Termites get a bad rap, but they are actually beneficial in many ways - they break down dead trees, create fertile soil, and are even a source of protein for people in several countries. While they play an essential role in nature, you definitely don’t want to catch them nesting on your property. Termites eat wooden structures and can cause extensive damage to your home.
A termite infestation is bad news for West Chester property owners, but there are several things you can do to safeguard your home against these wood-eating insects. In this guide, we’ll explore the species of termite found in the West Chester area, the factors that attract termites to a property, and tips for mitigating these aspects and keeping your home termite-free.
Subterranean Termites In West Chester, PA
There are over 2,000 termite species worldwide, but only one that you are likely to come across in Southeastern PA: subterranean termites. Subterranean termites are found in every state except Alaska and are considered the most destructive species in the United States. Each subterranean termite colony is organized into three separate castes: reproductives, soldiers, and workers.
Reproductives include the king and queen of the colony. The queen is the largest termite in the group, while the king is quite a bit smaller, and these two termites are responsible for mating and expanding the nest. Interestingly, the king and queen also release pheromones that regulate the organization and behavior of all the other termites in the colony.
The alates, or swarmers, are also considered part of the reproductive caste. They are dark brown or black and have long bodies with translucent wings. Alates eventually leave the nest to start new colonies; males and females mate and shed their wings, becoming kings and queens themselves.
Soldier subterranean termites are distinguishable by their rectangular heads and large mandibles, or jaws. They have wide, flat bodies that are cream-colored, but their heads are typically dark brown. Soldier termites use their huge mandibles to defend the nest from other insects, particularly ants.
Worker termites are the caste that actually eats wood and causes so much damage. They are cream-colored and very small, typically no more than ½ inch in length. The workers use their jaws to chew through wood and move materials, and they do not have wings.
Termites can chew through any of the wooden parts of your home, including under your home, inside the walls, window sills, and door frames, as well as wooden flooring, siding, and roofing. This damage can be expensive to repair, costing American homeowners an average of $3,000. In severe cases, the structural damage can lead to the total collapse of the home.
Termites typically appear in warmer weather, emerging from the ground as it warms. Colonies send out swarmers in search of new locations to live, which unfortunately includes man-made structures. Subterranean termites are particularly drawn to homes that have sustained damage from heavy precipitation. They thrive in moist environments with exposed wood that they can easily access from the ground. While these conditions can be challenging to avoid, there are simple steps you can take to prevent termites on your property.
Termite Prevention Tips
Reducing moisture and accessibility to wood is critical for making your home less hospitable for termites. Here are a few actions you can take to protect your property from these destructive pests:
Store firewood away from your home and inspect the logs for termites before bringing them inside.
Keep your yard clear of wooden debris, and never bury wood scraps.
Reduce humidity in your home, particularly in crawl spaces.
Use gutters, downspouts, and splash blocks to divert water away from your home.
Seal any cracks or gaps in your home’s foundation to keep the termites from entering.
Avoid soil-to-structure contact by maintaining at least one inch of space between the ground and the wooden parts of your house.
Taking these preventative steps will make your home less vulnerable to termites, but licensed pest control professionals can provide the most effective termite prevention solutions.
West Chester’s Source For Effective Termite Control: Masters Touch Pest Solutions
Termites are an incredible force of nature and can be highly detrimental to your home if not promptly addressed. When it comes to termites, prevention and control are best left to the professionals. For quality termite services in West Chester, contact the experts at Master’s Touch Pest Solutions.
Master’s Touch is dedicated to providing Southeastern PA with fast, effective, and friendly pest control services. Our termite treatments are guaranteed - we will re-treat if necessary until your property is 100% termite-free. For the most effective termite prevention and control in the West Chester area, contact Master’s Touch Pest Solutions today.