If termites were eating away at the inside of your Lake Worth home, would you know it? Would you see holes appearing in walls or little piles of sawdust accumulating around your baseboards and window sills? Sadly, the answer is no. Termites can consume the wood of a structure for years without being detected. They come up from the soil and feed silently, and secretly, often without being seen until a wall is ripped out for renovation. By then it is too late; the damage has been done. Here are some things every property owner in Lake Worth should know about termites.
There are several different castes of termites: workers, soldiers, swarmers, kings, and queens.
Termite workers, if seen, are often described as "little white things." A closer look will reveal that these creatures are tiny white insects with 6 legs, 2 antennae and 3 body parts. Termite workers have several jobs, including feeding the colony, building new tunnels, repairing old tunnels, continually searching for new sources of food, and babysitting eggs and immature termites.
Termite soldiers have white bodies, like the workers, but their heads are very large with menacing mandibles that they use to fight for (and die for) the colony. One of their favorite ways to defend their colony is to simply block the entrance to their tunnels with their giant heads. Another interesting fact is that their mandibles are so large that they cannot feed themselves. Workers have to feed them.
Termite swarmers are also called alates or male and female reproductives. These termites with transparent-white wings are often mistaken for "flying ants." When a colony matures and becomes large enough, these reproductives are sent out to begin new colonies. So if you see these termites or the wings that they leave behind, in or around your home, it is likely you have a mature nest somewhere nearby.
A termite queen can grow to be as large as 20 adult termites, but her head and thorax remain a normal size. This makes her look quite strange, like a giant slug, compared to the rest of the termite colony.
Termite Damage and Signs
If a termite infestation is fairly recent, some signs you may see include the following:
- Mud tubes on foundation walls. These are about the width of a pencil and will reach from the soil to the wooden part of a home. Termites build these tubes because they cannot survive if they are exposed to the elements. These mud tubes allow them to travel from the soil to wood while being protected from sun, wind, and weather. If you break off a portion of a mud tube and it reappears within a few days, you have an active infestation.
- Damage outside your home on moist wood. This may occur on nearby stumps, other sources of wood, or on wooden parts of your home that come in direct contact with the soil. The wood will look like it has been carved up by knives.
- Warped structures. If termites are allowed to do their destruction long enough, ceilings will start to droop, floors will slope, and walls will start to have a noticeable bulge. Before this occurs, however, you may begin to notice that windows and doors do not work as well as they used to. They will start to stick as the structure of the home begins to shift because of weakening support beams.
Why DIY Termite Solutions Are Not Enough
If you are fortunate enough to discover a termite infestation early, it is unwise to try to take care of them with DIY methods. While some people find limited success with do-it-yourself methods of termite removal, without proper knowledge of how colonies and satellite colonies function, you will never know if you have completely eradicated the threat. DIY methods sometimes result in making the problem worse, as termites may simply retreat further into walls and one colony may end up splitting into 2, or more.
How Nozzle Nolen Can Help
Termites cost U.S. home and business owners several billion dollars each year and homeowner's insurance rarely covers termite damage or treatments. For these reasons, it is imperative to take precautionary steps in order to protect your investment. Nozzle Nolen offers services to prevent termites from invading homes and businesses in Lake Worth and the surrounding areas. Reach out to us today and ask about our NO FINE PRINT Million Dollar Guarantee. Life is simply better without these destructive organisms inside your Lake Worth Home.