Termite Identification & Prevention

Use our guide to help guard your Plymouth, Massachusetts property against wood-destroying termites.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Termites

What are termites?

Termites are wood-eating pests that spend most of their lives in dark, hidden spaces. For eons, termites have been feeding on pieces of wood to acquire their primary food source, cellulose. With the help of specialized enzymes in their stomach, termites are one of the few organisms to convert cellulose into a usable food source.

Termites are social insects that divide their colonies into caste systems, and each caste has its own jobs and responsibilities. Workers are the caste that makes up most of the volume in any termite colony. They do the colony's work; workers find and gather food, care for the young termites, and repair and expand the nest. 

Our region has four types of termites we need to guard our homes against. Below is a brief description of each unique species.

Eastern subterranean termites have high moisture needs and prefer to feed on damp or decaying wood. Eastern subterranean termites are likely to invade the wood in our homes near window sills, water pipes, air conditioners, or other areas where there is excess moisture. Eastern subterranean termites are the species we are most likely to discover inside our homes.

Dampwood termites have extremely high moisture needs and feed on wet or decaying wood. Dampwood termites aren't likely to invade our homes as they don't provide the proper environmental conditions. Logs, tree stumps, dead trees, old fence posts, and utility poles in and around our homes provide appropriate food sources and nesting sites for dampwood termites. 

Drywood termites feed on pieces of dry or sound wood. These termites live in much smaller colonies than other termites, but their efficient feeding habits make them just as destructive. Drywood termites nest within the pieces of wood they feed on. Wooden furniture, wood flooring, and wood trim are places we regularly find these termites nesting within Plymouth homes. 

Formosan termites are a type of subterranean termite with high moisture needs and feed on damp or decaying wood. They live together in huge colonies and are challenging to control because of their ability to nest both in and above the ground. These termites build carton nests on the roofs of buildings or inside wall voids.

termites in a mud tunnel

Are termites dangerous?

Yes, termites are dangerous. These destructive pests eat wood, and their efficient feeding habits cause extensive structural damage to our homes. 

Once termites find their way to our properties and discover a suitable food source, they will return, take over and cause extensive and expensive-to-repair damage. 

Since most homeowners' insurance doesn't cover the cost of termite damage, the damage termites cause will be left up to you to cover. Termites are responsible for causing billions of dollars in damages to structures across the country every year.

Why do I have a termite problem?

Unfortunately, termites are pests that can find their way to and invade any of our Plymouth homes. 

Termite infestations typically occur in the spring, when reproductive termites swarm from their nests. Termite swarms usually occur after heavy rain. Termites will drop their wings, find a mate, and create a new nesting site.

When termites are looking for a nesting site or foraging for food near our Plymouth homes, they often end up inside. Their small size makes it easy for them to move indoors through cracks in the foundation, roofline, or exterior walls. Another common entry point for eastern subterranean termites is wood making direct contact with the ground. 

Once inside, if they find food and shelter, they are very challenging to get rid of without the help of experienced professionals.

Where will I find termites?

As a rule, termites spend their lives well out of our sight. Termites live and/or feed on the interior of wood. In our homes, structural wood found behind walls and under floors are common targets for hungry termites. Because we rarely see termites, it is common to discover termite damage before seeing the termites themselves. 

A typical sign of a subterranean termite infestation includes discovering mud tubes running across the ground toward your home or up the foundation or basement walls of your home. 

Other signs are discovering piles of termite wings, bubbling or blistering paint on your walls, finding wood with holes in the exterior, or finding piles of sawdust under pieces of wood. 

If you spot winged termites, piles of their wings, or termites crawling on your home's surfaces, there is a nest nearby. At any sign of termites on your property, immediately reach out for professional termite control!

How do I get rid of termites?

Getting rid of termites from your home is best done with the assistance of a termite control expert. For the best termite control near you, reach out to the experts at Combat Pest Control. Our experts will perform a thorough inspection to determine the type of termite on your property and the severity of the infestation. They will then perform the termite treatments necessary to remove them. By partnering with Combat Pest Control, you can ensure that hungry termites won't damage your structure now or in the future! Call today.

How can I prevent termites in the future?

Along with termite control services from Combat Pest Control, use the following termite prevention tips to help protect your home from damage:

  • Create a crushed stone barrier between any mulch or soil and your foundation.
  • Ensure downspouts are directing rainwater away from the soil around the perimeter of your home.
  • Replace wood mulch with a non-organic material.
  • Remove old fencing, construction debris, woodpiles, fallen trees, and leaf piles from your property.
  • Inspect your home's exterior and use silicone caulk to seal any cracks you discover. 
  • Repair roof damage.
  • Never store woodpiles next to your home's exterior. 
  • Make sure to paint, stain, or otherwise treat your decks, wood trim, and other wooden items on your property.

For the best termite control for your Plymouth home, contact Combat Pest Control. We meet the unique pest control needs of all our customers.

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