What are termites?
Termites are wood-eating insects that live in large populations throughout the state of Texas. Unfortunately for us in the Rio Grande Valley, we have four different species of termites that we need to worry about and protect our homes from.
Subterranean termites are the most widespread species living across the United States. These termites have high moisture needs and are most attracted to wet or decaying wood. They require contact with the soil to survive, nesting and traveling through damp soil.
Formosan termites are another type of subterranean termite. Formosan termites are unique because they can nest either in the ground or above the ground in carton nests that they create. Formosan termites live together in extremely large colonies and have aggressive feeding habits. While they are not as widespread as subterranean termites, they are problematic because they cause a lot of damage in a short period.
Drywood termites prefer to feed on wood that is dry and has a low moisture content. Drywood termites do not require contact with the soil to survive.
Agricultural termites feed on cellulose like subterranean and drywood termites, but instead of eating wood, they have their nutritional needs met by feeding on grass and weeds.
Are termites dangerous?
The biggest problem with termites finding their way onto our properties is not that they will cause us major harm but because they will cause major damage to our structures.
Termites are pests that largely stay out of sight, meaning they can be present on our properties or in our homes for months or even years without notice. The damage that termites cause can become extensive and cause major damage to the structures of our homes.
With agricultural termites, the damage they cause is primarily outdoors; their feeding habits damage grass and other plants located in our outdoor spaces.
Unfortunately, termite damage is not something that most homeowners' insurance covers, making repairing their damages a costly endeavor. When it comes to termites, it is always best to be proactive and partner with a local professional to stop termites before they have the chance to move onto your Texas property.
Why do I have a termite problem?
Termites are pests that can become an issue on any property. Don't ever think your property is magically immune to destructive termites!
Termites live outside, but when they are nesting close to our homes, they regularly find their way inside while foraging for food. Termites can find their way inside through cracks in the foundation, wood making direct contact with the ground, or spaces they find in exterior walls or the roof.
In addition, we can accidentally introduce them into our homes in already infested pieces of wood; this is generally how drywood termites find their way into our homes.
Where will I find termites?
Where you are likely to find termites will largely depend on their species.
Subterranean termites nest in the ground and move through the soil or mud tubes they create to and from their found food sources each day. In our homes, these termites infest water-damaged wood located behind walls and under floors.
Formosan termites also feed on structural wood in our homes behind walls, under floors, or above ceilings. Their aerial nests are often found on buildings with a flat roof or between wall voids. Their unique carton nests allow them to nest above the ground while maintaining their moisture needs.
Drywood termites live, feed, and nest inside of the wooden structures they are feeding on. Outside, they like to build their nests in dry pieces of wood. Lumber used to produce wood structures, utility poles, and fences are common places to find these termites nesting in and around our yards. In our homes, wood trim, flooring, and wooden furniture are regular targets of drywood termites.
Agricultural termites are rarely a problem inside our homes. They live outside and underground but move to the surface to feed. In dry conditions, these termites build mud tubes on the ground's surface to protect themselves from the heat as they search for a water source. Though mud tubs are beneficial to the termites, they tend to cause an unsightly mess in yards wherever these termites are present.
How do I get rid of termites?
Controlling termites that have decided to take over your Rio Grande Valley property is best done with the help of a knowledgeable, educated, and trained professional. Termites are not pests that you want to try to tackle on your own.
The Bugworks Termite & Pest Control professionals know our area's termites, what attracts them, and how to eliminate them. Through thorough inspections, tailored treatments (depending on the termites present on your property), and follow-up services, we will stop termites from damaging your property now and in the future!
Learn more about protecting your Texas property against destructive termites by giving us a call today!
How can I prevent termites in the future?
In addition to implementing professional pest control services, the following tips will help you make your property less attractive to the termites that live throughout Texas.
- Always inspect wood and items made of wood for signs of termites before bringing them into your home.
- Inspect your foundation and exterior walls, sealing up any cracks or other small openings you discover.
- Repair roof damage.
- If any wood inside your home becomes damaged by water, immediately remove it and replace it with sound wood.
- Remove things from your yard that can attract termites like fallen trees, tree stumps, brush piles, and deep areas of mulch.
- Replace wood mulch in garden areas surrounding your home with rubber mulch or another non-organic material.
- Make sure your home is properly ventilated and use air conditioners or dehumidifiers to lower moisture levels.
Contact Bugworks Termite & Pest Control if you have any questions or to learn more about the services we offer.
I highly recommend BugWorks for any of your pest control needs. They are very professional and thorough with their work.