Comprehensive Termite Identification Guide For Mobile Residents

Serving Families Throughout Hattiesburg
termite chewing wood inside of a home

For many homeowners, a termite infestation is a worst-case scenario. These pests can cause thousands of dollars in damage and threaten the structural integrity of the houses they infest. But a termite problem doesn’t have to spell doom for the place you call home. Read today’s blog for termite identification tips, prevention methods, and professional peace of mind. 

Termite Identification

Termites come in many shapes and sizes, utilizing a caste system like ants and bees. The types of termites to watch out for are as follows:

  • Worker Termites: Often mistaken for "white ants," these termites dig tunnels and gather food for the entire colony. They differ from ants in their straight, rather than bent, antennae.
  • Soldier Termites: These termites look similar to workers but have large jaws used for fighting off encroaching bugs. As such, they are often not far from termite mounds.
  • Swarmer Termites (Alates): These are the most common type to see since they can actually fly around. Swarmers are the most important part of the colony. That’s because they are the only ones that can reproduce. They fly around looking for new places to build colonies. By the time you see them around, an infestation has likely already taken hold or is about to.

What Does Termite Damage Look Like?

Termites can tunnel through wood and soil at a remarkable rate, so it pays to know how to identify their labors long before they become a full-blown hazard. Here are some signs that termites might be working inside your home:

  • Tunnels in wood: Termites eat the inside of wood, so if you are doing some renovations and you rip out a wall, you may see signs that termites have been eating away. You may also see the termites themselves.
  • Tight-fitting doors or buckling floorboards: As termites alter wood, the surface of the material readjusts and warps accordingly. So, the more subtle signs of termites eating away at household wood include doors or windows that seem tight in their frames or floorboards and wall panels that seem to be jutting out or bowing.
  • Hollow-sounding timber: As termites eat away at the cores of wood, this will leave household materials more frail to the touch and can actually make boards sound hollow. Giving areas of potential termite activity the old sound test can be another way to check for an infestation.

What Attracts Termites?

Termites are attracted by moisture, darkness, and easy soil access. Potential infestation areas include:

  • Water-logged wood and moist areas: Many termites prefer damp woods and all animals need water to survive. Termites seek out damp areas to satisfy these needs.
  • Basements, crawlspaces, and attics: Not only are these common areas of moisture buildup, but these dark spaces are often comprised of easy-to-access wood panels and beams.
  • Encroaching flowerbeds: Gardens or soil beds that run alongside houses and structures make for easy access from termite mounds to interior locations. Termites build their mounds in soil or underground, so these areas call out to them.

Serious Problems Call For Professional Solutions

If you notice any of the signs we covered in this blog, chances are the problem has already progressed too far to want to take any chances. Contact the experts at Harvard Pest Control for fast, cost-effective termite extermination. Our technicians will not only find and eliminate pest populations, but they will also work with homeowners to come up with prevention methods and specific areas to address around the home.
Don’t let a termite infestation become a damaging and costly problem in your home. Seek out professional solutions before a colony turns into a nightmare.