5 Ways Subterranean Termites Torment Homeowners

5 Ways Subterranean Termites Torment Homeowners

Subterranean termites look harmless to the average homeowner because of their small size. However, these insects cause the most damage to wooden structures of any insect in North America. Therefore, homeowners should familiarize themselves with how the termites live and survive as a proactive preventative measure.

Knowledge about the lifestyle of subterranean termites helps property owners appreciate their destructive nature and take timely action. This post highlights unique characteristics that make subterranean termites highly destructive.

1. Live Underground

Subterranean termites build their colonies underground for cover against predators and the elements. Therefore, the insects can remain undiscovered, allowing them sufficient time to destroy a structure as their nest matures. Additionally, subterranean termites need moisture in their nests to thrive, which is abundant underground.

The safety of underground environments enables subterranean termites to construct elaborate tunnels and compartments. The insects start to eat wood from below, and most homeowners only notice the problem when it is too late. Thus, pest control services target underground termite colonies rather than individual termites since it is an effective strategy to fully eradicate an infestation.

2. Build Co-Existing Colonies

Some homeowners celebrate when they find and destroy a subterranean termite colony. However, multiple colonies could infest a property since the insects are social creatures. The possibility of several colonies further highlights the ability of the insects to cause extensive damage.

If you discover and eradicate a nest, search the entire property for other potential colonies. Since the exercise can be tedious, call pest control services for a thorough inspection. A termite expert understands how co-existing subterranean termite colonies behave and the signs to expect.

3. Exist in All States Except Alaska

Dampwood termites are majorly found along the Pacific Coast and southern Florida but are considered harmless in such areas. Similarly, drywood termites are common in southern California and the Southeast United States. Conversely, subterranean termites are found in every state except Alaska due to the sub-zero temperatures. 

Subterranean termites’ presence across the country concerns homeowners because no place is safe. The insects thrive in different states because of reduced variability in moisture and temperature in subsurface environments. Therefore, contact a pest control expert whenever you spot a termite because your house is vulnerable no matter where you live.

4. Populate Quickly and Prolifically

A single subterranean termite colony can house up to 1 million insects or more in co-existing colonies. Some homeowners don’t believe the figures because the insects live and forage below ground, making it difficult to estimate their number. Unfortunately, the high population can cause serious damage to an average-sized wooden structure.

When subterranean termites expand foraging territories and the boundaries get blurred, millions of workers interact at common sites and are likely to infest the same house. Peaceful intermingling is possible because subterranean termites are not upset by the presence of non-nestmates.

Subterranean termites eat full-time; therefore, millions can cause severe structural damage to a wooden structure in a short time span.

5. Feed on Soft Wood and Along the Grain

Subterranean termites use their small jaws to chew small softwood bits along the grain. The behavior makes timber damage less conspicuous because wood appears intact from the outside. Therefore, subterranean termites can gradually cause structural impairment without your knowledge. 

Damage to structures made from a mixture of hard and soft wood is particularly difficult to notice. As the termites feed on the softwood and avoid the tough timber, the rigid sections support a structure at first. However, over time, a building loses its structural integrity and crumbles from its weight.

Although subterranean termites appear harmless, learning about their distinct lifestyle is essential to appreciate their destructive nature. Contact us at Eary Termite & Pest Services for professional pest control services when you notice insects on your property.

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