What are Termites & What Do They Look Like?

People tend to be mystified by termites. They are rarely seen and, for the most part, live in areas of your house where you never explore, or even want to. So if you find yourself curiously asking “Do I have Termites?” and also wondering “What does a termite look like?” hopefully this article will help guide you to answering those questions.

A professional pest control service such as Advanced Integrated Pest Management can help find and remove termites from your home. But there are also some tips we can offer on preventing termites as well as identifying termites.

What Are Termites?

Let’s begin with what termites actually are. Many people confuse them with ants or believe they are a related species to ants. Termites might look similar to ants, but they are actually more closely related to cockroaches. About the only thing termites have in common with ants is that they both live in colonies.

Termites are whitish in color and do not have segmented body parts like ants do. Termites stay hidden in confined environments where they can stay warm and moist. Because they have few abilities to protect themselves, concealment is their best defense. While they stay hidden, termites do leave signs, which announce, “I have Termites!” When termites want to enter your home, they build mud leads to move from the ground to your home. These can be attached to downspouts and pipes. Look for these as signs around your home. If your house is built on a concrete slab, then most often termites will gain entry to your home through a crack or gap under the concrete. There will be little if any sign they have entered your home.

Another clue can be gained by listening. When termites sense danger, the soldier termites will knock their heads against the wood to warn other termites away from danger. So while inspecting, if you hear a slight knocking noise that could be an indicator of termite infestation.

Termites eat from the middle of the wood out and generally leave the exposed or painted surface untouched. Over time however the surface will begin to take on a papery look or even appear as if there is an indentation in the wood.

To develop a program of termite self detection begin the following steps:

1. Check your yard for indicators of termites. Especially inspect any tree stumps or wood piles.

2. Inspect the exterior of your home. Look closely around the base of your walls as well as any vents or basement openings.

3. Inside your home, tap walls and listen for hollow sounds and look for signs of a papery texture on walls or indentions.

4. Check in your attic or crawl space by tapping trusses and the caps of walls listening for hollow sounding reverberation.

If you find any of these signs it is important to contact a pest control expert immediately. Advanced IPM can get termites out of your home or the ground in your yard. Remember- this is not a problem you want to avoid or look the other way on. Termites can quite literally eat you out of house and home. For more information click here to learn more about AIPM’s termite services or call as today at (855) 768-0615 to schedule your free inspection.