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. They feed on the cellulose that comprises wood and other plant materials, including paper and books.

You secure your business against theft, accidents, and other mishaps with insurance. But are you leaving it open to destruction from termites? Rentokil offers a range of treatment options and termite protection plans to suit your needs. If you think you have seen signs of termites in your business, the first step you need to take is to call in a professional to confirm the infestation. Once confirmed, they can provide you with your termite protection and treatment options.

What are termites?

Termites are highly organized insects in the Isoptera order. They form large, strong colonies with queens, kings, workers and soldiers, all of them with their assigned duties. There are several common forms in North America that cause problems for businesses:

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, 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

The basic castes in a colony are queens, kings, workers, soldiers and alates.

Termite Queen & King: the function of the Queen and King in the termite colony is to reproduce. Starting out life as an Alate, they leave their parents' colony, drop to the ground and shed their wings to seek out an environment to nest. They care for their young until they are able to take over the duties of the colony.

Termite Workers: The workers make up the largest number within a colony. They do all of the work (except defend and reproduce): feeding, grooming, excavating the nest and making tunnels. In doing their jobs, they cause the destruction that affects many structures.

Termite Soldiers: Soldiers defend the colony against attack by predatory enemies such as ants with their large jaws, sticky fluids or chemical spray.

Termite Alates: Alates are the winged reproductives that swarm out from the nest and establish new colonies. Male and females pair off and look for a suitable environment to mate. They are often confused for moths or flying ants.

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 invest in 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 are generally indicated 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 specialists have the experience and expertise to recommend the optimal treatment for your individual situation.

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