DIY Subterranean and Drywood Termite Control

DIY Subterranean and Drywood Termite Control

South Florida Termite Control

Termites cause serious and severe damage to homes, destroying the structure and integrity. The damage termites cause can be very expensive to repair, making it essential for every homeowner to recognize termite types and the prevention methods for each.

Types of Termites

There are two main termite species in the South Florida area that can pose a major threat to your home, subterranean and drywood termites. Subterranean termites typically swarm in the spring but have been known to swarm at any time of the year. These termites live in colonies underground but will go above ground to retrieve food by building tunnels called mud tubes. In order to survive, they need moisture. You can find these termites in baseboards, inside crawl spaces, wooden beams, and more.

Drywood termites are social insects that also live in colonies. However, they create their colonies in wood, with no needed connection to the ground. While subterranean termites need moisture, drywood termites do not. You can find these termites in furniture, banisters, hardwood floors, and more.

Preventing Termites

Taking the time to place do-it-yourself preventative measures throughout your home is a great way to get a head start on termite control. You can prevent termites by:

  • Fixing any leaks throughout the home.
  • Avoiding landscaping, such as mulch, too close to the foundation of the home.
  • Placing firewood or wood debris at least 10 feet away from the home.
  • Reducing all openings that allow termites access by filling gaps and cracks around the foundations.
  • Getting an annual termite inspection from a South Florida exterminator.

If you suspect you have a termite problem or want to get ahead of termite control, contact our local office for termite control near you, who can provide you with a free termite inspection.

Termite Control Tips for Summer

Termite Control Tips for Summer

Termites are considered a year-round pest, causing significant destruction to homes and properties each year. Termite swarming season runs from spring to summer for most species. They use this time to reproduce and establish new colonies. Keep your home safe from termites this summer with these termite prevention tips.

Inspect Wooden Structures

Termite inspections aren’t limited to just your house. Make sure to inspect any wooden structures you have outside, as well, like wood furniture, swing sets, and decks. Termites will make small pinholes in the wood they are eating. If you find evidence of termites in your wooden structures, contact a termite control professional immediately. If your structures are not infested, seal them with an outdoor paint or sealant.

Block Their Entry

Installing a barrier to entry for termites will go a long way towards keeping them out of your home for good. There are two termite treatment options available for the perimeter of your home: bait stations and liquid soil treatments. In addition to these, performing routine inspections of the outside of your home, especially around foundations, is critical. If any gaps or cracks are found, seal or repair them immediately.

Elevate Firewood

Stacks of firewood are an ideal food source for termites. Try not to stack firewood next to your home, shed or garage. Instead, store it several feet away from these structures. You should also elevate it, if possible, on either metal or concrete racks.

Keep Your Yard Maintained

It’s important to keep your yard maintained to help prevent termites and other pests. Keep bushes and trees trimmed back so they are not touching your house or overhanging. Remove any dead or dying shrubs from your yard. Try to avoid using wooden mulch; instead, opt for recycled rubber mulch.

Annual Termite Inspections

Termites don’t take days off so your home is always at risk. They can also go undetected for long periods of time, causing significant damage before you even realize they are there. A pest control professional can perform an annual termite inspection to help spot any signs of termites before they turn into a full blown termite infestation.

If you have a problem with termites or just want to get a head start on prevention, contact your local pest control company for a complete evaluation.

 

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How Fast Do Termite Treatments Work?

How Fast Do Termite Treatments Work?

Termites cost homeowners billions of dollars each year. Known as silent destroyers, these pests eat wood from the inside out, going long periods of time undetected in your home. Treating termites depends on the type of termite you have. The most common are drywood termites, dampwood termites, and subterranean termites.

You can protect your home from termites by having an annual termite inspection performed on your home. A termite technician will come out once a year and inspect the inside and outside of your home for signs of termites. You can also help prevent termites by keeping soil around your home dry, making sure landscaping doesn’t touch foundations, fixing leaks, and using concrete for foundations.

Sometimes despite our best efforts, termites invade our home. Once they get in, professional termite treatments are necessary to completely eliminate the infestation. The type of treatment you use depends on the type of termite you have. The three most common types of treatments include liquid-soil treatments, bait stations, and sprays/foams.

One of the most important questions any homeowner wants to know when treating termites is how long the treatment takes to work.

