Are Termites Chewing On Your Las Vegas Home Or Something Else?


a termite crawling on damaged wood

It is difficult to know when subterranean termites are feeding on your Las Vegas home because the termites that eat your home stay out of sight. But their propensity to stay out of sight is one of the ways you can tell what is chewing on your home. Let's take a closer look.

Did Termites Cause That Damage?

Termite workers avoid dry air.

If you see a hole in a baseboard or door frame, the wood-damaging pest you're probably dealing with is a rodent, not a subterranean termite. Mice and rats chew on wood to gain access to food sources and harborage options. Termites don't create openings like this because it allows dry air into their tunnels. Worker termites have a thin skin that needs a lot of moisture. They stay inside their tunnels and avoid causing breaches to tunnel walls that can allow dry air in.

Termite workers live in darkness.

If you see damaged wood in a location that is high in moisture, it isn't likely to be termite damage if it is in an area that is exposed to light. Damage to moist portions of fences, decks, porches, and other external structures are more likely to be the work of carpenter ants. If you find damage in a dark, moist location, it could be carpenter ants or termites. Feel the surface of the trenches or tunneling. If the tunnels feel gritty, those are subterranean termite tunnels. If they feel smooth, they are probably carpenter ant tunnels.

Subterranean termites prefer soft wood.

The most destructive wood-damaging pest in the United States is the subterranean termite. While drywood termites can be an issue in Nevada, they don't hide as well as subterranean termites and they're not able to do as much damage before you catch them. If you see small holes in the frame of a window or door, you could have a drywood termite issue. That damage may also be from powderpost beetles. Powderpost beetles can attack any hardwood in your home. They are a particular threat to hardwood floors. Drywood termites and wood-boring beetles push frass out of tiny kickout holes. Frass is a mixture of excrement and wood particles. If you see this, it is important to have a licensed professional perform an inspection. But you can take some comfort in knowing that you don't have subterranean termites, which are able to slowly feed on the structural timbers in your home for years without you knowing.

Do you see how termites stay out of sight? They avoid the dry air and the light. This is what makes them so destructive. They can feed on a home for years without revealing themselves. And a structure can appear to be completely sound while it is entirely destroyed on the inside. If you're seeing damage, it is likely to be the work of rodents, carpenter ants, or wood-boring beetles.

What Isn't Chewing On Your Home?

If you find hundreds of tiny black insects with long white wings, you might recognize them as termite swarmers. At only ⅝ of an inch long, they're not much to look at. But hundreds or thousands of them can definitely catch your attention. The good news is that swarmers don't chew on your home. Swarmers derive their sustenance from workers. Workers are the only termites that feed on your home. But there is some bad news. Termite swarmers are a warning sign of an active and mature nest - on or near your property. If you see swarmers, it is definitely time to call Red Rock Pest Control.


If you have questions about wood-destroying pests in Las Vegas, we'd be happy to help you find the answers you're looking for. We can also guide you in scheduling a quality termite control service visit from one of our certified termite specialists. Reach out to us today for immediate assistance.


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