Your Questions Answered
Q: What are the telltale signs of a termite problem?
A: There are three easy ways to identify whether you have a termite problem. Have you seen any termites in your home? Seeing swarming termites in your home is an indication that you have an established population. Swarming termites are attracted to light. They have ovular creamy white or brown bodies with large wings. You may also find dead termites along window sills, near heating vents, in sinks, or in bathtubs.
Another telltale sign that you have a termite problem is if you see mud trails underneath your flooring, behind baseboards, or near cracks in your floors or walls. These mud trails are built by the termites to protect them as they move around your home, and they’re about the width of a straw or pencil.
Check your home for termites by going around with a screwdriver handle, knife handle, or other hard item. Knock on the wooden components of your house such as baseboards, flooring, window sills, and door frames. The wood should sound solid. If you find an area that sounds light and hollow, that’s a sign that it may have been chewed by termites.
Q: Do all termites look the same?
A: Termites may vary in size slightly, but they all have broadly shaped bodies. Swarming termites will actually lose their wings after flight. Termites are often confused with flying ants, but if you look closely at their bodies, it’s quite easy to tell the difference. Ants have dramatically segmented bodies with plummeting waistlines, whereas termites are more ovular in shape with single, non-segmented bodies.
Q: Should I really be concerned if I see a couple of termites?
A: If you see even one termite, that’s a sign that you already have a problem on your hands. Termites aren’t solitary creatures -- they live in colonies. Termites cause an estimates $5 billion in property damage each year in the US. This is nothing to take lightly. If you see a termite, contact a professional immediately.
Q: My neighbor has termites. Am I at risk?
A: Termites burrow underground, and the most common way for them to move from place to place is through their underground tunnels. If your neighbor has a termite infestation in their home, the termites could move into your basement very quickly. Contact a professional to take precautionary measures.
Q: What’s the lifespan of a termite?
A: While a worker termite can only live for 1-3 years, a queen termite can live for up to 10.
Q: When should I treat for termites?
A: It’s much easier to take care of a termite problem before it happens. Preventative measures are simple and inexpensive, but if you don’t address termites until you have them, the methods required for extermination will be much more expensive and invasive to your home.