Termites cause most of the structural damage in East Texas. Termites are social insects that have colonies subdivided into three groups: workers, soldiers, and reproductives. Each of these groups have distinct physical and behavior characteristics.
Termites feed on any cellulose material, such as roots, paper, and cardboard. They are important to our ecosystem since they decompose cellulose. However, subterranean termites become economic pests when they invade our residential and commercial structures. Subterranean termites live in colonies underground and can have up to 2 million termites in one single colony. These insects have an extensive tunneling system underground that allows them to carry food resources back from a food source into the colony. Termite infestation can be detected by the presence of mud tubes, damaged wood, and the swarming of winged termites inside of the home or structure. Termite damage may also appear on or around door frames and window sills as well as baseboards.
It’s always a good idea to have a termite inspection done once a year on your home to make sure that if there are any signs of damage, it can be treated sooner than later.
Things to look for and to remove away from your home are the following:
- Stumps, scrap wood, grade stakes, foam boards, cardboard boxes, and newspapers found around structures should be removed.
- Firewood, landscape timbers, compost piles should not be stored around foundations.
- Minimize moist areas by grading the soil and installing gutters to allow water to drain away from the building.
- Do not allow shrubs, vines, tall grasses and other dense vegetation to grow against structures. Thick vegetation makes it hard to inspect for termite activity, and these plants tend to trap moisture.
- Use mulch sparingly and do not allow the mulch to contact wood siding or framing of the doors/windows around the structure.