Termites are social insects, similar to bees in that they have a queen, workers and soldiers living in a vast and elaborate mound. Mounds can support up to a million termites if left untreated.
Termites are often called white ants, but they are related to cockroaches and are an equally destructive pest, highly adaptable and living throughout Lubbock and West Texas.
Depending on the life-cycle of the termite, the size, color and behavior can differ greatly. Most species of worker termites have soft, white bodies less than an inch long. Workers are eating, building up the mound and causing destruction of wood from the inside.
Soldiers have large dark bodies, no wings and massive mandibles or pincers to protect the colony.
Swarmer’s are future queens in search of a new colony. They can be attracted to light, traveling from outside into the home or through cracks in the floor/walls from an existing mound. Swarmers are often black and winged, but are commonly mistaken for carpenter ants.
Behavior & Risks
Termites aren’t vectors and don’t bite or sting. Rather, their effect on the structural integrity of our buildings makes them a pest. Wood is preferred, although termites can chew through carpet and electrical wiring, they are even known to short a circuit and cause house fires.
Lubbock has two common species of termites that easily survive in our hot, dry climate. Drywood termites are adapted to our homes and ample supply of food.
Subterranean termites also live in West Texas, but they burrow in soil. Vast mud mounds and tubes extend from the soil into the home where they are likely to feed near the ground.
Bug Tech can help identify the species and type of termite, affecting treatment options.
Identifying a Problem
Unfortunately, most home and property owners don’t find a termite infestation until it’s too late. Seeing swarmers in the home, spotting fecal pellets or experiencing wood that appears rotten from the inside out are all signs of a colony.
Termites can affect a variety of structures: outdoor gazebos, wood piles, wooden decks, old sheds and more destructive: building foundations, siding and roof shingles. Where termites are located is a large factor in treatment and cost.
Prevention & Treatment
Antique and used wood furniture can bring termites into the home, although most infestations are caused by an existing colony in the neighborhood.
Always get a WDIR (wood destroying insect report), before buying a home. Old homes and properties near wooded areas are most at risk, although any home could support a colony.
If an infestation is limited to a piece of furniture, deck or outdoor structure, the easiest and cheapest DIY solution is removal. However, infestations where mounds exist under a home’s foundation or throughout the roof, siding, walls and flooring require an experienced pest professional.
Bug Tech’s licensed team of technicians are experienced in individual and commercial property infestations of termites. Learn more about our targeted termite treatment, comprehensive inspections and WDIR reports.