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What are termites?

Termites feed on wood and are pests that are highly destructive to wood structures. Subterranean termites are one of the most widespread types of termites living across the country and, therefore, one of the most destructive. Termites are active 24/7/365, they don't stop for rest or weather. 

 Subterranean termites divide their colonies into different “castes” or groups with each caste having their own set of responsibilities.

Workers are responsible for gathering food for the colony and are the group that causes the most destruction.

The soldiers, as their name suggests, defend the colony from predators.

The queens and males are dark-brown to black and are the only members that have wings and reproduce.  When you see a termite swarm it is this group.  Their purpose is to find a mate and establish a new termite colony.  

Are termites dangerous?

Termites pose a significant threat to properties but are not a direct threat to people. In fact, termites are rarely ever seen by people. Termites are secretive, entering homes from the ground unseen and living inside of wood.

What makes termites so dangerous to homes and buildings is that they may feed on the wood unnoticed for months or even years. Once the termite damage in your business or home shows itself, it is often extensive and costly to repair. Another critical thing to remember is that most homeowners’ insurance will not cover termite damage because it is not something that occurs quickly, but over time, and is preventable. 

Why do I have a termite problem?

Termites feed on decaying wood, leaves, soil, and other organic materials that contain cellulose. As the worker termites are out and about foraging for food, they may accidentally enter homes through cracks in the foundation or other gaps on the exterior of the structure.  Any area of a structure that has direct contact with the ground is a potential entry point for these wood-damaging pests.

Termites may also find their way onto your property when they swarm. A termite swarm is when the winged reproductives leave a mature colony to find a mate and create a new colony of their own. Witnessing a termite swarm means that a termite colony is most likely located on your property or very close by.

If you ever notice signs of termites, you should contact a Roanoke termite control expert immediately. A professional will be able to determine if termites are present and create an appropriate termite treatment plan to eliminate the entire infestation. 

Where will I find termites?

Subterranean termites around your home make their nests in the soil under the ground, not inside the wood they are feeding on. Every day workers travel from their nest to their food source.

These termites build mud tubes along the ground, foundation walls, or up basements walls. Mud tubes allow them to travel safely out of sight from predators while maintaining their moisture needs.

Termites feed on structural wood, usually in hard to reach areas. You’ll find them at ground level below floors and behind walls. However, as an infestation grows, they will begin to attack wooden beams located above ceilings. They are most attracted to wood damaged by water, or that is near pipes. 

How do I get rid of termites?

When it comes to eliminating a termite problem, the best way is with the help of a pest control company that specializes in termite control. By partnering with Star City Pest Control in Roanoke, VA, you will have peace of mind knowing your termite infestation will be resolved.

Our licensed pest control technicians are highly trained and fully licensed and are ready to provide the termite treatments that will stop termite damage and eradicate entire termite colonies.  Schedule your free pest inspection today or give us a call to discuss your pest problem more in depth. We're happy to answer any questions you may have!

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How can I prevent termite activity?

If your home is not currently infested by termites and you want to keep it that way, our Roanoke exterminators recommend the following termite prevention tips:

  • Keep gutters clean and place weatherstripping around windows and doors.
  • If possible, replace mulch with non-organic gardening materials like crushed rock, rubber mulch, or other options.
  • Use dehumidifiers to keep moisture levels low in your home and dry out basements and crawl spaces.
  • Keep crawl spaces well-ventilated.
  • Fix leaky pipes, faucets, or fixtures.
  • Remove any wood from your home damaged by water.
  • Create an 18-inch barrier between any mulch or soil and your foundation.
  • Seal any cracks that form in the foundation of your home. 
  • Remove possible food sources like fallen trees, tree stumps, and piles of leaves from your property. Keep grass cut short next to foundations and fence lines to allow the sun to hit the ground and dry it out.

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