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Termites FAQ, Proudly Serving: Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana

 
How to save your home, and your budget, from being eaten full of holes.
Termites eat wood. In their natural state, they eat fallen logs and stumps off the forest floor. But on your property, they can eat away the equity you've built up in your home and property. Termites infest millions of homes nationwide, causing over $750 million in damage annually, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
What should I know about a termite colony?
Subterranean termites are native to every state except Alaska. A colony may include up to several million individual termites, living as deep as 20 feet underground. They are dispersed throughout the soil at feeding sites around your home. Feeding on cellulose-based material, termites find human dwellings offer the ideal combination of warmth, moisture and food.
 
How can a professional pest control firm help?
Only a trained professional understands the intricacies of how a termite colony behaves. Using advanced termiticide, a skilled, professional applicator can effectively protect your housing investment for years to come.
How do termites get in?
Because termites need moisture and have a low tolerance to moving air currents and light, they live underground, attacking a home from below. A loose mortar joint, a minute space around a drain pipe, or a settlement crack in the basement is all they need to gain entry.
Aren't new homes and houses with concrete slabs virtually termite-proof?
The experience of homeowners nationwide shows that no home, new or old, is safe from termites. By building mud tubes, termites can cross concrete, brick, cinder block, metal termite shields, pre-treated wood and non-repellent chemical barriers. Only a professionally applied repellent termite treatment will prevent termite entry.
If I haven't seen swarming termites, or traces of damage, can my home still be in danger?
Unfortunately, yes. When a colony swarms, the winged termites may be in the air for just a few minutes and you may not see them. Termites also eat wood from the inside out, making their activity detectable only by professional termite inspection.
When is the right time to call a termite professional?
The longer you delay treatment, the more damage termites can do. Repairs will become extensive, and more expensive. Generally speaking, the sooner you approve treatment, the better. Even if you have not seen evidence of termite activity or damage, it is important to have your home professionally inspected.
 
 
Ant or termite?
Winged termites are usually, but not always, smaller, about 1/4" in length. They appear to have two body segments, straight antennae, and two pairs of equally long wings. Ants have three body segments with a narrow waist, elbowed antennae and a longer pair of front wings.
 
Ant - Pest Control in Hattiesburg, MS
Ant
 
Termite - Pest Control in Hattiesburg, MS
Termite
 
 
 
Termite - A formidable new invader.
A serious pest in Hawaii, this species has recently entered the southeastern U.S. They have been known to chew through plastic, lead or copper to reach wood, even to attack live trees. Colony size has been estimated at nearly 7 million individuals, foraging over 38,000 square feet of ground.
 
Ant - Pest Control in Hattiesburg, MS
The Formosan
 
 
 

Gulfport Drywood Termite Control

Drywood termites are an especially bothersome pest in the coastal areas of Alabama and Mississippi. These insects devour wood at an alarming rate, causing extensive damage to the interior wood framing of homes. Unlike subterranean termites, the drywood variety does not need to live in or around soil. They get all the water they need from the wood they consume, and they live inside the wood itself.
 
Lot of Termites - Pest Control in Hattiesburg, MS
 

Difficult for the Homeowner to Control

Drywood termites swarm when the colony reaches a size of hundreds or thousands of individuals. They seek an entry point on the exterior of a home and begin to breed in small numbers. During the first year of an invasion, colony sizes may increase to only around 100 members. Over the next two to three years the colony may explode in population.
Young reproductives and foragers have special mandible parts that are designed for the gnawing and chewing of wood. Termites have special chemicals in their digestive system that can easily break down cellulose. Homeowners often do not realize that the home is under attack until the colony has expanded to hundreds of members. At this point, the structural integrity of the wood is severely compromised.

Signs of Infestation

Shed termite wings are a sure sign that a colony is located on or near the premises. Drywood termites also leave waste pellets that are cylindrical in shape and which can be found near an exterior opening in the home's wood frame. This species of termite will devour wood in a restricted area. This results in large galleries behind walls that may be detected using sonic equipment or a specialized stud sensor. Cracked sheetrock is another sign that the interior framing of the home is becoming weakened.

Professional Help is Needed

The major concern for homeowners in Hattiesburg is the slow but steady destruction of the wood framing that supports the home. Until the colony reaches a large size and consists of hundreds of foragers, detecting its presence is very difficult. If signs of a termite infestation are noticed, professional help is required at once.
We use advanced fumigation techniques to rid the home of these pests. The operation involves detecting the actual location of the colony and introducing a toxic compound into the walls of the home. In some cases, covering the entire home with an airtight seal and fumigating the interior with chemicals is necessary.
The important thing to remember about termite control is the limited time Alabama and Mississippi homeowners have. Unless the colony can be completely destroyed soon after detection, the home will suffer extensive damage. The cost to repair the framing of the home may run into the tens of thousands of dollars and will likely not be covered by a typical insurance policy. If you see any signs of termite damage in your home, you should give us a call right away. We have been dealing with termites in Mississippi and Alabama and parts of Louisiana for over 70 years. Odds are a family member or friend have used us in the past.
 

