Four Things You Need To Know About Tree Termites

Tree termites, also called conehead termites, are an invasive species that may cause problems for homeowners in some parts of the country. Here are four things you need to know about tree termites.

What do tree termites look like?

Tree termites have a very distinctive appearance, so it's quite easy to identify them. They have cream-colored bodies and are shaped similarly to ants. If it wasn't for their prominent heads — which are dark brown and shaped like cones — you might think that they were ants. If you see an ant-like creature with a cone-shaped head, you can be sure that you're looking at a tree termite.

Where are tree termites found?

Tree termites are native to the neotropics and can be found in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and other regions with a similar climate. In 2001, these invasive pests arrived in the United States. Currently, they are only found in Florida, and the Florida Department of Agriculture is trying to keep them from spreading any further. However, many other states have a suitable climate, so tree termites could potentially become a serious problem in many areas.

How are these termites unique?

You may think that all species of termites are relatively similar, but this is not the case for tree termites. Tree termites have some very unique habits that make them more of a concern than other species. While other types of termite get around through underground tunnels, tree termites crawl across the ground like ants. Since they don't need to worry about digging tunnels, their colonies can spread much faster than other types of termites.

Tree termites also make very unique nests. While other termites will make their homes either underground or in wooden structures, tree termites builds large, above ground nests in trees or other structures. Mud tubes connect these above ground nests to the ground below.

How can you control tree termites?

If you locate tree termites on your property, their nests need to be removed and destroyed. The mud tubes that they use to travel between their nest in the ground also need to be destroyed. Insecticides may also be required to ensure that all of the tree termites are gone.

If you're not confident in your ability to get rid of the nest by yourself, contact a pest control company. Since these termites spread so easily and are still a fairly new invasive species, it's important that their nests are destroyed quickly and completely. Through proper pest control efforts, it may still be possible for these invasive pests to be completely eradicated from the United States.

For more information about termite control, contact Pestco Inc or a similar company.