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Termite Identification Guide

What are termites?

Termites are social insects that live together in large groups and meet their nutritional needs by feeding on wood. In our area, we have to worry about guarding our property against two different types of termites; the subterranean termite and the drywood termite.

Subterranean termites have high moisture needs and require contact with the soil to survive, nesting underground and traveling through the damp soil. Subterranean termites prefer to feed on water-damaged or decaying wood.

Drywood termites differ because they like to feed on dry wood with low moisture content. Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites do not require contact with the soil to survive, and they nest in the wood they are feeding on.

Are termites dangerous?

The damage that termites cause can become extensive and create major damage to the structures of our homes. Termites are pests that travel, nest, and feed invisibly, meaning that they can be present on our properties or in our homes for months or even years before we notice.

In many cases, a termite infestation is only discovered after they have damaged a structure. Things like holes in the exterior of wood, doors, and windows no longer closing properly, squeaky, spongy floors, and blistering paint can all be signs of a termite infestation.

When dealing with termites, it is always best to be proactive and partner with a local professional to stop them before they have the chance to move into and cause damage to your Rhode Island home.

Why do I have a termite problem?

Termites are pests that can become an issue on any Rhode Island property. Termites live outside, but when they are nesting and foraging for food close to our homes, they regularly find their way indoors.

Common entry points include cracks in the foundation, pieces of wood making direct contact with the ground, and openings in the exterior walls or the roofline of homes and other structures.

We can also unknowingly introduce drywood termites into our home inside wood already infested with their adults, larvae, or eggs.

Where will I find termites?

Where termites live largely depends on the species.

Subterranean termites nest in the ground and move through the soil or the mud tubes they create to and from their found food sources each day. These termites infest water-damaged wood located behind walls and under floors inside our homes. Since these termites prefer to feed on wood damaged by moisture, the wood near windows and doors, tubs, sinks, vents, and water pipes are most likely to be invaded by subterranean termites.

Outside, drywood termites like to build their nests in dry wood. Utility poles, fences, roofing materials, wooden shingles, and trim often house and feed drywood termites. In our homes, wood trim, flooring, and wooden furniture can be a food supply for drywood termites.

Though drywood termite colonies are smaller than subterranean termite colonies, drywood termites cause damage to structures at a more rapid rate because they nest within the wood they are feeding on. In contrast, subterranean termites have to travel back and forth from their nest to a food source each day.

How do I get rid of termites?

Get rid of termites with the help of the professionals at Encon. Here we treat our customers like family and work as a team to ensure we meet your Worcester-area pest control needs. We know how destructive termites can be and will work closely with you to make sure all the termites are removed from your property, preventing a re-infestation.

To begin eliminating termites, we perform a thorough inspection. Then depending on the findings, our professionals will treat your home using the most up-to-date products to eliminate the specific species of termite present. To learn more about our comprehensive termite control services, please give Encon a call today!

How can I prevent termites in the future?

Reduce the chances that termites will make themselves at home in your Rhode Island house by using the following tips:

  • Always inspect lumber and wooden items for holes and other signs of termite damage before bringing the wood into your home.
  • Seal any cracks or other small openings you discover in your foundation, exterior walls, and rooflines. 
  • Repair roof damage and make sure weatherstripping around windows and doors is intact to help keep rainwater out of your home. 
  • Properly ventilate and use air conditioners or dehumidifiers to lower moisture levels in your home. 
  • Create a barrier between any damp soil or mulch and the exterior of your house.
  • Use gutters to direct rainwater away from the perimeter of your home.

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