Termites and other wood destroying insects



  Spring is the termite season because the reproductive caste of termites appears in homes by the hundreds as if by magic.  But they actually followed the tunnels and tubes the worker termites constructed directly from the colonies located in soil under the structure.  In the pest control industry this referred to as swarming and the termites are called "swarmers". 

The swarmers are often confused with ants that also have wings and swarm. But termites have some distinct differences:  their body is the size of a grain of rice, black in color, and tapered in shape; termites have four wings that are oval shaped and equal size; the wings are fragile and readily fall off the body; they are very poor fliers and crawl instead of fly. 

Ants by comparison: have a distinct segmented body with a pronounced pinched waist, and four wings not oval shaped of different size, and some ants are larger than others. 


In Michigan, there are subterranean termites.  Subterranean termites live in the soil and tunnel to their food sources. 


When the termites get above ground out of the soil, they construct shelter tubes made of soil, saliva, and fecal matter, to create air tight tubes to travel to their food source and back to the ground.  These tubes are found on the wood components of the structure, the foundation, or any other item that leads to something made of cellulose (wood, cardboard, paper).  The tubes are the most obvious signs we look for when doing a termite inspection. 


There are several methods for eliminating subterranean termites from structures.  The two most common are liquid soil treatment and termite baiting systems: 

Liquid soil treatment is a process of making a small trench around the structure and injecting the termiticide in the soil with a treating rod to form a continuous barrier around the foundation, this is referred to trenching and rodding.  Where there is concrete patios, porches, and walks against the exterior foundation the concrete is drilled through and the soil is injected beneath