Formosan Termite Control

Formosan termites are an invasive species introduced to North America near the end of the Second World War. The species is native to the eastern parts of Asia and was brought to this continent unintentionally, most likely via container ships and military vessels. Homeowners and commercial property managers in Alabama and Mississippi are on constant watch for signs of a Formosan termite infestation.
 

Rapid Destruction of Wood

Formosan termites are of the subterranean type, meaning they construct underground nests near a suitable wood supply. Like all termites, the Formosan species prefers dry, untreated wood that has a good cellulite composition. These pests are rather small, averaging about 1 1/2 inch in length. Formosan termites are considered to be a dangerous pest because their colonies attain population numbers in excess of what is seen with other species.
 
Termite Wood - Pest Control in Hattiesburg, MS
 
The colony forms when a swarm of termites leaves its former home in search of a new supply of food. The average new colony has only about 50-100 members, but breeding commences as soon as the underground burrow has been completed. Wood that makes up the framing of a house, barn, or commercial structure is particularly appealing to these insects. Large numbers of foragers seek the easiest route from the nest to the wood supply, often constructing tubes that act as underground highways.
These pests can consume wood at an alarming rate, severely weakening the structure being supported by the beams and timbers. Unless the homeowner recognizes that an infestation is underway, termites can eventually create an unlivable situation for humans.

Formosan Termite Removal Techniques

Most of the do-it-yourself methods for battling termite populations have only a limited effect on the colony and its growth. Locating a subterranean nest is extremely difficult, and extermination of the entire colony usually calls for the services of a professional pest control company. Termites eating away at the interior framing of the home or office building cannot be removed by simple fumigation. Instead, baited traps or toxic food stations are set up around the perimeter of the structure.
Formosan termites may be attracted to the appealing taste and composition of the poisoned bait. They will bring back the food to the nest after consuming a small portion. Eventually the foragers die, leaving the colony with no incoming food supply.

Extermination

Alabama and Mississippi homeowners are urged to look for signs of termite infestation. These include finely ground wood residue near the base of walls, mud tubes beneath the foundation, and termite wings scattered around the property. It is imperative that this species be dealt with immediately. Once a colony has been established on the property for two or three years, the population can explode and create a dangerous situation for residents in the home.
 

Subterranean Termite Control

Eastern subterranean termites are the cause of most structural damage to homes in Hattiesburg. These insects live in large underground colonies and will choose the best possible wood supply as their source of food. Although the population of these nests increases slowly at first, homeowners often do not recognize the signs of an infestation until the structural integrity of the home has been severely compromised.
 

Subterranean Termite Colonies

Termites often swarm when a colony reaches a certain size. Young termites grow wings and will take off in search of a new home. Swarms can occur at any time of year, but are more common in late spring and early summer. A new colony will consist of a single queen, reproductive males, soldiers and foragers. If a suitable supply of dry wood is found, termites will construct an underground nest and prepare for breeding.
Subterranean termites will identify the quickest route to the wood source and proceed to construct mud tubes leading from the colony to the food supply. These tunnels are difficult for the homeowner to locate and can remain undetected unless a professional exterminator is contracted to inspect the property.
 
Termite Subterranean - Pest Control in Hattiesburg, MS
 
Once these pests have direct access to wood, consumption of the food takes place at an alarming rate. The colony will increase in size rather slowly for the first 12-18 months. Afterwards, a population explosion may occur. This increases the need for food exponentially. Unless the colony is discovered and removed, the house or commercial building can suffer many thousands of dollars in property damage.

What To Look For

If termite wings are found scattered around the property, it is likely that a new colony is being constructed in the nearby vicinity. Signs that an invasion is underway include the presence of mud tubes leading from the ground below the foundation upward to the support beams of the house. Damaged wood becomes weakened, resulting in bowed or cracked sheetrock. If the wood being consumed by the termites is near the floor, fine sawdust may be noticed around the baseboard.

Get Help Immediately

If you see any of the early warning signs on your property, you should give Havard a call immediately. We have been controlling termites in Hattiesburg since 1947, and our highly trained technicians will quickly come out and handle the problem. We can also exterminate drywood and formosan termites. Check out our FAQ for more details.
or call us at 800-898-0264