What You Need To Know For Effective Termite Protection For Your Charlotte Property
November 5, 2020
What is the worst problem your house could have? Maybe the floorboards start creaking, the furniture breaks down, the ceiling starts drooping, even the walls start looking discolored and chipping away. All of those fears come to life with one specific pest in Charlotte: termites.
Termites are the virus of a house. These pests take their time in spreading, but once the damage is done, it can’t be reversed. It can take years for the damage to show, but having termites under the house always leads to destruction. There’s a secret to identifying termites on your North Carolina property, but first, let’s discuss what termites look like and why they’re so destructive.
Charlotte’s Termite Identification Guide
Termites are peculiar-looking pests. These insects resemble "white ants," but a few key features differentiate ants from a homeowner’s worst nightmare.
Termites typically grow between ¼ and ½ an inch long. They range in color from gray to light brown, though many termites also have a translucent look and are almost see-through. Like ants, termites are eusocial creatures, meaning they assign jobs, work together, and are often seen in groups.
Termites have sectioned bodies, six legs, and spiny antennae that are about the length of their heads. Some termites have wings. These are called swarmers, which only fly for about 30 minutes before mating and shedding their wings.
While you may see termites in your home, the likelihood is that you’ll see their damage before you see the pests themselves. Termites rarely come out of their tunnels, so they can hide for years, but if you notice any of the following signs, your Charlotte home may have termites.
Signs Of A Termite Infestation
Termite colonies have different castes. Most termites never leave the colony, as their jobs are to reproduce, expand the colony, or protect other termites. You will never see most termites, but there are two groups you might come across that notify you of an infestation: swarmers and workers.
Swarmers are termites looking to start new colonies in the spring. You usually only see them at the beginning of the season, and more likely than not, you won’t even see the swarmers themselves. It is much more likely that you’ll see their shed wings which can get caught in spider webs or bushes.
Workers, by contrast, might not be seen until years after the infestation starts. This is because termites build a colony underneath your house and dig tunnels throughout the property to find food.
The only way you may see worker termites is if you remove an old stump, lift up some wet cardboard or wood that has been lying on the ground, or rip out a wall of your home for renovations. Otherwise, termites stay hidden within the wood they are infesting.
Termite damage presents itself in several different ways. Most commonly, you might notice that your floorboards creak and move more, or your ceiling may start to sag, as a result of weakened infrastructure. Additionally, you may notice your doors and windows become more tight-fitting, or the paint on your walls could become discolored, due to the moisture released from termite activity. Finally, you might hear clicking noises from within the walls.
Termite Prevention Tips
Preventing termites involves preventing the factors that encourage their colonies to form. You may be able to keep termites out by identifying and remedying the following:
- Reduce soil-to-wood contact. Termites crawl from their underground colonies into your house through its wooden structures, so try to keep wood from touching the soil as much as possible.
- Remove firewood. Keep your firewood far away from your property, and if it’s inside your home, keep it above ground and far away from any other wooden structures.
- Reduce moisture. Termites are attracted to highly moist spaces in your house, especially in your crawl spaces or where your house meets the ground. Test for moisture in these spaces and keep your property ventilated.
- Shut off the lights. Keep your exterior lights off at night, as this can attract termite swarmers (and other pests) to your home, and an infestation may soon follow.
If you notice any signs of termites, even if you don’t see the pests themselves, it’s time to let the professionals protect your house from future damage. Reach out to Charlotte’s best pest experts at Aruza Pest Control, and we’ll make sure termites leave your property well enough alone.