What Are Termites? – A Case Study & 4 Termination Procedures

What Are Termites? – A Case Study & 4 Termination Procedures

What are termites? Termites are one of the most destructive pests on the planet and very hard to get rid of.  The United States suffers damage from termites and similar pests worth an estimated $30 billion each year.

Furthermore, termite grows fast in the house as the termite queen can lay millions of eggs in her life and build colonies that are enough for the destruction of a house. Moreover, they never go away on their own. You must have to do the treatment otherwise they will keep doing the destruction.

What Are Termites?

How to identify termites? When they start building colonies in the structure they leave some signs as well which any of us can identify and do the treatment. The most common signs are termite dropping, mud tubes, and damaged wood. If you have seen these signs in your house then you must contact the termite control company so they can do further inspection and treatment.

For termites’ treatment, we have professional procedures to eliminate them and some DIY solutions as well. However, DIY solutions will only be effective if the infestation is not severe or it is only for specific spot treatment. On the other side if you see you have termites everywhere in the house then go for professional treatment. To understand What do termites look like? we have another article.

Termite’s Life Cycle:

Like other insects, they grow rapidly and build colonies in a structure within a short period. It is therefore vital to detect them in the early stages so you can prevent the house from being destroyed.

Termite Eggs:

It is the queen termite that lays termite eggs. The naked eye can’t detect a single egg, and together eggs look like a powder. Termite eggs hatch within two weeks. When a colony first began, the queen took care of the eggs and larvae. Termite workers, however, took care of eggs and larvae when a colony grew large.

Termite Eggs

Termite Larvae:

Termites larvae are also known as baby termites. They are about the size of an egg and white. Their appearance is similar to maggots. Unlike other insects, termite larvae don’t change color or shape when they grow. Termite workers must feed and find food for immature and baby termites since they are unable to consume food on their own.

Adult Termites:

Soldier termites, worker termites, and swarmers are the three types of adult termites. When they grow big, they have some responsibilities to fulfill. Most of them become workers, some become soldiers and only a few become swarmers or reproductive termites. Termite workers collect food and feed larvae for the colony. Soldier termites defend termite larvae and eggs from other insects. Because swarmers can grow their colony after mating, they are also called queens and kind or secondary reproductive termites. Termite swarmers or flying termites leave the colony and fly to find their mate so that they can start their colony. Termites with wings that are flying most likely are swarmers since other have wings but do not fly.

If you don’t take action, the termite life cycle will continue. First swarmers meet, queens lay eggs, the eggs hatch, and termite larvae come out, they become adults and keep destroying the house.

Facts About Termites:

  • What Color Are Termites?

The color of termites is usually white and light brown. Swarmers are mostly in dark colors and worker termites are lighter in color. Also, swarmer termites are usually bigger in size as well.

What Color Are Termites?

  • What Are Subterranean Termites?

if there are dark or black termites swarming near your house, there are chances that they are subterranean termites. Subterranean termites are also known as soil termites. They make and grow their colonies in the soil and travel through mud tubes. It is most likely that subterranean termites live inside your house if you have found mud tubes.

  • What Are Termites Attracted To?

Places with moisture and less ventilation are attractive to termites. Also, they are attracted to closed places where they feel safe. If you have a house with less ventilation then you need to go for bait station termite control systems to remain protected. However, try not to leave storerooms, basements, and cabinets closed for a long time.

  • What Are The Signs Of Termites?

Luckily, there are some signs one can look for to identify termites. However, to check the level of infestation, you need a professional service. Mud tubes, damaged wood, Termite Poop, termite droppings, hollow sound of wood, and drooping from the ceiling are the signs to identify them.

  • What Size Are Termites?

Termites’ sizes vary from 1 to 8 inches. Usually, swarmers are bigger in size as compared to the soldier or worker termites. Swarmer termites can be 3 to 8 inches long including their wings. Furthermore, they are bigger than similar pests such as carpenter ants. Moreover, there are different species of termites and are slightly different in color and size. One more thing, because termites have wings, people often ask, do termites fly? Well, only swarmers can fly and even they break their wings and leave flying after they find their male or female mate.

