Spring is nearly here, and that means termites are coming, too! As one of the biggest pest threats Long Island homeowners face, termites can cause major damage to not only your home’s structure but your wallet, as well. These wood-destroying organisms invade millions of homes every year in the United States, costing homeowners over $5 billion dollars in repairs and termite treatments, which is more than earthquakes, hurricanes, and house fires combined!
Not only is termite damage costly, but most insurance policies don’t cover it, which is why it’s vital for homeowners like you to have expert information on termite behavior and how to best protect your home.
What Are Termite Swarmers?
Termites are complex social insects that live in colonies. Within their colonies, termites have different jobs, and one of those job titles is termite swarmer. Termite swarmers are the winged reproductive termites within a colony. When Long Island temperatures reach a comfortable 70 degrees in the spring, these mature termite reproducers will use the weather as their cue to leave their nest to carry out their job to form new colonies.
Because termite swarmers mate quickly and seek out immediate locations to start their new nests, it’s easy to miss a springtime termite swarm, though there are some tell-tale signs to look for.
What Do Termites Look Like?
Subterranean termites are the species of termite that is active on Long Island and throughout New York. These termites have four wings, all equal in size. Workers are pale, wingless termites, while soldiers are wingless with white bodies, rectangular yellow-brown heads (which are two times longer than their width), and large mandibles, which lack teeth. Termite swarmers, on the other hand, are dark in color, and range from about 1/8 to ¼ inch in size, and have two sets of wings uniform in size, as well as broad waists and straight, bead-like antennae.
What Are the Signs of a Termite Infestation?
- Perhaps the most obvious sign of a termite infestation—you see termites! If you see anywhere from a few to hundreds of winged termites out and about this spring, it’s quite possible you already have a mature termite colony near or inside your home. Visible termites aren’t just limited to swarmers, however; these reproductive termites are just one part of a termite colony!
- After mating, termite swarmers will shed their wings, which you may notice around your home’s windows, porches, and doors.
- Mud tubes are another indication you may have a termite infestation. Subterranean termites, which are the common termite species on Long Island, build mud tubes to travel to and from their colonies and food sources. If you see mud tunnels in the ground or inside wood on your property, that’s a sign you have termites.
- Frass is another visual indicator of termite activity and refers to the small, brown droppings termites leave behind. It may look like wood particles or sawdust.
How to Prevent a Termite Infestation
The best way to prevent a termite infestation in your home is to have ongoing termite control from a trusted Long Island exterminator like Suburban Exterminating.
At Suburban, we offer two options to protect your home from termites:
Sentricon Termite System
As Authorized Operators of the Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination System, we offer this product to Long Islanders. Sentricon is both highly effective and eco-friendly as an ongoing solution to termite infestations. This system involves the installation of a protective ring of Sentricon stations around different locations of your home, filled with bait termites will feed on, ultimately eliminating the colony…including the queen! Sentricon will also protect your home and property against future termite attacks.
Conventional Termite Treatment
Our Suburban Exterminating technicians incorporate the Conventional Termite Treatment plan by creating a barrier of liquid termite treatment called termiticide around your home to keep termites away. The liquid barrier is typically a 4” wide by 6” deep trench created around your home’s foundation. Concrete areas including sidewalks, porches, and basements will require small holes to be drilled and the termiticide injected into the space. Once the barrier is established, termites will not be able to pass through and enter (or damage!) your home.
Here are a few more ways you can minimize the risk of termites to your home:
- Reduce moisture levels.
- Repair leaking pipes or fixtures.
- Store wood at least 20 feet away from your home in a dry spot at least 5 inches above the ground.
- Limit soil-to-wood contact for all structures on your property.
- Replace water-damaged wood.
- Clear your gutters and make sure they’re functioning properly.
- Regularly trim tree limbs away from your home.
Protect Your Long Island Home with Termite Control from Suburban Exterminating
Termite removal should be handled by professionals with the proper knowledge and tools who can identify and solve your termite problem with minimal risk of further damaging your home.