As we gear up for another spring season here in St. Louis, it is time to start talking spring pests. And one of the pests that become more active in the spring, much to our dismay, are eastern subterranean termites. We are talking about the colonies containing thousands of wood destroying insects that work behind the scenes to eat away at the wood and wood by-products inside of your home. Since they work behind the scenes, it leaves many residents wondering how to tell if termites are present in their homes or on their properties. Our team of St. Louis termite control experts are here to offer a little insight on how to recognize and identify termites in St. Louis and surrounding Missouri communities.
There are three different forms of eastern subterranean termites within a colony and it’s a good idea to learn what each of them looks like.
First, there are the winged swarmers, the reproductive termites who take part in termite swarms in the late spring. This is an attempt for the reproductive members to find a mate and form a new colony. Swarmers are about 3/8 of an inch long and usually dark brown to black in color. Some confuse swarmers with flying ants.
Soldiers are the termites who stay in the colony (underground) as the protectors. You are not as likely to see soldiers because subterranean termites cannot survive exposed to the air and sunlight for long. Nevertheless, soldiers are about 1/4 of an inch long and have an amber colored head with long jaws.
And finally the workers are the ones who do the damage. Workers are 3/16 to 1/4 of an inch long and almost translucent in color with a whitish body and round, amber colored head. As mentioned before, termites remain underground and they work from the inside out when chewing through wood structures. This means that they are not easy to spot.
In order to help homeowners identify termites in St. Louis, here are a few signs that you may have a termite infestation:
Mud tunnels. Termites use a series of tunnels or tubes in the ground to travel from their colony to sources of food...or should we say wood.
Wood damage. If you see small holes in wood, warped looking wood, or wood that appears to be disintegrating it is likely termite damage.
Termite swarms. Perhaps the best way to know if you have termites (aside from Rottler’s termite inspections) is if you are witness to a termite swarm this spring. As mentioned before, these are the reproductive termites that swarm out of the colony all at once in an attempt to find a mate. Hundreds of flying termites and a lot of fallen wings are the result of a termite swarm.
Termites are going to become active in Missouri very soon so please contact Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions today to learn about our St. Louis termite control so you can get rid of the threat of termites.