Termites cause millions of dollars in damage to residential property each year. From the foundation of your home to the wood shed in the backyard, if you live in Georgia you’re property is at high risk for termites. A termite infestation can progress rapidly, which is why you need to be aware of the signs of termite damage and act fast to eradicate these silent, wood-devouring pests.
Easter Subterranean Termite Infestation
Houses and other buildings provide termites with the ideal combination of warmth, moisture, and food. Termites are tiny enough to gain entry into crevices and cracks in foundation, basements, crawl spaces, and concrete slabs, as well as through openings around windows and doors. Although they are best known for eating wood, paper, fiberboard, cotton fabrics, and other cellulose products, termites can also gnaw their way through cement and other materials. They leave tremendous damage in their wake.
The Eastern Subterranean termite is the most common and widely distributed termite in North America. It is a problem for home owners from southern Ontario in Canada, south throughout the Eastern United States and as far west as Montana.
Sometimes referred to as the Easter SubTermite, this pest feeds on sch cellulose materials such as structural wood, wood fixtures, paper, books, and cotton. Occasionally, it will even attack the roots of shrubs and trees.
A mature colony of Eastern Subterranean termites can range from 20,000 to a high of 5 million workers. An average colony consists of 300,000 termites. The queen termite lays 5,000 to 10,000 eggs per year –so the colony grows rapidly. The king and queen in a colony can live for 10 to 30 years, while workers live for about two years.
Eastern Sub termite colonies are not the largest termite colonies you can find. As if one colony of several hundred thousand isn’t enough, there often is more than one colony at work in any given structure.
Quick Facts about Eastern Sub Termites
- An average Eastern Sub termite colony can consume 5 grams of wood per day, the equivalent of 2 1/3 linear feet of a 2’x4′ pine board annually.
- Colony growth is slow, and it may take years before swarmers are produced.
- Eastern Sub termites can enter buildings through cracks less than 1/16″ wide.
- The termite colony is made up of different types (castes) of termites – each with separate work responsibilities.
- Eastern Sub termites will often build mud tubes for travel between their colonies and their food sources.
Detecting Termite Infestation
Termite infestation is often difficult to detect, which is why routine pest inspections are important for the integrity of your home. Silent and invisible to the naked eye, termites saw into the floor joists, slice into wall studs, and can easily hollow out the heart of your home. Damage caused by termites is usually masked until it is at an advanced state. By that time, you are likely facing expensive repairs or structural replacement.
Signs of a termite infestation
Signs of Easterns include dirt-colored tubes built to serve as protected paths from the earth to the wood the termites are feeding on, and the translucent wings shed by the kings and queens during swarming. Other signs include:
- A temporary swarm of winged insects in your home or from the soil around your home
- Any cracked or bubbling paint or frass (termite droppings)
- Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
- Mud tubes on exterior walls, wooden beams or in crawl spaces
- Discarded wings from swarmers
Remember, if you have termites, a neighbor might as well–and vice versa. So talk with your neighbors about any of the signs that would indicate termite infestation.
Tips for Homeowners Concerned about Termites
Termite prevention requires vigilant observation by the homeowner. Be sure you are reguarly inspecting the following items around your property and inside the home:
- Check wooden structures for damage
- Check water drainage sites to ensure they remain cleared and effective
- Get rid of rotting wood and debris near the home
- Monitor the collection of moisture by fixing pipes, gutters, downspouts, A/C units and other fixtures susceptible to leaking
- Caulk around utility lines or pipes
- Place screens on outside vents
Termite Experts in Clarke County, GA
If you have any signs of termites or any other pests or want an inspection, give Houseman Services a call at 706-769-7826
Houseman Services is the only complete service company in the Athens, GA area. We provide Weed control, fertilization, shrub care, mulch & pine straw, sod, annual plantings, irrigation, and commercial & residential lawn maintenance. We are also state certified and licensed in wood destroying organisms (termite control), household pest control, public heath, and turf & ornamental weed control. We are licensed to control and treat mosquitoes, termites, all pest problems and turf & ornamental weed control.
Contact the professionals at Houseman Services and set up a free inspection of your yard. We have been servicing homes and businesses in the Athens, Clarke County area since 1985!