Identify and get rid of termites snacking on your house
You’re going to need some backup.
Season: Termite swarm usually occurs in the spring and are active May through September in New England.
Disease profile: Termites are not known to carry or transmit any diseases… they just eat your home and can go undetected until severe structural damage happens.
Appearance: “Workers” (the ones that do all the damage) are lighter in color. “Soldiers” are white and have large heads and mandibles. “Swarmers” are commonly confused with carpenter ants because they have wings, but swarmers are flat and do not have a pinched waist as carpenter ants do.
Signs: If you’ve ever witnessed a swarm, you won’t soon forget it. Picture hundreds upon hundreds of termites flying around your home or up out of the ground, wings shedding everywhere, and engaging in the frantic and not-at-all-romantic process of reproduction.
Termites convert cellulose (wood) into substances they can digest, meaning they search for wood as a food source – bad news for many homeowners in Southern New Hampshire and beyond. Of the three species in the US, we deal mainly with the subterranean termite, which forms colonies in the ground. Colonies consist of a caste system where soldier, worker, nymph and swarmer (winged termites with the ability to reproduce) have specific jobs that benefit the queen and the colony. The workers are responsible for providing food to the queen and soldiers, and thus are the ones who cause all the damage to homes and structures.
Another surefire way to tell that you have termites is the presence of the mud tube pathways that worker termites create so they stay in constant contact with moist soil. The tubes may lead to a food source just about anywhere. Also, check along the inside and outside of foundations, extending from the floor to the wood sill plate and up the walls.
ASK 603 PEST
“How many termites are we dealing with?”
The average size of a well-established colony has 60,000 to 100,000 workers obsessed with finding a food source to feed the colony. We’re up against a well-organized and efficient foe, but don’t worry; we’ve been getting rid of termites for more than 30 years.
“I see a lot of sawdust. I must have termites, right?”
On the bright side, termites don’t leave telltale piles of sawdust because they use it all for food. Unfortunately, that probably means you have carpenter ants, or someone in your home has taken up whittling.