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What Damage Can Termites Cause If Left Untreated in Oahu

June 30, 2021 - Termites

Across Hawaii each year, termites create millions of dollars in property damage to structures. To make matters even worse, most home and business owners’ property insurance policies do not cover termite-related damage. Termites are social insects that are sometimes misidentified as ants. They consume cellulose, which is found in wood, cardboard, and some plant materials.

Termite Characteristics

Termites play a useful role in nature by breaking down dead wood and plant materials, returning nutrients to the soil beneath. Termite colonies generally have designated members that are responsible for reproduction. The reproductive process involves a fertilized queen laying eggs that develop and transition through a larva stage before reaching adulthood. The three most common types of termites are as follows:

  • Subterranean termites: These termites are aptly named because they construct underground nests within the soil. They typically appear as either brown or black and range in length from ¼ to ½ of an inch. The nests are usually close to a source of wood, and they create small tunnels (mud tubes) that allow them to safely travel from the nest to the food source and back. 
  • Dry wood termites: Unlike subterranean termites, they build their nests above ground within the wooden structure they infest and are much less dependent on moisture. Dry wood termites are generally larger than their subterranean counterparts and are equipped with large mandibles. 
  • Damp wood termites: This type of termite prefers water-damaged wood, which is often positioned directly on the soil. Fortunately, damp wood termites are much less prevalent in Hawaii and are less likely to cause serious property damage.

Signs Of A Possible Termite Problem

Some Oahu property owners first detect the presence of termites in the spring or fall when the winged reproductive members of the colony gather in swarms. Before mating, swarming termites congregate before shedding their wings and traveling to start a new colony. Termites often first attack wood from the interior and erode or hollow it. This makes it more challenging to detect an existing infestation until the damage has progressed for weeks, months, or more. 

Look for patterned mud tubes that subterranean termites create that run up foundation walls. Dry wood termites often create small mounds of excrement (frass) that can be seen near the site of an intrusion. Walls may appear to have water damage, begin to deteriorate, or sound “hollow” when knocked on. Floors may sound creaky when walked on, and ceilings may begin to sag or bow. Windows or doors might become difficult to open or close when adjacent wooden structures shift and erode. 

Do I Need A Professional Pest Controller? 

Many property owners attempt to take matters into their own hands by purchasing do-it-yourself treatment options from online retailers or local stores. Unfortunately, many of these, such as sprays, traps, and granular concentrates, tend to have limitations and struggle to resolve larger, more entrenched termite infestations. 

The seasoned technicians with Pest Tech Hawaii are among the state’s best trained and equipped for effectively eliminating termites. We have specialized spot treatment options for localized intrusions from dry wood termites and provide pre-construction termite treatment. Our team will use tent fumigation methods for larger infestations using XT-2000 and will deploy the Sentricon System when needed for ongoing protection from these destructive and costly pests. 

Licensed Provider Of Pest Control Solutions In Oahu

In addition to termites, the team of experts with Pest Tech Hawaii also eradicates problems involving rodents, cockroaches, ants, and many other harmful intruders that may pose health risks and damage property. We may also be available for same-day and emergency services for customers with immediate concerns. Contact us today for a property inspection.

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