What is the worst problem your house could have? Maybe the floorboards start creaking, the furniture breaks down, the ceiling starts drooping, even the walls start looking discolored and chipping away. All of those fears come to life with one specific pest in Salt Lake City, UT: termites.
It can take years for the damage to show, but having termites under the house always leads to destruction. There’s a secret to identifying termites on your Utah property, but first, let’s discuss what termites look like and why they’re so destructive.
Salt Lake City’s Termite Identification Guide
Termites are a peculiar looking pest. These insects most closely resemble flying ants, but a few key features differentiate ants from your home’s worst nightmare.
Termites typically grow between ¼ and ½ an inch. They range in color from gray to light brown, though many termites also have a translucent look and are almost see-through. Like ants, termites are eusocial creatures, meaning they assign jobs, work together, and are often seen in groups.
Termites have sectioned bodies, six legs, and spiny antennae that are about the length of their heads. Some termites also have wings, though most termites don’t fly – except for swarmers, which only fly about 30 minutes every year.
While you may see termites in your home, the likelihood is that you’ll see their damage before you see the pests themselves. Termites rarely come out of their tunnels, so they can lay in hiding for years. If you notice any of the following signs, it's likely your Salt Lake City home has termites even if you haven't spotted one.
Signs Of Termite Infestations
Termites divide themselves into different tasks, similiar to what ants do. Most termites never leave the colony, as their job is to reproduce, feed the colony, or protect the other termites. The only termites you will probably see are the worker termites.
Workers might not be seen until years after the infestation starts. This is because termites build a colony underneath your house and dig tunnels throughout the property.
Once these tunnels are dug into your house, the workers will start breaking down wooden structures and anything containing cellulose, so if you see termites in the home, that means there are probably tons of tunnels in the soil beneath your property, and the termites have been feasting for a while.
This damage presents itself in several different ways. Most commonly, you might notice that your floorboards creak and move more, or your ceiling may start to sag as a result of weakened infrastructure.
Additionally, you may notice your doors and windows become more tight-fitting, or the paint on your walls could become discolored, due to the moisture released from termite activity. Finally, you might hear soft clicking noises from within the walls.
Termite Prevention Tips
Preventing termites involves preventing the factors that encourage their colonies to form. Termites often come to your home because you have a lot of soft, moist, or decaying wood that directly touches the soil of your property. You can keep termites out by identifying and remedying the following:
- Reduce soil-to-wood contact. Termites crawl from their underground colonies into your house through its wooden structures, so try to keep wood from touching the soil as much as possible.
- Remove firewood. Keep your firewood far away from your building, and if it’s inside your home, keep it above ground and far away from any other wooden structures.
- Reduce moisture. Termites are attracted to humid spaces in your house, especially in your crawl spaces, or where your house meets the ground. Test for moisture in these spaces and keep your property well ventilated.
- Shut off the lights. Keep your exterior lights off at night, as this can attract termite swarmers (and other pests) to your home, and an infestation may soon follow.
If you notice any signs of termites, even if you don’t see the pests themselves, it’s time to let the professionals protect your house from future damage. Reach out to Salt Lake City’s best pest experts at Pest Pro Pest Control, and we’ll make sure termites leave your property well enough alone.