Tag Archives: Termites

Signs of Termites in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Springtime in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky brings warming temperatures, blooming flowers, outdoor sports, and gardening! This is also the time that a lot of homeowners realize they have a termite infestation.


Why worry about Termites?

Termites in Cincinnati are a sneaky and destructive insect. They have been compared to a silent wrecking crew because of the amount of serious damage they can cause. Each year, termites cause about $5 billion worth of damage and treatment cost in the United States. This damage can add up to thousands and typically isn’t covered by homeowner’s insurance. Additionally, termites and termite damage can cause serious problems when you go to sell or purchase a home which we’ll discuss in a later blog post.


What are the warning signs of Termites?

The first obvious signs of a termite issue are mud tubes (shelter tubes). These tubes are about the width of a pencil but can be as wide as a sheet of paper. Termites in Cincinnati build shelter tubes because they don’t have a hard exoskeleton like ants so they need something to protect them from the elements when they leave the soil. Not seeing shelter tubes? See the 2nd picture below.

The next sign you want to look for our wings. When termites swarm (the next generation) they shed their wings and then try to go back into the soil to form their own new colony. If you have a swarm inside your home, you’ll typically find thousands of wings by a door or window as they’re going to the light to get back outdoors. See the 3rd picture below.

The last visual sign is mud on walls or the floor, termites don’t know which way is up, down, left or right so they’ll end up poking out of the wall or floor and then place some mud over this area to seal the hole. See the 1st picture below.

See any of the signs mentioned above or pictured below reach out to us at 513-247-0030 or help@surethingpc.com to get your termite issues solved with the Sure Cure. Not seeing any of the signs mentioned above but still worried about termites don’t hesitate to reach out for a termite inspection.

Termite damage to the drywall and baseboard.
Mud tubes (shelter tubes) that subterranean termites are using to climb these block supports.
Subterranean termite wings



How to Spot Termite Damage

Termite damage can be far reaching. These pests often eat away at the structural wood of your home. This can lead to structural issues that compromise the integrity of your house. If left unchecked, termite damage can leave you with extensive repairs that are expensive to address. You can minimize the treat of termite damage by learning how to spot the signs of activity. You can spot signs of termite activity and damage by looking for mud tubes, inspecting the wood around your home, and getting a professional termite inspection.

Look for mud tubes

Termites build mud tubes to travel back and forth between the colony and their food supply. The mud tubes serve to protect them so they can move around without encountering threats on the way. Another function of the mud tubes is to keep the termites in close contact with moisture. Subterranean termites tend to build their colonies in or near moisture rich soil. This provides them with the moisture they need to survive. The mud tubes are built as a highway of sorts between the moisture rich soil and the wood the termites eat on. This makes it easy for the termites to return quickly to the soil whenever they need to. You can look for mud tubes under your house or along the foundation perimeter.

Inspect the wood around your home

There are certain areas around your home that you can inspect for signs of termite damage. If you have access to a crawlspace under your house then you can take a look at some of the foundational wood. That is often the first place that you will see signs of termite activity. Wood that has been damaged by termites can have a wavy appearance, have spots that have clearly been eaten away, or sound hollow when tapped on. The other area of your house that you should inspect for termite damage is the framing around your windows and doors. These areas are almost always constructed of wood no matter what types of other materials are used for the home. Check each of these areas for the same type of damage you look for under your house.

Get a professional termite inspection

The most effective way to spot termite damage is to hire a professional to spot it for you. A professional termite inspection can provide you with a lot of information about the condition of your house. You will learn if there is a current infestation, signs of damage, and signs of previous treatment. All of this information is then used to determine the best course of treatment to eradicate the termites.
Spotting termite damage early can minimize the extent of the damage. If you see any signs of activity when you inspect the wood of your home, take quick action to eradicate the issue. Bring in professional help to have the best chance of catching termite activity in the early stages. If you do discover a termite infestation the most effective course of action is to bring in a pest control professional.

Flying Ants or Termites Swarmers?

Happy Spring! Springs marks the beginning of baseball season, but also the beginning when we start to see the signs of termites emerging from their wintering over here in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. In the early part of spring, one of the first and most obvious signs of a termite infestation in our region is the emergence of termite swarmers.

It’s very common for home and business owners in Cincinnati to mix up flying ants for termite swarmers unless you know what you’re looking for to distinguish the difference between the two. Continue reading to help inform yourself of the major differences to be looking for if you see a swarm of flying insects inside or outside your home.

From a Distance:

When flying ants or termites appear it’s often in a swarm of hundreds to thousands. If it happens at night you’re going to see them flying or congregating around interior or exterior lights on your home or business. If it happens during the day you’re going to see them congregating on the inside of your windows. Both insects are attracted to light so what’s happening is they’re trying to get to the sunlight outside. When swarming happens inside this is a sign that you have a mature ant or termite colony inside your home or business and that they’re being forced out by the colony as it matures.

You may also see a bunch of wings laying around, both ants, and termites lose their wings when they mate. Another indication of termites and not ants is that termite swarmers have white colored wings that are stacked on top of each other. This ends up making the white color bold and appearing as if they only have one set of wings.

Getting Up Close and Personal:

When looking at the ant or termite the first thing to look at is the wings. If the wings are about 1/3″ to 1/2″ longer than the body and completely rounded on the ends this means you’re looking at a termite swarmer. Where with ants you’ll notice 2 sets of unequal length wings and wings that are more pointed at the ends.

Next, when you look at the bodies there are three major differences to look for. Ant’s will have the distinct, pinched in waist and look segmented, while termites do not have this pinch and appear to have more of a cigar shaped body.

The second thing to look at is their antennae, ant antennae have an elbow in them and have a stick-like quality. While termite antennae are straight and look like they are made up of many segments.

The last difference is the size, termite swarmers are considerably smaller than carpenter ant swarmers. But since it’s very rare to be finding both insects inside your home or business swarming at the same time it’s good to remember that carpenter ant swarmers are about 13mm to 17mm in length. So if you’re seeing winged insects that are much smaller, you probably have termite swarmers.

Check out our termite page for more information and details about termites.

If you’re finding winged insects inside your home or business and determine them to be termite or ant swarmers, it’s important that you do something about it. While carpenter ants are less of a threat than termites, they can still do quite a bit of damage to your structure. Carpenter ants are also a warning sign that your home is being damaged by water. Carpenter Ants prefer soft or rotted wood to create tunnels and channels to nest in.

Sure Thing Pest Control is your hometown partner in dealing with termites or carpenter ants in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. If you’re ever worried that your home may have an ant or termite infestation feel free to reach out to us. You can trust our educated team to protect your home or business from wood-destroying insects.