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Everything You Need to Know About Termites in NC

Termites crawling on wood

Termite colonies are the worst infestations you can have. When termites invade your home, they aren’t satisfied until they’ve caused thousands of dollars worth of damage. Every year these pests cause over five billion dollars worth of destruction, and unfortunately for us, termites love the North Carolina climate. Because of how devastating termites can be to your home, we’d love to help you protect it. Here’s everything you need to know about termites in North Carolina – including the most common types, what they look like, how you can prevent them, how you can treat them, and much more!

Q: What kind of termites are most common in North Carolina?

A: The vast majority of termites we see here in North Carolina are Eastern subterranean termites.

Q: What do these termites look like?

A: Here are characteristics of Subterranean termites:

  • They are a creamy translucent color
  • They’re only 1/8 of an inch long
  • They don’t have wings
  • They’re blind and soft-bodied

Q: What time of year do termites tend to be active?

A: Most species of termites, especially subterranean termites, swarm in the spring. However, they can potentially be active all year-round.

Q: Once they move into my home, how long before they do real damage?

A: Subterranean termites will end up having massive colonies with millions of termites. A queen can lay 2,000 eggs a day! It can take a few years for this colony to reach its mature size, but in that time, they’ve been doing considerable damage. It can start right away but gets worse with time. Damage will start after the swarmers have mated, which can take a couple of days.

Q: Where do these termites live?

A: Eastern subterranean termites live underground, with tunnels that can stretch up to 100 yards. They remain underground or in wood after they’ve started their colony, and can live up to 10 years.

Q: How can I tell if either termite is damaging my home?

A: This is very important, so we’ll list out some telltale signs of a termite infestation:

  • Mud tubes. Mud tubes allow termites to have access to moisture while they search for more food. These tubes will connect a termite nest to wood, soil, and moisture.
  • Cracked paint. When termites eat wood, any paint on that wood can crack because the wood’s become distorted.
  • Small piles of wings. Swarmers are always the first on the scene, and they drop their wings when they find a place they want to mate and colonize.
  • Hollow wood. Because termites like dark, humid places, they typically eat the interior of the wood. They rarely come through the wood, so they can be creating massive damage on the other side of a wall without there being any evidence of damage.
  • Sagging floors. Old homes have uneven floors, but termites will make your floor or ceiling sag a bit due to the destruction.
  • Maze-like tunnels. If termites do eat the outside of furniture or wooden walls, then they’ll create a series of chaotic looking tunnels. This is a common occurrence in antique furniture.

Q: Where should I inspect first?

A: You should do a thorough inspection of your entire home. If you want, we can do one for free! Here are the most important areas:

  • Crawl spaces
  • Any wood in your basement
  • Anywhere that concrete touches wood on the ground level of your home
  • Any hollow cracks, even in the pavement of concrete
  • Old tree stumps, fence posts, and even the frames of your basement windows

Q: What preventative measures can I take?

A: There are a few things you can do to discourage termites from coming onto your property:

  • Get rid of old tree stumps or rotten fences
  • Move wood piles as far as possible from your home
  • Don’t lay down mulch next to your house
  • Repair any leaky water faucets or pipes in your home
  • Eliminate wood to soil contact
  • Seal all cracks on the exterior of your home, no matter how small
  • Schedule yearly inspections and have proper monitoring in place

Q: What measures can I take to kill a colony?

A: While we highly recommend getting a professional inspection and treatment for termites, there are a couple of things you can do to fight them off. However, you won’t be able to be 100% sure they’re all gone without an exterminator’s help. Here are some tips:

  • Flood the soil. If you’re dealing with subterranean termites and you know where their colony lives underground, flood it.
  • Bait station. Set up a bait station and put boric acid on some pieces of wood.
  • Liquid repellents. These help keep termites away from your home by providing a barrier that termites will not want to walk across.
  • Liquid non-repellents. These applications aren’t detected by termites, and when they tunnel into an area that’s been treated, they’ll die.
  • Call an expert! Terminix has helped people with termite problems for over 80 years, and we deliver the most hassle-free solutions on the market. We’d be happy to help!

Stop Termites Immediately

If you suspect your home has termites, then you should take immediate action--and fast! As professionals that see the amount of damages termites can cause, we sincerely hope you don’t have to confront a termite problem in your home. However, if you do, we are more than happy to help. Whether you need to get rid of an existing problem or you’d like to be proactive and prevent one altogether, give Terminix Triad a shout. Learn more about termite control in Winston-Salem, termite control in High Point, and termite control throughout the Triad and Piedmont of North Carolina. 

Your family deserves to be safe from these awful pests, and you should protect your home before it’s too late!

Learn how our termite control can help you today!