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    [content] => <p><a href="/pest-library/profile/termites">Termites</a> are more than a nuisance; they can be a legitimate threat to homes and businesses. Their destructive habits cost American homeowners millions of dollars a year, and their ability to do this damage in virtual silence makes them even more threatening. That is why it&rsquo;s important to understand the phases of termite&rsquo;s destructive behavior -- it gives you the opportunity to potentially identify a problem before it becomes catastrophic and stresses the importance of proper home termite protection. Let&rsquo;s take a look at the phases of termite infestations.&nbsp;</p>
<h3><br>Phase 1: Termite Infiltration&nbsp;</h3>
<p><br>Before termites can begin inflicting damage on homes, they must get inside. Here&rsquo;s how subterranean termites- the common termite found in North Carolina- do it.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>Subterranean termites (as their name suggests) do much of their movement beneath the ground. These soil-dwellers make their way into homes at locations where the soil touches compromised house foundations, porches, or decks. What is a compromised structure? It&rsquo;s anything with a crack, hole, or void that can act as an easy termite entry point. Once termites have discovered a way in, they will start to build what are called mud tubes (tunnels made of soil, wood, and termite saliva) to connect their colony to their food source, AKA their victim&rsquo;s home.&nbsp;</p>
<h3><br>Phase 2: Termite Feeding&nbsp;</h3>
<p><br>With a secure pathway that can now lead thousands of termites into the home, they get to work feeding. This includes munching on any plywood or wood joists on the ground floor, but that&rsquo;s just the beginning. If allowed, termites will begin to move their way upward into first-floor drywall; from there they will work their way up as they consume more wood, and their colony expands. Basically, subterranean termites typically start on ground level and will eat their way up, and termite colonies can survive for years, meaning it is not a problem that will just go away.&nbsp;</p>
<h3><br>Phase 3: Visible Damage&nbsp;</h3>
<p><br>When a termite infestation is allowed to fester for a long period of time, the damage can eventually become visible. This damage can be in the form of buckled floors (caused by moisture that the termites leave behind) or in the collapse of parts of a structure. This video does a great job illustrating the damage that termites can do:&nbsp;</p>
<p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TxsnPbRayW0" width="560" height="314" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>
<h3><br>How to Avoid Termite Damage</h3>
<p><br>If you want to beef up your home&rsquo;s security from a termite infestation, A-1 Pest Control has a solution. We will complete a thorough inspection of your property to identify if there is existing termite activity, assess the severity of the infestation and amount of termite damage, and identify conducive conditions. Based on our findings, we&rsquo;ll recommend a treatment plan and provide you with a termite control quote. <a href="/termite-control">Learn more about our termite control process here</a>, or just <a href="/contact-us">get in touch with us</a> to schedule an inspection!</p>
<p><em>Want to learn more about termites? Check out <a href="/blog/post/it-s-termite-swarming-season-here-s-what-you-need-to-know">our blog post on termite swarming season</a> to learn more about the dangers of termites.</em></p>
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Termites are more than a nuisance; they can be a legitimate threat to homes and businesses. Their destructive habits cost American homeowners millions of dollars a year, and their ability to do this…

Read More

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    [content] => <p>Due to their size, ants are often overlooked as nothing more than a common nuisance. But have you ever wondered how ants work? How do these colonies function together? How do they communicate? And why do they seem to be basically everywhere? In this article, we answer all those questions and more!</p>
<h3>How Ants Communicate</h3>
<p><img alt="Two ants communicating via antennae " height="366" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/CSIRO_ScienceImage_3225_Meat_ant_Iridomyrmex_purpureus_Formicidae.jpg" width="550"></p>
<p><em>(Trophallaxis in black ants by <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Rakeshkdogra">Rakeshkdogra</a> is licensed under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>)</em></p>
<p>One of the aspects of ants that is most discussed is their ability to communicate. How do these insects work together with such coordination? Do they speak in tiny voices that we just can&rsquo;t hear? Well, no, not exactly. Ants can &ldquo;talk&rdquo; to one another using chemical pheromones that are picked up by other ants in their colony to communicate messages related to getting food or even coordinating attacks. They also sometimes use touch and even vibrations to communicate, but for the most part ant language is all done through specific chemicals. &nbsp;</p>
<h3>How Ants Build Colonies &nbsp;</h3>
<p>Ants seem capable of settling down basically anywhere; just a casual walk down the street and there&rsquo;s a decent chance you&rsquo;ll see a little mound of soil in the cracks of a sidewalk that signals &ldquo;Ant colony here!&rdquo;. This speaks to their diverse colony building skills. Some will build mounds of soil, some will burrow underground, and some will even live in rotting wood or just hang out under a rock. Ants decide on where and how they&rsquo;ll build their colonies based on what can provide the best environment for their larvae to grow, and once they&rsquo;ve settled, they build complexly constructed colonies. These colonies consist of a complex series of tunnels and chambers where they can safely store food, eggs, and even their young. Some ant colonies even have ventilation systems to circulate fresh air! This time-lapse video does a good job illustrating what the construction of an ant colony looks like, from start to finish: &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cME_aMVUEVU" width="560" height="314" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>
<h3>Ants Have Jobs</h3>
<p><img alt="Line of ants carrying vegetation back to their colony " height="366" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/88778965_1c730a5c49_c.jpg" width="550"></p>
<p><em>("<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/hartsell/88778965">Ants Working</a>" by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/hartsell/">Trevor H</a> is licensed under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">CC BY-NC-SA 2.0</a>)</em></p>
<p>No, it&rsquo;s not exactly your regular 9-5, but every ant in a colony has an essential role to play in perpetuating the existence of their colony. The Queen naturally spends most of her life laying eggs, but labor aside from the queen is largely determined by age. For example, younger worker ants spend most of their time indoors, taking care of the queen and her offspring, while older worker ants will venture out to gather food and defend the colony against potential threats. Interestingly, ants actually have some choice when it comes to the jobs they do: <a href="https://askabiologist.asu.edu/explore/secrets-superorganism">according to Arizona State University</a>, workers, &ldquo;decide which tasks to perform based on personal preferences, interactions with nestmates, and cues from the environment.&rdquo;</p>
<h3>Ants Work Together &nbsp;</h3>
<p><img alt="Ants working together to build a crossable ant bridge" height="367" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/640px-AntBridge_Crossing_04.jpg" width="550"></p>
<p><em>("Ant Bridge Crossing" by <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AntBridge_Crossing_04.jpg">Igor Chuxlancev</a> is licensed under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.en">CC BY 4.0</a>)</em></p>
<p>Naturally, any species that exists on such a communal level is going to be one that engages in a lot of teamwork, and ants are no exception. Ants are capable of processing information to solve problems as a group; in other words, they weigh options together and make decisions together, like the best place to build their colony. Ants also work as a group when defending their homes, teaming up and attacking any creature (including even mammals!) that they consider a threat. Ants will also work together to farm, collecting vegetation that they use to grow fungus gardens. &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>Of course, there is a darker side to these collaborative efforts: ants will also work together to wage wars against other ant colonies that are intruding on the territory that they have established as their own. Here&rsquo;s an example of what those wars can look like: &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/X5YaihAtnC4" width="560" height="314" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><br>&nbsp;<br>Can&rsquo;t get enough of ants? Check out our <a href="/pest-library/profile/ants">ant Pest ID page</a> to learn all the different types of ants that are common in North Carolina.&nbsp;</p>
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Ants, Explained

