Termites eat material that contains cellulose, such as wood, roots, plant debris, paper or cardboard. Termites can gain entrance into a structure through any part of the wood frame in contact with the ground, through openings in the foundation around pipes and conduits or through cracks in the foundation. Termites can enter through cracks that are no wider than 1/64 of an inch.
Subterranean termites require moisture to survive. They create mud tubes to obtain access to a structure that is above ground. These tubes are created from soil cemented with secretions and fecal material. The tubes are to protect the termites from exposure to sunlight or dry conditions. Termites are able to survive in a structure without contact to the ground if there is a sufficient moisture source.
Termite colonies consist of:
- Primary reproductives
Function of reproducing and laying eggs
- Secondary reproductives
- Soldiers - defend the colony / nest from invaders
- Workers - forage for food and feed their nutrients to the rest of the colony
Small steps make a big difference. Start by eliminating food and moisture
conditions around your home. These simple steps will deter termites, making
your home a less attractive target.
Eliminate Moisture Problems
- Repair leaking faucets, water pipes, and a/c units
- Divert water from foundation
- Keep gutters and down-spouts clean
- Ventilate crawl spaces
- Remove excessive plant cover and wood mulch
- Get rid of standing water on roof
- Keep all vents clear and open
- Seal entry points around water and utility lines or pipes
- Eliminate moisture problems
- Keep firewood, lumber, or paper away from foundation or crawl space
- Get rid of stumps and debris near house
- Place screens on outside vents
- Check decks and wooden fences for damage
- Wood on your home shouldn't contact the soil
- A temporary swarm of winged insects in your home or from the soil around
- Any cracked or bubbling paint or frass (termite droppings).
- Wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
- Mud tubes on exterior walls, wooden beams, or in crawl spaces.
- Discarded wings from swarmers.
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