Termite Pictures | Termite Identification
Termites can cause major structural damage to homes and other buildings as well as wooden furniture. People usually only see termites inside when an infestation is already well established, though you may also find termites outside around dead tree stumps, rotting boards or other detritus. Termite colonies are divided into different classes, and most termites only come out in the dark. The most common class that you will see outside of the colony is the alate class, or winged termites. Winged termites are a reproductive class and they swarm before they mate. You can identify termites through their body shape, legs and wings. We are showing here you different termite pictures, termite damage and how to identify termite in your home and surroundings.
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Termite Damage | Termite Mud Tubes
Subterranean termites begin their feeding process (damage) from the ground up and typically enter a building through the sub-structure. Homes with crawl spaces are at great risk. It is here you should look for evidence of damaged wood and mud tubes. Wood damaged by this particular species develops “galleries” (hollow tunnels), which run along the grain of the wood.
The presence of mud-like material that lines the galleries in an irregular pattern.
Termites may excavate the wood so that only a very thin layer of wood is left on the surface of the cavity and the outside. Then this layer is broken; they will cover the holes with mud like material, used to make the tubes. This is a mixture of soil, feces, and saliva
Mud Tunnels:Subterranean termites maintain their headquarters in the ground and build “mud tubes”, pencil-size, that connect the nest (moisture) to the food source (wood Mud tubes or shelter tubes are proof of termite infestation, but their absence does not necessarily mean that a structure is free of termites. The insects may reach sills and other wood members through cracks or voids in the foundation wall, under the outside stucco, or from earth-filled porches, steps, terraces, or patios. You can break open tubes to determine if termites are still active inside. Termites often rebuild damaged tubes, another indication of continued activity. Old tubes are dry and will crumble easily. Universal Pest & Termite offers in-house structural repairs. Licensed and insured in Virginia.
So how can you tell if you have a termite problem?
Mud Tubes: Mud tubes are often the first external sign of a termite infestation. Termites create these tubes to enter the home without being exposed to the exterior elements. Inspect your foundation closely for signs of these tubes.
Wood Damage: If you notice damage to wooden structures within your home, termites may be to blame. Termites can feed 24 hours a day doing costly damage to your home’s structure.
Termite Swarms: Often the last sign of a termite infestation, termite swarms can emerge during warmer months. Swarmers are reproductive termites that are looking for a place to reproduce and begin a new colony. Not sure if you’re seeing termite swarms or flying ants?
Which Termite Does the Damage?
The reproductive members (kings and queens) of the colony are the largest members and are dark brown to black in color. Unlike the others, reproductive have wings. Their wings allow them to swarm from a mature colony in order to find a mate and start a new termite colony.
Shortly after a termite swarm, their wings will break off. In many cases, witnessing a termite swarm coming from your walls or finding broken wings on the floor are the only indication of a termite problem you visibly see.
If you live in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Newport News, Williamsburg or surrounding cities you are at risk of termite damage. Contact Universal Pest & Termite today for a no-charge termite inspection.
How do I tell the difference between winged ants and winged termites?
Biting: Carpenter ants, the typical flying ant, can and sometimes do bite humans. Solider termites, although capable of biting humans, rarely bother.
Wing Formation: Although both flying ants and winged termites both sport four wings, the ant’s front wings are noticeably larger than the ant’s rear wings. Termite wings are uniform in size.
Wing to Body Comparison: The wings on flying ants are typically proportionate to their body size. Termite wings run twice as long as the body of the insect.
Antennae Formation: On the ant, look for an elbowed antenna. On the winged termite, look for near straight antennas.
Body Formation: Termite body thickness tends to be uniform for the entire body-width. A thin waist gives a distinct segmented formation to the body of the ant.