  • Liquid-Soil Treatments: These treatments work as a barrier around the exterior of your home. A trench is dug around the perimeter and filled with liquid termiticide. The trench is then filled back in. As termites travel from your home to their colony, they pass through the termiticide. These treatments can last up to 5 years. Liquid-soil treatments work faster than bait stations, with colonies usually completely eliminated within 3 months.
  • Bait Stations: Bait stations are used outside your home to provide a food source the termites take back to their colonies. These treatments take longer to work than liquid-soil because the termites first have to find the bait, then take it back to their colonies and wait for it to be eaten by all members. Eventually the entire colony, including the queen, will be killed off. Bait stations also have to be monitored on a regular basis and refilled when necessary. Bait stations can take up to 6 months to completely eradicate a termite colony.
  • Spays/Foams: Sprays and foams are used to treat existing wood structures or new construction. The product is sprayed directly onto the wood, killing existing termites and soaking into the wood to provide preventative treatment for future infestations. When applied, termites usually start dying off within 1 to 2 days. However, it can take longer for the treatment to reach the queen, if it ever does.

Termites can be a big headache for homeowners. If you have a problem with termites or just want to get ahead with prevention, contact a pest control company who can provide you with a thorough inspection and termite control plan that works best for your situation.

 

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4 Types of Termite Control

4 Types of Termite Control

Termites can cause serious damage to your home, affecting both its structure and integrity. Termite damage can also be costly to repair. Let’s take a closer look at how to recognize when you have a termite problem, as well as the different types of termite treatments that are available today.

The first step in preventing termites is to identify when you have a problem. Termites eat wood from the inside out so they often go undetected for long periods of time, causing substantial damage before you even realize you have a problem. Recognizing the signs of termites in your home is a good first step to identifying their presence. Common signs of termites include:

  • Noise: Soldier termites bang their heads against the wood or shake their bodies when disturbed. This can be heard as a quiet clicking sound coming from your walls.
  • Discarded wings: Swarming termites leave existing colonies to reproduce and establish new colonies. Once they mate, they discard their wings. These wings can often be found near doors and windows.
  • Warped wood: Termites produce moisture as they tunnel through wood. This moisture causes wood to warp, making doors and windows difficult to open and paint to bubble. This can often resemble water damage.
  • Damaged wood: Termites eat wood from the inside out, leaving behind a labyrinth of tunnels in damaged wood. This wood will then make a hollow or papery sound when tapped on.
  • Feces: Termite feces, also known as frass, is left behind as termites tunnel through wood. Frass can be seen as piles of pellets, black marks, or a dark, powdery substance near the sites of damage.
  • Mud tubes: Subterranean termites will build mud tubes to provide moisture and to protect them from predators. They use these tubes to travel between their colony and their food source. These tubes are usually found near foundations.

Prevention

The best way to control termites is to prevent them in the first place. Some common termite prevention tips include:

  • Using concrete foundation.
  • Leaving ventilation space between the soil and the wood.
  • Covering exposed wood surfaces with sealant or a metal barrier.
  • Keeping the soil around foundations dry (through proper grading, adequate drainage, and clear gutters and downspouts).
  • Reducing openings termites can use to get in (by filling cracks in cement foundations and sealing around where utilities pass through walls).
  • Fixing leaks immediately.
  • Keeping vents free from blockage.
  • Making sure trees and shrubs are not planted too close to the home.
  • Not allowing trees and shrubs to grow against exposed wood.
  • Not piling firewood or wood debris next to the house.
  • Having annual termite inspections performed.

Termite Treatments

Once you have an established termite infestation, the next step is deciding which termite control treatment is best for your situation. Treatments depend on a variety of factors including the type of termite you are dealing with, the severity of the infestation, the type and size of your home, whether it is a new construction or an existing home, the cost of the treatment, and more. There are four main types of termite treatments:

Liquid-Soil Treatment

Liquid-soil termite treatments are used on the soil surrounding your home to act as a treatment barrier. They are long lasting, providing protection for an average of 5 years. With these treatments, a trench is dug around the perimeter of your home and liquid termiticide is applied. The trench is then filled back in. This method helps prevent future infestations, as well as killing any existing termites as they travel between your home and their nests.

Bait Treatments

Bait station treatments are another option for treating termites. In this method, bait stations are strategically placed around your home. Each station contains a slow-acting termiticide that the termites take back to their nests and share with other termites. These treatments can take longer to affect termites. They also require regular monitoring and maintenance to make sure each station still contains bait.

Wood Treatments

Wood treatments offer another alternative to termite control. These treatments utilize either surface sprays and treatments or injected sprays and foams. Wood treatments kill existing termites and also soak into the wood to prevent future problems. These treatments require direct access to infested wood which can be difficult to get to in some circumstances. Sprays are better for use in new construction treatments as the wood can be treated as the house is being built. Injected foams are better for use on existing structures as they can expand into cracks and crevices that sprays may not be able to reach.

Pre-Treated Materials

Pre-treated building materials are best used for new construction. The termiticide can either be sprayed or brushed on. Termiticide can also be applied anywhere the new structure comes into contact with the soil, allowing the soil to be pretreated. Using pressure treated wood is also an option as termites are less likely to infest wood that has been mixed with chemicals.

Termites are a serious problem for homeowners. If you suspect you have a problem with termites or other pests, contact your local pest control company for an inspection.

