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What are termites?

Pests that consume wood in order to feed their young are known as termites. Termites in the Virginia Beach area are commonly referred to as Subterranean termites. Off-white to dark brown exoskeletons make them considerably more difficult to see than other termites, worsened by their quiet behaviors and infiltration style. This particular type of termite is widely considered to be the most destructive of the species. Subterranean termites do not require rest or sleep; they will continue eating wood every hour of the day, every day of the year.

Subterranean termites run on a eusocial class order known as a caste system. These termites hold unique jobs within their colonies that allow them to support the rearing of young. There are three major types of subterranean termite class: alates, workers, and soldiers.

  • Alate termites are winged insects sometimes called 'swarmers' that are tasked with migration and reproduction once per year. They are no more than ½ an inch in total size and appear similar to a flying ant. 
  • Worker termites gather wood for the colony and queen while being protected from attack by soldier termites. Worker termites are small and cream-colored.
  • Soldiers are bigger than workers. They have enlarged mandibles and armored exoskeletons used to protect the colony from treats.

Subterranean termites undergo several life cycle phases. Once termite alates find a mate and a habitat, they will settle down in a location that will be their forever home. Subterranean termites can house up to 60,000 members in a single colony, a feat that will take them only 5 – 10 short years to complete.

Are termites dangerous?

Termites cause international homeowners at least 5 billion dollars worth of damage each year.  Subterranean termites in particular are not covered by the average homeowners' insurance plan, putting many people at risk for bankruptcy. Finally, termites have the ability to work around the clock without stopping. This makes residential buildings extremely vulnerable to damage and collapse over time.

Why do I have a termite problem?

Subterranean termites are attracted to wooden structures or objects that are within close proximity to the ground. Areas with higher levels of moisture or humidity may experience more termite activity than others. If your home has experienced termite activity in the past or if you have begun to experience higher than average rainfall, you may be at a greater risk for a termite infestation.

Subterranean termites engage in a behavior known as ‘mud tunneling.’ In an effort to cross unnoticed between soil and wood, the creatures will construct tiny tubes of dirt that run from the ground to their chosen food source. Catching sight of a mud tunnel is often the first serious indication of a termite infestation.

Where are termites commonly found?

Termites are found in both outdoor and indoor areas with available wood items. Firewood stacks, fallen trees, and landscaping mulch are some of their favored locations. Inside a house, termites will gravitate toward spaces with soil to wood contact. Basements, garages, and crawlspaces are often the most targeted rooms for a termite infestation.

How do I get rid of termites?

Termites are completely impossible to eliminate on your own. Subterranean termites in particular can become much worse over time, and destroy your property value and equity within a matter of months. For help locating or treating a termite problem in Virginia Beach, VA, please reach out to Mosquito Elite Pest Control now.

How can I prevent termites in the future?

Keep termites from coming too close to your home by starting with prevention first:

  • Remove all mulch from the property. Replace these spaces with stones or rocks instead. 
  • Store firewood away from the exterior of your home.
  • Inspect the exterior of your home for moisture issues. Repair as needed.
  • Replace rotting or damaged wood.
  • Reduce moisture inside your home with a dehumidifier. 
  • Have your home regularly inspected for termite activity.

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