How much do you know about termites in West Chester? Do you know what kind of termites we have in our area? Do you know what they look like or what signs they leave for you to see? Do you know what brings termites into your yard? If you hope to avoid termite damage, you should know how to answer these questions thoroughly. Today, we hope to provide you with some quick and easy facts to get on top of your termite control. We'll cover the challenges of detecting termites, signs to look for in your yard, how to identify termites when you see them, and what to do when you see signs of termites in your yard. Before we start, we'd like to quickly remind you that you can prevent a termite problem long before seeing termites in your yard. Masters Touch Pest Solutions offers termite prevention and termite pest control in West Chester. We can help you guard your property. Jump to our contact page and reach out for assistance.

termite on wood
drywood termite and frass

You're Likely Never To See A Termite

The termites in West Chester are subterranean termites. They are the hardest to track because they live in the ground and avoid light at all costs. They have such an aversion to light that workers don't even come out into the moonlight. Does this make you wonder why we told you that termite identification is important? While subterranean termites stay hidden, there are still ways you may see them. It is rare to see a termite, so you need to take notice of them when they appear.

Workers: A worker termite is pale and about ⅛ of an inch in length. You may see a few workers when you move a brush pile, stacked wood, or wood scraps. They're small and will disappear into the soil quickly, so you need to look closely when you move things in your yard. You may also see them when you cut into a stump, break a branch off a tree, or during a home renovation project. Termite workers look like fat ants. The reason they have a fat appearance is that they don't have a pinched waist like an ant. In fact, you may have a hard time telling where the thorax and abdomen of a termite connect. These insects look like they just have a head and abdomen. If you're curious, the legs of an insect are attached to the thorax, not the abdomen. So, if you look closely at where a worker termite's legs are attached, you can get an idea of which part of the termite is the thorax. To the untrained eye, termite workers may look like maggots, but maggots don't have legs.

Swarmers: These termites are the polar opposites of worker termites. Swarmers are attracted to light and may appear in plain sight. They aren't pale in color; they're black, and swarmers have wings. Workers don't. So, are you likely to see a termite swarmer? Don't count on it. Swarmers don't swarm for long. They emerge from their nests, get busy mating, shed their wings, and disappear from view. All of this occurs in less than an hour. If you see a group of swarmers in that short time, it isn't a good sign. A group of swarmers is an indication of a termite infestation on your property. The time to catch a swarmer is when you only see one. An individual termite swarmer may indicate a termite problem that is about to begin. Unfortunately, even with their black coloration and white wings, termite swarmers aren't easy to see. They are only ⅜ of an inch long. If you want to catch them, you need to take note of tiny, winged insects. If you see a black insect with white wings that are rounded at the tips and stacked on top of each other, you're looking at a termite swarmer. It is a good time to reach out to a licensed professional and make sure you don't have a termite infestation in your home, or take the time to do a detailed inspection and look for termite warning signs.

Signs Of Termite Damage To Look For Around The House

It isn't easy to see termite damage. Yes, more bad news. Most of the damage subterranean termites do is on the inside of the wood they are damaging. If you hope to catch them damaging the wood of your home, you need to know what to look for and where to look. 

What To Look For: Subterranean termites use soil and saliva to patch breaches in tunnel walls and create above-ground tunnels made of mud. When you find wood damage, you'll likely find mud as well. You may see tiny mud dots on structural wood or mud tubes running up the sides of your home. Mud tubes (also called shelter tubes) look like thin, wiggly mud lines. As they climb a foundation wall, they may split, which looks like the branches of a tree or the branching of a river.   

Where To Look: Since subterranean termites hide from all light, even moonlight, you need to look in dark, sheltered locations. It is rare to find shelter tubes out in the open. Check any crawlspaces under your home, cellars, basements, and storage areas. The higher the humidity and the more termites have access to soil, the greater the chances will be of finding shelter tubes. As you inspect a crawlspace, use a flashlight and a mirror to look inside concrete piers. These sneaky pests can create large superhighways into a home that are hidden within piers. 

It isn't easy to catch subterranean termites. Even with the information we present here, they may still evade your detection. There are conditions and circumstances where termites can enter homes without providing any visible signs. We'll take a look at these as we discuss how to identify and remove factors that attract termites to West Chester properties.  

How To Identify And Remove Factors That Attract Termites

You know that termites eat wood. It is common knowledge. But you may not fully understand the relationship between termites and wood. Sure, they eat wood. But, do you know that a termite colony will produce more workers when more food is found? Do you know that wood-to-soil contact provides a direct route for termites to get into your home? Do you know that termites feed on multiple food sources at the same time and that they can damage your home while they're also feeding on a dying tree in your yard? You need to know that they will not limit themselves to that termite-infested tree if you hope to protect your property. Here are some tips to remove factors that attract termites and increase the vulnerability of your property.

  • Pick up dead branches and remove them or store them in a container. When dead wood is stacked on the ground, it provides a desirable food source for termites.
  • Put back deck wood supports on concrete foundations. Doing so will allow you to see when worker termites create mud tubes to access the wood.
  • Replace wood fencing with fencing made from materials that termites don't eat, such as vinyl.
  • Refrain from burying wood in your yard. While termites don't eat pressure-treated wood, the exterior protection of pressure-treated wood breaks down when exposed to moisture and termite workers will eventually be able to access the wood.
  • Don't put stacked cardboard in your yard. Termites don't just eat wood. Cardboard is a delectable treat. 
  • Get your gutters cleaned. A clogged gutter system can lead to dampness and wood rot. Both will attract termite workers to your home.

Proactive control of potential food sources will make your yard and home less of a target for subterranean termites. When combined with ongoing termite detection, you can stop termites and protect your property. If you detect termite activity in your home, we strongly recommend getting a professional inspection. 

Contact The Pros At The First Sign Of Termites In Your House

Termites don't go away. They will continue to feed on your property until appropriate control methods are used. Many of the products available to consumers can stop termites, but they are often misapplied. A certified termite control professional applies training and experience to properly apply termite control products and monitor the success of termite control programs. When it comes to protecting your equity, it is best to pay a little extra to make sure the job is done right.

Are you in West Chester? If so, contact Masters Touch Pest Solutions for a termite treatment or ongoing termite protection. We use trusted methods and products to make sure sneaky termites don't elude detection and treatment. Termidor liquid termiticides are used to arrest termite activity, and Trelona bait is applied to make termite detection and colony elimination a breeze. Reach out to us to learn about these control products, our service plans, and the warranties we offer. We're here to help.

 

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