Termites Swarm Texas Houses as Wet Climate Creates Good Situations

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Heavy rain in Houston and southeast Texas has resulted in termite activity. Pest control services are warning that they will try to spread and establish colonies in people’s homes.

According to the National Pest Management Association, swarms of termites cause more than $ 5 billion in property damage in the United States each year.

They can find their way into homes through tiny gaps, establish millions of colonies in homes without being detected, and cause serious damage by chewing inside-out through wood, wall supports, roofing materials, and other key structures.

Three main types of termites routinely cause problems for homeowners in Texas: native subterranean termites, subterranean formosan termites, and drywood termites.

Termites usually get more active early in the year, but the freezing weather that hit Texas in February may have delayed termite activity.

However, termites are attracted to moisture, and the recent onslaught of wet weather has woken them up. They will now try to mate and form new colonies.

“What we’re seeing are just late swarms of underground termites flying out,” Raleigh Jenkins, president of local pest control company ABC Home and Commercial Services, told KHOU.

“What they want to do is spread out to the environment and they want to separate, get into the ground and men and women want to set up their own colonies.”

Another insect control company, Terminix, said termites can enter homes through a gap of just 30 seconds.

In many cases, subterranean termites enter through cracks in the structure of a house or through patios, porches, and other wooden structures that are in direct contact with the ground.

“Wood structures in Texas have a greater than 70 percent chance of being attacked by termites within 10 to 20 years of building if not properly protected by a chemical or physical barrier,” according to Texas A&M AgriLife, the published an article with Advice for Homeowners Seeking Termite Control Service.

There are several tell-tale signs of a termite infestation.

Wooden floors can have discolored blister marks, while wooden furniture sounds hollow when knocked or has a honeycomb structure.

Termites often shed their wings after swarming, and their droppings resemble sawdust or coffee grounds.

Rod-thin tunnels, known as “mud tubes”, are a sign of underground termites that they use as a highway between their underground nests and their food source.

An archive image shows a pair of subterranean termites on a piece of wood. Millions of termites can form a single colony that is difficult to spot even indoors.
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