Step-By-Step Guide To Spotting Termite Activity In Your Roanoke Home

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a termite crawling on wood in a home

Termites are probably the last thing on your mind. Your Roanoke home might seem well kept and in good repair, so the thought of termites secretly devouring your home from the inside out probably doesn’t occur to you with the many other things going on in your busy life.

The problem with termites is that they don’t care how busy you are. Here in Roanoke, termites are a common problem. We received about 3 to 4 inches of rainfall during each of the summer months, and termites thrive in our moist soil. Even though termites are one of the most destructive pests, there is hope. Star City Pest Control has put together this step-by-step guide to spotting termites to help keep your mind at ease.

Understanding Termites

Termites are what we call polymorphic, which means there are different sizes of termites within each colony. Their sizes are usually dependent on the job that each termite does for the colony. Here are the three most common types of termites:

  • Workers: Worker termites are the smallest ones, but they’re also the ones that do the most damage to our homes. They constantly eat the wood within the walls of an infested house. They munch away non-stop, day and night until somebody stops them.
  • Soldiers: Soldier termites are a lot bigger than worker termites. They defend against predators; mainly other bugs that might feed on termites. Soldier termites mostly defend against ants but they do have a jaw structure capable of delivering a painful bite to humans. Like worker termites, soldier termites normally stay well hidden.
  • Queens: The queen is the largest termite. She’s responsible for laying thousands of eggs very quickly. She spends all of her time hidden within her termite colony in the soil.

Identifying Termite Features

Termites can be subterraneous and therefore hard to detect, but there are several distinct features to watch for and steps you can take to make it harder for termites to infiltrate your Roanoke home.

  • Step one: Keep it Dry: Termites thrive in moisture. Do not allow the required moist condition to exist in your house. Fix leaks promptly. Replace water-damaged wood. And, in places where humidity is a problem, we recommend using a dehumidifier.
  • Step two: Don’t Give them Access: The termites around here are mostly subterraneous. They move around under the earth. They can infiltrate cracked foundations and travel up through woodpiles and into your house, especially if that firewood comes into contact with the outside soil. So fill in cracked foundations and don’t stack wood against your house.
  • Step three: Be able to identify the difference between swarming termites and swarming ants. When termite colonies reach a certain size, winged termites will be hatched. These are termite royalty. We call them swarmers. These termites are capable of breeding and their wings give them means to fly away from the colony to propagate. But these termites with wings look very much like ants with wings. There are some subtle differences and if you care to get close enough to look you’ll see that the termites' antennae are straight whereas flying ants' antennae have little bends in them. You might also notice that the termites' wings are uniform in size whereas the ants' wings are not. But, if crawling around on your hands and knees with a magnifying glass isn’t for you, our experienced experts are standing by to help. We know termites well and we would love to hear from you.

There are a lot of methods people can use to identify termites, but there is no guarantee that a house infested with termites will show any signs at all. Termites can stay well hidden until severe damage has been done. Annual professional termite inspections are of paramount importance in Roanoke. By calling Star City Pest Control you can do a lot to prevent a termite infestation. It is far better to prevent termites before an infestation turns into thousands of dollars worth of termite damage. Call today and let the professionals at Star City Pest Control worry about termites.

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