A Chance to See Active Termites and How to Spot Them
Termites have been around for millions of years and for good reason. Once they get started they can quickly grow to be a problem for your home. Did you know that a primary queen can lay as much as 20,000-30,000 eggs per day. That is why it is important to get rid of the problem as soon as posible In the time it takes to make the phone call, a hundred new eggs could be laid. Now that’s just the primary queen. There are often multiple queens. Furthermore, each queen lives for 45 years.
Finding winged termites in a home or other building is a near certain sign that the structure is infested. Normally termites stay hidden, either underground, inside wood or in mud tubes in order to maintain the humidity that they need to survive. It is only when the winged reproductive forms are produced that they become plainly visible, and this only happens sporadically.
Winged termites are about 1/4 to 3/8 inch in length and vary from black to yellow-brown in body color. They have 4 equal sized smoke-gray to brown wings that extend past the length of their body. Winged termites are also known as “swarmers” because they come out in large numbers all at one time – usually during the springtime, and after rain events.
Termites are not armor prone like many insects. They have almost no defenses against other enemies, and they need moisture to live. To get around safely when they aren’t underground or inside a piece of wood, they build tubes, small tunnels made of mud and cellulose. The tubes look like little brown straws. If you have termites, inspecting the foundation around your home may reveal a number of termite tubes. To make sure a tube is still active and not part of an old infestation that’s been eliminated, remove a small section of the tube and wait a few days. If termites are present, they’ll repair the breach. That way, you’ll know you still have a problem. There are other places you should check for termite tubes, too, like around water pipes, in crawl spaces, in your attic and in your basement.