When Do Termites Sleep?

In this termite article, Action Pest Control lets you in on termite behavior. Find out when termites sleep!

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Getting Good Sleep Is Crucial To Being Able To Get Work Done And Make Progress

But think how much more work you could get accomplished if you never had to sleep? What if you could come home at night, get a bite to eat, and go right back to work?

There are many creatures, including humans, that are diurnal. Meaning they are designed to be awake during the daylight hours and asleep at night. Many other animals are nocturnal, which means they sleep during the day and are awake at night. But termites are neither of these things. Termites never sleep. Ever.

Termites might slow down, or even stop, for a time if the temperature drops low enough. This is a state called diapause, which some insects go into if their body temperature gets down to a certain point. But, if termites are inside the warmth of a structure, they won't even do this. They keep working and working and working! Think how much work one termite can accomplish, then think how much hundreds, thousands, or even millions can do!

Signs Of Termites

Drywood termites close up
  • Winged reproductives. They may be seen outside on logs, trees, or outbuildings, which means that your home hasn't been infested yet. If you see termites in your yard, there is a chance they have already invaded your home or will soon. Seeing winged termites on your home, or worse, inside your home, is a strong indication that termites are already eating your house.
  • Shed wings of reproductives. Since termite reproductives (called swarmers) don't swarm for long, you may see their shed wings on places such as window sills or decks without ever seeing the swarm.
  • Mud tubes. You may never actually see a termite or a swarmer because termites can find their way from the soil into the wood of your home. They can chew directly into the wood of your home if it touches the ground, or they will build mud tubes on foundations. These tubes are the width of a pencil and are often hidden underneath porches or behind stairs.
  • Termite damage.  Damage is usually subtle and hidden. Termites will chew through wood right out of a wall until they reach wallpaper, then they will stop. Termites will also feed on baseboards without going all the way to the surface. Wooden structures look fine on the outside but are full of holes on the inside.
  • Windows and doors that stick. If termite damage is extensive enough, structures will sag, and windows and doors will cease functioning properly.
  • Warped walls, floors, or ceilings. Over time, a structure is eaten away from the inside out, signs will appear in the form of slopey floors, saggy ceilings, or bulging walls. If termite damage has gone this far, it is most likely irreparable.

Termite Prevention Tips

  • If you have mulch, keep it at least 2 feet from the perimeter of your home, or consider replacing it with a dryer material such as crushed rock.
  • Firewood should always be stored up off the ground and well away from your exterior walls.
  • Keep bushes and other vegetation trimmed back away from your house. This will keep insects from using them as bridges to your home and allow sun and air to dry moist areas.
  • Keep yard waste picked up.
  • Make sure gutters are working correctly and are not broken or obstructed.
  • Repair leaky roofs, including deck roofs.
  • Fix leaky fixtures and make sure there is no water collecting near your basement walls.

Will DIY Methods Work To Eradicate An Active Termite Infestation?

While do-it-yourself termite extermination methods might yield some positive results, it is difficult or impossible to know if the treatments you've tried have been successful without proper training and experience in termite control. Is the equity of your home worth the gamble?

If you choose Action Pest Control, we will send a licensed and trained technician to apply EPA-registered pest control products to ensure that all termite activity has stopped.

Remember, termites never sleep. But humans do. Action can help you know for sure that all those termites are gone, and you can get back to sleeping peacefully.

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