Pest Resources

Termites in New York


For Eastern subterranean termites’ springtime signals the start of termite season. Eastern subterranean termites are the most common species of termite infestations found in New York.

In this article, we will discuss all you need to know about how to deal with termites and termite swarmers in New York. We will include facts, pest control advice, extermination, and prevention.

Let’s get started on our guide to termites in New York!

Types of termites that infest New York

There are only one species of termite in New York, and that is the Subterranean termite; within this species are two sub-groups:

Eastern Subterranean termites and Dark Southeastern Subterranean termites

These two are fairly similar in behavior, specifically in their times of peak activity and appearance.

Termite facts

An Eastern Subterranean termite is small, about 1/8 of an inch long, with a creamy translucent color. The Eastern Subterranean termite is most active from March to May. They like to nest in damp soil near leave piles, tree stumps, and other wooden objects.

Dark Southeastern Termites are a 1/3 of an inch long and are dark brown or black with rectangular-shaped heads. These termites are more active from March to June.

Drywood termites are not established in New York, but it is possible for these termites to travel in furniture and wine crates and establish a new colony of termites in states like New York. Always check used furniture and wood before bringing them into the home.

Subterranean termites’ behaviors

Like other species of termites’ Subterranean termites live in termite colonies. Subterranean termites are social insects and have a caste system within the termite colony which consists of worker termites, soldier termites, and reproductive termites.

A subterranean termite queen can lay up to 2,000 termite eggs a day in the nest, which means colonies of these insects can cause a serious problem to a New York home.

Mud tubes

Subterranean termites build mud tubes to travel through to keep them moist. The mud tubes are made from mud, dirt, and other materials. If wood is infested with termites, they will build these mud tubes near the wood food source.

An underground colony can have millions of workers, and the workers from one can attack several buildings, causing a lot of termite damage.

Subterranean termite in New York

Termites in New York cause so much termite damage to wood because they can stay out of sight, making them difficult to detect in a New York home.

Termites feed on food sources made of wood and other cellulose-containing materials, like paper, for the cellulose it contains. Termites love wet wood, particularly as it is easier for termites to chew through it. It is only the workers of a colony who feed on wood. The wood is digested for the cellulose in the wood.

When you find termites or signs of termite infestations in Long Island, the infestations may have already caused serious damage to the house. The ideal way to stop a termite infestation is to catch the termite problem; knowing the early warning signs of termites will help.

Termites in the United States

There are five main species of termites in the United States: Subterranean termites, Drywood termites, Dampwood termites, Formosan termites, and Conehead termites.

Termite infestation damage

Termite damage is one of the most expensive types of pest infestation. Every year significant damage is caused by termites, with 600,000 homes in the United States being infested by these wood-destroying pests.

Are termites dangerous?

Termites are not dangerous pests to humans. However, they are the most damaging structural pest in the United States.

It can be costly; 5 million dollars is spent each year on repairs to extensive damage, wood structures, structural damage to the house, and termite control costs to get rid of termites. If left untreated, the termites can cause severe damage to your property.

Signs of Termite infestations

On Long Island, most termite infestations occur down in the basement or in the structural timbers above the cellar walls, subflooring, and floors if wood posts, steps, door frames, and trim are embedded in the earth or concrete.

Mud tubes on the outside of your house from ground level upwards signify termites using the mud tubes to travel through to reach a wood food source in your home.

Dark or bubbling paint on wood structures can signify termite activity underneath. If you tap some wood and it sounds hollow, it could be a termite invasion.

You might see other early signs of damage in what looks like small piles of sawdust, which could be termite feces. This is also known as frass. Another sign of termites is discarded wings left by reproductive termites on windowsills or near doors.

Why do termites swarm?

Termites swarm when the termite colony outgrows itself and needs to create new colonies. If you notice a termite swarm, it is a sign of a mature termite colony nearby, and now they are leaving the nest to create a new colony and reproduce even more.

Swarming termites are often mistaken for Carpenter ants; unlike termites, they do not eat the wood but chew through it. If you are unsure of what is swarming, take a sample if you can to a pest control expert to have the pests identified.

Steps you can take to prevent termites

Reducing moisture is the key to avoiding a termite infestation and other insects like mosquitos. Keep your sprinkler systems away from your house walls and foundations, and try not to over-water the soil. Ensure gutters and drains are not blocked. Ensure your AC unit is draining away from the foundation.

Have professional termite inspections. They can cost between $90 and $350. Have a barrier pest control method applied around the foundations.

Remove piles of wood and tree stumps away from the home and outbuildings. If you build with wood, ensure it has had a termite control insecticide on it. Painting wood can help to deter termites.

Try not to use mulch on the ground close to the home. Pests love the moisture it holds.

Professional Termite Control

The moment you discover a termite infestation, you should act quickly. A pest control company might use one or some of the following: bait stations, insecticides, tenting, heat treatments, and insecticide foams. Find a company that offers a guarantee for the treatment.

Heat treatment to kill a termite infestation

Heat treatment is ideal if you do not like the idea of pesticides being used in the home. The rooms are heated using heaters and closely monitored to keep to a temperature above 120F.

This pest control method will kill colonies, eggs, nymphs, and other insects inside the home.

Before treatment can start, all windows must be closed, and air conditioners and fans turned off.

What needs to be removed?

Items that cannot tolerate heat will need to be removed from the home. These items to be removed include cosmetics, paintings, aerosols, fruit in bowls, and plants.

You may have to leave the property and take out pets, fish, and children, as they will also need to leave until the treatment has finished and the rooms have cooled down.

And finally,

We presented our article and discussed Termites in New York. We hope you have found it helpful and informative.

Good luck!

Ronald has 25 years of pest control experience under his belt. He scrutinizes each control method, product and process to prevent infestations effectively. 

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