Subterranean termites threaten homeowners across the United States but if you live in the RGV, the weather factors can be a significant risk for your property. Subterranean termites cause the most damage of any termite species.
How were we able to identify the termites and their type?
We first noticed some brown/black spots on the wall inside one of the properties and as we took a closer look, the spots also had tiny holes where the termites have gone through called kick-out holes. This means that by then, the termites had already been inside the walls and had been eating, feasting even, the wooden beams. The licensed pest control technician mentioned that it could possibly be “subterranean termites” also known as “superbugs” by this indication.
These bugs have a creamy white/dark brown/black color. They have six legs and their size is 1/8 inch long with a long, narrow and oval shape with antennas.
We immediately checked the source as these termites cause the most damage of any termite species – like ninja termites. They generally have access where moist, heat and wood concentrate and they access your property by building tunnels also called “mud tubes”. They eat wood 24 hours a day, seven days a week (can’t stop, won’t stop), so it was important to identify the source and if there’s an existing colony, before the damage was more severe on areas that we probably wouldn’t be able to see in plain sight.
Who can experience this?
Subterranean termites threaten homeowners across the United States but if you live in the Rio Grande Valley, the weather factors can be a significant risk of termites.
Good areas to inspect where termites can be located
Inside your property: generally any location where wood is present can be a good spot for termites so try to inspect everywhere inside your property but pay special focus on areas where moisture is present such as near plumbing and among other places with possible moisture.
Outside your property: observe and inspect the perimeter of your slab and/or your pier & beam foundation, gutters and places where moisture may be present. Termite mud tubes can blend in well with the soil or concrete, making them difficult to see. If you have tall grass, it’s recommended to clear it as much as possible and keep your foundation visible constantly (5-7 inches ideally for slab) so you can identify if any mud tubes are being built up your property.
These superbugs can critically damage a building structure and sometimes can cause a total collapse. Also the cost of repairing your home from infestation, yet alone the damage caused in the internal structure of your property, can make this a whole lot more difficult and expensive. Price of the termite treatment goes based on the square footage that will be treated plus any damage that the property may have.
Once you have it, what to do
The property where we found the termite problem was built in 2018, it’s on slab and it’s not in a flood zone:
- Prevention is rule #1. It’s important to know in advance what this is, how to avoid it and how to treat it once it’s present
- Inspect your property’s foundation once a year, whether it’s slab and/or pier and beam
- Inspect the inside of your property where moist, heat and/or wood concentrates and identify any spots or marks like the ones above
- If you are going to build a new property, it’s recommended to do a termite pre-treatment throughout the entire property. Make sure to speak with your builder about this treatment before sheetrock walls are put in place. You would not want to go cheap here as consequences may be devastating in the future
- Generally termite treatments can last anywhere from 1 to 10 years. Have a preferred licensed pest control company that can help you with this matter as this is serious stuff if not treated properly and in a timely fashion so you don’t collapse at the legs of these critters!