Here in the South, we have bugs… period! Big ones, little ones, flying ones, biting ones, stinging ones and then there is the kind that can and, if allowed, will completely destroy your home from the ground up! TERMITES! These tree loving
insects love nothing more than to sink their teeth in anything containing wood, and their colonies can consist of millions. However, no need to panic! My job as your local expert Realtor is to make sure you are informed and prepared with the knowledge you need to make sure your home is safe from these tree-eating tricksters. Being aware, knowing what to look for and being proactive can save you 1000’s of dollars in damages to your home. Let’s take a closer look at these things!
Mississippi definitely falls into the “high risk” category when it comes to termites, as need moisture and warmth in order to thrive. Both, of which, our spring and summers provide plenty of. There are two main destructive types of termites: Eastern Subterranean and Formosan Subterranean. Both species of these timber-loving pests are responsible for millions in economic damages each year! Termite nests consists of several different roles. All, of which, are interdependent upon each other. There is a queen, king, the winged reproductives, soldier & worker termites.
The queen termite is an egg-laying machine! Her humongous body is perfect for laying more than 2000 eggs per day in addition to the fact that she can live for up to 25 years! The worker termites substantially make up the majority of the colony and can range in the hundreds of thousands.
The Formosan termite is the most destructive of the two. This species is not native to the US, as they were imported here from China. They develop massive nests containing millions that are constantly seeking and devouring wood structures such as homes, utility poles, ships and living trees. They often cause disruptions and power failures by chewing through cables. Due to their size, numbers and aggressiveness, Formosan termites cause more damage than any other species in the US and can cause significant damage to a home in only 6 months. Affected areas include: Hawaii, Coastal TX, MS, LA, AL, GA, FL, TN, SC, NC & Southern California.
When do they “Attack”?
Termites’ heaviest activity takes place in the late spring/summer. Swarming takes place usually following a heavy rain. The swarmer termites come out in full force, sometimes numbering in the thousands depending on the size of their mound. They seek out the perfect location that provides a lot of moisture and plenty of their readily available favorite food source – timber. Swarming normally takes place over a wide area in an effort to find a mate from another colony nest to start a new colony with. Colony nest development is a slow process in the first few months and their egg laying capacity peaks after a few years producing up to 10,000 offspring per year!
Where do they come from?
Nests are usually located in the ground below the frost line yet above the water table. Termites are constantly searching for a food source. They enter buildings through cracks in the concrete, cracked mortar joints in brick veneer and especially exposed wood under a home that is in contact with the earth. Termites can also establish secondary colonies in very moist wood in the upper stories of a structure. For example, if you have a two-story home and a second-floor bathroom that is leaking; this could very easily attract them.
What to look for?
What do I do if I suspect termite activity is taking place in my home?
Should you suspect an active infestation is taking place, it is very important that you DO NOT DISTURB THEM! This is extremely important. Disturbing these chaos-causing critters could cause them to abandon their active nest and cause damage in other areas of the home that would have otherwise not been affected. When the Formosan termite is disturbed, they will emit a white sticky latex-type of substance as a defensive mechanism. Immediately contact your preferred local pest inspector and have them come out, assess the damage and determine the best course of action to treat them. Being proactive, hiring the right professional and having preventative maintenance checks done every year is the best defense against them. I have provided the contact info of some of the best pest treatment/inspectors in Hattiesburg below. As always, don’t ever hesitate to call me if you have any specific questions or need someone to take a look and advise you on the next step. Always happy to take your call at the contact info listed below or come by my office and we will put a game plan together that ensures you take ALL of the necessary steps and action that guarantees you that peace of mind!
Local Pest Experts
Termite Control Specialists 745 N Black Creek Rd, Sumrall, MS 39482 email:
Orkin Pest and Termite Control 2015 Hardy St, Hattiesburg MS 39401 Phone: (866)736.1021
Havard Pest Control 5268 Old Hwy 42, Hattiesburg, MS 39401 Phone: (888) 854.1468