Did you know termites are a bigger threat to Missouri homeowners than fire, flood, and storm damage? Even though we hear more about these unfortunate events in the news than we do termites, it’s the tiny pests that do the real damage. In fact the National Pest Management Pest Association, to which we belong, estimates that termites cost American homeowners $5 billion in damage each year!
There are approximately 2,500 species of termites worldwide. Only about 45 species are found in the US, and most of these are located in southern states. Four species of termites are reported to occur naturally in Missouri. All of these species are closely related and belong to the genus Reticulitermes.
Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions has been a St. Louis pest control expert for over three decades. We’ve experienced firsthand, over and over, the type of damage termites can do to your home. The good news is that you don’t have to live in fear of termites. You just have to know a little bit about termite control and how to spot them, treat them, and keep them away.
Termites are most active in spring as termite swarms gather for reproduction and new colony formation. But the reality is termites are active year round in one form or another. They just happen to be spotted by humans more frequently in the spring. An important aspect of effective termite control is to know how to spot termites even when they aren’t swarming.
Mud Tubes on Exterior Walls
Termites mostly travel in tunnels made of mud as they search for food. You’ll typically find termite tunnels on top of brick, concrete, or other hard surfaces (like your foundation). If you spot even one mud termite tunnel on the outside or inside of your home you have termites and should immediately consider investing in termite control.
Termites eat wood 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The problem is they don’t eat in plain sight. Termites prefer dark and humid environments so they typically eat wood from the inside out. Hollow logs around your lawn are one thing, but also look for soft or hollow sounding wood in your walls and door frames. Cracked or bubbling paint might also reveal the tip of an iceberg. In our experience with St. Louis termite control we’ve seen the harsh realities of undetected termite activity that had been going on for years.
Frass and Sawdust
Drywood termites especially produce wood-colored droppings called frass. If termites are present in your home you might spot trails of frass or sawdust left behind by a hungry colony of termites. Frass is often encountered in small piles and it looks like tiny wood pellets or salt and pepper colored sawdust.
Termite swarms generally go about 600-900 feet from their original nest. They don’t get very far before their wings fall off – which you’ll find often en masse near windows, doors, or light fixtures. Windowsills are an especially common place to find discarded wings.
Cracked Entry Points
You’re more likely to have termites if your home is an attractive environment for them. Termites enter your home through wood-to-ground contact such as doorframes, deck posts, and porch steps. They also exploit cracks in your foundation or in brick mortar. Finally, they prefer moisture. So the more moisture you have close to your home – the more likely they’ll be nearby. Watch for water pooling around your gutters and structure.
St. Louis Termite Control
Termites are tricky business. They’re hard to spot and homeowners often discover them before it is too late. Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions is the St. Louis termite control expert and would be honored to partner with you in termite control. We have tremendous local knowledge, award-winning customer service, and a passion for enabling peace of mind in your home through effective pest control.
Call 314 544-7378 – Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions, your St. Louis termite control expert and let us partner with you in your battle against termites!