 

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Do Swarming Termites Mean an Infestation?

Do Swarming Termites Mean an Infestation?

Swarming termites, also known as alates, are termites with wings that leave their colonies with two purposes in mind: reproducing and establishing a new colony. Alates resemble flying ants and will colonize anywhere with a cellulose source and adequate moisture for survival, making your home the ideal environment for a new colony. While alates don’t bite, sting, or eat wood, they are a good indication that there is a termite colony nearby.

Why Do Termites Swarm?

Once the original termite colony reaches capacity and is ready to expand, termite swarms occur. These usually happen once per year, although some species will swarm multiple times. Swarms can contain anywhere from hundreds to thousands of alates whose sole purpose is reproduction and expansion of the colony. Once environmental conditions are right, the swarmers will launch themselves into the air and pair off. Once they’ve found their partner, both will shed their wings, mate, and find a new place to nest.

When Do Termites Swarm?

The timing of termite swarms depends on the type of termite you are dealing with. Subterranean termites typically swarm in the spring during daylight hours. Drywood termites swarm in late summer and early fall, and dampwood termites swarm over the summer. Termites will swarm once conditions are ideal, usually the day after a rain shower with overcast weather and winds less than 6 mph. Damp soil after a rainstorm also helps with nest building.

Do Termites Swarm Indoors?

If a colony is already established inside your home, termites may swarm inside. These alates will try to squeeze through cracks and crevices in your foundations and walls to reach open air. Alates are also attracted to light so they can often be found near windows and light fixtures.

What Kind of Termites Swarms Are There?

Termite swarms vary depending on what species it is. Drywood termite swarms are usually smaller than other termites with less than 100 swarmers. They will swarm in late summer and fall. Due to the small size of the swarm, you may not see the signs of drywood termites until they are already established. Dampwood termites swarm in the summer months. They are of less concern to homeowners as houses don’t typically have the moisture content necessary for them to survive. They can, however, be found in wood structures surrounding homes, e.g. utility poles. Subterranean termites are the most common and have the largest swarms, sometimes numbering into the thousands. These termites swarm in the spring between March and June.

While swarms don’t necessarily mean you have a termite infestation in your home, they are a good indicator that there is a thriving colony nearby. If you spot swarming termites in or near your home, consider a termite inspection to help identify signs of termites you may have missed and ensure you don’t have a hidden colony eating your home from the inside out.

If you suspect termites, contact a professional pest control company who can give your house a thorough inspection and help with a termite control and prevention plan going forward.

 

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Termites: The Swarming Begins

Termites: The Swarming Begins

With the warmer months creeping up on us, it’s time to start preparing for the termite swarming season. Termites cause billions of dollars in damage each year and infestations are normally not found until considerable damage has already been done. It’s important to know what types of termites are active in your area to understand ways to prevent them from causing damage to your home.

The most common type of termite in the southeast is the subterranean termite. This termite species lives in underground colonies with as many as two million members but can also be found in moist, secluded areas above ground. They are the most destructive termite species and, over time, can potentially collapse a building. This is due to their hard, saw-toothed jaws that work like shears and can bite off extremely small fragments of wood, one piece at a time. They typically begin their swarming season in early spring, usually during daylight hours.

Swarming is beneficial when creating new colonies.  Termites swarm after a colony has reached a certain capacity and is ready to expand. This normally happens once per year for most colonies. Hundreds or even thousands of swarmers, also known as alates, are produced with the sole purpose of reproduction and expansion.

Swarming can occur indoors or outdoors. They cannot survive indoors because of the lack of soil to colonize. If found indoors, they are usually found near windows and light fixtures as they are attracted to light. Whether indoors or outdoors, they usually can’t cause damage. As swarmers, they can’t bite, sting, or chew. The presence of swarms indicates that a colony is nearby, though; so although the swarmers can’t cause damage, the nearby colony can.

There are many ways to prevent swarming from happening. The first step is to eliminate any termite colonies in the area. To prevent termites, make sure there are no water sources nearby, including standing water around your home. Also, routinely inspect your foundation for loose mortar or bubbling paint to see if there are termites present.

Because a termite swarm indicates a nearby colony, homeowners should take precaution when one is spotted close to home. If you suspect you have a termite infestation, contact a professional local pest control company who can inspect your property and set up a termite control plan.

Do I Need to Treat for Termites in Winter?

Do I Need to Treat for Termites in Winter?

It’s a known fact that termites can cause costly and significant damage to your home, but did you know they are active year-round? Winter does bring some daily changes to termite colonies, including moving deeper into the ground for warmth or seeking shelter in your home’s foundation. Both cases are something to be wary of, especially when it comes to the health of your home.

