6 Signs of Subterranean Termites

6 Signs of Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are considered to be the most damaging species of termite of all. These termites can damage the infrastructure of buildings and homes, putting them at risk for catastrophic consequences. Subterranean termites are found in every US state except Alaska.

It can be hard to detect subterranean termites as they eat wood from the inside out, often staying hidden until significant damage is done. They can enter through stucco, slab foundation, or any other hidden area with access to the structure. In order to prevent termites, it’s important to recognize the signs you may have an infestation. Here are 6 signs of subterranean termites:

Swarms

One of the earliest signs of subterranean termites are termite swarms. Termite swarms emerge in the spring or early summer to reproduce and establish new colonies. Seeing a termite swarm indicates the presence of a nearby colony and indicate another colony will be starting up soon, increasing your risk of an infestation inside your home.

Mud Tubes

Mud tubes are another indication of subterranean termites. These are tubes they build to travel back and forth between your home and their nest. They protect them from damage and predators and allow them to accumulate moisture which termites need to survive. Mud tubes are typically about the size of a pencil and can be on walls, ceilings, floors, exterior surfaces, and on the sides of slabs.

Noises

Termites don’t just leave visual clues to their presence – you can also hear them! If a colony is larger and established, you may hear a faint clicking or knocking sound behind your walls or in other voids. The noise is the sound of soldier termites banging their heads against wood or vibrating their bodies to indicate danger is imminent. You can even sometimes hear the worker termites chewing through the wood of your home.

Hollow Wood

During an annual termite inspection, a termite control technician may tap the wooden surfaces of your home. If termite damage is present, you will hear a hollow or paper sound instead of a solid thud when tapped. You can also look for blistering or bubbling paint or other abnormalities in or near wood structures, including window and door trim. Termite damage can often mimic water damage.

Frass

When subterranean termites tunnel through wood, they push debris and waste out behind them through tiny openings. Frass is the name for this waste they excrete. If you notice pin-sized holes with small black marks or dark powdery substance around them, these indicate the presence of kick out holes made by the termites. You may also see piles of sawdust looking material which is the frass.

Wood Damage

Floor, door, and window damage may also indicate a termite infestation. Sagging floors can indicate a well established infestation. Take note of any floors that buckle or sag and have them inspected. Doors and windows are another area that may indicate a problem. When these structures warp or don’t open and close smoothly, it can indicate the presence of termites, as well.

If you have any of these signs of termite damage, contact your local pest control company for a thorough inspection and treatment plan.

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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How Do I Know If I Have Termites?

How Do I Know If I Have Termites?

It’s Termite Awareness Week, and termites are a known threat to southern homeowners. Termites can cause more than 5 million dollars in property damage throughout the United States, and it is normal for this damage not to be covered by homeowner’s insurance policies. Before the damage gets out of control, look for termite signs and consider getting a preventative termite treatment and warranty from professional help.

One of the first signs that termites are near is if you encounter swarmers near your home. Although swarmers do not cause wood damage, they do indicate that a colony is nearby.  If you notice swarmers, it’s best to take immediate action and have a local termite control company take a look.

Another tell-tale sign that termites are close by is the presence of mud tubes or tunnels along the foundation of your home. Termites use mud tubes to keep moisture when traveling to and from their colony and your home.

Some other signs of termites that you may notice are:

  • Hollowed or damaged wood: Wood damage can be found behind surfaces like walls and floors. This is caused by termites searching for cellulose, which can leave long grooves in the wood. Over time, these grooves weaken the wood and can create structural damage. If wood is hollowed, it will show a honeycomb interior and give off an empty sound.
  • Bubbles in paint: Discovering bubbles in paint means there is a buildup of moisture, which can either be from water damage or termite damage.
  • Frass: Finding the appearance of wood-colored droppings that litter the ground is a sign of a drywood termite infestation.

Even if you do not find signs of termites, now is still the perfect time to get preventative termite protection! With the Sentricon Always Active bait system, you’ll experience 24/7 termite protection, annual inspections, a lifetime termite warranty, and more! Reach out to your local pest control company to help identify the type of termite and recommendations on the best treatment plan.

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