Termite Identification

What are termites?

Termites are social insects, living and working together in very large colonies. Worker termites work together to gather food, raise the young, and maintain the nest. Termites gather and feed on plants, wood, and other organic materials made of cellulose; as one of the few organisms that can convert cellulose into food, termites are a vital part of the ecosystem, helping to break down decaying organic matter. While helpful to the environment, termites are harmful to our structures, causing damage to wood beams, furniture, floor joists, and flooring.

termites on rough wood

Subterranean termites live in underground nests in areas where damp soil is present. They prefer to feed on wood that has been damaged by water or is decaying. They are the most widespread group of termites living across the country. They are a particular problem for properties located near wooded areas or areas with dense vegetation.

Drywood termites live in smaller colonies than subterranean termites but are more efficient feeders. These termites prefer to nest in dry wood. Drywood termites nest deeply within the wood they are feeding on, making an infestation challenging to spot.

Are termites dangerous?

Termites don’t cause us direct harm; they don’t bite us, sting us, contaminate our food, or even regularly come into contact with us. But, when termites find a way into our homes or businesses, over time, they cause significant damage to structural wood and other wooden structures.

Termites are responsible for generating more than five billion dollars in damages across the country each year. Working invisibly inside wooden structures, it can take months or years before a homeowner discovers an infestation. In addition to the damage termites cause, it is important to note that most homeowners’ insurance does not cover termite repair costs.

Why do I have a termite problem?

Termites are a year-round pest problem for the residents of Florida. Subterranean termites are attracted to moist areas; both damp soil and water-damaged wood attract termites to a property. They move into structures accidentally and unseen through spaces in the foundation, deck posts, or wood trim, making direct contact with the damp ground.

Drywood termites do not require contact with the soil and can move into structures through exterior walls, vents, gaps around windows and doors, and through damaged trim or roof shingles. Termites can also get into our homes inside antique wooden furniture, wooden beams, trim, floorboards, and other wood items.

Where will I find termites?

Subterranean termites usually find a way into our homes at ground level and like to invade the wood behind walls and under floors near windows or doors, sinks, tubs, water pipes, air conditioners, and other areas where moisture may be present.

Subterranean termites travel through the soil or mud tubes they create. Mud tubes allow termites to travel above the ground and up walls while maintaining their high moisture needs and keeping themselves hidden from predators.

Drywood termites live and feed on sound wood, like building timbers, utility poles, fences, wooden furniture, and interior woodwork. Drywood termites attack wood in the upper levels of a home or the attic.

How do I get rid of termites?

Get rid of wood-destroying termites from your Florida property by reaching out to the termite control experts at Empire Pest Defense. We will protect your structure from damaging termites through detailed and accurate inspections, effective treatments, and ongoing services.

We are a local company with a deep commitment to our community and to providing our customers with industry-leading solutions. All our technicians are licensed, insured, and dedicated to helping West Palm Beach home, and business owners sustain termite free properties. Call us today to learn more about our termite control services!

How can I prevent termites in the future?

Reduce termite numbers on your Florida property with the help of the professionals at Empire Pest Defense, our effective pest control solutions, and our practical prevention tips:

  • Eliminate damp or rotting wood from your property that could attract termites.
  • Create a barrier of at least 12-18 inches between the foundation and any soil or mulch.
  • Leave at least one inch between the ground and any wooden door frames or trim located on your house.
  • Don’t put off repairing leaky pipes, hoses, or air conditioners; they create the excess moisture that attracts termites.
  • Do not overplant landscaping near your home’s foundation. Allowing the sun to hit the soil around your home will help to keep it dry.
  • Repair any damage to your foundation, exterior walls, or roof that will allow termites to find a way inside.

Learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control services.


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