How termites enter structures

Almost all termites enter structures through seams, cracks, crevices, joints, and openings.

Many of these gaps are built-in during construction. 

After construction, time, and nature (wind, temperature changes, soil settlement, soil expansion and contraction, wet/dry cycles) create new entry points and enlarge existing gaps as building components shift.

TERM™ Barrier System is designed to seal off almost every seam, crack, crevice, joint, and opening.  More importantly, when building components shift around from the effects of time and nature, the elastomeric nature of TERM™ Barrier Sealant allows the barrier seal to stretch and accommodate movement of the components.

Pest Entry Points

Why it is easy for termites to enter

In addition to all those gaps in a building, two things make termite entry easy:

  1. Termites are tiny.  At 1/50thof an inch wide, termites are almost the smallest insect on earth.  They work their way through openings which you cannot even see.  As an example, a frequent termite entry point is through the space between a slab plumbing penetration and the concrete around the penetration.  (And they love those plastic sleeve tunnels.)
  2. Termites chew their way in.Other insects simply forage, searching for an opening.

Termites chew through many construction materials, including plastics, most sealants, plaster, foam insulation, wallboard, cloth, and thin copper or lead sheathing.

Why is it likely that termites will enter

Termites are so numerous.  According to the University of Florida, a single Formosan subterranean termite colony may contain several million termites. link

If you are fortunate and live outside of the Formosan region, you may still have native subterranean termites, with several hundred thousand in a colony.

In termite intensive coastal areas, it is common to have several colonies close to your building.  Almost all these termites are searching for an opening in the building.  They search for food (basically wood), protection from predators, warmth, and shelter.

Millions of termites looking for wood to eat 

Map of Termite Infestation

Millions of termites looking for wood to eat

Termites reproduce like nothing else.  All termite colonies have a termite queen.     

The queen lies helpless on her back and is attended by hundreds of servants. 

Queens produce up to 2000 eggs a day.  They live for fifteen years or more, so the math says the queen has about eleven million offspring over her lifetime.

Termite queen with termite workers around her

The termite queen.  Her line is busy on Mothers’ Day