Termites

Southern Utah is considered a moderate climate for termites. The climates in Utah that are more hot and humid have more termites than the cooler climates

. While termites are not as much of a concern in St George, Southern Utah, they are still fairly common.Termites are considered the most destructive insects in the world because of the damage caused to wooden structures. There are two types of termites we deal with here: Subterranean termites and Drywood termites.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites build distinctive tunnels, often referred to as “mud tubes”, to reach food sources and protect themselves. Like other termite species, subterranean termites also feed on products containing cellulose, so it is not uncommon to have them eat the paper on sheetrock and cardboard boxes left in the same spot for too long. Subterranean termites swarm in the spring to start new colonies. Termite swarmers have wings and often get confused with ants.

Subterranean termites have underground colonies (similar to ants) and are by far the most destructive of all termites. Mud tubes are the most distinct sign of subterranean termites

Drywood Termites

Colonies of Drywood termites are much smaller than Subterranean termite colonies. The Drywood termite colonies number around 2,000 termites. Severe damage may be caused by the presence of multiple colonies. They live in wood with moisture content of less than 12%.

Drywood termites are most often discovered  because they produce dry fecal pellets called frass and push it out through “kick holes”.  The frass will make sawdust-like piles on the ground or around window frames.

Drywood termites spend their entire lives inside wood and the wood provides all the moisture they needed to survive.

Termite Prevention Tips

Eliminate or reduce moisture in and around the home, which termites need to thrive.
Repair leaking faucets, water pipes, and exterior AC units.
Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles.
Make sure water runs away from the home with properly functioning downspouts and gutters.
Monitor all exterior areas of wood, including windows, door frames and skirting boards for any noticeable changes.
Maintain at least a 1 inch gap between soil and any wood portions of your home.
Try and keep firewood stored at least 20 feet away from the house.

Flying ant vs. flying termite. Can you tell the difference? (PRNewsFoto/Dow AgroSciences)