Subterranean termites might seem like they can’t cause damage in the winter when they burrow deep underground, but don’t let that fool you. When termites burrow underground, they tunnel deep beneath your home’s foundation and can cause structural damage, such as causing your home to shift and become uneven, which is costly to repair.

The plus side to termites in the wintertime is that swarms are nearly impossible. Termite swarms may sound like a scene out of a science fiction movie, but they are necessary for the survival of termites. Fortunately, they are not common in the winter, as they tend to move further away from their colonies in the warmer months, making it more difficult to find them. Consider putting preventative measures in place around your home during the winter season before these pests become active again in the spring months, which mark the beginning of swarming season.

There are several ways to prevent termites, even in the wintertime. There are many great services offered to homeowners that can be beneficial year-round. The most effective option in termite prevention is the Sentricon Always Active® system. It is an environmentally responsible choice for home termite protection and is scientifically designed to eliminate the entire colony – including the queen. It’s crucial to prevent termites, whether they’re active or not.

Termites can be extremely difficult to identify, avoid, and eliminate once they are established. If you spot signs of termites in your home or just want to get ahead in the prevention game, contact a professional pest control company who can set you up with annual termite inspections and even a termite control plan.

4 Types of Termite Control

What Is The Most Effective Termite Treatment?

The first step in termite prevention is to be ready for them. One of the most important things you can do is learn the signs of termites in order to catch them early. Termites can often go undetected for long periods of time, causing significant damage before you are alerted to their presence. The most common types of termites include subterranean termites, drywood termites, and Formosan termites. The type of termite and the location of the infestation help determine the best type of termite treatment to use. Here are four of the most common termite treatments utilized by termite control professionals.

Pretreatments

Pretreatments are termite treatments that are performed during the building phase of new construction. It is also preferable to utilize pretreatments when constructing additions on an existing home, as well. Pretreatments are more effective and affordable when utilized before the physical infrastructure of a home or addition is laid. Pretreatments involve a combination of liquid termiticide (commonly containing borates), termite bait, lumber treatment, and in soil barriers.

Barrier Treatments

Barrier treatments form a literal barrier in the ground between termites and your home. A trench is dug around the perimeter of your home and the soil that is removed is treated heavily with a termiticide. The trench is then refilled with the treated soil. In some cases, a physical wall is also constructed inside the outer wall of the trench made up of rock, sand, mesh, and plastic. This adds an additional layer of protection between your home and termites.

Liquid Treatments

Liquid treatments are the most common termite treatments utilized. These treatments are effective for termite infestations on the interior of your home. In these treatments, holes are drilled strategically in both the foundation and the wood. Termiticide is then injected into the holes which forces the termites to emerge. The termites are then exterminated by spot treatments with termiticides.

Bait Stations

In these treatments, bait stations containing wood, paper, or cellulose that is laced with termiticide are placed in the ground around your home. Termites are attracted to the bait and eat it. The termiticide is slow acting which allows the termites to return to the colony and spread the bait to others, killing off the entire colony. Bait stations can be used in locations where surface treatments can’t, such as near foundation drains and areas that are covered by slabs or flooring. Bait stations are an effective and long-term treatment solution.

Termites can get out of control quickly and be incredibly difficult to eradicate. If you suspect you have a termite problem, contact your local pest control company for a termite inspection to identify the type of termite and recommend the best course of treatment.

 

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Two Reasons You’re Attracting Termites

Two Reasons You’re Attracting Termites

Owning a home is a huge investment and can take plenty of time and energy to maintain the upkeep. Whether it’s your first home or a home you’ve had for years, discovering that it has termites can be unexpected and devastating. Subterranean termites can cause considerable damage to your home’s infrastructure and the cost of repairing it can be in the thousands of dollars. There are two major reasons termites are attracted to your home.

Subterranean termites are attracted to moisture and need an abundant source of it to survive. Improper drainage around the home can often be the major and most common reason these pests have infested. Clogged gutters can cause water to pool up and cause damage to your foundation, making it vulnerable to termite damage. Leaves, twigs, and other debris that fall into gutters can build up, while the excess moisture can soften your roof and cause it to rot. Try to divert rainwater away from your foundation with a down-spot and splash blocks to help prevent the water from pooling. Consider investing in gutter guards to help keep debris and leaves out of your gutters.

Every homeowner is looking to make their home aesthetically beautiful; but often the materials used throughout your yard for landscaping purposes can attract termites. Mulch is commonly used near and around the home, sometimes lying against the foundation. Unfortunately, this material is a major attractant to termites as it can serve as a food source if it retains moisture. Mulch placed near the foundation can lead to these pests residing right at the edge of your home. Instead of mulch, consider using landscaping rocks, or try to minimize the use of wood mulch and keep it at least 15 inches from the foundation.

If you suspect a termite infestation or would like to get ahead of preventing them, consider contacting your local pest control company where they can provide you with the best termite control options for your home.

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