What are termites?

Termites are insects that feed on things made of cellulose. They like to feed on decaying plants, tree roots, tree stumps, fallen trees, tree limbs, and fallen leaves. Out in nature termites are beneficial, as they help to speed up the process of breaking down decaying plants and returning nutrients back to the ground. Termites have a complex social structure and are made up of three different groups or castes: workers, soldiers, and winged reproductives (queens and kings). a swarm of subterranean termites in hattiesburg mississippi

Two common species of termites found living in Jones County and Forrest County, MS are eastern and Formosan subterranean termites. Both types of termites nest underneath the ground.

Eastern subterranean termites
Eastern subterranean termites are a more widespread species and live across the entire United States. Their colonies are not as large as Formosan termite colonies. Still, eastern subterranean termites may have hundreds of thousands of members in a single colony and can cause extensive and expensive damage to any property they invade.

Formosan subterranean termites
Formosan termites live in large colonies across the southern United States. A single colony may have several millions of termites in it. Due to their large colony size, they can cause more damage in a shorter period of time than other species of termites. Formosan termites have heads that are rounded on the sides and tapered toward the front.

Are termites dangerous?

Both Formosan termites and eastern subterranean termites are responsible for causing billions of dollars in structural damage inside homes and other buildings across the United States each year. They pose no health threats to people, but they do cause significant damage inside houses and other buildings. Termites have the potential to work without being noticed for months, or even years, feeding on wood from the inside out. More times than not termite infestations are usually only discovered once the damage they have caused is extensive. It is important to note that most homeowners insurance does not cover termite damage, making them a large threat to your bank account.

Why do I have a termite problem?

Termites often find their way onto your property after a termite swarm occurs on a nearby property. A termite swarm is when winged reproductives emerge from a mature termite colony to find mates and start new colonies. If your property provides them with an environment suitable for nesting and feeding, they will quickly establish a colony. Termites can also find their way onto your property after traveling from a neighboring property while foraging for food.

Once nesting or foraging for food on your property, it is likely that the termites will eventually find their way inside your home or commercial building. Workers accidentally find their way into buildings through cracks in foundations or through wood-to-soil contact while foraging for food. Doorframes, deck posts, wood shingles, and porch steps often act as entrance points. Formosan termites have the potential to enter homes through the roof.

Where will I find termites?

Formosan and eastern subterranean termites invade homes and buildings at the ground level while foraging for food sources. Subterranean termites create their nests in the ground and travel back and forth from their food sources to nest each day through underground tunnels or mud tubes they have created. Inside homes and other buildings, termites invade and feed on structural wood found inside walls, above ceilings, and underneath flooring. It is important to note that Formosan termites don’t only nest in the ground, they also nest above the ground. Formosan termites create carton nests which allow them to nest above the ground while maintaining their necessary moisture levels. Carton nests are created from termite excrement, chewed wood, and soil. Basically, Formosan termites are able to create their own "underground" nests, above the ground!

How do I get rid of termites?

To eliminate termites from your home or commercial property and prevent a re-infestation, partner with an experienced professional. At Holifield Pest Management, our certified and licensed professionals can provide the comprehensive services needed to find and eliminate all the termites living in your home or business, and prevent their return. For all of your residential or commercial pest control needs, call the full-service pest control experts at Holifield Pest Management. We serve Laurel and Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and surrounding areas. To learn more about our termite control services or to receive a free estimate, reach out to us!

How can I prevent termites in the future?

Listed below are some preventative steps you can take to help keep termites from taking over your Laurel and Hattiesburg, Mississippi home or commercial property:

  • Leave a stone barrier between any soil or mulch and your home’s foundation.

  • Eliminate soil-to-wood contact near or on your home.

  • Repair any loose or missing roof shingles.

  • Repair holes along your home’s roofline.

  • Clean gutters on a regular basis.

  • Repair leaky pipes, faucets, or fixtures.

  • Remove water-damaged wood from your home.

  • Remove fallen trees, tree stumps, and other piles of organic debris from your property.

  • Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners to reduce moisture levels in your home.

  • Place weather stripping around windows and doors to prevent water from backing up and seeping into the walls. 


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