Termites are some of the most destructive pests in the Southern United States. They burrow into the wood of homes and businesses, often unnoticed. Different types of termites behave in different ways, but all are capable of wreaking damage to your property.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) sponsors several pest events throughout the year to bring more awareness to certain pests. On March 11-17, the NPMA hosted Termite Awareness Week to promote public awareness of termites.
In honor of Termite Awareness Week and in partnership with the NPMA, we’ve compiled this list of the types of termites with pictures. Hopefully, this quick primer will help you identify and eliminate termites in your home.
What is a Subterranean Termite?
The subterranean termite is by far the most destructive of the termites in the south. Their colonies are divided into castes of workers, reproducers and soldiers. Soldier termites have huge mandibles that tear off tiny pieces of wood. While small, the damage they can inflict can add up quickly.
These termites live in colonies underground and in moist, secluded places above ground. In the spring, the swarm and the reproductive go off to form new colonies. Their colonies are vast and can have as many as two million members!
What is a Drywood Termite?
As their name suggests, drywood termites do not prefer moist wood like the Subterranean or the Formosan termite. Instead, they favor dry wood like you might find in attic joists or supporting structural walls.
Drywood termites can cause expensive damage without you even knowing it. Their colony size is small compared to the two other species discussed, only averaging 2,500 members per colony. Their ability to burrow into secondhand furniture and picture frames makes them dangerous spreaders. Inspect any used furniture or decorations carefully before you bring them into your home.
What is a Formosan Termite?
The Formosan termite is also known as the “super termite” because of its destructive tendencies.
Their colonies average an impressive 350,000 members but can number in range of several million! Within 25 days, the average colony of Formosan termites can consume one foot of 2×4 wood.
These termites are known to infest not only structures, but also places like shrubs, trees and even boats. They can chew through wood, flooring and wallpaper while going undetected.
How to Prevent Termites?
Prevention techniques will vary based on the type of termite, but these general tips will help you keep an eye out for all types of South Carolina termites:
- Keep mulch beds at least 15 inches away from foundation.
- Install gutters, downspouts and water blocks around the house. Repair any leaky faucets or AC pipes to prevent moisture buildup.
- Avoid wood-to-ground contact around the perimeter of your home.
- Properly ventilate crawlspaces and attics. Watch for signs of an infestation.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from your house and 5 inches off the ground.
- Regularly check the foundation of your home for mud tubes. Check attics, windowsills and door frames for holes and hollowed out wood.
Stopping All Kinds of Termites
If you think you have a termite infestation, partner with Gregory, your trusted pest control professionals. Our experts have years of experience providing termite control in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and the greater Southern U.S. These pests can be extremely hard to get rid of on your own. We have several plans and packages that will help restore you to a termite-free home.