Detecting Signs Of Termites In Your Midwest Home
Have you ever heard of a termite infestation probability map? Developed by the U.S. Forest Service years ago, it shows the likelihood of subterranean termites infesting homes. Divided into four zones, it groups states by risk of infestation. Unfortunately for homeowners in the Midwest, the chances of having these wood-destroying insects infest structures ranges from slight to heavy. Since termites are known for their ability to eat wood and cause extensive damage to homes if left unchecked, it’s crucial for homeowners to recognize the signs of termite activity and know what to do if termite damage or live termites are uncovered!
Identifying subterranean termites
Subterranean termites are the most widespread and destructive type of termite in the United States, including Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. In order to help Midwest property owners identify them, we’ve listed a few key characteristics below:
- Termite workers and soldiers range in size from 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch in length while reproductives (also known as termite swarmers) measure about one inch in length.
- Depending on the caste (worker, solider, or reproductive), termites are pale white to dark brown or black
- Termite swarmers have two pairs of wings that are equal in length and extend beyond the length of their bodies. Wings are translucent.
- Subterranean termites have straight antennae, thick waists, and soft bodies.
Signs of termite activity
While knowing what termites look like is helpful, the truth is you probably won’t see live termites crawling around your home. You might uncover them by chance when engaging in a little home renovation, but for the most part, these pests avoid detection. To identify a termite problem early and avoid significant termite damage, look out for these following signs that may indicate a termite infestation:
Prolonged exposure to sun and air dries subterranean termites out. To avoid this problem, these insects build mud tubes that connect their underground nests to food sources. These tubes are protective tunnels, usually about the width of a pencil, that extend from the ground along foundation walls and in crawl spaces and basements. They can also be found along sub-floors, joists, window frames, and around sills among other places.
Termite swarmers, also referred to as flying termites, are the reproductive members of a termite colony. They are responsible for establishing new termite colonies and accomplish this by leaving an existing colony to find a mate. This phenomenon is known as termite swarming and typically occurs in the springtime after a good rain. If you witness a swarm of flying insects outside your home, it simply means there is a colony nearby. It might not even be on your property. Now, if you suddenly see winged termites pouring out from behind an electrical outlet or elsewhere inside your home, there’s a very good chance you’ve got an active termite infestation.
After swarming, termites shed their wings. Finding discarded wings in piles on the floor, around windowsills, and other areas is a strong indication of termite activity.
Unlike carpenter ants that only nest in wood, termites consume wood and cellulose material and have no need to crawl around looking for sustenance. In fact, termites consume wood from the inside out. That means you might have what looks like a solid wall in your home, but it could be completely hollow behind the outer layer. To determine if you have termite damage in your home, keep an eye out for buckling wood, blistering paint, swollen floors, sagging ceilings, and areas that appear to have been damaged by water (termite damage looks very similar).
What to do if you discover signs of termites in your home
If you’ve uncovered termite damage or other signs of termites in your home, do not ignore the problem because it will not go away unless treated. The best way to deal with termites is to contact a pest control company that specializes in termite control. At Miller Pest & Termite, we’ve been exterminating these wood-destroying pests since 2001 and are ready to help you solve this pest problem.
How our Midwest pest control specialists exterminate termites
We take care of termites using a termite baiting and monitoring solution. The Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System, when installed around the perimeter of homes and other structures, creates a barrier of protection that is “invisible” to termites. It’s also lethal.
It's effective because it eradicates entire termite colonies. When termite workers encounter the bait, they will eat a little, but more importantly carry it back to the nest where the entire termite population will be wiped out -for good!
But won’t termite baiting stations attract termites?
We get this question a lot. The simple answer is no. The Sentricon® System capitalizes on the habit termites have of relentlessly and continuously searching for food sources. It is not luring them to your property; if they discover a bait station, it’s because they’re already foraging near your home.
Did we mention our termite treatment includes a termite warranty?
At Miller Pest & Termite, our termite control services include a termite re-treatment warranty. That means if, at any point during the warranty period, termites return, we’ll come back to take care of them at no cost to you!
Sign up for Miller Guard Plus for even greater home protection
For homeowners in Des Moines, Kansas City, and Omaha as well as throughout our Midwest service area, Miller offers year-round home pest control services that protect against ants, spiders, and other common household pests PLUS termites. Check out the plan benefits below or reach out via phone or form to request a free pest control quote!
Ongoing Home Pest & Termite Control Recommendation
This program includes everything from the Miller Guard - PLUS termite control and solutions targeting ground squirrels and voles. When you choose this service, Miller will install Sentricon® bait stations around the perimeter of your home to keep wood-destroying termites away.
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- Initial Premium Interior Application
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