Termite swarm season is upon us and should last for the next several months in the Dallas Fort Worth area. This is the key time residential and commercial property owners and managers realize they have a termite infestation. When termites swarm they send out thousands of alates in the air to the to perform the reproductive process. When people see this process happen inside the home or business is when they know they have a problem. Buzz Kill Pest Control provides termite control service to the surrounding areas of Dallas and Fort Worth. We provide spot termite treatments, partial termite treatments and full termite treatments. We use Termidor SC and Termidor HE for most of our liquid conventional treatments. Please see the information listed below to determine damage and early signs of termite infestation.
Dead trees and brush provide a natural food source for foraging subterranean termites. When natural vegetation is cleared and houses are built, termites often switch to feeding on wooden structures. Termites enter buildings through wood that is in direct contact with the soil and by building shelter tubes over or through cracks in foundations. Any cellulose material in direct contact with the soil, such as trees, vines or plumbing fixtures, can serve as an avenue of infestation.
Termite Control Needed! Signs of Infestation
Active termite infestations can be difficult to detect. To find out if a home is infested, the structure should be checked for evidence of swarmers (including wings or dead termites in windows), mud tubes or damaged wood inside or around a structure.
Swarmers: Generally, the first sign of infestation homeowners notice is swarming reproductives on windowsills or near indoor lights (Fig. 1a). Swarming termites inside the house usually indicate an active infestation in the structure. Termite wings may be found on windowsills or stuck to cobwebs indoors. Though swarmers outdoors are a natural phenomenon, they indicate that termites are present and may be attacking nearby structures.
Mud tubes: Mud shelter tubes on crawl space piers, utility penetrations or on foundation walls and slabs are a sign of termite infestation. Termite shelter tubes can blend in well with the soil or concrete, making them difficult to see. To make inspecting the home for termites easier, prune vegetation away from house walls. The soil line should be several inches below the top of slabs or foundation walls. An inspector should look for mud tubes carefully along foundation walls and slabs, especially along cracks, in corners or where the top of the foundation is close to the ground. A screwdriver is useful to break open suspected termite tubes and detect live termites.
Figure 5. Typical wood damage by subterranean termites
Damaged wood: Wood damage often is not found initially, but is positive indiction of a current or past termite infestation. Wherever wood comes in contact with the soil there is a high risk for termite entry. Carefully examine any wood that thuds or sounds dull when struck by a screwdriver or hammer. Probing suspected areas with a sharp instrument such as a screwdriver or an ice pick will often disclose termite galleries or damage. Characteristics of damaged wood Subterranean termite damage is usually confined to the soft, spring-growth of wood (Fig. 5). Termite tunnels and galleries tend to follow the wood grain and are lined with mud or may have a pale, spotted appearance resulting from soft fecal material plastered on tunnel surfaces. Moisture sources may cause wood decay and can encourage subterranean termite infestation. Deterioration caused by wood-destroying fungi can be confused with termite damage.
This information was provided by: https://insects.tamu.edu/extension/publications/epubs/e-368.cfm