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The Truth About Termite Identification

Jan 20, 2008
There is more to termite identification that just knowing what the different members of a termite colony look like. Sometimes there are a couple of other things that you need to know for proper termite identification.

The Truth About Termites

The most common look that termites are usually associated with is the worker termites look. These are the termites that do all the food foraging and are creamy white in color. The truth though is that termites usually avoid the light and the open air.

Through mud tunnels, termites burrow deep into the soil and work its way towards the wooden parts of your home. This means that the damage to your property may also be undetected until there is already too much damage. Some homeowners do not know they have termites until damaged wood breaks off to reveal the white workers. The key to early termite identification is to look for tell tale signs of their presence.

Swarmer Termite Identification

Swarmers are responsible for building and creating new termite colonies. Early termite identification therefore begins by looking for flying winged insects of a dark color, with straight bodies and four equal length wings that they might discard around your property.. These swarmers may fly to or away from your house.

Be especially watchful during the beginning of spring or after some rainfall. Although some may say that some swarmers simply get blown accidentally to your house, they might just establish a colony if the conditions are right.

Termite Identification Through Mud Tunnels

Termite identification can begin with looking for mud tunnels. Since worker termites try to avoid open spaces and day light, they usually move from their underground colony home to your house through mud tunnels. You should therefore be a little worried if you notice some seemingly dried mud that seem to rise up from the soil and stick on cracks or boards. When prodded, these tunnels may come off as grainy particles on your fingers. Some conditions are just so perfect for termites that they may even build mud mounds somewhere in your property.

Termite Identification Through Damage

If termite colonies have been left undetected for a long time in your home, chances are that wooden parts of your home may already be severely damaged. Some signs of termite damage would be holes on the surface of the wood, paint cracks or wood that sounds hollow. Extensive termite damage may result in wood surface that easily breaks off when you prod it, revealing irregular sized hollow areas inside that may have traces of grainy mud.

Favorable Conditions

Conditions that favor the growth of a colony are not necessarily an aid in termite identification. Favorable conditions however may tell you that you may attract potential colonists. You may for example have moist soil with wood contact on the ground. Ground termites love moist soil and the proximity of the wood to the soil may make their food harvesting work easier. Pipes that leak on wooden trash around the house and foundation cracks may also encourage termite infestation.
About the Author
The initial step in do it yourself termite protection lies in your knowledge for termite identification. Discover how to save your home from termites!
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