Termites In North Texas Can Be Hard To Tackle Alone

After graduating from high school, trade school, or college, the realities of life hit full force. As we step out of the educational institutions, we dream of earning a decent income, securing reliable transportation, and purchasing a home using our newly acquired knowledge and skills. 

Of those three goals, the most difficult to achieve is homeownership. Buying a house requires a significant down payment, wading through piles of paperwork, and making strategic decisions. When we sign the final paper and the realtor hands us the keys to our new home, it is an incredible feeling of accomplishment. 

We work long hours on our newly-acquired house by painting rooms, landscaping, and making necessary repairs. We understand that making the house our home requires effort and some sacrifice, so we pay the money and do the work. In the excitement of preparing the house, most homeowners overlook what is happening underneath their feet. While the rooms may have a new coat of paint and the floors have new carpeting, termites may be eating the underlying structural supports. Failure to inspect the house and make provisions to prevent termites will ultimately cost a homeowner.

To protect your hard-earned investment against termites, secure the North Texas pest control team from Adams Exterminating Company. Since 1947 we have removed termites from homes earning a reputation for quality and effective service. Because we want to help protect your investment against termites, here are answers to common questions regarding this insidious pest. 

How Do I Know If My Home Has Termites?

Subterranean termites are the prominent and most destructive species infesting our North Texas homes. These creatures are in the Insecta class, and animals in this class of anthropods have six jointed legs, a pair of antennae, a three-part body (head, thorax, and abdomen), compound eyes, and an exoskeleton. Reproductive termites (alates or swarmers) have wings, but workers and soldiers do not. 

Termites work in the wood, but in the spring season, the reproductive termites fly out of the colony to form new nests. In addition to flying termites, there are flying ants that also leave nests to begin new colonies. When people see these flying creatures under lights, around the windows, or inside spider webs, most assume they have ants, but they may have termites. So how do you tell the difference? 

Ants have a pinched waist, resembling a wasp, but a termite's body is long, narrow, and oval. If you get a close enough look, you'll notice that ants have bent or elbowed antennae, but a termite's antennae are straight. If you have 1/8-inch, creamy-colored, or dark brown winged insects with bodies with uniform width in the window sills or spider webs, you have termites in the house. 

Around April and May in North Texas, winged reproductive termites pair off as a future queen and king and leave the nest. Typically, they exit after a heavy springtime rain and when temperatures rise. You will see the swarms around lights in the early morning or evening. When a flying pair of termites land, their wings fall off, and they look for a moist area to shelter and create a nest. Discarded wings similar in size to window sills and spider webs indicate you have termites in your house (Ant wings are not uniform in size). 

Are there other signs of termites if it is not spring and you don't see termite swarmers around your property? Yes. Although subterranean termites are elusive, that does not mean they don't leave visible signs. Because this termite species often eats the wood supporting your home, look for the following:

  • Sagging floors: As the termites whittle away at the floor joists, gaps may form between the baseboard and the floor. 
  • Warping doors and frames: As structural parts of the home weaken, you may notice the doors and windows are not operating correctly. 
  • Crunching sounds: If you hear cracking sounds while you walk across the floor, it may be wood starting to give way.
  • Collapsing structures: After several years of boring through support beams, front porches and decks may collapse. 

If you crawl under the house to investigate for termite damage, start with water-damaged wood with mildew growths. Fungi release an odor that attracts termites because the fungi provide nitrogen when consumed along with the other nutrients from the cellulose in the wood. Push on the water-damaged wood with a screwdriver or your finger; if the wood crumbles or dents, it is likely infested with subterranean termites. Tapping on the moist wood is another test for termites; if it sounds hollow, termites are probably eating on the inside. 

Subterranean termites eat wood to get nutrition; later, they release waste. The fecal output of subterranean termites has a sawdust appearance. As you investigate, look for sawdust-like piles of fecal matter outside small openings in the wood. 

