Choosing a Termite/Pest Company

We recently discussed the difference between termite damage and termite activity.

If you do not have a current termite control company and are shopping around there are a few things that you should be looking for:

How long has the company been in business? If you are receiving quotes from 2-3 companies and one is considerably lower in price, be careful. You don’t necessarily want the cheapest because it could mean they are on the downfall and you’d be stuck with the same scenario even after spending several hundred dollars. Ever see a “going out of business sale” sign? There’s a reason everything is marked down 70% or more. They’re no longer worried about the effectiveness of their product. They just want to get rid of it to make a little money before they close.

Do they have different options in termite protection/pest protection, such as “green” services? Some people could care less about “going green” when it comes to bugs and termites. However, it is important to think about what “green” means. Green pest products are made up of botanical plant particles and minerals. Natural earth derived products are an important aspect of the exterminating industry. For years, pest companies have poured, pumped and sprayed millions of gallons of chemicals into the ground worried about keeping bugs away from homes, children and pets. Why are we concerned about keeping bugs away but have no problem with letting our families and pets be around harmful chemicals? Most companies have a form of “green” control but ask them what their products are made from and to give you a list of products they use. More importantly, ask if they keep their traditional and green products and equipment separate from each other so that there is no cross-contamination. Finally, for those few who still don’t care about the environment, I still urge you to go with a green solution. Most companies with a green solution still have access to traditional products but the goal is to only treat those as needed. Use green products around your home on a regular basis and if the need calls for it, traditional products can be used in a much smaller area upon request.

Go with a company that can provide several services. If you have ants in your kitchen, termites in your garage and mosquitoes in your backyard you don’t want to have to call three different companies. That’s three different appointments that you have to take time out of your schedule for, three different bills and three different agreements. Wouldn’t it be much easier to make one phone call and set up one appointment with one company? It’s much easier to remember who to call when anything comes up in the future and know they make you a high priority because they would stand to lose a lot more if they were to disappoint you.

Austin Milligan
Alpharetta Service Center Manager
Northwest Exterminating
amilligan@callnorthwest.com

Northwest Exterminating
830 Kennesaw Ave MariettaGA30060 USA 
 • 888-466-7849
 

Termite Damage vs. Termite Activity

It is very important for a consumer to understand that there is a huge difference between termite damage and termite activity. Year after year, I go into homes that may or may not have either of the two and regardless I can say that at the very least it “freaks people out.” Understandably so, no one wants to have termites eating away at their biggest investment. It is very important to have someone who can not only treat your home but also provide regular inspections to make sure that there is no activity present.

Termite activity always comes first! Just because the termites are there doesn’t mean they have caused any termite damage yet. Remember that they are essentially wild animals. They will choose to feed when and where they please. It is completely up to them. It is important that proper visibility for the termite inspector is allowed. There should not be large amounts of storage covering areas where visibility is impossible. Make sure that all areas, particularly exterior walls, are clear of storage. If termite activity can be found in it’s early stages then it can be resolved before the “damage is done.” 

If you suspect that your home could have either termite damage or termite control, call an exterminator…call Northwest Exterminating to protect your home.

Austin Milligan
Alpharetta Service Center Manager
Northwest Exterminating
amilligan@callnorthwest.com

 

Why is a Termite Letter so Important?

Buying and/or selling a home is a rewarding task…but can also be a stressful task.  Once you’ve found the home of your dreams you go through great length to ensure that it is up to code and everything is in good condition.  But some people miss out on a very vital step…the termite letter!

Approximately 65% of all clearance letters issued on homes older than 5 years reflect previous termite or other wood destroying organism infestations.  Our data indicates that 1/4 of all clearance letters require some form of termite treatment.

Termites are responsible for more damage to homes than water and fire combined – $11 billion annually in the U.S.

Tips for Buyer:

  • In most cases foreclosure homes have not been inspected for termite activity in many years.  The Official Georgia Wood Infestation Inspection Report (termite letter) is a minimal investment to protect your great find.
  • If the property you are considering buying has had previous infestations, the Official Georgia Wood Infestation Inspection Report (termite letter) will have a diagram of the property identifying the affected areas.  Your home inspector can use that diagram to inspect those areas to determine, in his opinion, the degree of damage.

Tips for Seller:

  • If the property is not under warranty with any company and the property needs treatment, this expense could become a negotiating issue for the sale of the property.
  • To obtain a marketing advantage, be proactive by getting a termite inspection and an Official Georgia Wood Infestation Inspection Report (termite letter) prior to marketing your home.
  • A tranferrable warranty is a strong selling feature.

