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Termites are small insects that live in colonies. Many kinds feed on wood and timber causing great destruction. They are a constant threat to homes and we need to be on the look –out to see if any wood in the house is being attacked by termites.

Types of termites

The two types of termites that are frequently present in homes are the worker and the swarmer. Workers are creamy colored and 3-4 mm long. They are mainly seen when a mud foraging tube is broken or infested wood is broken open. Swarmers are responsible for reproduction. They are brown or black in color. They may or may not have wings.

The different types are damp wood termites, dry wood termites, subterranean termites and Formosan termites.  Damp wood termites don’t have workers. They are brownish with wings and antennae. They live and feed in very moist wood. So the best way to prevent them is to keep all damp wood away from your homes and make sure that all water drains far away from your home. Dry wood termites also don’t have workers. They are lighter in color and have wings and antennae. They feed on wood, wallpaper, plastic and any fabric that is made from plants. They can build nests and tunnels in buildings and cause a lot of damage. The best way to prevent these is to store firewood and all scrap wood away from the house and to regularly check and seal all cracks and crevices around your home, inside and outside. Subterranean termites have workers, soldiers and reproductives. They are creamy brown and have wings and antennae. These are the most destructive kinds of termites. They can eat a lot of wood and cause a lot of damage to a house. Termites love pools of water so don’t allow water to collect anywhere close to your house. Wood snacks should not be left around for termites to snack on. Formosan termites also comprise workers, soldiers and reproductives. They are yellowish brown in color. They live in underground colonies and they build mud nests in the walls of the buildings. To prevent termites from entering your house, keep all spare bits of wood far away from your home and also make sure that there is no water collecting anywhere close by.

How do you know if your house has termites?

  • Termite infestations may go un-noticed for many years but regular inspection of the house can help. Check the unused corners of the house most often. Sometimes, call in professionals to do a thorough check for you. They will advise you if termite control needs to be done.
  • Mud trails are a sign that termites are around. The subterranean termites need mud to survive so they build mud trails to get to the cellulose they want to feed on.
  • Pellets are the waste matter of termites and if you find pellets along the wooden structures in your house, you can be sure that there are termites in your home.
  • Termites generate humidity as they feed so you may notice bulging walls.
  • If you use a stethoscope to listen to the walls, you will hear the distinct sound that termites make.

You may need to hire a termite control company to inspect your house to make sure it is termite free!

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