Termites in Texas and How to Spot Them
Termites are found throughout Texas. They thrive in our environment because of the warm temperatures and high humidity. Summer is their swarming season, so it’s good to know what to look for to help protect your home.
The most common termite species found in the Waco, Temple, and Killeen areas are the Subterranean termite, Drywood termite, Dampwood termite, and Formosan termite.
This article provides in-depth information about each common termite species in Texas and answers these questions: What do they look like and how can you identify the different species? How do you know if you have a termite infestation? What are the signs of termite damage?
What do termites look like?
All termites share some common characteristics, such as their small size and pale bodies. However, there are also some distinct differences between termite types that can help you identify them. Read on to learn more about these different types of termites.
One of the most common types of termite in our area is the Subterranean termite. As the name suggests, subterranean termite colonies live underground in the soil and build tunnels and mounds above ground. They feed on wood and can quickly cause severe damage to homes and other structures.
The swarmer type has a dark brown to black coloration and tiny pairs of wings approximately a quarter of an inch to a half-inch long. The worker variety is white and around a quarter of an inch in length or less. Soldier termites are easily identified by their massive jaws, creamy-white coloring, and brownish heads.
Drywood termites typically live in warm, dry climates, and like other termites, they eat wood and damage buildings.
The reproductive termites of this species are identified by their dark brown bodies and grayish-black wings and measure half an inch long. The brown head of the soldier class can be recognized by its large mouth parts that extend out beyond the head.
Dampwood termites typically live in moist, humid environments. They infest the wood they feed on, threatening homes and other structures.
Dampwood termites are known to emit a distinctively noxious odor. They can grow up to almost an inch long, bigger than the Drywood and Subterranean types. Swarmer season generally occurs from May to September.
You can identify these swarmers by their dark brown bodies and wings. The Dampwood termite soldiers are brown or yellowish in hue, with antennae on either side of their heads. Nymphs are easy to identify because of their creamy color and spotted abdomens.
Formosan termites are considered the most destructive type of termite and can devour the structure of a home quickly, and because of their large colonies, they are hard to eradicate.
The Formosan termite swarmers are yellowish or golden-brown and about a half-inch long. They gather in large quantities at night in late May and early June, drawn to lights. They have a thick covering of hair on their translucent wings.
It can sometimes be hard to distinguish Formosan termites from the Drywood species. Because Formosan termites are so aggressive in their destruction, it’s best to call a professional when in doubt.
How do you know if you have a termite infestation?
If you think you may have a termite infestation, there are a few things you can look for:
- Termites leave behind small piles of droppings and sawdust, called frass
- You may also see small holes in wood or discarded wings around your home
- Subterranean termites create mud tunnels to gain access to your home from underground, so keep an eye out for mud tubes anywhere near your home
Termites work fast and cause significant damage. If you see any of these signs, it’s essential to contact a licensed pest control professional to have your home inspected for termite infestation.
What are the signs of termite damage?
Termite damage can be difficult to spot, as the insects wreak havoc from the inside out. However, there are a few telltale signs that should get immediate attention:
- Small piles of sawdust around your home
- Damaged wood
- Cracks in paint or wallpaper
- Sagging floors or ceilings
- Mud tubes near your home or its foundation
If you think you may have a termite infestation, don’t wait until it’s too late to save your home. Instead, call the experts at 855Bugs to schedule a free inspection, and stop termite damage in its tracks!