Once called white ants, but often referred to now as "ground termites," the subterranean termite is a pest no one wants to ever find in their Hawaiian home. These insects are simple organisms that devour wood 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without ceasing, costing Hawaii property owners over $100 million dollars every year. If you own a home in Maui, this is what you need to know about these wood-destroying organisms.
Subterranean termites attack a structure from the ground. They build their nests in the soil and send workers tunneling as far as the length of a football field to find food. This allows them to attack a home undetected.
Termites feed entirely inside wood. If your home is under attack, you're not going to see it happening. But, you may be able to hear it. If you set your ear against the wall, near an area termites are feeding, you may be able to hear the clicking sound worker termites make when they tap their heads against tunnel walls to communicate with each other. These sounds are quite subtle, and you're not going to hear them unless you're making an effort to do so.
Mud tubes. Subterranean termites require moisture to survive. For this reason, they must build mud tubes up the side of a home if they cannot get direct access to the wood. If a home has wood that directly touches the ground, no tubes need to be made. Termites can eat their way right into the structure. If a home is attacked by Formosan subterranean termites, these termites can live entirely inside the home without a need to return to an external colony via mud tubes. For these two reasons, mud tubes aren't a consistently reliable way to determine whether or not a structure is infested.
Swarmers. When a termite nest matures it will begin to produce male and female reproductives (also known as swarmers) and send them out in search of a new area to build a nest. Swarmers can be a sign of an impending infestation, but more often, they are a sign of an existing "mature" infestation already in a home. If you do not have year-round termite protection for your home, it is important to take swarmers very seriously, and call a professional.
Maui is home to the most destructive termites found anywhere in the United States. Don't take any chances with your investment. Finding termite damage is devastating. But, you don't have to worry about these silent invaders. At Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions, we use nationally recognized termite control methods and products to safeguard the property of our customers. That's termite protection you can trust.