  • What Are Drywood Termites?

Drywood termites make their nest in wood and wall. Unlike subterranean, they do not make their colonies under the soil. The type of Drywood can be found in the ceiling, walls, and other wooden stuff. Mostly the drooping that you see belongs to them.

  • What To Do If Termites Are Found?

When you find termite drooping go for the treatment. It can be a DIY solution or a professional treatment. First, call a termite control company and let them examine. Furthermore, there are pest control companies that offer free examinations. After the examination, they will inform you about the treatment. Go for the treatment and get rid of them. Also, if the level of infestation is not severe and it is on a specific spot, you can use termite killers to exterminate them.

  • What Are Termites Afraid Of?

There are many termite repellents that termites hate. In nature, they avoid places where sunlight is present because they are afraid of it. They also dislike orange oil and borax powder. These products can also be used to make a DIY termite exterminator.

Termites and ants are similar, but there are a few differences. The abdomen of an ant is pinched, whereas the abdomen of a termite is straight. Another difference is that ants have straight antennas and they have round elbow-shaped antennas.

Termites Vs Ants

The Procedure Of Termite Extermination:

Most pest control companies use four professional methods to exterminate them from a house or any other man-made structure. However, there are some DIY solutions as well that can help get rid of termites from a specific spot. To achieve 100% results, the treatment we are going to discuss must be done by a professional. To perform a professional treatment, you must obtain knowledge, classes, and experience. Treatment such as tenting fumigation never performs on your own, because it can be dangerous. However, you can use termite killer products for specific spot treatments. When using the product, read and follow the label carefully, otherwise, it can be dangerous.

  1. Termite Bait Station:

Termite bait stations are a very useful termite control system that prevents as well as exterminates termites. They have the advantage of slow poisoning. They that take termiticide from a bait station infect others back in the colony. Thus, Termite queens can also be exterminated using that method. Although there are various termite station systems available on the market, two of the most widely used are the Sentricon bait stations and the advanced bait stations.

Bait stations are mostly installed around the structure. Some companies offer indoor bait stations as well. Baits look like a box containing termiticide to kill and prevent termites. Contact a pest control company to install a bait station. Additionally, bait stations protect the structure from other pests as well.

Termite Bait Station

Do you know? A bait station is also installed around the White House. The good thing about bait stations is that they prevent them for a long time. You only need to maintain and refill on time. In some cases, bait stations remain active and keep working for almost 7 years. If you have termites in your house often and they come back even after treatment, then we recommend you install bait stations.

  1. Termite Tenting:

To achieve a 100% effective result, termite fumigation must be performed by professionals. It is mainly used for large-scale infestations. We would recommend tenting fumigation in your house if you have a severe infestation. Pest control companies cover structures with tents and apply fumigation gas to kill termites and other insects.

termite fumigation

The procedure for a termite tenting fumigation will involve a checklist and following company instructions such as moving important things from the house that are susceptible to being infected like food, plants, and pets. For that procedure, you must leave the house for at least  3 days. Termite tenting normally takes three days, the first day for tenting, the second day for fumigation, and the third day for removing the tents. Depending on the size of the structure and level of infestation, the time may be less or longer. Unlike other pest control procedures, tenting fumigation eliminates them quickly. One more thing, testing is not a preventative measure, it is a termination procedure. To make your home pest-free, after tenting treatment, you should also follow precautions.

  1. Soil treatment:

A very common treatment for termites is soil treatment, particularly for subterranean termites. However, soil treatment also kills other insects. In this type of treatment, pest control companies dig a trench around the structure and fill it with termiticide. They and other insects die when they come into contact with it. For soil treatment, different products are available.  Termidor SC is one of the most popular termiticides for soil treatment.

Pest control companies offer termite bond systems to the public who experience them. The contract provides a guarantee that the pest control company’s treatment will work. A company will pay for your damage if you have termites despite your termite bond. Most of us are aware that home insurance does not cover damage caused by them. Therefore, a termite bond is a good option.

  1. Wood treatment:

Wood treatment is for drywood termites and keeps wooden items protected. Borax powder is one of the most effective materials for preventing and terminating them in wood. In addition to borax powder, furniture factories use it to protect their furniture against them.

