Columbia South Carolina is home to many pests that damage man-made structures, but there is one pest that would stand head and shoulders above the rest—if they had heads and shoulders. They're called subterranean termites. These insects live in the ground and have a preference for feeding on wood. If they discover your Columbia home is made of wood, they can threaten your finances in a way that few pests can. Here's everything you should know about subterranean termites in Columbia.

termite in home
termite up close

1. They Won't Be Deterred.

While subterranean termites can't tunnel through concrete and metal, they can move past these materials by creating above-ground tunnels. These above-ground tunnels are called shelter tubes or mud tubes—because they're made of mud. A shelter tube can be as thin as a pencil and provide a direct route for termites to go from the soil to the wood of your home.

Subterranean termites get in through foundation cracks as well. If you have a crack in a concrete wall or slab foundation, these insects are likely to find it. Workers are always searching. Cracks like these give workers a pathway into the wood of your home without making visible mud tubes on exterior surfaces.

2. The Threat Is Real

If subterranean termites have gotten into your Columbia home, there are a few things you should understand.

  • There can be as many as a million individual termites in a subterranean termite colony.

  • Termites don't sleep. They are simple organisms that make tunnels, search for food, and consume food 365 days a year.

  • A termite worker can travel 300 feet (or 100 yards) to find a bite to eat. That's the length of a football field. So one colony can be feeding on several houses in your neighborhood, and multiple colonies can be feeding on your home at the same time.

3. Workers Can Be Everywhere

When a food source is found, a termite colony doesn't send every worker to that one source. Workers feed on many sources at the same time. There are a few things you should understand about this.

  • While termites are feeding on a wood source in your yard, they can also be feeding on your home.

  • If you have more food in your yard than your neighbor, you'll have more worker termites exploring your yard.

  • If workers find more food sources in your neighborhood, the queen will produce more workers.

4. It Is Difficult To Detect Subterranean Termites

You can have a million of these insects in your home right now and not know it. We're not trying to scare you. This is the sober truth about subterranean termites. They're incredibly sneaky. Here are a few reasons why.

  • These termites have a strong aversion to light. Subterranean termite workers have been found creating mud tubes inside the concrete piers within crawl spaces underneath homes. The crawl spaces themselves weren't dark enough. Often, mud tubes are created in hidden locations because darkness is preferred.

  • These termites require moisture. The skin of a subterranean termite can dry out in the air. This is why they carry moist soil (mud) up into the wood tunnels they make, and why they create mud tubes. It is also why they rarely reveal themselves. Unlike other insects, like the carpenter ant or carpenter bee, termites rarely breach tunnel walls and reveal their activity. If they do, they pack a little mud in the opening to seal the breach.

  • One of the most obvious warning signs of a subterranean termite infestation is the appearance of white winged termite swarmers. Unfortunately, even this can be a difficult way to detect a termite infestation. Swarmers don't swarm for more than 30 minutes. They can gather and disperse while you're watching one television show.

5. Termite Damage Can Be Prevented

At Go-Forth Pest Control, we trust The Sentricon® System with Always Active™ to protect properties in our Columbia service area from termites. This system uses a network of bait stations to achieve colony elimination.

  • Workers take the bait because they prefer it.

  • The bait becomes even more interesting to termites as it ages, rather than becoming less effective like termiticides.

  • Workers find the bait because they're always looking for food sources.

  • Workers share the bait because only worker termites eat. All other termites get their sustenances from excreted fluids given by the workers.

  • The Sentricon® System with Always Active™ is always active. Like those termites, it never takes a break. Your property will be protected 365 days a year.

If you live in Columbia, and you want to protect your property from the threat of subterranean termites, reach out to us today. We would enjoy the opportunity to guide you in this important protection for your equity.


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