Termite Control: Termite Identification

Know your termites.

Recognizing the signs of termite infestation could save you thousands of dollars in repairs. Find out what to look for. 

Termite Identification main photo of termite swarm eating
Signs You May Have Termites

Termites can feast on your home for quite a while before you see any visible damage. Here are some warning signs to watch for:

  • Mud tubes on foundation walls, exterior walls, wood beams or in crawl spaces
  • Cracked or bubbling paint
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
  • A temporary swarm of winged insects in your home or from the soil around your home
  • Discarded wings from swarmers
Must-Know Facts About Termite Prevention

Termites are a major concern for homeowners in the Southeast and especially in South Carolina. Wood structures are at high risk, but don’t think they’re the only ones. Termites are capable of navigating through plaster, metal siding and other materials to feed on cabinets, floors, ceilings and wooden furniture inside your home. Remember:

  • Termites follow tree roots, construction conduits, pipes and footers to gain access to your home or business.
  • Termites need a crack no bigger than 1/32 of an inch to enter a building.
  • Remove soil that builds up around the perimeter of your home.
  • Point sprinkler heads away from your home.
  • Make sure you have proper water drainage away from your home.
  • Don’t allow untreated wood to come in contact with the soil around your home.
  • Don’t confuse water damage and termite damage, which can look similar. The best way to tell the difference is that termites bring bits of dirt up into the wood.

Eastern & Southeastern Subterranean Termites

Eastern & Southeastern Subterranean Termites image

Size: 1/4" to 3/8"
Color: Very light to medium brown
Colony Size: 150,000 to 1,000,000

The Eastern and Southeastern Subterranean termites are the most common and destructive termite species in South Carolina. While they serve an important function in the environment by recycling trees & other wood products and returning nutrients to the soil, the problem is your home is constructed of termites' favorite food: dead trees and other wood byproducts.


Fortunately these pests cannot survive crawling across the ground like an ant because their bodies will dry out. Subterranean live in underground colonies or moist areas above ground and must have contact with the soil to survive. They build shelter tubes for protection and to maintain their moist environment. The key to preventing an infestation of these termites is to find their shelter tubes as part of a regular inspection program.

Formosan or Super Termite

Formosan or Super Termite

Family: Rhinotermes
Size: 1/8" to 3/8"
Color: Very light to medium brown
Forage Area: 300 feet
Eggs Laid: 80,000 per day
Colony Size: 350,000 to 3,000,000

The Formosan termite is an imported species typically found in South Carolina coastal towns such as Fripp Island, Isle of Palms and Surfside. It earned its nickname, the “super” termite, because of the size of its colonies and the speed at which it can consume wood.

Above-ground infestations of Formosans are more common than other termite species. Formosans’ colonies are also larger than our native subterranean termites, with a single colony containing several million very destructive individuals. Formosan queens have a life span of 15 years and are capable of producing up to 2,000 eggs per day. These hearty creatures feed mostly on wood and other cellulose-containing items, often infesting boats, high-rise condominiums and any other structure that contains wood.

Mature Formosan colonies can consume up to 13 ounces of wood per day, compared to four ounces per day for subterranean species. Believe it or not, they’ve also been known to chew plaster, asphalt, vinyl, linoleum and underground cables.

Formosan termite coverage can be added to any Clark’s termite protection plan.

Drywood Termites

Drywood Termites image

Family: Kalotermitidae
Size: 1/8" to 3/8"
Color: Very light to medium brown

There are three different major types of drywood termite, but they are not typically a common threat to homes. Drywood termites are usually brought into the home on furniture and other wood products. While drywood termites will occasionally damage window sills or pieces of furniture, they do not make ground contact like subterranean termites and will not have any mud or dirt present in the damage.

Think Smart image of termite-eaten wood

Think Smart

Termites eat just about anything made of wood. Is your home safe?

Logo: Clark's Celebrating 50 Years of Service, 1963-2013

Best of 2012 Readers' Choice Award


Clark's Termite & Pest Control was voted Best Pest Control Company in South Carolina for 2012. The Readers' Choice Best Of 2012 is a sampling based on the responses of the readers of The State. The results of their voting appear in a special section.


From The State Media Company I would like to say Thank You to our readers in South Carolina. Thank you to the many readers who took the time to vote for their favorite businesses. Thank you to the many online users who went online to vote. Thank you to the businesses that anxiously wait for this publication every year. Thank you to the person who voted for "Turkey and Ham on rye with mustard and pickles" for the Best Deli. You all make The Reader's Choice a success year after year.


Ashleigh Anderson McAlister
The State Media Company

Cathy Abrams

March 3, 1955 - September 28, 2015


It is with a heavy heart that we inform you of the passing of our friend and Clark's family member Cathy Abrams. Cathy joined us in 2000 as our bookkeeper and for over 13 years helped lay the foundation for the success we now enjoy.


Cathy courageously battled various forms of cancer for a good part of nine years. She turned her misfortune into a tool to help others in similar circumstances. While in her own fight, she volunteered at the local cancer center and befriended many others, helping them to find the physical and spiritual strength to deal with this horrible disease. In the end, Cathy did her part to leave this world a better place for others, and we will miss her tremendously.

Logo: Readers Choice Best of 2012

Our 50th Anniversary!


Clark's Termite & Pest Control is proud to announce our 50th Anniversary! For the past 50 years Clark's Termite & Pest Control has answered our customer’s call to exterminate termites and other annoying pests. Termites are unwelcome little insects and live to inflict damage. We’re zealous when it comes to eliminating termites and other pests.


In 1963 Clark's Termite & Pest Control opened our doors. We wholeheartedly thank you for letting us take care of your termite and pests problems. We’re happy to be your faithful solution and will continue to provide superb customer service.