Alabama Termite Control: What Termite Treatment Do I Need?
Termites will not stop until they find a food source for their colony, often destroying our homes in the process. A termite infestation can be devasting, as their damage can cost billions of dollars in repair. One of the best ways to avoid their damage is investing in termite control for your Alabama home. Let’s review the signs of termites and the several types of termite treatment options available so you can avoid their devastation.
Common Signs of Termites
Termites are silent destroyers, meaning they can go unnoticed for extended periods. However, there are many ways that you can tell you have a termite infestation.
- Sounds: Soldier termites will bang their heads against wood or shake their bodies when a colony is disturbed to alert other termites in the colony. You will often hear a quiet clicking sound coming from the walls.
- Wings: Swarming termites leave their nest to search for a mate to establish a new colony. When they find a mate, they will lose their wings. These discarded termite wings are often found near doors or windowsills and are a sign of an infestation.
- Warping: Termites produce moisture when tunneling through the wood. If they make their way through window frames and doors, it will cause them to warp, which makes them difficult to open. Warping will also cause uneven or bubbling paint.
- Wood Damage: When termites consume wood from the inside out, it will often make a hollow or papery sound when tapped on.
Termite Treatment Options
When investing in termite treatment and prevention options, there are three common types of professional treatments that every homeowner should know, including bait stations, liquid-soil treatments, and wood treatments.
- Bait Stations: Installed at the perimeter of your home, bait stations will provide a food source for termites. When found, the termites will bring the food back to their colony, where it eliminates them. This treatment can take longer, but it does eliminate the entire colony once the termites find it. A termite service professional will monitor and refill the station when needed.
- Liquid-Soil Treatments: This treatment is installed by digging a trench around the perimeter of your home and filling it in with liquid termiticide. If termites travel from your home and back to their colony, they pass through this termiticide, which will eventually eliminate them.
- Wood Treatments: This treatment is used when treating existing wood structures. The wood treatment can either be a surface or injected spray/foam. Treatment is applied by spraying directly onto the wood, where it will eliminate the existing termites and provide preventative treatment for the future.
If you’re interested in these termite treatment options, consider contacting your local pest control company for more information. These professionals can provide you with a comprehensive inspection and help determine the best termite control plan for you and your home.
Spring brings warm weather and the need for spring cleaning. When making your spring to-do list, make sure to include pest control with it. The warm weather brings pests out in droves, whether emerging from their overwintering spots or searching for a mate to reproduce with. One of the most common spring pests are termites. Spring marks the beginning of termite swarming season, when termites leave their colonies in search of a mate to form a new colony with. Don’t forget to make termite treatment a priority on your spring checklist!
Termites can go undetected for long periods of time, causing significant damage to your home. Once you identify the signs of termites, the next step is to determine the best termite treatment for your situation. Here are some of the most common termite treatment options:
Pretreatments are termite treatments carried out during the construction phase of new construction. It is also preferable to use pretreatments when building additions to an existing home. When used before the physical infrastructure of a home or addition is laid, pretreatments are more effective and cost-effective. Pretreatments typically consist of a combination of liquid termiticide (often containing borates), termite bait, lumber treatment, and in-soil barriers.
Barrier treatments create a physical barrier between termites and your home. A trench is dug around your home’s perimeter, and the soil that is removed is heavily treated with a termiticide. The treated soil is then refilled into the trench. In some cases, a physical wall made of rock, sand, mesh, and plastic is built inside the trench’s outer wall. This adds another layer of defense between your home and termites.
The most common termite treatments are liquid treatments. These treatments are effective for termite infestations in your home’s interior. Holes are strategically drilled in both the foundation and the wood in these treatments. The termites are then forced to emerge after termiticide is injected into the holes. Termites are then exterminated using termiticide spot treatments.
Bait stations containing termiticide-laced wood, paper, or cellulose are placed in the ground around your home. Termites are drawn to the bait and consume it. The termiticide is slow acting, allowing termites to return to the colony and spread the bait to others, effectively killing the colony. Bait stations can be used in places where surface treatments cannot be used, such as near foundation drains and areas covered by slabs or flooring. Bait stations are a long-term and effective treatment solution.
While it can be tempting to attempt termite control yourself, it is usually best left to the professionals. If you have a termite infestation, contact your local pest control company for a termite inspection to determine the best treatment options for your home.
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Termites are so destructive because they eat wood from the inside out, often going long periods of time before they are discovered. For this reason, annual termite inspections are critical to protecting your home. These inspections help spot signs of termites sooner, allowing termite control to be implemented earlier in the termite infestation.
There are several different options when it comes to termite treatments. Here are four of the most popular:
Liquid-soil termite treatments are applied to the soil around your home to act as a treatment barrier. They last for an average of 5 years. A trench is dug around the perimeter of your home, and liquid termiticide is applied. The trench is then filled in. This method helps to prevent future infestations while also killing any existing termites as they travel between your home and their nests.
Bait station treatments are another option for termite control. Bait stations are strategically placed around your home using this method. Each station contains a slow-acting termiticide that the termites take back to their nests and share with other termites. These treatments may take longer to work on termites. They also necessitate regular monitoring and maintenance to ensure that each station contains bait.
Wood treatments are an additional termite control option. These treatments make use of either surface sprays and treatments or injected sprays and foams. Wood treatments kill existing termites while also penetrating the wood to prevent future problems. These treatments necessitate direct access to infested wood, which can be difficult to obtain in some cases. Sprays are better for new construction treatments because the wood can be treated while the house is being built. Injected foams are better for use on existing structures because they can expand into cracks and crevices that sprays may not be able to reach.
Pre-treated building materials are ideal for new construction. The termiticide can 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 another option because termites are less likely to infest wood that has been treated with chemicals.
While these termite treatment options are efficient at eliminating existing infestations, unfortunately they do not provide permanent elimination of termites. There is always a risk that termites will return to invade again. Termite control is an ongoing process, requiring persistent maintenance and prevention techniques to continue to keep them out.
You can prevent termites by:
- Getting rid of water sources by eliminating or reducing standing water around your home.
- Repairing any leaky faucets, pipes, and air conditioners.
- Diverting water away from your house with properly functioning spouts, splash blocks, and gutters that are clear of debris.
- Repairing and replacing damaged roof shingles, fascia and soffits on your house.
- Replacing weatherstripping on doors and windows.
- Routinely inspecting foundations for loose mortar, uneven or bubbling paint, wood that sounds hollow when you tap it, and for the presence of mud tubes which termites use to reach food.
- Regularly inspecting wood in and around your home for noticeable changes, making sure to check windows, doors, and skirting.
- Making sure there is at least an 18″ gap between the soil and the wood portions of your home.
- When storing items in the attic or basement, using plastic storage containers and metal shelving instead of cardboard or wood.
- During swarming season, keeping doors and windows shut as much as possible. Keep outdoor lights turned off at night also, as they will attract swarming termites.
- Keeping firewood stored at least 20 feet away from your home and elevated off the ground.
- Keeping plants a few feet away from your home.
- Making sure there is at least a 4″ barrier between your mulch and the side of your home. You can also use mulch made of rubber, plastic, or gravel.
- Removing any tree stumps from your property.
- Scheduling an annual termite inspection of your home and property to help detect termite problems early before they can cause significant damage.
Contact your local pest control company for a thorough evaluation.
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