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Termites at Work: Could They Be Clocking in at Your Facility?

Termites are the ultimate workaholics. These “silent destroyers” toil around the clock and can hide in areas of your facility without any immediate signs of damage. Charged with causing more than $5 billion in damage each year, termites’ relentless chewing could create an expensive problem for you before you even know they’re at work.

While many commercial properties have concrete foundations, termites can still find their way inside to infest structural supports made of wood. Other wood-based structural elements like floor joists and window frames can be vulnerable to termites, as well as interior wood since termites will pass through plaster, siding and foundational cracks in search of wood.

The three common types of termites that can invade commercial businesses are subterranean, drywood and Formosan:

  • Subterranean termites prefer soft woods and usually nest in moist soil. The complex tunnels they create into buildings to locate food can cause structural damage.
  • Drywood termites infest wood that is not in contact with soil. They construct nests in wood above ground such as lumber in sub-flooring, walls, roofs and wood furniture.
  • Formosan termites infest structures that come into direct contact with soil, traveling through mud tubes. They are attracted to places that abound in moisture and can even infest roofs.

Each type of termite has its own dietary preferences, but most termites are detritus feeders usually feeding on cellulose and organic fiber found in vegetation.

6 Key Termite Signs

Termites are an unseen threat, living mostly underground and in the walls of your facility. Look out for these indicators of a termite infestation:

  • Damaged and decaying wood structures
  • Brownish-tan droppings that resemble wood pellets
  • Mud tubes found on the siding of structures
  • Cracked or bubbling paint on the walls
  • Termite swarms, or hundreds of winged termites, typically seen after a rainstorm or on a cloudy day
  • Small wings from termite swarms discarded near doors and windows of buildings
6 Ways to Help Prevent Termites

Since termites are a constant threat to your facility, here’s how you can help monitor for, and manage, their activity:

  • Check water drainage sites to ensure they remain cleared and effective
  • Monitor the collection of moisture by fixing pipes, gutters, downspouts, A/C units and other fixtures susceptible to leaking
  • Caulk around utility lines or pipes
  • Get rid of rotting wood and debris near building
  • Place screens on outside vents
  • Check wooden structures for damage

Small steps can make a big difference in preventing termites and sustaining an effective termite treatment plan. Want termites clocking out of work at your facility sooner rather than later? Read here for more information on these chewing champions (and many more where that came from in our Pest Library).

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