Elite Pest Management, LLC – Bed Bug & Termite Services

Termites date back more than 120 million years to the time of the dinosaurs. They are known as “silent destroyers” because of their ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected. Each year, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage – costs that aren’t covered by homeowners’ insurance policies. This is why being vigilant about termite control and termite extermination is so important.

Types of Termites

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean Termites (Family Rhinotermitidae)

46-termite-e-subterranean-termite-_v2n0390The best method of subterranean termite control is to avoid water accumulation near the foundation of the home. Prevent subterranean termite access by diverting water away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the home, and keep mulch at least 15 inches from the foundation. Indoors, homeowners should reduce humidity through proper ventilation of crawl spaces, attics and basements to avoid attracting subterranean termite swarms.

Color Creamy white to dark brown/black
Legs 6
Shape Long, narrow and oval
Size 1/8 inch long
Antennae Yes
Region Found throughout the U.S.

Habits

Subterranean termites build distinctive tunnels, often referred to as “mud tubes,” to reach food sources and protect themselves from open air. They use their scissor-like jaws to eat wood 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Like other termite species, subterranean termites also feed on products containing cellulose. Subterranean termites swarm in the spring when groups of reproductive termites go off to start new colonies.

Habitat

Subterranean termites live in underground colonies with as many as two million members. They are also found in moist secluded areas above ground.

Threats

Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive termite species. The hard, saw-toothed jaws of termites work like shears and are able to bite off extremely small fragments of wood, one piece at a time. Over time, they can collapse a building entirely, meaning possible financial ruin for a homeowner. If you suspect a termite infestation, contact a pest professional about subterranean termite treatment.

Drywood Termites

Drywood Termites (Family Kalotermitidae)

drywood-termite-swarmerDrywood termites can be avoided by making sure firewood and scrap wood is stored at least 20 feet from the home. Another drywood termite treatment tactic is to seal all cracks and crevices around the foundation of the home. Homeowners should also routinely inspect the property for signs of drywood termites, paying special attention to window and doorframes, trim, eaves, siding and attics.

Color Creamy white to light brown
Legs 6
Shape Long, narrow and oval
Size 3/8 to 1 inch long
Antennae Yes
Region Primarily found coastally from South Carolina westward to Texas and up the west coast of California

Habits

Drywood termites form colonies of up to 2,500 members. Unlike subterranean termite species, drywood termite colonies do not have a worker caste, as the work is done by immature termites before they reach adulthood. Drywood termites usually swarm on sunny, warm days after a sudden rise in temperature.

Habitat

Drywood termites infest dry wood, like that found in attic framings. They can be transported to new locations via an infested piece of furniture, a picture frame, etc.

Threats

Drywood termites can chew through support beams, floors and walls, causing expensive home repairs. In fact, drywood termites and other termite species cause a collective $5 billion in property damage each year.

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood Termites (Family Hodotermitidae)

dampwood-termite-npmaAs the name suggests, dampwood termites infest wood with high moisture content. Dampwood termites are normally larger in size than other termite species.

Color Creamy white to brownish
Legs 6
Shape Long, narrow and oval
Size 1/2″ – 5/8 inch long
Antennae Yes
Region Found throughout the pacific coastal and adjacent states, the desert or semi-arid southwest, and southern Florida

Habits

Dampwood termite colonies, like drywood termites, have no worker caste. The nymph dampwood termites take care of the kings and queens of the colony and feed the soldier caste. These termites create a series of chambers in wood, which are connected by tunnels with smooth walls, as if sandpapered.

Habitat

Dampwood termites are usually found in logs, stumps, dead trees, fence posts and utility poles.

Threats

Dampwood termites do not usually infest structures because of their need for excessive moisture. However, care must be taken to avoid attracting dampwood termites to a structure, as they can cause serious property damage. In fact, dampwood termites and other termite species cause a collective $5 billion in property damage each year.

Formosan Termites

Formosan Termites (C. formosanus)

formosan-termiteFormosan termite control begins with eliminating sources of moisture both inside and outside of the home. Inside, homeowners should reduce humidity in crawl spaces, attics and basements with proper ventilation. Outdoors, divert water away from the home’s foundation to prevent Formosan termite access with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. Homeowners should also store firewood at least 20 feet away from the home and maintain a one-inch gap between soil and wood portions of the home.

Color Creamy white to brownish
Legs 6
Shape Long, narrow and oval
Size 1/2 inch in length
Antennae Yes
Region Found in Hawaii, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and California

Habits

Formosans build intricate mud nests in the ground. They can chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper. In fact, the average size of a Formosan termite colony can consume one foot of 2X4 wood in 25 days.

Habitat

Formosan termites live in huge underground colonies with an average of 350,000 workers. In addition to structures, they also infest trees, shrubs, utility poles, timber, railroad trusses and even boats.

Threats

Because of their aggressive nature, Formosan termites are difficult to control once they infest a structure. A mature Formosan termite colony can cause severe structural damage to a home in as little as six months. Prevention is key with this termite species. If dealing with an existing infestation, talk to a pest professional about a Formosan termite treatment.

Conehead Termites

Conehead Termites (Nasutitermes corniger)

conehead-termite-dorsalConehead termites are an invasive species native to the Caribbean that was first introduced to the U.S. in 2001. They were originally called “tree termites,” but were renamed conehead termites to alleviate the misconception that this pest is only found in trees.

Color Cream bodies; dark brown heads
Legs 6
Shape Long; narrow; Soldiers have a pear shaped head
Size 3 – 4 mm
Antennae Yes
Region Broward County, Fla.

Habits

Unlike most termites, the conehead termite does not rely on underground tunneling to travel. Instead, they forage on the ground like ants, allowing them to spread quickly.

Habitat

Conehead termites build dark brown “mud” tubes and freestanding nests on the ground, in trees or in wooden structures. The nests can be up to 3 feet in diameter and have a hard surface of chewed wood.

Threats

Conehead termites are an extremely aggressive termite species known for causing widespread property damage in a short period of time. Additional research into the species and treatment options are critical to controlling this destructive pest’s spread, or else millions of dollars in damage can be expected.

  • State Certified in West Virginia and Ohio in Pest Control / Termite Control 
  • Integrated Pest Management ( IPM ) Certified
  • American Institute of Baking ( AIB ) Training

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