workers, soldiers, and reproductives (kings and queens).
 
Worker termites
Worker termites make up most of a colony's members, gathering food for the entire colony. Workers have soft, creamy-white bodies, and are blind and wingless.
 
Soldier termites
Soldier termites have the responsibility of guarding their termite colony from danger. They are larger in size than workers; have elongated, yellow heads; short legs; and large, powerful jaws.
 
King & Queen termites
The reproductive members of a colony are its largest members, are dark-brown to black in color, and are winged. They swarm from a mature termite colony in order to mate and create new nesting sites.

Are termites dangerous?

Termites do not bite people, aren’t known to transmit any diseases, and seldom even come into contact with people. However, termites are considered to be dangerous pests due to their ability to cause significant structural damage to homes by tunneling through and feeding on wood found inside them. Termites are also considered to be dangerous because their presence is so hard for homeowners to detect. Termites enter homes, tunneling through and feeding on their interiors, leaving the exterior untouched and normal-looking. Termites can be inside homes and tunneling through their structural wood for months, or sometimes even years, before enough damage has been done for the infestation to be exposed.

Why do I have a termite problem?

Eastern subterranean termites live and feed in the soil. There are many reasons termites may be attracted to your property or find their way into your home. 

  • There are fallen trees, tree stumps, old roots, and fallen branches on your property.

  • Your property has damp soil in wooded, shaded areas.

  • Soil on your property comes into contact with door frames, wooden play structures, deck posts, wood shingles, and porch steps or supports. 

  • There are cracks and crevices in your home’s foundation.

  • A mature termite colony is located nearby. When termites swarm from it to mate they may end up on your property.

Where will I find termites?

Outside, termites create their nests in the ground underneath moist soil. Termites travel from their food source to their nest through underground tunnels or mud tubes they create on the surface of basement walls, foundations, and the ground.
 
Termites often find their way inside accidentally - through cracks in a home's foundation - while out foraging for food. Inside homes and other structures, they travel behind walls, underneath flooring, and above ceilings. They tunnel through and feed on structural supports, beams, flooring, wooden trim, and sub-flooring. Termites are initially attracted to water-damaged or decaying wood, but as time goes on they will eventually begin attacking sound wood, and even non-wooden items.

How do I get rid of termites?

To eliminate wood-eating termites from your home or property, and prevent a re-infestation, partner with a knowledgeable professional. At Pest Czar, our local and experienced professionals provide the modern techniques and technology needed to find and get rid of the termites living in your home, outbuildings, or on your property. We can then prevent their return by installing the Sentricon® System with Always Active™ on your property. For exceptional, eco-friendly termite control services in the Baltimore, Maryland, or Washington, D.C. areas, call Pest Czar!

How can I prevent termites in the future?

Preventing problems with termites can be tricky. There are several things you can do in and around your home to deter their presence:

  • Put into place a professional termite control program from Pest Czar.

  • Place weather stripping around windows and doors to prevent water from seeping into your home.

  • Maintain your home’s gutters.

  • Repair leaky pipes, faucets, or fixtures located inside and outside your home.

  • Remove water-damaged wood from your home.

  • Limit soil-to-wood contact near or on your home.

  • Use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture levels in your home.

  • Remove fallen trees, tree stumps, and other piles of organic debris from your property.

  • Leave a stone barrier between any soil or mulch and your home’s foundation.

 

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