Subterranean Termite Control

termite subterraneanAlthough there are approximately 4,000 known species of termites, most infestations are caused by subterranean colonies. The most common species in Michigan and the greater United States is the eastern subterranean termite, also called Reticulitermes flavipes. This North American native is responsible for more structural damage than any other species, including drywood termites and southeastern varieties.

The Termite Life Cycle

Termites maintain massive underground colonies that have complex social structures. Thanks to tireless queens, soldiers and workers, colonies expand year after year. After about five years, overpopulated groups send out swarmers to mate and establish new colonies. This activity begins in March and reaches its peak on warm days in April and May. The presence of insects with two pairs of overlapping wings is often the first indicator that there is an active infestation. During the rest of the year, workers and soldiers silently bore through lumber, paper and plant-based materials. Their mission is to recover cellulose that will feed the colony's larvae and nymphs.

How Infestations Occur

According to official estimates, 95 percent of termite infestations occur when wooden building materials touch the ground. For this reason, floors, walls and lower-level spaces are often the first to show signs of damage. Untreated lumber and building materials located in moist or shaded areas are more likely to be infested. It's also possible for termites to enter wood-fame homes by creating shelter tubes that travel along concrete or brick surfaces.

Experts at Michigan State University warn that homes with slab foundations are especially vulnerable because termites can squeeze through cracks that are a thirty-second of an inch wide. Decks, porches and poorly built homes are also at risk. Because termites require moisture to survive, humidity problems and ineffective grading around your home can make your property more attractive to termites.

Termite Treatments

It's important to act quickly if you've seen termite swarms or suspect that your home is infested. At Terminix of West Michigan, we specialize in applying preventive and remedial treatments that will eradicate current infestations and prevent future infections. We treat buildings, apply chemical barriers and install industry-leading Sentricon bait stations. By using the most advanced methods available, we can eliminate entire colonies instead of repelling them.

If you believe that you have a termite infestation, call Terminix of West Michigan. Our local experts will be glad to inspect your home and provide you with a free quote for any of our state-of-the-art termite control services. We serve customers in a 16-county area and are prepared to protect your home from termite damage.

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