termite damage to a door

Catch of the Week: Termite Infestation

September 10, 2020

A Des Moines homeowner reached out to us at Preferred Pest Control about a serious termite infestation they had discovered on their property. When our team arrived at the home, we knew we had to act fast. Termites can inflict significant damage to the wooden structures of homes and buildings. In the case of this Des Moines homeowner, the pests had eaten through the entire door frame of one of their interior doors. The only thing left of the door was the actual paint. Not only can this affect a home in regards to things like security, but termite damage can potentially create hazardous areas in a home making it dangerous to live in.

That is why our highly trained and experienced technicians want to share everything you need to know to detect and treat a termite infestation in your home or business. From the signs of an infestation to effective treatment methods that will ensure your problem never returns, it is our mission to educate homeowners and property managers on termite infestations so they can feel confident in providing a safe environment for themselves, and in the case of business owners, their workers and customers.

What Do Termites Look Like?

No matter what the infestation, the absolute best way of detecting one is by physically seeing and identifying the pest. To do so, you should know a few key physical features of these pests. Termites have soft bodies that average from 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length, with the king and queen termites getting as big as 1 inch long. All termites have straight antennae, and their bodies tend to be pale in color. Worker termites are often lighter than swarming termites, which also have two wings. If you spot an unfamiliar pest in your home or business, we strongly encourage you to contact us at Preferred Pest Control where we offer free bug identification.

What Are The Causes Of A Termite Infestation?

While there are three main types of termites, all are attracted to wood whether it be dry or damp. In addition, termites need moisture making leaky pipes, drainage issues and poor airflow major causes of termite infestations. To fully understand the major causes of termite infestations, you need to have an understanding of their living habits. This includes what termites eat.

The Diet Of A Termite

Termites are known as detritivores, meaning they feed on dead trees and plants. These pests get most of their nutrients from cellulose, which is an organic fiber in plant and wood material. Though termites are most often known to feed on wood, they do consume a lot of other materials such as plastic, paper, drywall and more meaning they can cause damage to a variety of areas in your home or business. Due to their ability to tear wood material with their mouth, termites can become a serious nuisance to homeowners. If gone unnoticed, termites can feed on a home's foundation, furniture, bookshelves and so much more.

Termite Mud Tubes

The majority of termite species nest deep underground to survive the cold weather during the winter months. They use mud tubes to travel from their nest to a food source, which in many cases is a house. Nothing provides warmth, water and wood like the shelter of a home. At other times of the year, these tubes can be found on the walls or ceiling of your garage, side of the house, even inside your home if left unnoticed.

Mud tubes are formed by termites combining soil, wood fibers and their saliva. Differentiating between an active tube and an inactive one can be challenging if you’re unsure of what to look for. You can check to see if the mud tube is still moist or dried out, but the only way to truly know what’s going on inside the tube is to break it open. If after a few days the opening is no longer there, then you know you have an active mud tube. You’ll know quickly as these pests work 24 hours a day, meaning they can accomplish a lot while causing significant damage to your home. Mud tubes are easily the most common sign of a termite infestation. Damaged wood and wings or skin cases left behind as termites go through maturing stages are other things to look out for in your home.

What Are The Signs of a Termite Infestation?

The best way to detect a termite infestation is to physically spot the pest in your home or business. However, there are a variety of other signs to look out for that can indicate you have a termite infestation, such as:

  • Cracked or Bubbled Paint - This type of harm to a home can easily be mistaken for water damage, so be sure to check for other signs of termites as well.
  • Mud Tubes – These damp tunnels can be found on the exterior of the walls, crawl spaces, etc.
  • Hollow Wood - Destroyed wood is a sure sign of a termite infestation.
  • Termite Wings and Skin Cases - When you discover these around your property, it’s a sign you have an active termite colony that’s growing.
  • Wood Shavings – As termites eat the wood around the home, a sawdust-like material can be found around entryways like doors and windows.

Des Moines Pest Control Service | Termite Removal

At Preferred Pest Control, we offer a one-time termite treatment option to help you avoid an infestation or fix a current one. Our AllPest Elimination Plan gives homeowners the option to request year-round protection from termites and other intruders. As the leading Des Moines exterminator, you can rest assured knowing your home is pest free when you call Preferred Pest Control! Schedule an appointment online or call us at (515) 415-5550 today.

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