In Charleston, SC and surrounding areas, termite damage to your home is more likely than damage by Fire, Flood, Tornado or Hurricane. Yet, homeowners insurance does not cover damage by termites. Our termite control services will give you peace of mind knowing that your home is fully protected against termite damage.
Why Termite Protection is so Important:
- The Charleston, SC metro area has the highest infestation of Formosan termites in the United States.
- Termites cause over $5 billion in damage to U.S. homes each year. Homeowners insurance rarely covers this.
- One small termite colony of approximately 60,000 termites can eat a linear foot of a common 2″ x 4″ in just five months.Formosan subterranean termite colonies typically number in the millions, and forage over 100-meter distances.
- Subterranean termites cause over 90 percent of termite damage in the U.S.
Here’s What Termites Do:
- Formosan termite swarming can begin in January in Charleston SC.
- Colonies can contain from several thousand to several million foragers.
- Termites can chew through treated wood, treated pilings, floating docks, boats, lead, asphalt, plaster or mortar to find wood.
- Almost 4 million U.S. homes are infested by termites each year. Termites can be found in every state except for Alaska.
Are they Ants or Termites?
For clues to help distinguish swarming termites from swarming ants, examine the insects’ wings, waist and antennae. While both insects have two pairs of wings, termite wings are relatively equal in size. Ant wings tend to be longer in front and shorter in back.
Ants also have a narrow, pinched waist. Termites’ waists are thicker and less distinct. In addition, ants’ antennae are elbowed, while termites are straight.
Why do termites behave the way they do?
Subterranean termites are based in the soil, living in colonies that may contain millions of individuals. They require moisture, warmth and protection in order to survive. They build mud tubes to protect themselves as they leave the soil to search for food. Cellulose is food for termites and they get cellulose from wood or anything made from wood. In nature, termites perform a valuable service —breaking down dead trees and recycling the nutrients back into the soil. When a termite finds a food source, it leaves a trail of pheromones, a scent trail, to lead other workers to it. Workers then use the food source to feed soldiers and reproductives, which cannot feed themselves. Swarming occurs when reproductive males and female termites leave the old colony to start new families, usually in the spring.
Most termites in the colony are workers, which forage 24 hours a day for food to feed the other colony members. Some are soldiers, which fight off predators. Only a few are reproductives, including the queen, which can lay an egg every 15 seconds.
Termite Prevention. Things you can do:
- Fix leaky faucets and water lines
- Remove wooden trellises from exterior walls. Ventilate crawl spaces to reduce humidity
- Cover all vents with 20-mesh non-corroding metal screens
- Allow at least six inches between wood siding, foam board or stucco and the ground
- Grade soil so rainfall flows away from the foundation, avoiding water buildup.
- Eliminate wood-to-ground contact whenever possible
- Fix leaky gutters to avoid moisture build-up
- After barrier treatments, don’t disturb soil within eighteen inches of the foundation
- Keep wood piles away from the main structure
- When remodeling or adding on, contact us to see about additional termite protection