All About Subterranean Termites
While there are several species of Subterranean Termites, in the North Georgia Area, we primarily deal with the Eastern Subterranean Termite. Eastern Subterranean Termites are the most common and most widely found in the United States, having been found from Texas to the Canadian border, including all eastern states.
But What Do They Look Like?
Termites us a caste system of organization, meaning that their are several distinct individual "caste types" that perform specific tasks within the colony. Those caste types are Worker, Soldier, and Reproductive. The workers present the greatest threat. These wingless, white insects are typically the first termites seen when an active shelter tube, infested log, or piece of infested structural wood is opened. Workers destroy wood because they consume it. They are called workers because they perform most of the labor associated with colony maintenance. Worker termites are involved in numerous tasks such as locating and colonizing food resources; excavating, repairing, and building galleries and shelter tubes; feeding, grooming, and caring for young termites, reproductives, and soldiers; and participating in colony defense.
How Will I Know If I Have Termites?
Eastern Subterranean Termite colonies produce winged reproductives (see photo) that have nuptial flights or "swarms" in the Spring, typically on a warm morning after a rain. Seeing these "swarmers" tells you that there is an active, mature termite colony present.
Also often found by homeowners "bubbled" paint and/or small "emergence" holes in sheetrock or trim. These holes are about 1/8 inch in diameter and frequently have evidence of dirt around the rim. It's these holes that the "swarmers" emerge from and are often protected by termite "soldiers", fighting off ants or other pests who may try to intervere with the nuptial swarm.
Occasionally, homeowners will notice the mud tunnels, inside of which termites travel to and from the wood food source they are attacking. Breaking open one of these mud tunnels reveals active worker termites in action, but soon soldiers come to their rescue to protect them. Within a short time, left undisturbed, the tunnel will be repaired and your intrusion will be unnoticeable.
Finally, and sometimes the last thing to be noticed is damage to baseboards, trim, etc. Unfortunately, damage to studs are not found until the sheetrock or paneling is removed, leaving sometimes startling findings.
Of Course, your best choice is to contact Pronto for a FREE inspection and Home Evaluation. Pronto's Termite Experts can determine quickly whether or not you have an existing infestation, and recommend the best course of action, if indeed you do.