Termite colonies eat non-stop, 24 hours a day, seven days a week! Termites have wings that they shed once they have found a good place to build a nest. Termites are known as “silent destroyers” because of their ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected. There are about 2,600 known termite species in the world. Here in Southern California we deal with mainly 4 different species. Drywood, Subterranean, Dampwood, and Formosan. Drywood and Subterranean are by far the most common. Each year, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage. Each year, termites swarm to expand their species. An average structure can have multiple colonies. There are more termites than humans on this planet. In fact, there are roughly 1,000 pounds of termites for every human being.
Drywood termites form colonies of up to 2,500 members. One single wood member in a structure can have more than one colony. 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 towards the end of summer, August-October. They have reddish brown heads with black bodies. Their wings are clear. One tell sign of Drywood Termites are their fecal pellets or just “pellets”. Pellets are little grain like pellets found near their infestation. Pellets are digested eaten wood, basically your structure’s wood members. Call to schedule an appointment for Budget Termite Inc to come out and give you the best options in the business to get to the bottom of your termite infestation.
Subterranean termites can cause the most damage of any termite species. These termites build distinctive tunnels, often referred to as “mud tubes,” to reach food sources and protect themselves from open air. They eat wood 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using their saw-toothed jaws to bite off small fragments of wood one piece at a time. Over time, subterranean termites can critically damage a building structure, sometimes causing a total collapse. Subterranean termites threaten homeowners across the country, as they’re found in every state in the U.S except Alaska. There are three distinct types, or castes, of subterranean termites with physical differences, including reproductives, workers and soldiers. The reproductives include the king, queen and alates. Integral to a colony’s growth, the queen is the largest termite while the king is much smaller. Alates, also known as swarmers, have long, dark brown to almost black bodies and translucent, slightly milky-colored wings. Their bodies typically measure about ¼ to ½ inch in length and their wings may have a few barely visible hairs. Unlike swarmers, workers and soldiers do not have wings. Workers are about ¼ inch or less in length are have cream colored bodies. They have small jaws that help them chew away at wood and move materials. Soldiers can be distinguished by their large mandibles. They have rectangular shaped heads and their bodies are flat and wide. Although their body is usually a creamy white color, similar to workers, their head is darker and more brownish in color.
Subterranean termite infestations can occur on the inside or exterior of the home. There are several telltale signs of a termite infestation. One sign is the presence of mud tubes on the exterior of the home. Mud tubes look like long tunnels made of wood and soil, which the termites construct to protect them from drying out as they travel. Other signs of a subterranean termite infestation include soft wood in the home that sounds hollow when tapped, darkening or blistering of wood structures, uneven or bubbling paint, and small piles of feces that resemble sawdust near a termite nest. Discarded wings near doors or on windowsills also indicate that swarmers have entered and infested the home. Call to schedule an appointment for Budget Termite Inc to come out and give you the best options in the business to get to the bottom of your termite infestation.