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Termites are confusing pests to deal with on your property or, worse, inside your home. They hide from view and do things in secret that you definitely don't want them to do. But how do you stop them? The secret is in understanding your foe. Today, we will shed some light on the problem and explain how termites increase their colonies, spread to buildings, and their behavior as they feed on your home. We'll look at the best way to track termite activity and, of course, how to stop termite damage.

All-Safe Pest & Termite is your source for pest control information and industry-leading solutions. We share educational resources and also provide pest control solutions. If you're struggling to get rid of termites and need termite control in Katy, we can help directly by providing termite control services; we look forward to assisting you.

The Life Cycle Of A Termite Colony

Let's start by getting to know termites. We'll focus on subterranean termites, as they are the most destructive in our Katy service area. These are ground-dwelling termites (mostly). They will establish a nest in the ground on your property, but before they do this, they will live somewhere outside of your property.

We'll begin there:

  • The egg hatches, and out comes the nymph. All termites begin as nymphs. The colony workers feed these "baby termites" through a process called trophallaxis. The workers are the only termites that collect food and, therefore, damage property.
  • Most nymphs will develop into workers because they have the greatest role to play. Others may develop into soldiers or reproductives. The job of the soldier termites is to protect the colony. The job of the reproductive termites is to create new colonies.
  • The reproductives may grow wings and exit the nest for a nuptial flight. They gather in a swarm during the mating process, and people refer to them as swarmers. The swarm then breaks apart, and the coupled termites land and tunnel into the ground to start a new nest. Let's assume the nest is on your property.
  • In the new royal chamber, the queen and king termite create offspring. Once they hatch, they provide the newly hatched nymph with a special nutrient they brought with them. The nymphs grow and develop into workers so that food collection can begin.
  • The nest will grow in response to food resources. Sometimes, a lack of food causes colony death. There are other environmental conditions that can result in the death of a termite colony, too.
  • When workers find a food source, the colony grows, with the queen producing more workers. These workers travel far and wide in search of food. They can feed on food in your yard or find food inside your home.
  • It takes a few years for a colony to mature. When it does, the nest may produce swamers. You may see these swarmers on your property when they first emerge. You'll find them crawling around on the ground. If you find them in your home, it is a sign of a severe infestation.
  • The swarm may leave your property but will not likely travel far. When the swarm breaks apart, some kings and queens may land on your property and attempt to make new nests, and your termite problem will grow.
  • Another way a termite problem can grow is when a colony builds a satellite nest. Reproductives can travel through ground tunnels and create a nest without taking to the air in a nuptial flight.

There is more to the story, but these are the highlights. Termites live to eat, grow their numbers, and create new nests. They perform no other activities. But colonies grow and spread in response to conducive conditions. Let's take a look at them.

Reasons And Factors For Termite Infestations

There are many conditions that can lead to a termite infestation. It is critical to consider whether or not these conditions are present on your property—whether you have a current termite infestation or not. Identifying these conditions and removing them can provide termite protection.

Food:

When a swarmer lands on your property, the queen and king do not need a food source because they bring one with them inside their bodies. But their workers will need a food source. The first reason you'll have a termite infestation is that termites find food on your property. What do termites eat? Let's look:

  • Termites feed on dead branches on the ground or in a brush pile on the ground.
  • They'll eat natural sources of decaying wood, such as logs, stumps, and dying trees.
  • They'll nibble on wood fences—the older the fence, the better.
  • Termites will eat stacked wood sitting next to a backyard fire pit.
  • They are happy to eat any wood ornaments or wooden flower borders around landscaping.
  • Termites will feed on leftover scrap wood after construction projects and prefer wood sitting on moist soil or buried underground.
  • They'll eat man-made objects that contain cellulose, such as cardboard waste, paper products, clothing, blankets, curtains, and other materials found in junk piles on the ground.
  • Termites will eat the wood of back decks, stairs, skirting, and more.
  • They'll eat studs, trusses, sub-flooring, and other wood inside Katy homes.

Shade:

Termite workers hide from the sun and the light from the moon. If you have a shaded spot, such as a void underneath your back deck or exterior stairs, they may explore these areas. They can detect things above ground by the darkness they create when shielding natural light sources. It is how they find your home before they come inside and take a nibble on the wood.

Routes:

Termite workers move through rocks in the soil, so it only makes sense to them to climb up through a concrete slab or a crack in a basement wall. If workers can find a route, they can create mud tunnels in these cracks and go in and out of your home, feeding on sources of wood they find.

Moisture:

Termite workers require moisture for hydration and dry out when exposed to dry conditions. For this reason, they may emerge near your home where they find damp landscaping, particularly if the vegetation shields natural light sources. They also seek decaying wood caused by moisture.

Do you see the termite control picture forming? Termites hide from view and sneak into your home in secretive ways. You have to know where to look for them and the warning signs they provide. Even more important, you need to take the time to look for them.

Why Annual Termite Inspections Are So Important

Since termites are sneaky by nature, they can cause damage to your home right under your feet. But, won't you hear them? Sadly, the noises termites make while feeding are quite subtle. You can have millions of them eating your house and not hear anything. So, how do you detect active termites? Let's explore:

  • Keep watch for winged termites or shed wings in your yard.
  • Keep watch for worker termites when you pick objects up from the ground.
  • Consider dying trees, logs, and stumps as an attractant, and inspect the wood underneath the soil until you can remove these food sources.
  • Check your foundation walls and hidden, dark, moist areas for shelter tubes. These tubes will look like wiggly, muddy lines.
  • Listen for clicking. Soldiers may create a clicking noise if a termite colony is under attack.

There are other ways to check for termites and equipment used for detection. Contact a certified termite control professional for a termite inspection. A professional has the best chance of detecting termites on (or inside) your property.

How The Professionals Get Rid Of Termites

If you have termites, there are primarily two effective ways to rid your home of them. The professionals use liquid termiticides, termite bait systems, or both. When you contact All-Safe Pest & Termite, we'll inspect your property and help you decide on the best method for your situation and budget. Let's look at how these two methods work.

Termiticides:

A pro will apply a liquid application in the soil around the perimeter of your home. When termites pass through the treated soil, they pick up the active ingredient and share it when they groom each other. The result is colony elimination. Termiticides may also be applied in wall voids if needed.

Baits:

A professional will place termite bait stations in the ground where termite workers can find them. The workers take the bait, bring it back to the colony, and feed it to the baby termites. The result is colony elimination. A termite bait solution also provides a method to monitor termites, as a technician can check bait stations and easily detect termite activity.

 

Would you like to learn more about professional termite control or how your All-Safe Pest & Termite service team can keep termites out of your home? Contact us for information or request a professional termite inspection in Katy. An examination of your property is a great way to learn about your specific needs. Connect with us today!

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