Northwest Exterminating offers the Official Georgia Wood Infestation Inspection Report (termite letter) which you can request ONLINE or over the phone.

 

Could you have Termites?

Everyone loves spring…especially termites.  Yup, it’s that time of year when termites swarm.  As you know, termites can cause serious damage to your home.  Termite damage is more common than damage caused by any other natural disaster and is not covered by most home insurance policies.  That is why it is so important to maintain your termite coverage; and if you don’t have termite coverage, it’s imperative that you get it.

To some, termites look like flying ants.  If you see a similar problem in your home, click HERE to reference your finding to our pictures of a termiteTermites frequently travel underground in tunnels to get into your home…so if you are seeing them inside your home you can bet that infestation has already occurred and you should call your pest control company immediately. 

When choosing a company for your termite control, interview different companies and shop around for the best price and most thorough treatment and coverage plan.  Also, ask friends and family for their referrals.

If you would like to have a Northwest Exterminating Representative inspect your home, click HERE for a FREE termite inspection.

 

Termites…Coming to a City Near You!

The forecast for this afternoon calls for heavy storms in Atlanta and the surrounding areas.  Not only are storms coming in this evening but spring is right around the corner…which means one thing…rain, rain and more rain!  Rain can bring in unwanted visitors to your home such as termites, mosquitoes, cockroaches, and many other not so friendly houseguests.

Out of the many pests that make themselves at home in your home, termites can be some of the most damaging.  Termites are responsible for nearly $2 billion of damage across the US.  Don’t fall victim to their game…start now on your fight to protect your home against termites.  Below are some ways to inspect your home for termites or you can call Northwest Exterminating for a FREE termite inspection.

How to identify termites

  • Look for a swarm of winged insects in and around your home.  Termites can also be found moving quickly along the ground.
  • Termites look a lot like flying ants although ants have one pair of wings smaller than the other, all four wings are the same size on termites.
  • Termites breed in places of moisture such as concrete, wood and other hard-to-get-to places.
  • Cracked or bubbling paint
  • Termite droppings
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
  • Mud tubes.  These tubes are used to reach the wood that the termites are feeding on.  Check basement and crawl spaces for these pencil width tunnels.
  • Discarded wings from swarmers

For more information on termites…read our past blog!

 

Subterranean Termites in Atlanta

The Eastern Subterranean Termite is the most common and widely distributed termite in North America. These termites are responsible for nearly 2 billion dollarsof damage in homes across the US. They are of particular concern in the Southeast region. Being based in Atlanta, Ga we are all too familiar with the damage that termites can cause.

Eastern Subterranean termites consist of 3 caste systems:

1. Workers-a mature colony can have up to 60,000 to 1,000,000 workers

2. Soldiers-their only job is to protect the colony

3.Reproductives- There are two types:

Primary-King and Queen (Queen can live 30 years)

Secondary- Produced in more mature colonies and can replace the primary reproductives if something happens.

Eastern Subterranean termites need moisture to survive and are almost always located in the ground or have to return to the ground for moisture. These termites build mud tubes, termite highways, to take them from their colony to their food source. Termite are able to enter through cracks less than the width of a business card.

All homes, especially in cities such as Atlanta that are located in the Southeast, should have termite protection on their home. Your home is your biggest investment…Northwest Exterminating is here to help you protect that investment.

Source: NPCA: Field Guide to Structural Pests

 

Termites in Atlanta…facts and myths

If you live in the Atlanta, GA area, chances are you know what termites are…and that they eat houses.

Here’s some information you may NOT know…

Common Myths:

  • Termites can chew through concrete
  • Termites are like ants
  • Termites colonies have a king and a queen
  • Only the queen can lay eggs (true for most ants)
  • Ants and termites will kill each other
  • Aerial nests can happen
  • Termite colonies contain millions of individuals
  • All termites eat live trees
  • All termites make carton nests
  • Water will drown termites
  • Old exterminating products worked better than current ones
  • Termite baits don’t work
  • Termites must have moisture to survive

Facts:

  • Termites can fit through a 1/32″ crack
  • Termite colonies consist of males and females
  • Termite colonies have one queen and potentially many kings
  • There are many sources of eggs in a mature termite colony
  • Ants and termites can be found together
  • Most termites colonies come from the ground and go up
  • Native termite colonies contain hundreds of thousands of individuals
  • Formosan termites eat live trees
  • Formosan termites can live away from the ground – carton nests
  • Formosan termites survived the flooding of New Orleans
  • Exterminating products lasted longer in the past…at the expense of our environment. Today’s products are just as effective, but with a lower environmental impact.
  • Termite baits must be ingested to work
  • Dry wood termites do not require water to survive