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What are termites?

Though small in size and rarely seen by people, termites are a pest that all homeowners should fear and cause billions of dollars in structural damages across the U.S. every year. Termites are unique organisms because they can feed on cellulose and convert it to a usable source of energy. A single, mature termite colony may have hundreds of thousands or even millions of members. Though individual termites may be small, the damage they can cause together can be catastrophic!

termites

The subterranean termite is the most widespread species of termites living in the United States. These termites nest under the ground and divide their colony members into different castes (groups). Worker termites feed and care for the colony. Reproductives (fertile females and males) are the only members able to breed and are also the only colony members with wings. Soldiers have large, strong jaws they use to protect the colony.

Are termites dangerous?

The biggest reason termites are so dangerous is that they can damage a structure “silently” and out of view. A termite colony works together like a well-oiled machine to gather food for its colony and can work for months or even years around the clock without alerting suspicion.

Once the damage is discovered, it can be expensive to repair, especially because most homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover the cost of termite damage.

Example of the damage that termites cause include:

  • Sagging, spongy floors

  • Warped walls

  • Blistered paint on walls

  • Windows and doors which no longer open or close properly

  • Brittle, hollowed pieces of structural wood

Why do I have a termite problem?

The warm, humid weather found in Alabama allows subterranean termites to thrive, providing them with the high levels of moisture they need to live. These termites nest outside in moist soil near a food source like tree stumps, fallen trees, and piles of organic debris. Termites are especially problematic in or near wooded areas, but an infestation can pop-up anywhere there is a food source.

Where will I find termites?

As worker termites leave the nest to forage for food, they travel through the soil in mud tubes they have created. Workers are blind, and as they move about, they often find their way into homes and other structures through wood that's making direct contact with the ground or through cracks that develop in the foundation.

Inside, termites move through wooden floor joists and into pieces of structural wood located below floors or behind walls. Subterranean termites initially seek out water-damaged or decaying wood, but if the infestation is allowed to continue, they will eventually attack sound wood as well.

How do I get rid of termites?

If you are looking to eliminate termites from your property, reach out to the professionals at Prewett Pest Control. Through advanced technology and convenient and modern services, we offer East Alabama customers exceptional pest control solutions. Get rid of termites and keep them from returning to your residential or commercial property, by reaching out to the professionals at Prewett Pest Control. Contact us today to learn more about our local and effective termite control services!

How can I prevent termites in the future?

To help stop termites from taking over your East Alabama property, we want to offer some easy to execute pest prevention tips:

  • Reduce as much excess wood around your property as possible. Remove woodpiles, fallen trees, and tree stumps from your property.

  • If you have old, decaying fences, wooden furniture, or play structures on your property, remove or replace them.

  • If wooden structures in your home ever become damaged by water, immediately remove them and replace them with sound wood.

  • Help eliminate excess moisture in your home that attracts termites by using dehumidifiers and making sure to ventilate crawlspaces.

  • Repair any cracks or openings in your home’s foundation that termites could use as an entry point.

  • Get rid of wood-to-soil contact on or near your home.

  • Create a barrier at least 12-18 inches wide to keep soil or mulch from making contact with your foundation.

 

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