What are Subterranean Termites?
There are two species of termites present in Utah: the eastern subterranean and the arid-land subterranean termites. Just as their name implies, subterranean termites forgo building above-ground mounds in favor of extensive underground colonies. Organized around a king and an egg-laying queen that can live up to 25 years, the colony extends through mud tubes that can range 100 yards from the primary colony in their search for wood cellulose.
In additional to the king and queen, subterranean termite colonies are composed of swarmer, worker and soldier caste. Workers, the most numerous caste, forage for food, construct tunnels and tend the brood, while soldiers use their powerful mandibles to defend the colony against ants and other predators. Swarmer termites have wings and take to the air to mate and plan new colonies in the spring, summer and fall.
A subterranean termite queen can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day and larger colonies may contain as many as 15 million members. Numerous colonies can coexist nearby, though soldiers will defend their tunnels against trespassing termites from other colonies. Termites construct hardened mud tunnels above ground to protect themselves from predators, sunburn and dry air.
What Damage Do They Cause?
A large termite colony can consume up to a pound of wood per day. Although this may not seem like much compared to the total weight of a wood-frame house, when it is subtracted from key load-bearing support structures it can easily add up to significant damage over a period of several months if the homeowner is unaware of an infestation.
Termites often evade detection at first as they tunnel through the interior of wooden beams. For a homeowner trying to sell a home, even signs of an older infestation that has been eliminated can cause problems for the approval of bank loans.
What are the Signs of Subterranean Termite Infestation?
There are several signs of termite infestation to keep an eye out for:
- Mud tubes found along basement walls or around the foundation. Look for a hardened coating over a surface that the termites construct from clay in order to protect and conceal their movements. These tunnel systems can be far-reaching, but are a sure sign of infestation.
- Flying swarmer termites found in the house between spring and fall. This indicates that a nearby colony is splitting and trying to put down roots in or near the home.
- Look for leaking plumbing or humid areas on or within walls. Termites need a humid environment to survive and any sources of water will attract termites.
- Hardwood floors with protruding and loosened slats or floors that have buckled or sagged may indicate the presence of subterranean termites.
- Since damage to wooden structures may not be externally apparent, tap and listen for a hollow sound. This indicates that termites have already crisscrossed the wood with tunnels inside.
Utah Pest Control: How to Treat a Termite Infestation
There are a few common steps homeowners can take to help prevent and fight infestations.
- Remove scrap wood found near the house.
- Ensure that there are no moisture leaks inside the home.
- Stay vigilant for signs of mud tubes or weakened wood.
- Seek professional help after an infestation has been spotted.
The Professional Pest Control Company in Sandy
If you learn that a neighboring home has termites, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your house does yet, but steps should be taken to protect your property before the colony expands. Professional pest control experts can provide a level of skill in prevention and extermination that the ordinary resident lacks. And prevention is far better than fighting an invasion in progress. That’s why homeowners have come to trust Preventive Pest Control as their pest control company in Sandy, Utah.
Armed with advanced colony-destruction and barrier techniques, Preventive Pest Control has established itself as one of the top pest companies in Sandy. So call the Utah termite control experts at Preventive Pest Control Sandy to help safeguard your home against hungry subterranean invaders.