Pest control companies also use other materials in wood treatment, such as Alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ), Copper azole, and Polymeric betaine. They are known to cause severe damage to wooden materials. Therefore, wood treatment is very effective to control termite destruction.

People Also Asks:

  1. What Attracts Termites In The House?

A poorly ventilated house is the most attractive to them. Additionally, moisture and closed spaces in a house attract them. Consequently, there should be sufficient ventilation throughout the house, and leaks in water pipes should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent the spread of moisture.

  1. Are Termites Harmful To Humans?

They are not harmful to human health, but their destruction can be very damaging to human wealth. They do not transmit any diseases to humans. However, they can bite humans if they feel threatened.

  1. What Are The Signs Of Termites In Your Home?

There are various signs that anyone can look for to determine if their house has termites or not, such as mud tubes, termite drooping, and damaged wood. As soon as you see any of these signs in your house, contact a termite control company so they can examine the level of infestation and do the treatment.

  1. How Do You Kill Termites?

For the extermination of termites, there are several options, such as fumigation treatment, soil treatment, wood treatment, and baiting stations. If you are looking for DIY solutions, you can use detergent, tide soap, or salt to make your termite killer and use it to get rid of them.

  1. What Do Termites Hate?

In previous times, people used to expose their infested stuff to sunlight to get rid of them because they hate sunlight. Apart from sunlight, they hate the smell of cedarwood, orange oil, cinnamon oil, and garlic oil. The same ingredients can also be used to make homemade termiticides.

  1. Why Do Termites Suddenly Appear?

There is always a process but hidden that sometimes we do not notice. Therefore, they are very destructive since they do silent destruction. If you see swarmers near the house or if you notice other symptoms, take action. The most common signs of them include mud tubes, drooping and damaged wood.

  1. How Fast Do Termites Spread?

There is a very high rate of termite spread because a queen can lay millions of eggs during her lifetime. Hire a professional to identify their colonies before they infest the house and cause damage.

  1. Do It Yourself Treat For Termites?

You can use several DIY termite treatment solutions for specific spots. The easiest way to get rid of them from a movable object is to place it in the sun and leave it there until the termites die. Use household products such as tide soap, detergent, or orange oil to make your termite killer and apply it to a specific area. Furthermore, you should seek professional treatment if the infestation is severe.

  1. Does Bleach Kill Termites?

Bleach such as Clorox can be used to kill termites because it contains sodium hypochlorite, which kills them just like salt. If you want to make termiticide using bleach and kill them, you need to mix water and bleach in a spray bottle and spray on the area where you suspect them.

  1. What Scents Do Termites Hate?

Termites dislike the smells of cedarwood, orange and garlic oils, and cinnamon. Additionally, you can use these things to make termiticides to get rid of them. Borax powder is also effective against them. Borax is widely used as a termite repellent, and many companies use it for treating wood.

  1. Can Salt Kill Termites?

Yes, salt can kill them. Salt contains sodium chloride that is very effective against them and many other insects.  Furthermore, if you have a severe infestation, then you must go for professional treatment to get rid of them. However, you can use DIY solutions for specific spot treatments.

  1. How Does Vinegar Kill Termites?

Contrary to other things such as borax powder, salt, and orange oil, vinegar is not an effective termite killer. Vinegar contains very little acetic acid, which can kill them. In conclusion, vinegar is not a good option when you can use better DIY solutions to kill termites.

Kill Termites - Termite Killer


Now you know what termites are, and how destructive they can be to your house. Whenever you see any sign of a termite, make sure you take action. Furthermore, in termite treatment, the queen should never be separated from the treatment because it can build colonies again. One more thing, after the treatment, adopt precautions as well because they can come back to your house. They are the hardest pest to get rid of but if you use professional treatment and follow the precautions you can get rid of them permanently.

Megan K Carroll

Dr. Megan K Carroll is a doctoral candidate. Researcher and expert in Pests and Pest Control, as well as their effects on our surroundings. The audience of this blog will receive insight and knowledge from Megan K Carroll. This blog greatly appreciates your support.

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