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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Termite Control: Protecting Your Home From Termite Damage

Termite Control: Protecting Your Home From Termite Damage

Termites cause billions of dollars in damage to homes each year. This irreparable damage can affect both the structure and the integrity of your home. It is projected that homeowners spend upwards of $2 billion on termite treatments each year. Termites eat wood from the inside out, allowing them to go undetected for long periods of time and causing significant damage before you even realize it. Oftentimes homeowners aren’t aware of the presence of termites until they discover this damage.

The most common type of termite in the United States is the subterranean termite, although drywood termites, dampwood termites and Formosan termites can also be found here. Some of the most common signs of termites in your home include termite swarms; mud tubes on or around foundations; piles of discarded wings; drooping or discolored drywall; paint that is peeling; wood that makes a hollow sound when you tap on it; squeaking floorboards; doors and windows that stick; damaged or crumbling wood; loose tile; buckling floors; and even small holes in your drywall.

There are three main methods of termite treatment and the effectiveness of each depends on the type of termite you are dealing with and the severity of the infestation. Here is a breakdown of all three, along with some termite prevention tips to help protect your home from termite damage.

Soil Treatment

Soil treatments are applied to the soil that surrounds your home to create a barrier. The first step is to dig a trench around your foundation. This soil is then treated with a termiticide and the trench is filled back in. By doing this, termites are killed as they pass through the chemicals on their way back to their nests.

Wood Treatment

Wood treatments are used to both kill existing termite colonies and also prevent future ones from starting. There are different types of wood treatments all used with varying effectiveness depending on the type of termite and the severity of the infestation. Surface sprays are treatments that are applied to the surface of wood. Injected sprays and foams are applied to the inside of wood. Borate treated wood is wood that is pretreated with a borate solution. Gas fumigation entails using fumigants that permeate throughout your entire home which disrupts the metabolism of the termites. Surface sprays and borate treated wood are usually used during construction or renovation of homes. Injections, foams, and fumigants are used after a home is built.

Bait Systems

Bait systems are most effective at destroying termite colonies. A termite control professional will come out and install the bait stations around the outside perimeter of your home. These stations are then monitored on a regularly scheduled basis. Bait stations help ensure your home is protected from both a current infestation and a future one. The bait stations contain chemicals that termites eat and then take back to their colonies which allows it to be spread to others. This type of termite treatment is most effective with larger termite colonies.

How do you know which type of treatment is best for you? That all depends on the type of termite you are dealing with. Subterranean termites typically nest underground and enter homes where the wood structure makes direct contact with the soil. They will often squeeze through cracks in the foundation or around utility pipes through mud tubes. The best treatment for these termites is either a soil treatment or a bait station.

Drywood termites don’t require direct soil contact for survival. These termites will colonize anywhere they can find a preferred source of wood. They also don’t need as much moisture to survive like other termite species do. Drywood termites are often found in attics, dead or dying trees and shrubs, utility poles, fencing, and furniture. These termites are most effectively treated with gas fumigation or targeted termiticide.

Dampwood termites are much larger in size than their subterranean counterparts. They also have large pincers that they use to fight off predators. They typically colonize damp or decaying wood with higher moisture content like that found in logs and stumps. These termites don’t usually make their nests in the soil or build mud tubes. They are also not usually as destructive as other termite species are. The best treatment for these termites is moisture removal and termiticide application.

Prevention

The best way to get a head start on termite control at home is through prevention. Most homeowners policies do not cover termite damage so keeping them away is critical to protect both your home and your wallet. You can prevent termites by:

  • Using concrete foundation during construction and leaving a ventilation space between the soil and the wood
  • Covering exposed wood surfaces with sealant or a metal barrier
  • Keeping the soil around foundations dry after construction with proper grading and drainage
  • Maintaining gutters and downspouts
  • Reducing openings that offer access to termites by filling cracks in cement foundations or around gaps where utilities enter the home with cement, caulk, or grout
  • Fixing leaks immediately
  • Keeping vents free from blockage
  • Avoiding landscaping that is too close to the structure and not allowing them to grow against wooden structures
  • Not keeping firewood or wood debris piled up next to the house
  • Getting an annual termite inspection from a professional

If you suspect you have a problem with termites or you just want to get ahead with a prevention plan, contact your local pest control company who can provide you with a free analysis and set you up with a successful treatment and prevention plan going forward.

 

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Termite Season: When and What to Expect

Termite Season: When and What to Expect

You probably aren’t too concerned with termites just yet, with the recent icy weather here in Georgia and the Southeast. BUT…prevention is key to preventing termite damage and now is the time to get prepared.

In the South, termites start swarming in early Spring. So if you don’t already have a termite control plan, it’s time to think about getting one. While swarming termites do not cause structural damage, it’s a sign that a termite colony is hard at work nearby. This could mean severe structural damage to your home that will result in hundred and thousands of dollars in repair costs. So what’s the solution?

Termite Prevention

There are several methods of termite control and deciding which termite treatment is right for your home can be overwhelming. After all, we’re talking about protection for one of your largest investments! And since termite damage typically isn’t covered by homeowners insurance, it’s important to not only have your home treated, but to have a solid termite warranty.

Termite Treatment Options

If you have a really good understanding of how termites work, you could attempt DIY termite control. There are several options for this from traditional liquid barrier treatments to termite baiting systems. This can be a difficult task if you have any slabs attached to your home or a basement. A liquid barrier must be complete with no breaks in order to keep termites out. Want a pro? Keep reading.

Liquid Barrier Termite Treatment

Some pest control companies will recommend a liquid treatment if you have active termites or damage. This provides instant and long-term termite protection. Make sure your termite company includes a good warranty with your treatment, ideally one that covers termite re-treatments and any damage caused post-treatment.

Borate Wood Treatment

This type of termite treatment is ideal when your home is in the construction phase. The wood frame is treated with a product called borates, elements from the earth, that will give you permanent termite protection and also help ward off common household pests.

Termite Baiting Systems

Baiting Systems are proven effective at eliminating entire termite colonies underground around your home, less invasive than liquid treatments, ideal for new and existing construction, and usually come with a lifetime warranty. It’s also the environmentally-responsible way to protect your home from termites, by eliminating the use of hundreds of gallons of chemicals. With Sentricon Always Active, our preferred choice for baiting systems, monitoring devices are placed in the ground strategically around your the perimeter of your home. The devices have a bait tube inside that termites are attracted to. Termites will find the stations, eat the bait and share with their colony, resulting in colony elimination.

Other things you can do to prevent termites:

1. Keep mulch away from your home’s perimeter. This is a food source for termites.

2. Keep any items made of wood away from your home. Firewood, cross ties, that construction project you’ve been working on…all are potential food sources for termites.

3. Keep your gutters cleaned. Termites love moisture so keeping the ground around your home dry is key.

Signs of a potential termite infestation:

If you see a swarm of “flying ants”, it’s probably termites. Find out more on how to tell termites from ants here.

Termite swarmers will usually leave behind small transparent wings. If you see anything like this around your home, call an exterminator.

For more specific information on termite control in your area:

Atlanta Termite Control

Savannah Termite Control

Nashville Termite Control

 

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