Termites infesting a home

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Termite control

Termites cause an estimated $5 billion a year in property damage. They don’t discriminate, either, and can damage businesses and homes alike. These silent destroyers can be present for years without revealing themselves, quietly eating away at a structure.

Even buildings constructed on slabs of concrete block can face problems – termites can work their way up a structure, eating insulation along the way to get to wooden beams, roof supports, and more.

Termite infestations can put your business at risk in more ways than one:

  • Structural damage and repair costs
  • Safety concerns, liability and legal action
  • Low occupancy rates and revenue loss
  • Business disruption and closure for treatment
  • Unwanted publicity or attention

Stop termites in their tracks with a proactive, preventative program from Rentokil. With over 100 years of experience in protecting businesses and homes from termites, we have solutions and the industry's most comprehensive warranty to protect your business and keep it termite-free for years to come.

Call us today at 1-800-837-5520 to schedule a free termite inspection for your business.

Contact your local termite control expert

What are termites?

Termites are highly organized insects in the Isoptera order. There are several common forms in North America that cause problems for businesses:

Map depicting where different types of termites are found within the United States

Subterranean - the most common type throughout North America, but particularly in states like California, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. These termites live in the soil and build mud tunnels, often found on exterior walls and even inside spaces within the walls.

Formosan - a particularly serious and aggressive type of termite, whose swarmers are often confused with flying ants. Formosan subterranean termites are found primarily in Louisiana, Mississippi, and along the Gulf coast.

Drywood - common in states nearer to the coast like California and Florida, although they do not need moisture to survive. Unlike subterranean termites, they spend their entire lives in the wood they eat.

​​Dampwood - common on the Pacific coast and in Florida, these large termites tend to infest wood that is subjected to excessive moisture, such as that in tropical or unusually rainy environments.

Termite society

Termite colony members and their appearance

Termites are extremely social insects. Their colony is divided into separate castes - the queen, workers, soldiers, and reproductive swarmers. Understanding how termites work can play a critical role in protecting your business.

Queen - The queen's role in the colony is to populate the colony and lay eggs. The queen is critical - she controls the size of the colony. Over time, the queen becomes largely immobile and appears white and bulbous. She may develop "secondary queens" to support egg development.

Workers - Workers are the most abundant type of termite. They are white, soft-bodied, and wingless. They are the primary labor force of a colony, tasked with building tunnels and clearing galleries, tending to the eggs and the young, acquiring food, and caring for and repairing the nest.

Soldiers - Soldiers have a large head, two large jaws, and are wingless. Their role is to protect the colony from invaders such as ants and spiders. They stand guard at colony entrances to allow alates/swarmers to emerge. Soldiers use their jaws to wound invaders or emit a white glue-like substance to incapacitate them. They will warn other termites of danger by banging their head against the side of galleries.

Alates or reproductive swarmers -  Alates have two pairs of wings of equal size and are attracted to light. Swarmers are sexually mature and emerge when a colony has grown large. They emerge from holes in the ground, wood, or cracks in structures. They can swarm in large numbers and are one of the first and most visible signs of a termite problem. Swarmers shed their wings after they land and pair off to attempt to start a new colony. Those shed wings are often another visible sign of a problem.

Common signs of termites

Here are a few common signs of termites in your business that you might see (or hear):

  • Swarmers - dependent on species, these flying termites can swarm throughout the day; some species may swarm around lights in late afternoon or early evening.
  • Discarded wings - swarming termites shed their wings to begin their infestation.
  • Hollow or blistering wood - any changes in the sound of wood when knocked or stepped on, or visible blister-like protrusions could indicate a problem.
  • Termite droppings, pellets, or frass - there are a number of terms for the mess that termites leave behind as they hollow out wood. To the untrained eye, it may appear to be sawdust.
  • Mud tubes - Subterranean species, including Formosan and Asian termites, will create mud tubes from the soil up to the wood they are infesting. The foundation is the most common area to find them.

Many businesses, even those built out of stone or brick, are at risk of termites. Structural supports and other building components will still typically be made out of wood and other cellulose-based materials, which is a great food source for termites.

As well as damaging wooden structures, termites have also been known to damage insulation, plaster, books and even swimming pool liners.

Termite FAQs


  • How do you know if you have termites?

    Termites aren’t easy to spot. There are sometimes tell-tale visual signs like mud tunnels, but termites can be very clever at hiding their tracks. If you suspect that you have termites, you should schedule a termite inspection as soon as possible by one of our termite control experts.


  • How should I choose a termite control company?

    Look for a well-established company that has the ability to support you and your business for years to come, continuously researches the latest technology, and has experienced and regularly-trained termite control Technicians who know your local area.


  • When is the best time to have a termite treatment?

    A treatment for termites can be proactive or reactive. Treatments generally take place whenever you notice termite activity; however, our baiting and monitoring treatment is a two-pronged approach to termite control. The bait stations can be left to monitor all year round for termite activity.


  • Do termites eat treated wood?

    No, they do not, but they can use treated logs and footings as a bridge into your facility.


  • Are termites covered under commercial property insurance?

    Most commercial property insurance policies do not cover termite damage. Check with your provider to verify your policy coverage.


  • Is ‘Do It Yourself’ termite control an option?

    DIY termite control or DIY termite treatment can be largely ineffective, as identifying the termites is a very important step towards successfully treating termites. Disrupting termites with DIY termite traps could mean that they re-route to attack another area of your facility. Our Rentokil Technicians have the experience and expertise to recommend the optimal treatment for your individual situation.

Rentokil termite control

Rentokil has the best techniques and expertise to protect your business from destructive termites. Our Technicians provide the following effective solutions:

  • Proactive in-ground baiting
  • Above-ground stations for treatment
  • Liquid treatment
  • Spot treatment
  • Localized preventative treatment
  • Fumigation

Learn more about our termite solutions on our termite treatment page and to speak to one of our pest control professionals, contact us online today.

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