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What are termites?

Termites are small insects whose diet is solely cellulose from wood, grass, leaves, animal excrement, and things made of cellulose like sheetrock, paper, insulation, and cardboard. Their feeding habits are helpful outside in wooded areas where they help to rid the ground of decaying vegetation to make room for new growth. However, when they find their way into our Pennsylvania homes and businesses, they are the opposite of helpful; they are destructive.

termites on rotten wood

The most common type of termite in our area is the subterranean termite. These termites are social, living and working together in large colonies. They build their nests below the ground in damp soil. Subterranean termites have high moisture needs and need contact with the soil to survive.

Subterranean termites divide their colony into different "castes" or groups. The workers are the largest group and responsible for most of the work; they maintain the nest, care for the developing young, and leave the nest each day to gather food. The other two castes are also descriptively named: soldiers and reproductives.

Are termites dangerous?

Termites are dangerous, not because they bite or spread diseases that make us ill, but because of the structural damage they can cause when they move into our Pennsylvania homes and businesses.

Termites move through the soil and invade the interior of wood; these pests are referred to as silent invaders because they can move in and out of our homes without us knowing. When homeowners finally discover that termites are in their homes, it is usually because the termites have been able to cause enough damage that it no longer goes unnoticed. Termites can work silently for months or years at a time.

Another reason these pests are so problematic to have in our homes is that most homeowners' insurance doesn't cover termite damage. The reason the damage is not covered is that it is preventable. If termites invade and damage your home, you will most likely be responsible for the cost of repairing the damage.

Why do I have a termite problem?

Termites are pests that often get into our homes accidentally. The worker termites travel through the dark soil or mud tubes they create above the ground. As they move around, they gravitate to moisture around our homes and wind up inside through cracks in the foundation. They will also get into our homes by moving through wood that makes direct contact with the ground. Things like leaking pipes, hoses, and clogged gutters cause moisture to build up around the perimeter of a home and attracts termites.

Where will I find termites?

The spring season is the time of year when people discover termite activity; this is because in the spring, usually after a rainstorm, winged reproductives "swarm" from termite colonies to find a mate and create a new nest. People often see termite swarms or piles of their wings on driveways, decks, or window sills.

Termites are active year-round and work 24/7 to gather enough food to sustain all the members back at the nest. Termites remain active during the winter months; they just go deeper into the soil where the temperatures are warmer, and our temperature-controlled homes allow them to work continuously.

Termites create their nests outside, usually in or near wooded areas or areas with a lot of ground cover. Termites that have traveled into homes initially invade wood in areas of a house with high humidity levels. Structural wood near water pipes, windows, doors, sinks, tubs, or air conditioners are often attacked by these pests first.

How do I get rid of termites?

Termites are damaging pests that require the experience of a professional to eliminate them from homes and businesses. With over 25 years of local pest control experience, you can trust us with your pest control needs. At Masters Touch Pest Solutions, we will provide you with effective termite control services necessary to eliminate termites and prevent their return. Give us  call today to learn more about our tailored termite control solutions in West Chester, PA.

How can I prevent termites in the future?

In addition to our home pest control and commercial pest control services, take advantage of the following prevention tips to keep termites out of your home:

  • Eliminate fallen leaves, decaying wood mulch, fallen trees, tree stumps, pet excrement, and other potential food sources from your property.

  • Eliminate soil to wood contact on your home and wooden structures located on your property.

  • Fix leaky pipes, fixtures, and clogged gutters that cause moisture to collect and invite termite activity.

  • Lower humidity levels in your home by using dehumidifiers and air conditioners.

  • Make sure basements and crawl spaces are well ventilated and aren't retaining water.

  • Repair defects in your foundation to prevent termites from moving through the gaps and into your house.

  • Seal spaces in vents and openings around basement windows.

Helpful Articles

How To Spot Early Signs Of Termites On Your West Chester Property

 

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