How To Keep Termites Away From Your Tyler Property
April 15, 2021
Termites can really damage your home and other buildings. In Tyler, the most common termites are our native subterranean termites in the genus Reticulitermes. Formosan subterranean termites (Coptotermes formosanus) are a very destructive invasive species that first reached Houston from ships in 1956. They are spreading north, and some isolated incidents of nests have been found in Smith County.
Description Of The Termite
Each spring, male and female termites swarm out of their nest and mate. After mating, they detach their wings and go out to establish new colonies. There are several ways to tell if the swarmers you see are termites or ants. Termite swarmers are about 3/8th of an inch long and dark-colored. Termites have two sets of wings that are identical. After they detach their wings, they have wing stubs on their thorax, or middle. Termites do not have a narrow thorax, while ants do. Also, termites' antennae are not elbowed, but straight.
Soldier termites have an enlarged head with enlarged mouthparts on it and defend the nest. The soldier termites do not have a waist, are pale in color, and do not have wings. Scientists count the teeth on the mouthparts to tell what species of termite they belong to.
Damage Termites Cause
Termites enter the walls of your home and eat the wood in them. They will do the same to other buildings, as well. The economic cost of termites is billions of dollars, yearly, in the United States alone. Termites can actually eat you out of house and home by eating the load-bearing wood that holds your house together.
Termites require food, shelter, and water. In Texas, watering around the foundation of you home makes a moist spot that termites may be attracted to. Termites cannot go outside the nest, except when swarming and establishing another nest. However, if soil goes above the foundation, they can enter that way. They move directly from the soil to the wood in the house.
If you have a window planter, the soil should be at least 6-8 inches below the sill and other wooden parts of the house. Anything that connects your house to the soil should be placed on masonry blocks or use treated wood, so it does not create a path to the house. This includes porches, decks, stair rails, and the like.
Fix any leaks in the house and outside. The moisture they provide will attract termites. Do not place shrubs or trees too close to the house. They create a dark, moist place that termites will love. They also make it hard to monitor for termites.
Trim any tree branches away from your house. Termites will use them as a bridge to get to the roof and eaves. Make sure you stack firewood away from the house, too. Finally, clean up any wooden debris in your yard.
Signs Of Termites
One of the reasons termites can cause such damage is that it is hard to tell that termites are there. Here are some clues:
- If you see a swarm coming from just outside your house
- You see a swarm in the house
- Mud tubes going to your house from the soil
- You hear a hollow sound when you tap on the wood in your house
- You put a finger or tool through paper-thin wood to reveal termite tracks
Get Help With Termites
If you see signs of termites, it is important that you get your house inspected by a licensed pest control person. While places like hardware stores and feed stores may sell chemicals labeled as termite control chemicals, trying to treat for termites yourself doesn’t end well.
If you think you might have termites, call Pest-Pro Services, Inc. When you contact us, we will send one of our technicians to your house. We will treat inside and out. We will also leave behind termite bait to eliminate any new nests. Call Pest-Pro Services, Inc. at (903) 207-5204 today to get rid of termites or prevent them from coming to your home.