Termite Identification & Prevention

Termites In Knoxville, TN

a large swarm of termites

All homeowners can probably agree that guarding their homes against termites is essential. The best start to protecting your bank account and home against termites is learning about their habits, food preferences, and behaviors. Use our guide to better understand the termites that call Knoxville home.

Frequently Asked Questions About Termites

What are termites?

Termites are insects that play an essential role in the ecosystem. They help break down and remove decaying vegetation, allowing new growth to flourish. To feed, termites break down wood and feed on its cellulose materials, one of the few organisms able to do so.

Termites are social, wood-eating insects. Several kinds of termites live across the United States. In our region, the subterranean termite is the most widespread termite species to invade our Tennessee properties. Subterranean termites live under the ground and prefer to feed on decaying or water-damaged wood. 

Subterranean termites divide their colonies into different castes or groups:

  • Workers: These tiny termites make up the bulk of the colony and are responsible for leaving the nest each day to gather food to bring back to the nest. Workers also help build and care for the nest.
  • Soldiers: These termites have larger heads and jaws and are responsible for defending the colony from threats.
  • Reproductives: These winged female and male termites are the only fertile ones in the colony.

New colonies form when winged reproductive termites (swarmers) swarm from the nest to find a mate. Once the female and male mate, they drop their wings and find a suitable place to tunnel into the ground and make a nest.

Are termites dangerous?

Termites are not dangerous to people but are to the structures of our Knoxville homes.

Termites feed on the inside of wood behind walls, under floors, and above ceilings. Because they stay hidden, these pests are dangerous when they invade our homes. It can take months or years to notice a termite infestation, and then it is usually the termite damage alerting homeowners to a problem with these wood-eating pests, not the termites!

The longer termite damage goes unnoticed, the more costly repairing their damage will become. Termites are responsible for causing billions in damage across the country each year.

Why do I have a termite problem?

Termites become problematic when they move from wooded or other rural areas and establish themselves in residential areas. 

Worker termites leave the nest daily to forage for food to bring back to the nest. When termites decide to nest in the ground near our homes, they will eventually find their way inside. Worker termites are tiny and enter our homes through small cracks in the foundation or pieces of wood on our homes, making direct contact with the ground.

Once inside, they are attracted to moist areas and will begin to feed on structural wood, returning day after day. Termites are not a problem you can hope will go away; they are pests that require specialized treatments performed by experienced professionals.

Where will I find termites?

Unlike ants and other household pests, you won’t see termites wandering around your gardens, floors, or counters. Subterranean termites remain well hidden under the ground in their nests or within the wood they use as a food source.

Termites inside our homes invade wood near moist sources, like windows, doors, water pipes, and air conditioners. Some of the most common places we discover a termite infestation in Knoxville homes include:

  • Basements
  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Attics
  • Crawl spaces

Unfortunately, termites aren’t just a threat to our homes. They invade, feed on, and damage wooden structures in our yards, like wooden play structures, furniture, and fences. Hungry termites can attack, feed on, and cause damage to trees.

How do I get rid of termites?

Termites are a constant year-round threat to properties in Tennessee. The best way to avoid termite damage is to partner with a local termite company. Here at Pest OPS, we offer several different termite treatment and prevention options, including:

  • Annual termite inspections.
  • Personalized treatment plans.
  • Professional termite elimination services.
  • Termite monitoring.
  • Termite bait stations.
  • Follow-up visits to ensure your home is staying termite-free.

To learn more about getting rid of termites or for information about our termite prevention program (QWEST), don’t hesitate to reach out today!

How can I prevent termites in the future?

Termites are destructive pests, and doing all you can to keep them away from your house is vital to protecting its structural integrity. To help you prevent termite problems, we have compiled a quick list of our most helpful termite prevention tips. 

  • Ensure your yard has good drainage and that gutters and downspouts are directing water away from the outside of your home.
  • Replace wood mulch with crushed rock or a non-organic option like rubber mulch. 
  • Repair any tiny cracks or crevices in your foundation.
  • Eliminate as much wood-to-soil contact on your property as possible. 
  • Remove water-damaged wood from your yard or home.
  • Immediately make repairs to leaky pipes and fixtures.
  • Make sure kitchens and bathrooms are well-ventilated. 

For more information about termite control or pest services in Knoxville and the surrounding areas, call today!

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