The Truth About Termite Identification

by Nate on August 8, 2011

The Truth About Termite Identification

Termite identification takes more than simply knowing the different members of the termite colony. There are a couple other things that every homeowner should know about if they are to protect their homes effectively against termites.

The Truth About Termites

The most common look that termites are usually associated with is the worker termites look. These are the termites that do all the food foraging and are creamy white in color. The truth though is that termites usually avoid the light and the open air.

Termites burrow deep in your soil and work its way to the wooden parts of your house through mud tunnels. This means that the damage to your property may also be undetected until there is already too much damage. Some homeowners do not know they have termites until damaged wood breaks off to reveal the white workers. The key to early termite identification is to look for tell tale signs of their presence.

Swarmer Termite Identification

Swarmers are the ones entrusted with the task of flying off to build new termite communities. Early termite identification therefore begins by looking for flying winged insects of a dark color, with straight bodies and four equal length wings that they might discard around your property.. These swarmers may fly to or away from your house.


Be especially watchful during the beginning of spring or after some rainfall. Although some may say that some swarmers simply get blown accidentally to your house, they might just establish a colony if the conditions are right.

Termite Identification Through Mud Tunnels

Mud tubes and tunnels are often a good aid for termite identification. Since worker termites try to avoid open spaces and day light, they usually move from their underground colony home to your house through mud tunnels. You should therefore be a little worried if you notice some seemingly dried mud that seem to rise up from the soil and stick on cracks or boards. When prodded, these tunnels may come off as grainy particles on your fingers. Some conditions are just so perfect for termites that they may even build mud mounds somewhere in your property.

Termite Identification Through Damage

If termites remain undetected for a long time, your home may already be in severe damage. Some signs of termite damage would be holes on the surface of the wood, paint cracks or wood that sounds hollow. Extensive termite damage may result in wood surface that easily breaks off when you prod it, revealing irregular sized hollow areas inside that may have traces of grainy mud.

Favorable Conditions

Although environmental conditions are not necessary for termite identification, there are some favorable conditions however that will attract potential colonists. You may for example have moist soil with wood contact on the ground. Ground termites love moist soil and the proximity of the wood to the soil may make their food harvesting work easier. Pipes that leak on wooden trash around the house and foundation cracks may also encourage termite infestation.

The primary step in do it yourself termite protection lies in your knowledge for termite identification. Know how to save your home from termites!

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