It shouldn't come as a surprise to you that subterranean termites are a serious threat throughout Baldwin County Alabama. While a tiny, little termite isn't much to look at, it can do a serious amount of damage when it has 1 million of its closest friends helping him out. Today, we're going to give you a quick, step-by-step guide to help you protect yourself from these tiny (and very destructive) insects.

termite on a floor
termite on wood

Worker Termites

When we say termites are small, we mean it. A worker termite is about ⅛ of an inch long. If you have a ruler, take a moment to look at how small ⅛ of an inch is. If you see termite workers, you may not even know they're termite workers. A search on the internet will give you a magnified view of termite workers. But seeing them in real-life is altogether different. They look like tiny maggots with legs. When you lift up a dead branch in your yard and see tiny, pale-colored maggots (with legs) crawling inside the wood to hide from you, those aren't maggots; they're termites. This is the first and most important fact you should know. You might not get a second chance to see termites. It is important to recognize termite workers when you see them.

Here are a few ways you may be able to detect worker termites:

  • Look under branches and dead wood in your yard.

  • Look under mulch.

  • Chop into a stump, log, or dying tree.

  • Closely examine wooden structures for mud. Clear the mud away and look in damaged wood for the presence of these tiny, pale insects.

  • Dig around the base of structures that have wood-to-soil contact, such as your deck or a wood fence.

Swarmers

Termite swarmers are male and female winged reproductives. While a little bigger than workers, swarmers are still quite small. This can make them difficult to detect. If one, tiny, little swarmer lands on your skin while you're in your backyard, you may not think anything of it. A swarmer is only about ⅜ of an inch long. Fortunately, they have easily distinguishable white wings that round at the tips. These wings are stacked on the back of a swarmer termite, which is somewhat unique for a winged insect. If you know to look for this defining feature, it will be easier to detect one little swarmer when you see it.

When you find thousands of swarmers, you're likely to instantly know that you're looking at termites. In a large group, those wings become extremely noticeable. But it is essential to keep watch for one random swarmer in your yard. Thousands of swarmers is a warning sign of a current and mature infestation. One swarmer could be a warning sign of an impending infestation. It is far better to catch termites before a nest is created, rather than after they've had years to establish a mature nest—and years to damage your property.

Other Warning Signs

In light of the fact that subterranean termite workers and swarmers are so difficult to detect, it is important to be aware of other warning signs.

Shelter tubes. Subterranean worker termites create above-ground tunnels to protect themselves from the drying effects of the air. You may find these on your foundation walls or on other hard surfaces on the outside and inside of your Baldwin County home.

Wings. When termite swarmers mate, they shed their wings. If you don't see the swarmers, you may see the wings. Inspect spider webs on your property for stray wings.

Damage. It is difficult to find subterranean termite damage because they do the majority of the damage on the inside of timbers. But you might find damage in a crawl space under your home, underneath a deck, or in other dark, humid spaces. Also, look for the presence of mud on wood. These termites use mud to seal any openings that allow dry air into their tunnels.

Conducive Conditions

If you have rotting wood or wood-to-soil contact in your yard, you'll invite a termite infestation. You'll also give the termites a food source that will allow them to grow their colony quickly and thus present a greater threat to your property. Remove any wood sources from your yard, elevate wood sources, and/or address wood-to-soil contact on structures.

What To Do If You Detect Termites

When you find evidence that termites are active on your property, it is vital that you hire a certified termite professional. These insects can eat away at your property and cause extensive damage, over time, right under your nose without you noticing.

If you're in our Baldwin service area of Daphne, Fairhope, Orange Beach, or Foley, reach out to Prewett Pest Control for termite control. We offer leading termite control solutions, including termite inspections, treatments, and ongoing termite control. Reach out to us today for immediate assistance.

 

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