Termites on Parade: Preparing for Termite Season

Many of us have chosen Eastern North Carolina to live because of the moderate coastal climate.  Unfortunately, there is another guest who loves this climate - Eastern Subterranean Termites.  These wood-destroying insects can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage in a short period of time.  It’s important to recognize the signs of nesting around your home as early as possible to prevent further damage.

Looks

Eastern Subterranean Termites have a creamy color and are almost translucent.  They are rather small - usually only about an eighth of an inch in length.  

What Can They Do?

Termites are known for damaging wood.  A queen termite can lay up to 2,000 eggs a day, but a colony will not reach a mature size for a few years.  However, this doesn’t mean they wait to create damage.  Especially in the Spring, the termites will swarm, mate, then begin their feeding frenzy.

Spotting Damage

There are certain telling signs that termites create when there is a heavy presence.  Mud tubes are created by termites, so they have moisture flowing while looking for food.  These tubes run between nest and wood.  When a termite eats wood, you can find a trail of paint cracks where the wood has been manipulated.  One of the most telling signs is hollow wood in and around your home.  This is an obvious sign of termites because they rarely break through the wood but can do unseen damage below the surface the whole time.

Preventative Measures

Dispose of old tree stumps, wood piles, or branches building up in your yard.  If you need to keep wood, move the wood pile as far away from your home as possible.  Termites are also attracted to moisture, so repair any leaky faucets or pipes in the house.  Make sure you don’t have wood in contact with the soil and don’t use mulch directly against the house. 

I have signs of Termites.  Now What?

Don’t panic!  Take any preventative measures you can and call an expert!  May’s exterminating experts have dealt with termites in Eastern NC for decades.  We can help you eliminate a colony in a safe and effective manner. 

It is smart to be on the lookout this spring for any termite damage.  Catching them early on in their gestation and colony building can make all the difference.