termite on a log outside a maryland home

What are Eastern Subterranean Termites?

Eastern subterranean termites are small, foraging insects that live in large social colonies. They feed on the cellulose debris found in leaf litter, wood, soil and dung. It is thought that there are around 4,000 species of termites with around 10% of these considered as pests because of the serious damage they can cause to timber and timber framed buildings. Eastern subterranean termites live in colonies underground and are among the most prevalent termite species found on the eastern portion of the country. They are considered a wood damaging pest and will account for over 5 billion dollars in damage repairs to US homes this year.

Why do I have them?

Termites live in the soil around your home in Washington D.C., Baltimore, and throughout Maryland and Virginia. They spend most of their time foraging for the cellulose material found in dead plant material, fallen timber, and other wood debris. It is not uncommon to unearth termites in the mulch surrounding your home or in a nearby wood pile. When soil conditions are optimal for termite activity, colonies can develop within close proximity to the foundation of your home. When subterranean termites forage for food they often enter homes through tiny cracks in the foundation, many of which are below the soil surface. Once inside, they continue exploratory foraging until wood is located. This food source can be any structural timber behind walls and ceilings where the termites are difficult to detect. In many instances a termite problem will lie undetected for months, or even years.

Are they dangerous?

Eastern subterranean termites are not harmful to humans. However, their ability enter homes in search of a food source can cause massive amounts of damage to buildings and structures if left untreated. With the potential to create weaknesses and even failure in structural members, the impact of termites should not be underestimated.

How do I get rid of Termites?

Getting rid of termites is not such an easy task. Due to the size and location of these sub-soil colonies, termites can forage beneath the surface of the soil for upwards of 300 feet from a viable food source. In urban environments is not uncommon for a termite colony to be living in the soil on a nearby property and continue to forage for food inside your home. Once a source of food is established, termite workers will continue to follow a series of tunnels and passageways beneath the surface of the soil by way of a pheromone trail. American Pest’s team of highly trained pest control professionals will inspect for active termite infestations inside homes and propose the best termite treatment option that is right for your individual set of circumstances.

Can I do it myself?

A number of unique factors impact the success of any termite control program. Factors such as drainage, foundation type, structural facade and the location of the termite activity must be taken into account. Do-it-yourself termite control solutions are typically aimed at getting rid of termites in a small, targeted area, and will not take into account for any unique circumstances surrounding your home. Additionally, many of these over the counter products are not sufficient in controlling colony growth. The most effective termite control solution is dependent upon careful inspection and observation, as well as a proposed treatment that will successfully eradicate the entire colony, stopping termite foraging at its source. Not sure which termite control is right for you? Let the professionals at American Pest consult with you regarding the options that will best suit your home.  Contact us today for a free quote.

How soon can you get here?

At American Pest, we pride ourselves in serving you in the shortest time possible to provide a swift resolution for all your pest problems. For that reason we strive to be with you the same or very next day.

Is the treatment safe?

There are many eco-friendly options available for termite control. In addition, all products used by American Pest are EPA registered for pest control use. Our highly trained pest control professionals will follow all appropriate label requirements in an effort to keep pets and humans safe.

How can I prevent this in the future?

Although it is nearly impossible to prevent termites from entering your home or business, there are a number of conducive conditions to be aware of.

  1. Moist soil will attract termites - keep an eye out for pooling water from downspouts or poor drainage areas.
  2. Termites forage just below the surface of the soil - keep wood debris from touching the ground and maintain piles of wood or other wooden structures 10-15 feet from the home.

  3. Termites will be attracted to moisture held in decaying mulch - rake and remove mulch annually and replace with new. Do not allow mulch to build up year after year.

  4. Termites are attracted to almost any type of wood, even pressure treated, as it will eventually begin to deteriorate beneath the ground - maintain wood to soil contact as far from the home as possible. This relates to fence posts, wooden sheds, decks, and play sets.

  5. Sprinkler systems that create moist soil will attract termites - added risk for termite colonies.

  6. Tree stumps  - when trees or shrubs are removed, remove their root systems as well. Leaving roots and stumps to decay will provide an adequate food source for termites.

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