Of all pest infestations in your home, termites are the worst. To make matters worse, Augusta’s warm climate breeds some of the best conditions for termites to thrive in. Taking preventative measures can protect your home and your finances, as termites are able to cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. In fact, termites are believed to cause over five billion dollars worth of damage every year. To keep your home safe from a termite infestation, it’s important to know the types of termites that live in Augusta, the signs that termites are near, and ways you can prevent them from making themselves as home on your property.

Augusta Termite Types

Augusta is home to two main types of termites: subterranean and drywood. However, Formosan termites have also been spotted in Georgia as well, but are not as common.

Subterranean

Subterranean termites are the most commonly found type of termite in the Augusta area. They can often be mistaken for flying ants since the swarmers (reproductive termites) have wings. These termites can come in a variety of colors, from cream to dark brown, depending on their rank in the colony. Subterranean termites are so named because they live underground in the warm, moist soil, which is so common in Augusta. They also built mud tubes above ground to easily get from the mud to their food source: wood, like rotting logs or old tree stumps. They typically swarm (aka reproduce) from February to April.

Drywood

Just as their name indicates, drywood termites favor dry wood rather than the moist soil or wood that subterranean termites enjoy. This means they’re more likely to eat up furniture, hardwood flooring, or other dry wooden foundations or features in your home. They are usually pale brown, but some can be dark brown or yellowish-tan. Swarmers have wings, which help them and their mates fly off in search of a place for a new colony. While their colonies tend to be smaller than those of subterranean termites, they require specialized treatment so it’s best to act quickly when you suspect you have these pests.

Formosan Subterranean

Formosan subterranean termites have only been found sporadically in Augusta. While a subterranean colony contains several hundred thousand termites, Formosan colonies have several million termites. So even though one subterranean termite can cause more damage than one Formosan, the sheer number of Formosans in a colony means they can create the most amount of damage in a short span of time. Once a Formosan colony is established, it’s nearly impossible to completely remove it. Formosan subterranean termites swarm from April to July on hot, humid evenings and can be identified by their yellowish-brown color and wings wrapped in tiny hairs.

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Signs & Damage of Termites

Recognizing the signs of termites can help you prevent further damage from being done to your home.

Mud Tubes

Subterranean and Formosan subterranean termites create pencil-sized mud tubs to travel from the soil to their food source. If you start to notice these mud tubes on foundation walls, joists, ceilings, or where the ground meets your house, this is a clear indication that termites may have taken up residence nearby. 

Swarming and Shed Wings

Termites fly to establish new colonies with their mates during swarming, or reproductive periods. When they’ve found the perfect place to create their new colony, they discard their wings. If you see flying termites or notice wings near home access points like doors or windows, it’s time to take action.

Blistered or Hollow Wood and Sagging Floors

If knocking on wood in your home causes a hollow sound or you notice your hardwood floors sagging or blistering, this could be because termites have taken a liking to them. Some visual signs of this happening include a honeycomb appearance with layered, hollow sections and traces of dirt, mud, or partially digested wood. Because termites eat anything containing cellulose, it’s essential to keep an eye on things like cardboard boxes in addition to wood and timber in your home.

Cracked Paint

This can be a clear signal that the wood beneath paint is being distorted by munching termites.

Maze-Like Tunnels

Termites create tunnels as they eat their way through pieces of wood. Particularly on things like furniture (especially antique furniture) these tunnels can be some of the first indications of a termite presence.

Fecal Droppings

If you start to see what looks like sawdust or coffee grounds near wood features in or around your home, it could be termite droppings. When termites tunnel and eat wood, they take care to discard their own excrement, which leads to their pellets collecting near an infestation. 

How to Prevent Termites

There are some measures you can take to decrease the likelihood of termites infesting your home:

  • Remove old tree stumps and rotting wood. 
  • Keep mulch and piles of wood far from your home’s foundation.
  • Repair leaky faucets and maintain the pipes in your home.
  • Minimize contact between wood and soil on your property.
  • Seal all cracks from the outside to your home, no matter how small.
  • Keep bushes and landscaping at least two feet from the edge of your home.
  • Unblock your drainage systems and route them away from your house.
  • Stay alert for signs of termites and schedule a yearly inspection.

How to Get Rid of Termites in Augusta, GA

If you think termites have taken up residence in your Augusta  home, it’s time to take some action. Do-it-yourself measures may help for a little while, but the only way to completely eradicate a termite colony is to turn to the experts. Terminix can quickly help you identify the measures that need to be taken to get those termites gone for good.

Learn more about termite control in Augusta, GA