What Do Termites Look Like?

Termites are small insects often mistaken for ants. They live in colonies that are made up of castes, or groups, that include worker termites, queens, and swarmers. Termites like to stay out of sight, which means property owners may have a colony of termites living in their walls for months without ever seeing the pests. You're more likely to notice the signs of termite damage before you actually see a termite in your home.

an illustration of a termite

Subterranean Termites

Found in every state, subterranean termites build their colonies in the soil. Worker termites are the ones you’re likely to see in the soil around your structure or infesting wood inside. They are soft-bodied and have a creamy hue. They travel from their underground colonies to potential food sources, like your home, through small mud tubes. Winged termites (or “swarmers”) are the reproductive members of the colony and only appear during a termite swarm. A termite swarm occurs when it is time for them to leave their existing colony, find a mate, and start a new colony of their own. Evidence of a swarm inside your home includes shed wings around doors and windows. 

a subterranean termite colony in neptune beach florida

Drywood Termites

Less common than subterranean termites, drywood termites are found in Southwestern states, southern states, and coastal areas. In homes, drywood termites are often found in attics. They require very little moisture to survive, which means they do not require a connection to the soil like subterranean termites. Drywood termites are slightly larger than subterranean termites. You are likely to find piles of tiny fecal pellets in the windowsills if you have a drywood termite infestation.


many drywood termites in a home in jacksonville florida

When Are Termites Most Active?

Termites do not hibernate or have seasonal tendencies - they are active all year round. In the winter and depending on the region, subterranean termites will move deeper into the ground to stay warm, but they are still active. Only a few species of termites will swarm at night. A termite swarm typically occurs during the morning and mid-day, and often after a rainfall in the spring.

What Attracts Termites?

Termites are attracted to areas that provide a source of food, such as firewood, cardboard, lumber, newspapers, and cellulose materials. In your home, swarming termites are attracted to light sources and can often be found near doors, windows, light fixtures, and vents. Subterranean termites are attracted to moisture, so if your home has a leaky pipe or the ground around your home's foundation is always moist, it may attract termites.

Are Termites Dangerous?

Termites are more dangerous to the structure of your home than they are to your health. Termites will eat the structure of your home, causing over 5 billion dollars in damages every year in the U.S.

How Do I Get Rid Of Termites?

Due to the survival instincts of termites and their secretive nature, if you suspect a termite infestation, you should call professional termite exterminators to investigate. Lindsey Pest Services relies on the Termatrac system to identify areas conducive to termite activity and detect movement inside your walls. If you have a termite infestation, licensed pest control experts can apply treatments to eliminate active termites. We’re also Certified Sentricon Specialists™, licensed to use the Sentricon® Always Activetermite monitoring system to prevent future termite infestations.

Helpful Termite Articles

Why Termites Are A Year-Round Problem In Jacksonville Homes

 
 

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