Due to their size, ants are often overlooked as nothing more than a common nuisance. But have you ever wondered how ants work? How do these colonies function together? How do they communicate? And why…

Read More

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    [content] => <p>Late winter in North Carolina is a great time, with the warming weather giving us an opportunity to spend more time outdoors catching some rays. It also marks something significantly less great: the beginning of termite swarming season. So, what does termite swarming season mean for you?</p>
<h3>When Do Termites Swarm?</h3>
<p>We&rsquo;ve established that termite swarming season begins around late winter, but there are more specific conditions within that initial time frame that can trigger termite swarming. For starters, let&rsquo;s <a href="https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/termites-biology-and-control">elaborate on that timeline</a> a little bit more: termite swarming season starts in late winter, but lasts all the way through around September or October. So basically, we&rsquo;re talking about a swarming season that lasts anywhere from 5-6 months. &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>More specifically, termites swarm almost always during the day, and tend to be more active after rainfall on especially warm days. Indoor swarming is usually an indication that you already have a termite infestation; if you&rsquo;re experiencing an indoor termite swarm in your house, contact a <a href="/termite-control">professional termite control company</a> immediately.</p>
<h3>Identifying Termite Swarmers &nbsp;</h3>
<p>Termite swarmers (AKA flying termites) are themselves a specific type of termite that is produced by the colony with the specific purpose of reproduction. These termites swarm to find partners and start their own termite colony. They look like this: &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br><img alt="Termite swarmer close up" height="356" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/640px-Flying_Termite.jpg" width="550"></p>
<p><em>("<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flying_Termite.jpg">Flying Termite</a>" by Derek Keats is licensed under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en">CC BY 2.0</a>)</em><br>&nbsp;<br>And here&rsquo;s an example of what a termite swarm looks like: &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hka7Ei2rIlM" width="560" height="314" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>If you&rsquo;re encountering termite swarmers either in your home or out in your yard, there&rsquo;s a significant chance that you have a termite colony living in your yard, or possibly even inside of your home -- both causes for concern. &nbsp;</p>
<h3>Does a Swarm of Termites Spell Danger?</h3>
<p><img alt="Flying termites perched on blades of grass" height="367" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/36999242586_26dde4b5dc_c-1.jpg" width="550"></p>
<p><em>("Western subterranean termite" by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/bslindgren/">B Staffan Lindgren</a> is licensed under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">CC BY-NC-SA 2.0</a>)</em></p>
<p>While termite swarmers themselves are not the wood-eating members of the termite colony, they can act as a great warning indicator for us humans of a dangerous termite presence. Considering the serious damage capability of a colony of termites to both structures and outdoor wood, witnessing a swarm of flying termites inside or around your home is cause for concern. &nbsp;</p>
<h3>If I kill the insect swarmers is the problem solved? &nbsp;</h3>
<p><img alt="Termite wings" height="366" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/termite-3418630_640.jpg" width="550"></p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Unfortunately, even though the flying termites are the visual indication of the problem, simply killing termite swarmers that you see is not the solution to a termite problem. Termite workers are the ones that cause the real damage, chewing through wood and causing damage, and these workers act almost invisibly inside of structures themselves. Termite infestations can go on for months and years without being identified because of the secretive nature of these termite workers, allowing colonies to grow and cause even more long-term damage. &nbsp;</p>
<h3>What To Do if you See Swarming Termites</h3>
<p>Taking on a termite presence is not a battle that you want to fight alone. A-1 Pest Control provides <a href="/termite-control">termite solutions</a> that can eliminate an existing termite problem, as well as protective and preventive Sentricon and Termidor services that help reinforce your home for any future termite threat. Just <a href="/contact-us#schedule">reach out to us</a> and we&rsquo;ll answer any questions that you may have and get you on the path to a termite-free home!&nbsp;</p>
    [postTitle] => It’s Termite Swarming Season! Here’s What You Need to Know
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Late winter in North Carolina is a great time, with the warming weather giving us an opportunity to spend more time outdoors catching some rays. It also marks something significantly less great: the…

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