Termites are both beneficial and destructive insects that homeowners and business owners in the Dallas, TX area have to deal with every year. Termites can feed 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and according to the National Pest Management Association, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year – an expense typically not covered by homeowners insurance. Subterranean termites, the most prevalent termites in our area, are found in every state in the United States except for Alaska.

Termites fulfill an important role in our ecological system by speeding up the natural process of deterioration and help turn the dead wood into new soil. Unfortunately, termites don’t know the difference between a stump in your yard and the wood in your home. Termites live in social colonies, typically found in the soil. While they are generally found foraging underground for fallen wood, or plant debris, they can also enter homes causing extensive damage if left untreated.

What are subterranean termites?

In the Dallas/Fort Worth area, subterranean termites are the most common species, and they cause the biggest problem for homeowners. Subterranean termites, as their name suggests, live underground. This doesn’t stop them from traveling into your home. They create mud tubes, which are an elaborate network of tunnels used for protected navigation. Mud tubes are created where subterranean termites travel and feed such as on the exterior of homes, nestled between cracks in the foundation of your home.

Pictured Above: Termites create mud tubes that climb up from the ground into the foundation of the home. Photo Credit: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

What are the signs of a termite infestation?

Termites on pavement

Pictured Above: Termite swarmers leave behind piles of wings that break off upon impact with the ground after their first flight.

Subterranean termites are common structure infesting pests that originate in the soil. They are often detected by reproductive “swarming” behavior that can take place throughout the year, differentiated by the type of termite. Swarmers will be a dark brown to black color. When indoors, they tend to fly to light, so you may find them, or just their small tear-drop shaped wings near windows or light sources. Worker termites are a creamy white color and are rarely seen due to their sensitivity to light and air flow.

Characteristic signs of termite activity on the exterior of a home include:

  • Mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source) on the exterior of the home.
  • Soft wood in the home that sounds hollow when tapped
  • Darkening or blistering of wood structures
  • Cracked or bubbling paint
  • Small piles of feces that resemble sawdust near a termite nest
  • Discarded wings near doors or on windowsills, indicating swarmers have entered the home or swarmers themselves, which are often mistaken for flying ants

You may see characteristic “mud tubes” that the termites construct to protect themselves from the elements. Termite colonies can cause a great deal of damage to wooden structures because they rely on wood as their primary food source. Termite-damaged wood has no sawdust associated with it, so if you are seeing piles of sawdust, chances are the problem is related to carpenter ants.

Common areas for termite damage and activity include:

  • Under wood flooring
  • Ceilings
  • Roof beams
  • Under roof shingles
  • Insulation
  • And more!

Why do I have termites?

Termites eating wood

Termites are a common occurrence in nature, and are constantly in search of additional food sources. Worker termites travel underground looking for fallen trees, decaying wood, plant debris, and other cellulose materials to consume and bring back to the colony. It is not uncommon to find termites in mulch or a nearby wood pile around your home. Improper moisture control, leaf litter, and direct wood-to-soil contact are all prime conditions that can promote termite activity on your property – often times within close proximity to your home. While foraging, worker termites will enter cracks in the foundation of your home, ultimately leading them to the wood within the structure.

Are termites dangerous?

Termites do not bite, nor are they aggressive towards humans. For that reason, they don’t transmit disease and are not a direct health risk to humans. The most danger they cause is the destruction to your home.

Termites thrive in dark, moist conditions and feed primarily on wood or other cellulose material. Termite workers constantly forage for new food sources both in ground and above ground. They are known to enter buildings through cracks in concrete flooring and foundation walls. When left undetected, termites can cause significant damage to your structure.

Wood with termite damage

Pictured Above: Uneven paint is a sign of moisture build up, which can mean termite damage exists. Photo Credit: National Pest Management Association

How can I protect my home from termites?

Remove as much moisture from your home, focusing on the crawl space as much as possible. This means repairing leaky pipes and faucets, addressing water damage, and using a dehumidifier. Trim back plants that come into contact with your home. Move wood piles far away from your home. When living outdoors, termites gravitate towards wood piles among other wood such as fallen logs. Take a walk around the exterior of your home. Are there cracks or gaps in the foundation? Seal them up to prevent unwanted entry points.

How can Certified Termite and Pest Control get rid of the termites in my home?

Here at Certified, termites are our area of expertise. We have decades of professional experience with termite prevention and elimination for homeowners and business owners in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. No matter what your needs are, Certified has you covered. We will utilize Termidor, the most effective termiticide available to the Pest Control Industry. It is a non-repellent, so a termite can’t smell, see, or feel it, as it forages freely in a treated zone.

Liquid Treatment Options

We will first inspect your home and give you a detailed report/graph of any termite actively we find as well as any conducive conditions to termites. Then we will give you all the options and our professional recommendations. Once you decide what best fits your budget, we will perform the service and set up a follow up plan to ensure that your home is being properly protected from termites. When you begin our traditional liquid treatment plan, a Certified termite specialist will create a Liquid Barrier around the outside perimeter of your home. Then we will treat around all pipe penetrations inside your home (areas where termites can enter your home).

Wood Destroying Insect Reports (WDIR)

Official State form often required by lenders to inspect for past or current Wood Destroying Insect activity. The report also informs the buyer of any “conducive conditions” that might promote Wood Destroying Insect activity in the future. Inspections on the home should include the Exterior, Interior Baths and the Attic at a minimum. Wood destroying insects include: Termites, Carpenter Ants, and a variety of Wood Boring Beetles. The insects that cause the most damage in our area are Termites and Carpenter Ants. Texas is considered a Heavy Termite Infestation area. Help ensure your buyer does not end up with an expensive Termite treatment.

Pre-Construction Termite Treatments

Certified offers pre-construction termite treatments to meet the needs of your next project. We have decades of experience and provide competitive bids on all projects. If you are a contractor or working directly with a concrete company, give us a call for more information.

The Sentricon System

The Sentricon® Termite Baiting System is proven and efficient! Termites are known as “silent destroyers” due to their constant gnawing and ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected.

We’re ready to help keep your home termite-free! Do you suspect you currently have termites? No problem! Give us a call at 972-852-2847 or fill out the form on this page to speak with one of our specialists.