How To Get Rid Of Termites (Greenville Exterminators)

August 20, 2020

If you look at termites, they do not seem much. Termites are tiny creatures, too small to look harmful to an entire house. They are not harmless, however. True, a single termite would not be harmful, but in huge numbers, they are very destructive. When talking about termites, do not let looks deceive you.

termites on wood

These little termites have caused billions of dollars in structural damage annually. And that is just here in the United States alone. They do billions of dollars more worth of damages around the world. Termites love to eat cellulose-based materials, and our homes and buildings contain these materials. Their first choice of food is wood; but they also eat boxes, paper, books, and insulation.  

About Termites

Termites are unique in that they show a raised degree of a social system. These insects belong to the order Isoptera and are detrivores. There are around 2,000 identified species of termites all over the world, except in Antarctica. Fortunately, there are only 40 of these species in the United States. They grow to only about 4 to 15 mm long. Their bodies have 3 segments. These are the prothorax, mesothorax, and metathorax. Each of these sections carries a pair of legs.  

Ants Vs. Termites

If you are among those people who find it confusing in identifying termites and ants, we are here to help. Despite their similarities in appearance, they are not really related to each other. Termites first emerged 150 million years ago from a species of cockroaches. Ants did not appear until millions of years later: It was only 50 million years ago that ants and other eusocial Hymenoptera appeared. This includes bees. Ants and bees are distant relatives.  

Termites have no contraction at the waistline, and are rectangular in shape, while ants have slender waists. They have straight antennae connected to their heads, with four wings, and are a light cream color. Termites, including soldier termites, cannot see and utilize their antennae to feel vibrations, for touch, taste, and detect an odor. They eat dead plant materials, mostly wood, soil, or litter.  

Termite Colonies

Termites are a remarkably social group of insects that live in a colony. Its population can reach from several hundred to several million upon maturation. They are a perfect case of working as a team with a self-formed strategy that uses swarm intelligence. To describe what swarm intelligence means, it is clear intelligent conduct that turns up from the mutual act of an enormous quantity of termites. In this situation, the colony is made up of a queen, soldiers, workers, male ants, and nymphs.  

How did I get these termites?

Termites enter homes through fractures, tiny holes, and similar openings around pipes and cables. They initially set up colonies within the periphery of the household and inch across the lawn to go to your home.

Common Types of Termites

As we pointed out earlier, there are many more kinds of termites, and 40 in the US. We can further trim that down to these termites listed below.  

1. Subterranean termites - This type of insects cause the most damage to American homes. Next to the Formosan termites, subterranean termites destroy buildings faster than any other type of termites. They have pointed teeth and big jaws that permit them to chew through wood. These mouthparts allow them to eat books, paper, and other cellulose-based material as well. They like to live in dim places with excessive moisture. Finding them can be extraordinarily tough because they regularly live underneath the exterior casing while feeding on the wood. They always leave the exterior casing intact, that is why they are called the silent terminators. It usually too late once the homeowners find out about their existence. Their nests are normally in contact with the soil. 

2. Formosan termites - This type of termites cause the fastest damage because they are vigorous types. They can grow to about 1/2 inches in length. The queens reproduce millions of eggs. Their nests can contain up to millions of termites upon the maturation of the colony. They spread rapidly. Because of this attribute, they destroy structures faster than any other termites.  

3. Drywood termites - Drywood termites attack dry wood like a utility, poles, walls, lumber, decks, furniture, and dead limbs on trees. Thus their name. They have large mouths with teeth, with two sets of wings. They measure about 12 mm in length. Drywood termites infest houses each moment they find exposed wood. While most other termites nest in soil, dry wood termites nest in wood. Their nests are situated mostly above ground. Drywood termites attack wood by cutting across the grain, leaving behind a box-like arrangement on the wood. Some of these boxes are loaded with fecal pellets. The dry wood termites once in a while expel these fecal pellets outside the den through narrow openings. This leaves a clear sign of their existence under the wood’s casing. They have smaller colonies as compared with other termites because the queens do not produce many eggs.

4. Dampwood termites - Dampwood termites are very different from dry wood termites because they prefer to settle in areas with excessive humidity. They are creamy-white to brownish in color. They grow to ½ inch to ⅝ inch long, with tight and elliptical shaped bodies and six legs. Dampwood termites are drawn to wood that is weakened by water. Physically, they are considerably heftier than the subterranean termites. They usually do not infest structures because they require extra humidity. But still, you have to be vigilant, and do everything you can so you would not attract damp wood termites because they can create lots of destruction. Keeping them out demands that you control water in your home.

Buyer Beware

Having termites not only destroy homes, but they also ruin your chance of selling them. If you want to sell your home, you have to make sure it is termite-free. Their presence would turn off anyone who wishes to buy any home. Termites make structures very weak, and in time, these structures would not last unless the homeowner gets rid of them. For this reason, buyers are very wary of them. 

Wood Destroying Insect Report

Before purchasing, a buyer would normally have the house inspected for termites. Buyers can ask for a Wood Destroying Insect Report from the owner. A Wood Destroying Insect Report informs potential buyers of the presence of termites in a house or building they wish to buy. If they find that there is a termite infestation, they might refuse to buy the property.

Termites are good at remaining hidden, that is why they remain undetected while they eat away. They continue to eat until the timbers weaken and there is nothing else to feast on. Indeed, these tiny insects are an expensive problem to have.  

Signs That You May Have Termites

Termites work quietly underneath the casings of the structural wood of our houses, thus it is important to look for these signs before it is too late. Otherwise, the destruction would have been completed. The moniker “silent destroyers” could not be more apt. If you see these signs, then you better take action.  

1. Tap wood structure in your house. If it sounds hollow, you might have a problem. Termites might have demolished the wood beneath the casings.

2. If you see mud tubes on walls or beams, then you have another sign. There is a good chance that these were caused by termites. 

3. Seeing fecal pellets or termite droppings.

4. Discarded termite wings scattered around.

5. Actually seeing a termite. If you see one, there are probably plenty more hidden around the house.  


If you have these termites in your house, do not worry. There are some things we can do to get rid of termites. Here are a few tips.

1. Fix sources of water. Fix leaky pipes and valves.

2. Seal off cracks and crevices around the house by caulking. These openings give termites easy access to your house.

3. Clean up all the dirt since termites are attracted to it.

4. If possible, avoid purchasing furniture made of wood. This is so that you would not have to add more items that attract termites. In case you already have wooden furniture and are infested with termites, take it out under the sun. The heat from the sun will kill the termites.

5. Use beneficial nematodes. These are worms that are common predators of termites. You can get these at a local gardening store near you.

6. Wet cardboard is an effective termite trap. Cardboard is composed of cellulose material that attracts termites. Add some water on it to make it damp enough to invite termites. Place the damp cardboard in spaces that are near the termites. If you determine you got enough termites on the cardboard, grab the cardboard and burn it with the termites.  

These are some of the most effective tips to get rid of termites. It can save your house and yourself from having to spend thousands on home repairs.   

Professional Pest Control Near You

If you suspect having termites in your house and are overwhelmed, you may call the best pest control experts in Greenville, Go-Forth Pest Control. 

Go-Forth Pest Control is a family-owned company that is the real expert in pest control. We are trusted by residents and local businesses alike in maintaining their homes pest-free for more than 60 years now. 

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