What are termites?

Subterranean termites are the most widespread species of termites living across the United States. They are wood-eating insects, feeding on the cellulose that is in wood and other plant materials. Subterranean termites, as their name suggests, live together in underground colonies. They have high moisture needs and travel back and from their nest to a food source each day through the soil.

Subterranean termites divide the members of their colonies into three different castes. Each caste has a job to complete. Worker termites are the most numerous members and are responsible for gathering food to feed their entire colony. Soldier termites protect the colony from danger, and reproductives (queens and fertile males) produce new termites.

Are termites dangerous?

Each year subterranean termites are responsible for causing more than five billion dollars in damages across the country. Termites don't pose any direct threat to people, but they are dangerous to our properties. When termites enter into our homes, they feed on structural wood. They work year-round, day and night to feed their colony and usually go undetected for long periods. Usually, it isn't until they've done their damage that their presence becomes apparent.

Some signs of a termite infestation include spongy floors, blistered paint on walls, wood that sounds hollow when you tap on it, or windows or doors that no longer open or close correctly.

Why do I have a termite problem?

Termites living outside and away from people are not a problem at all; in fact, they are helpful. Outdoors, in wooded areas, termites help to get rid of decaying wood and other vegetation. It is only as our habitats have merged that termites have become an issue for us.

When living in our homes, termites turn into dangerous, unwanted pests. When they nest near in our yards, they typically find their way into our homes while out foraging for food. Common entry points include spaces in the foundation or through wood that is making direct contact with the ground.

Where will I find termites?

The termites that travel through soil and into our homes while looking for food are worker termites. They usually enter at the ground level then move behind our walls or under floors in search of wood to eat. Subterranean termites prefer wood that has been previously damaged by water. They often invade the wood near pipes, heaters, sinks, or bathtubs. A subterranean termite infestation may be an indicator of a moisture problem somewhere in your home.

Worker termites are rarely ever seen by people because they spend their lives either under the ground or behind our walls feeding on structural wood. However, it is common for people to see reproductive termites. Winged or reproductive termites swarm from their colony (usually in the spring) to find a mate and start a new colony. Witnessing a termite swarm is an indicator that a termite nest is near.

How do I get rid of termites?

For a long-term solution to ridding your North Carolina property of termites, it is best to partner with a professional. At Ray's Pest Control & Wildlife Removal, we work closely with our customers to learn about the specific pest problems they have been experiencing. Our pest experts provide our customers with the highest quality service to solve their current pest problem and keep them from returning. Since 1972 our family has been helping the families in the Winston-Salem, and surrounding areas maintain pest-free properties.

If you are experiencing problems with termites, reach out to Ray's Pest Control and learn about our effective termite control solutions. For more information about our residential or commercial pest control programs, call us today!

How can I prevent termites in the future?

Don't leave whether or not termites invade your property up to chance; partner with Ray's Pest Control and implement the following termite prevention tips:

  • Reduce access to food. Remove excess wood from your property that could act as a food source for termites- fallen trees, tree stumps, old firewood, leaf piles, and other piles of organic debris. If possible, replace wood mulch with crushed rocks, rubber mulch, or other non-organic materials. If you use wood mulch, make sure to leave a barrier between it and your foundation.
  • Eliminate entry points. Inspect the foundation, and seal any cracks or gaps. Make sure things like porch steps, deck posts, and wood trim or siding is not making direct contact with the ground.
  • Reduce excess moisture. Termites have high moisture needs. Reduce moisture and humidity levels in your home to make it less attractive to termites. Use dehumidifiers, air conditioners, and ventilate crawl spaces. In bathrooms or laundry rooms, make sure exhaust fans are in good working order. Fix leaky pipes and replace any wood damaged by water. Outside, keep the soil around your house dry by making sure gutters are directing rainwater away from your walls and foundation. Cut back shrubs from the walls of your home.