Subterranean termites are located throughout Oklahoma. These termites live in the soil and consume wood. Termites do millions of dollars worth of damage in Oklahoma each year. Most people do not realize that their house has termites until the termites swarm, or construction reveals hollowed-out wood in the home.
Subterranean termite nests in Tulsa may have 250,000 termites in them, but they all start with two winged termites called swarmers. They are about ¾ of an inch long and are dark in color. Their wings are clear and both sets of wings are identical. In the spring or early summer, male and female swarmers fly and chose a mate. The new queen and king then find a good spot to nest near wood that touches the dirt. They then twist off their wings and dig a chamber. It takes about a week for the queen to start laying fertile eggs. The eggs hatch into larvae in a few days. The king feeds them digested cellulose. As the larvae molt, they become specialized into workers and soldiers. Workers feed the colony, maintain the nest, and take care of the larvae. Soldiers defend the colony. Workers are colorless and soldiers are colorless except for the dark mandibles that pinch intruders. A colony is mature in 3-5 years and may contain 250,000 termites. It then sends out its own swarmers and the cycle repeats itself.
Signs You Have Termites
Because termites tunnel out the core of the wood in a home, you probably don’t know they are there. There are signs that may tell you that you have a problem.
Swarmers flying in the house or just outside it
Twisted off wings at doors and windows
Soft clicking noises in the walls
Frass, or termite excrement inside the wood where they have tunneled
Hollow sounding timber
If you find these things, you may have termites and need to hire a professional to eliminate them before they destroy your house.
Termites are not easy to prevent. In fact, according to the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, the probability of termites attacking your home within 10-20 years of it being built is 70%. However, you can do some things to try to keep termites out.
The dirt around the foundation should not come within six inches of the structure.
Place all wooden items such as decks, stairs, and trellises up on concrete blocks that put them at least 6 inches from the soil.
Trim back shrubs to keep the area next to the house dry and so you can see if there are mud tubes up to the wood.
Remove firewood, old lumber, or logs from your property or set them up on racks above the soil.
Hire a termite inspector and have your house inspected at least once a year to catch termites when they first appear.
Hire A Termite Professional
Because termites are so destructive, and so hard to find, you need to hire a professional to inspect your home once a year. If you have seen signs of termites around your house, you need to hire a professional immediately to minimize the damage they do to your home. Contact Mid America Pest Control and arrange a free inspection of your home. Our technician will come and inspect your home inside and out and note what pests you currently have as well as conditions conducive to other pests. He will then present his findings to you as well as a treatment plan. After the treatment is done, we will visit quarterly to inspect bait stations and check the outside of the home for problems. If any pests show up between our visits, we will come to treat them at no extra charge. We are so sure of our treatments that we have a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Call Mid America Pest Control today, and breathe easier.