Any of 2,750 species of pale-colored soft-bodied social insects (order Isoptera) that live in colonies usually consisting of three castes: Reproductives (winged sexual forms), Workers (wingless sterile forms) and Soldiers who feed on wood, some which are very destructive to wooden structures and trees.
Common Termites in the Houston Area: Drywood Termites, Formosan Termites, Subterranean Termites
How to Identify the Presence of Termites:
SWARMS: The easiest way to identify the presence of termites is to actually see them. First, it’s important to know that termites vary in appearance and change throughout their lifecycle. The lifecycle begins when reproductive males and reproductive females swarm (take flight in large groups) and mate. In Houston, termite swarms are usually triggered by warm weather and humidity, which generally occurs in late February or early March.
IDENTIFICATION: A common error is to mistake flying termites with flying ants. The distinguishable differences of the flying termites to winged ants are their wings and antennae structure. These termites have 4 wings of the same size with a straight antenna while the flying ants have arched antennae and 1 large pair of wings with another smaller pair underneath. Flying termites have a broader waist (compared to ants who have narrower waists) and look like thick grains of brown rice from a distance.
DISCARDED WINGS: Once termites have swarmed, they shed their wings and settle into their new nests. If you find large numbers of discarded insect wings in your home, along your window sills, near the foundation of your house or on your patio, it could be a sign that your home has become a termite breeding ground.
VISUAL: After the queen lays her eggs, they hatch into larvae which appear to be a pale white color. Over the course of several molts, these larvae grow to assume the role of one of the three termite colony castes: workers, soldiers and reproductive termites, also known as alates.
Each caste has a distinctly different physical appearance. Workers are pale in color and are sexually and developmentally immature insects that are responsible for constructing tunnels and chambers as well as feeding and grooming other termite castes. Soldier termites are yellow-brown in color, with dramatically-enlarged heads and mandibles. These are useful in combat but render warriors incapable of feeding themselves. The reproductive alates are black in color and are born with two pairs of wings.
MUD TUBES: Subterranean termites create mud tubes which are external tunnels that allow termites to enter a home without being exposed to outside air. They are commonly called ‘mud tubes’ because they are made of mud, soil and termite feces. These tubes are commonly seen leading from the soil, up the cement foundation, and into the wooden structure of a home. Termites require a moist and warm environment in order to survive, and these tubes allow termites to travel back and forth from their nest to their food source.
WOOD DAMAGE: Another indication of termites is damaged wood. The wood may sound hollow and may have holes or patterns that are not natural. There may also be evidence of a sawdust-like material around the infested area. Because termites live in wood frames and foundations, these signs may not be visible. Sagging walls, floors or ceilings, or discolored spots on wood, walls or drywall that look like water damage may all be signs of termite infestation.
Why Choose the L.A.B. Solution?
Termites are like the IRS, you don’t hear from them until they’re taking over your home and emptying your bank account. They are found particularly in tropical and subtropical environments. Unfortunately the heat, humidity and temperate winters we experience in Katy and the greater Houston area, make it an ideal breeding ground for termites.
Whether you’re buying a new home and want to make sure it’s not actively infested, need a one-time treatment to remove a termite infestation, or want to protect your biggest investment with a treatment to defend against termite invasion, Life After Bugs has a solution that will work for you.
We also offer termite monitoring and baiting systems which are much cheaper than a treatment. These systems ensure that if termite’s attack we will know about it right away and your L.A.B. Tech will be able to take immediate action.