Another sign of termites inside your house is mud tubes. Subterranean termites live in the soil and quickly dehydrate with sun exposure; therefore, they construct mud tubes from their soil-based nest to the wood. If subterranean termites are present in the house, you will find these mud tubes in crawl space piers, utility entrances, and foundation walls or slabs. 

A termite inspection by Adams Exterminating Company is necessary because termites work underneath your feet in the dark recesses of the house. Unfortunately, when you see many of these signs manifest themselves, termites have likely caused a few thousand dollars in repairs.

How Much Damage Can Termites Do To My Property?

Termites annually cost homeowners and businesses $5 billion in repair and replacement damage. An average of $3,000 in repair costs are likely when a homeowner notices evidence of termite damage. Of the various termite species, subterranean termites are the most destructive. The main reason this species wreaks havoc is the size of its colonies. 

When a king and queen termite finds a location and establishes a nest, the queen begins laying eggs. During the first few years, she delivers a few hundred eggs annually, but as the queen matures and grows, she produces 5,000 to 10,000 eggs yearly. A king and queen have no other function than reproduction; they may live up to 25 years while creating thousands of termites each year. 

A mature subterranean termite colony has 60,000 to one million workers and soldiers. A mature colony of workers can consume five grams of wood daily as tens of thousands of termites eat wood using their sawtooth-like hard mandibles. In Texas, we have the typical subterranean termites and Formosan subterranean termites. 

Often called "super termites," this aggressive species constructs colonies with an average size of 350,000 to millions of workers. Whereas the typical subterranean termite colony of 60,000 consumes five grams of wood daily, an average Formosan termite colony of 350,000 eats 31 grams or over one ounce of wood daily. A mature Formosan colony can eat one foot of a 2x4 wood in 25 days. 

Protect your hard-earned investment against termites by allowing Adams Exterminating Company, the termite specialist for your North Texas property, to protect your home against a termite infestation

Factors That Attract Termites To Your Home

Usually, before subterranean termites invade a house, they infest moist wood on the property. As we discussed, damp wood with fungus attracts this termite species. Once the termites find this wood type, they establish a colony and, about four years later, dispatch winged reproducing termites that begin to nest in nearby houses. To prevent termites from settling on your property and invading your North Texas home, we recommend the following: 

  • Remove wood scraps, dead trees, and wood piles from the property.
  • Elevate firewood and move 20 feet away from the house. 
  • Provide drainage to ditches and low-lying areas, especially where wood fence posts and landscaping contacts the soil. 
  • Prune shrubs away from the home to allow airflow and maximum sunlight. 
  • Repair leaking pipes and drains to avoid water-damaged wood.
  • Repair or replace rotten wood fencing, posts, or landscaping timbers. 
  • Install a dehumidifier in the crawlspace or additional vents to allow airflow and keep wood dry.
  • Clean out gutters and ensure they drain away from the foundation to prevent seepage into the crawlspace.

Removing damp wood and promoting a dry property and house will prevent future subterranean termite damage on your North Texas property after Adams Exterminating Company has eliminated a current infestation. 

Call The Professionals At The First Sign Of Termites In Your Home

After 70 years of pest and termite control, Adams Exterminating continues to receive five-star reviews and customer referrals because we provide award-winning customer service to over 10,000 homes and businesses. When you schedule an inspection, one of our highly-trained technicians will investigate the structure of the house and the soil around your North Texas home for signs of termites. 

If we find termite evidence, we will create a strategic plan to determine the most effective locations to install a Sentricon® with Always Active™ baiting system around the house. These secured baiting stations attract termites; the insects feed on the bait and carry the product back to the nest, eventually destroying the queen and the entire colony. In addition to installing the baiting system, we will treat the area of activity. 

Adams Exterminating Company is the termite expert near you with trained entomologists and service technicians that know the best practices for removing termites from houses. Contact us today to learn more and get a free estimate. 

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