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Bad Things Come in Threes: Texas Termites

Termites are more dangerous to homes than carpenter ants

A Trio of Hill Country Trouble

When you flip through a photo lineup of Isoptera mug shots, they all resemble plump ants. Don’t let their ordinary looks fool you. San Antonio homes are vulnerable to destruction all year round to three different types of termites, and each has its own peculiar way of trespassing on property and breaking into central Texas homes.

Sneaky Subterraneans

These destructive termites swarm the area from February through May and build their nests beneath your lawn. Extensive underground hideouts provide necessary moisture and ideal temperatures for termite survival. As the pests expand their territory, they forage for food sources above ground, and your house becomes an easy target. Tiny mud tunnels along foundations and exterior walls are sure signs of thousands of subterraneans on the move, and their damage shows up in wood that appears honeycombed with only its grain left intact.

Determined Drywoods

Drywood termites don’t depend on the ground for habitat or moisture. They go straight to the nearest wood source whether it’s your picnic table or backyard shed. These insects swarm in early spring and eat their way into the house through exterior cracks. Unlike their subterranean cousins, drywoods thrive when the rains slow down here in central Texas. They stay hydrated by munching on your home’s framing, structural timbers and even hardwood floors. Their signature damage leaves wood unusually smooth as though the surface has been worked with sand paper.

Formidable Formosans

You might not think of termites as aggressive, but Formosans are setting off alarms throughout the state. Their nocturnal swarms during late spring establish huge underground colonies with populations that grow to hundreds of thousands. Formosans also build permanent nests inside structures, and their reproductive prowess can expand a colony’s numbers into the millions. Like smaller subterraneans, these invasive insects build shelter tubes around foundations. Their massive numbers turn Formosan termites into gangs that quickly cause extensive property damage.

You don’t have to be a trained professional to know termites are bad news, but detecting an infestation that’s just getting started isn’t easy. If these pests are on your list of unusual suspects, ABC Home & Commercial Services can make a solid identification. Busting termites is just one of our pest control specialties, so let us know if you need help.

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