Termites

Table of Contents

All pests are going to create serious issues for you and your loved ones. However, the problems created depend on the pest you’re dealing with. Some pests will damage your home and destroy your belongings. Termites rank near the top of the list since they can make your home unsafe. Termites work well as a team. When something has to be done, worker termites will team up to take care of it quickly and efficiently. Whether they’re building tunnels, caring for eggs, or building new colonies, they’ll work as a team. The problem with termites is the fact that they’re going to consume cellulose. Although it is found in plants, it can also be obtained from your lumber. Cellulose is found in furniture, paper, cardboard, and cotton fibers.

Termites leave signs so you can pinpoint the problem before it spirals out of control. For instance, you’re going to find termite mounds on your property. Termite mounds are created when the colony has overgrown. The mounds give them more space to grow. Some termites are going to burrow into wood surfaces and create nests there. You’ll also find small mud tubes around your home. Termites build mud tubes to create a safe access route to nearby wood sources. Although our city is home to many termite species, the most common is the Subterranean termite.

In North America, termites cause as much as $2 billion in damage to structures annually. In general, Subterranean termites cause 95% of the damage done each year.

Termites Found In Washington DC

As a resident of Washington DC, there is a good chance that you’re going to encounter termites. Once they invade your property, they’re going to live in a structured colony with the following members.

Queen Termites

Queen termites are reproductive termites that help expand and grow the colony. The queen is the largest termite and grows almost 4 inches in length. Since she is so large, she can’t move through the tunnels on her own. Instead, she needs assistance from hundreds of worker termites. Hundreds of worker termites have to work together to push her through the tunnel. The queen’s primary responsibility is to help grow the economy by laying eggs. She helps ensure that the colony has enough worker termites to care for the tunnels, other termites, and the colony.

It is common for queen termites to live for more than ten years. Each day, she can lay as many as 30,000 eggs.

King Termites

King termites constantly work with the queen to help build and expand the economy. The king and queen termites work together to make the colony larger. The pair will continue mating and reproducing for the rest of their lives.

Worker Termites

Worker termites have soft bodies and no wings. On average, a worker termite can grow up to 10mm long. Thanks to their size and color, they look like a piece of rice. Worker termites work consistently to care for the colony. Worker termites work 24 hours a day and complete many tasks, including taking care of termite eggs, maintaining tunnels, searching for food, and caring for other termites.

Soldier Termites

Soldier termites have a lot in common with worker termites. Both are white and both have soft bodies. Neither termite has wings. The primary difference is that soldier termites have long, brown heads. They also have powerful jaws that are used as weapons against invaders. As the name implies, soldier termites are the first line of defense. Although they can be attacked by other predators, they’re mostly attacked by ants.

Swarmer Termites

Swarmer termites are important members of the colony because they help grow new colonies elsewhere.  Besides kings and queens, swarmers are the only termites that can reproduce. The colony will produce male and female swarmer termites. Unlike other termites, swarmers will develop wings that allow them to fly to new locations. Once they’ve found a suitable spot, they’ll begin working to build new colonies. Again, they can reproduce so they can build colonies without kings or queens.

A termite colony can have many swarmer termites. However, it will only have one king and one queen.

Which Termites Are Found In Washington DC?

Although you will encounter a handful of other termites, the most common is the Subterranean termite. It can be found in many areas, including Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and DC.

Basics Of Subterranean Termites

Washington DC residents are going to encounter Subterranean termites because they’re common in the state. Although these termites are unique, they share many commonalities with other termites. For instance, they’re going to live in structured colonies with several members. A Subterranean termite colony will feature soldier termites, worker termites, and swarmer termites. The appearance of the termite depends on its responsibilities and class. A worker termite will range in length from an eighth of an inch to three-eighths of an inch. Soldier termites can reach the same length. The main difference is that  have long, brown heads. Their powerful jaws allow them to defend the colony from invaders.

Swarmer termites develop wings and reach half an inch in length.

Activities

Subterranean termites share many behaviors with other termites. These termites live in underground tunnels, but they can also live above ground. When they live above ground, they have to stay near moisture locations. As the colony grows, they’re going to begin building mud tubes. They use these tubes to access nearby food sources without exposing themselves to open-air and other dangers. Subterranean termites have a lot in common with other termite species. One thing that makes them similar is the fact that they consume cellulose. Since cellulose is found in the lumber in your home, these pests are going to destroy your home. When spring arrives, the colony will produce swarmers so they can build new colonies elsewhere. Swarmers have wings so they fly from the colony and build new ones in other locations.

