Kansas City's Ultimate Termite Guide
January 16, 2020
Winter is in full swing here in Kansas City, and pests have gone away – right? Unfortunately, not all pests have succumbed to the temperature drop. One pest, in particular, is using some unique and destructive methods to survive this winter. Of course, we are referring to termites. How do they do it? Have they learned how to build tiny heating systems for their colonies, or is something else much more troubling going on? Let’s find out.
How Termites Survive Winter
To understand how termites survive through the winter months, you must first understand where termites live. Subterranean termites, the most common termites here in Kansas City, live deep underground in colonies constructed of tunnels. During the winter months, these termites dig even deeper to stay warm, but this is not where the problem lies. If you didn’t know, termites are wood-eating, home-destroying pests. Your home, being the warmest place around, in no way deters them from continuing their work; in fact, it encourages them.
Termite Caste System
From birth, each termite is given a role, a job to help further their colony. This is what is known as a caste system. Within each colony, there are workers, soldiers, reproductives, and colonizers.
Worker Termites: Often described as white ants, worker termites make up the vast percentage of termites within a colony. These termites only job in life is to find and gather cellulose, the main component found in wood and paper products. These are the termites that eat homes.
Soldier Termites: Slightly darker and bigger than workers, soldier termites are tasked with the defense of the colony. Because termites are not the only insect that burrows underground, this is a crucial job.
Reproductive Termites: Also known as kings and queens, these termites are in charge of laying and fertilizing eggs. These reproductives are also in charge of assigning caste roles to eggs before they hatch.
Colonizing Termites: Better known as termite swarmers, these winged termites are in charge of finding new locations to build nests. Since they are only born when termite colonies reach max capacity, the sight of these fliers around homes is never a good sign.
5 Ways You Can Make Your Home Less Attractive To Termites
Repair leaks around your home and make sure your gutters are properly channeling water away from your home’s exterior.
Make sure there is a non-wood barrier keeping exterior soil at least 18” from the structural wood of your home.
Keep mulch a good distance away from your home’s exterior foundation.
Repair or replace any structural wood of your home that has been affected by water damage or rot.
Replace broken weather stripping and repair loose mortar around your foundation and windows.
How To Identify A Termite Infestation
There is one problem with identifying a termite infestation. Obvious signs will not show up until the damage to your home is already severe, signs such as dipping floorboards, bubbling wallpaper, sagging ceilings, buckling walls, and other severe structural failures. Termites live underground and deep within wood, never out in plain sight for you to see. This usually makes spotting them early impossible. The only real sign that presents itself early for you to see is mud tubes running up your home’s exterior foundation, and these can only be found if your home’s wood is not on the ground level.
How Augustine Can Help With Termites
Whether you are looking to have your home inspected for termites or to have long-lasting termite defenses put in place, the professionals here at Augustine Exterminators, INC are the ones for the job. We have the equipment needed to spot termites early and assess your risk of an infestation as well as the high-quality treatments needed to keep your home termite-free year-round.
Give us a call today if you want to learn more about our above-and-beyond services or if would like to schedule an inspection for your Kansas City property.