What You Need to Know About Termites in Nebraska

There are two species of termites in Nebraska, and even though they aren’t widespread, the potential for damage is imminent.
Written by Nicole Salvia
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
It’s super important to maintain termite coverage and control, especially in states like Nebraska where termites can be active.
As a homeowner, there are a few things you should know about termites: how to spot an infestation, when termites are most likely to swarm, and how to treat these small but mighty pests. 
For homeowners in Nebraska, if you aren’t protected against termites then you’re gambling with thousands of dollars of potential damage to your home. Thankfully,
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How to tell if you have a termite infestation

Termites are small but mighty workers and excellent at hiding. Their presence can go undetected for years because their appetites lead them to areas of your home that you don’t encounter daily. 
Being aware of some early warning signs of a termite infestation will prevent major damage from happening to your home. Here are some signs you should never underestimate: 
  • Discarded wings: Piles of discarded wings, typically around window sills, are a surefire sign you have a termite problem. Swarming termites drop their wings when they land at their chosen destination.
  • Mud tubes: One of the most common signs of subterranean termites are the vein-like mud tubes they construct from the ground up to a food source.
  • Hollow-sounding walls: If you notice a hollow sound when knocking on walls or other wood installations, you may have an infestation. To examine closer, take a knife and test if the wood is soft.
  • Droppings: Termite droppings, known as
    , look like small piles of sawdust or salt and pepper. The droppings can be found in piles below the infested wood. 
Some other common indicators of a termite infestation are, swollen walls or floors, blistering paint, and tiny holes in the drywall
MORE: Are termites covered by home insurance?

Are termites a problem in Nebraska?

Yes, termites are active all across Nebraska though they are more active in the southeastern part of the state.
Part of being a responsible homeowner is learning about termites and the risks they pose. Here’s how and when to spot the two types of termites in Nebraska.

Subterranean termites

Hard workers and excellent hiders, the subterranean termites build large colonies underground and then burrow into your home through the foundation. They leave hard-to-spot evidence aside from their mud tubes. These termites are most likely to swarm after heavy rainfall on a warm day anytime between March and May. 
As the most common and most destructive type of termite in Nebraska, subterranean termites are the ones you need to watch out for—they tend to eat materials that are commonly used to build homes. 

Drywood termites

Drywood termites, as the name suggests, eat dry wood, usually in attics, foundation vents, and cracks around window frames. The biggest sign of drywood termites is the piles of droppings they leave behind. Drywood termites nest in the wood instead of underground. 
Although drywood termites are not typically found in Nebraska, they can make their way into your home on other wood objects like furniture, crates, and barrels. While these guys aren’t as big of a threat, they have been found far from their native homes. 
In other words, don’t write off the possibility of a drywood termite infestation. 

What to do if you have termites

If you spy signs of termites in your home, move quickly! There are professional, proven ways to attack these pests. 
There are quite a few options for treating and preventing termite infestations. EPA approved treatments for professional use are: 
  • Bait stations: Baiting is the least invasive process for preventing and treating termites. Small plastic stakes are filled with termite bait and placed around the perimeter of your home. Though slow-acting, these stations allow the infected termites to return to the colony and spread the bait to others. 
  • Liquid pesticide barrier: If you have subterranean termites, a pest control company can apply a long-lasting chemical barrier of termiticide within the soil around your home. This will kill any termites that attempt to breach the barrier. 
  • Fumigation: For out-of-control infestations, licensed pest control companies could suggest fumigation. Your entire home will be draped with a tent. Then, gas will be pumped into your home to poison the termites. You, your family members, and any pets will need to vacate for at least 24 hours.
Key Takeaway Contact your local pest control company if you suspect a termite infestation. They have the expertise to suggest what type of treatment is best for your home. 

What to do if you have termites

Unfortunately, termite damage is not covered by most home insurance policies. Knowing the warning signs of an infestation and electing for preventative treatment, is the best defense for your wallet.
For other not-so-fun emergencies, you can rely on your
homeowners insurance
—which makes having the right policy important. Get the best price on the coverage you need (and save tons on
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Termites are relatively active in parts of Nebraska. Having the right termite protection and treatment plan is highly recommended for Nebraska homeowners.
That depends on the type of treatment recommended by your pest control service. The most common protection plan, bait stations, are monitored quarterly. A liquid soil treatment could last up to five years before needing to be re-treated.
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