Worries

Termites aren’t physically dangerous. Subterranean termites aren’t going to bite you or transmit illnesses. Unfortunately, they will put you at risk in other ways. For instance, they’re destructive. If you don’t get rid of them, they’re going to severely damage your home. Termites have tough jaws that work likes saws. They use them to tear off tiny fragments of wood. Before you know it, they’ll cause extensive damage to your home or business.

Is It A Flying Ant Or Termite?

Flying ants can be found in our area. Since they look like flying termites, there is a good chance that you’re going to mistake one for the other. You don’t want this to happen since it is not a good idea to overreact. How can you know which you’re dealing with? Ultimately, you’ll need to determine by looking at the insect closely. Begin by looking at the insect’s wings. If they’re the same length, you’re dealing with a flying termite. If they’re different sizes, it is likely a flying ant.

You can also tell the difference by looking at its waist. A pinch, narrow waist means that you’re dealing with a flying ant. If the insect’s waist is thick, it is a flying termite. Finally, you can determine the insect by looking at its antennas. Flying ants have elbowed antennas while flying termite’s antennas are straight.

Things To Know About Termites

Termites are interesting pests. Below, you’ll find out more about them.

  • The termite colony on your property is never going to stop. They’ll eat and destroy your property every minute of the day.
  • A termite colony isn’t going to disappear on its own. As long as your property gives it enough food, it’ll stay there. On average, an American termite colony can survive for 50 to 70 years.
  • It is common for a termite colony in the United States to house as many as 500,000 termites.
  • Termites are beneficial to the environment because they get rid of deadwood. If they’re not on your property, they’re likely helping the environment.
  • Most termites need access to water. For instance, Subterranean termites will die if they cannot access water.
  • Termites live underground, but they can thrive above ground as well. When living above ground, they’ll stay in mud tunnels and keep them wet using groundwater.
  • Ants frequently attack worker termites and termite colonies. Soldier termites have to defend the colony from these invaders.
  • Homeowners can eliminate an infestation of termites.
  • The world is home to more than 2,000 termites species.
  • The United States has roughly 40 termites species. Most of them reside in the southeast.
  • 90% of the damage done to American structure each year will be caused by members of the Subterranean species.
  • Worker termites are the only termites that can eat and digest cellulose. They’ll feed it to other members of the colony.
  • Queen termites often live up to 20 years. Each day, they’re going to produce more than a thousand eggs.

Main Termite Dangers

Although termites pose numerous risks, they’re not dangerous. They won’t bite or transmit illnesses. Nevertheless, they can put you and your loved ones at risk. Once they’ve invaded your property, they’re going to start chewing through the wood in your home. They’ll chew through wood beams and structures. Unfortunately, they can destroy your home and make it unsafe. Get rid of these pests before your home is no longer safe.

Eliminating Termites On Your Property

Unfortunately, termite control is not an easy process. These pests are difficult to eliminate because they often travel hundreds of feet from their colonies. They travel through underground tunnels so you will likely have trouble finding out where they’re hiding. Until you find out where they’re hiding, you won’t be able to eliminate them. A professional exterminator can help you solve this problem. A professional will be able to pinpoint the source of the problem before getting rid of the termites. We serve Washington DC and all surrounding areas. Call us and we’ll take care of the problem in a jiffy.

Doing It Yourself

You’ve likely thought about fixing the problem on your own. It might be possible, but it won’t be easy or efficient. In many cases, DIY methods do not provide much success. Some of these techniques rely on unsafe products. Therefore, it is pertinent to take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. The best way to do that is by working with a skilled professional. Contact us and we’ll deal with your termite pest problem for you.

When Can You Arrive?

Don’t hesitate to call our Washington DC office today. You should hear from us within 48 hours.

Safe Termite Treatments

We work diligently to provide our clients with safe termite solutions. Our technicians always eliminate termites using safe EPA-registered products. Furthermore, we require them to follow strict protocols to keep you safe. Working with us should give you peace of mind and confidence that everything will be okay.

Preventing Termites

Use the tips below to keep these pests away from your property.

  • Stop water from building around your home’s foundation. Make sure your drain system is working properly to avoid problems.
  • Take care of humidity problems in your crawlspace and basement.
  • Keep firewood away from your home and off of the ground’s surface.
  • Wood mulch must be at least 15 feet from your home’s foundation.
  • Check your home for termites and the signs of termites regularly. If you find them, contact us.

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Termites