A termite treatment is chemical or procedure used to prevent or eliminate termites. Termites are a common pest in the United States and California, and cause billions of dollars’ worth of damage to buildings each year. Once someone realizes or suspects they have termites, they should call a pest control professional immediately for an inspection and potential treatment. There are several types of termite treatment available to help home and business owners combat the wood-eating menace before and after the termites find a property.
The first type of treatment is a preventative one. Many buildings now have pre-construction treatments or are built with wood that has been chemically treated to be toxic to termites. A pre-construction treatment could be an underground barrier placed throughout the landscape that doesn’t let pests through. If a property was not treated during construction, the owner can call a pest controller and have the technicians spray a preventative treatment around the edges of the landscape or near any buildings. These chemical treatments need to be reapplied on a regular basis, but can help home and business owners avoid costly repairs down the line.
If someone does have a termite problem, they need to call a professional for a combative treatment. Most pest control professionals will perform two types of termite treatment: a spot treatment or a partial one. A spot treatment is used to control the termite population only in the location of the colony, and it usually involves the use of strong pesticides or poisoned bait made out of cardboard, paper, or wood. A partial treatment is when a pest controller treats a certain section of the property. Usually, this means the exterminator treats the central location of the termite colony as well as the neighboring region to remove any termites which could have escaped or are lurking nearby. They may use pesticides call termiticides, or they can use baits.
Fumigation is the final form of termite treatment. Fumigation is an intensive process that can only be done by a professional. Pest controllers with surround the affected structure with a special tent designed to prevent the chemicals from leaking into the air. Since many pesticides are toxic, this is an essential health measure. The most common pesticide used for residences is sulfuryl fluoride, which travels through the house as a gas. The gas seeps into every section of the home, including the wood where the colony is hiding. Pest professionals can measure out the exact amount of gas needed to kill the termite colony based on its size. Fumigation can take anywhere from 12-72 hours, at which point the tent is removed. A pest controller will wait for six hours and will test the structure’s air quality before allowing people back in.
These termite treatments vary in cost, but all are effective at preventing or fighting termites. Home and business owners should take steps to protect themselves in advance but, if this is not possible, they should know they have options. Many of these termite treatments require a professional, so people should be sure to contact a licensed company so they know the termites are managed effectively.
When a home or business owner begins to see tunnels in the wood around their property or on their buildings, it can be a bad sign. If a person sees tunnels, notices new structural weaknesses in their buildings, or starts to see bugs around wooden structures, it’s time to schedule a termite inspection. A termite inspection is carried out by a pest control professional, who helps determine whether or not a property has a new infestation. Almost all of the states from the United States have termites, with only Alaska being excluded from the menace. Termites cause billions of dollars’ worth of damage each year to commercial and residential properties and can mean a huge investment for a home or business. A termite inspection can either help clear a person’s mind, or it will be the first step to remove an infestation before it worsens.
Professionals will check multiple aspects of a home or business during a termite inspection. One of the first indications of an infestation is the presence of termite swarmers, or a winged variant of termites which emerge during certain times to form their own colonies. People don’t typically see workers or soldiers, so the swarmers are a huge clue that there is a major colony lurking in the wood. Another common sign is wood damage. Because termites like to eat the inside of wood, most home and business owners will not see the damage. A trained professional, however, can usually tap the wood and identify a hollow sound which indicates that the pests have been developing a colony out of site.
There are two other major clues during a termite inspection. The first is the presence of mud tubes. Termites create mud tubes out of dirt and wood shavings to protect themselves when they need to travel from one location to another. There are three different types of tubes: a working tube, and exploratory tube, and a drop tube. The working tube is used by worker termites to protect them while they gather resources. The exploratory tube was developed by termites who went looking for new resources, while a drop tube lets termites move materials. During a termite inspection, a pest controller can find these tubes to help them determine where a colony is located and how developed it has become.
The second clue during a termite inspection is the presence of mud around construction joints or on the surface of wooden structures. Sometimes, termites are vigorous in their activities and can thoroughly destroy the interior of a wooden beam or plank. When this happens, their tunnels can collapse. To protect their colony, worker termites will use mud to repair the damage, so they can continue to live in a home or business. During an inspection, a professional will be able to tell if the mud on a building is just a regular splatter, or if it was placed there deliberately by a termite colony.
Termites remain one of the most dangerous pests for a property owner to encounter. Thankfully, they leave some obvious indications of their presence if a person knows where to look. Home and business owners might be able to detect some of these signs, but a professional pest controller can perform a thorough termite inspection to determine if the property has a problem. To prevent thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to a structure, it’s best to have an inspection done immediately, so termites can be handled efficiently for everyone’s safety.
Termites are a common problem in the United States. The majority of California is actually a part of Termite Infestation Probability Zones 1 and 2, meaning the chances of suffering an infestation are moderate to severe. Scientists have developed several methods of termite control to eliminate the pests from home and businesses, but many people don’t know how to use them properly. The first step in termite control is to identify what type of termites are plaguing a property through a thorough termite inspection. In California, the main types of termites encountered are the subterranean, drywood, and dampwood varieties.
Subterranean termites developed their name because they build their homes underground and will leave dirt near the entrances of their tunnels from crawling out in search of food. They eat wood with the grain and can commonly be found around properties. Drywood termites were named because they eat extremely dry materials with little to no excess moisture. They can often be found in the attics or upper levels of structures, and they absorb most of the liquid from their fecal matter, which results in dry pellets that are easy to identify. Finally, the least common termites are the dampwood termites. These pests like moist wood and like to invade places that have suffered water damage. They eat against the grain of the wood and are easy to identify in groups because they are one breed which lacks workers.
Once the type of termite has been identified, home and business owners can determine the proper method of termite control. There are no safe DIY termite control methods. People should contact an experienced exterminator who has handled termites before because many termite treatments require knowledge about a building’s structure. Amateurs might not be able to tell when termites have drastically weakened a structure, and termites can hide in a variety of places. A professional pest control company will usually use two types of termite control: liquid pesticides and baits.
Liquid pesticides are a form of pest control which can be applied to soil around properties. Some of the products in this category will kill termites who come into contact with them, while others will repel termites by creating a barrier that can’t be crossed. Bait termite control measures consist of edible products which are desirable to termites, including paper and cardboard. These are used in a similar manner to other baits. They contain a substance toxic to termites that will slowly kill them off because termites will pick up the food and try to share it with the colony. In most cases, home and business owners will need to use both types of termite control to handle a population fully due to the sheer size of termite colonies. It’s recommended that property owners not try to handle a termite infestation on their own. Calling a professional pest control company means that the termite control can be managed without unnecessary risks.
California harbors many different pests because of its location and warm, often moist environment. Commercial and residential properties often need to use preventative methods to prevent infestations by common, destructive organisms. In many cases, one of the most damaging is also one that is frequently found throughout the state: a termite. Usually, people won’t see a termite by itself. Instead, they travel in swarms and establish colonies in varying types of wood based on their species. Unfortunately, termites like to inhabit much of the wood used to construct residences, businesses, and other types of buildings. In California, if someone encounters a termite, it will be one of three types. The least common type is the dampwood termite, followed by the drywood termite and then the subterranean termite.
California remains part of Termite Infestation Probability Zones 1 and 2. Each one indicates that the chances of a building developing a termite infestation is moderate to severe, so home and business owners need to be careful throughout the state. The chances of discovering termites are higher in the south of the state, but this doesn’t mean the north is safe. After it rains, each type of termite swarms and finds a new location to create a colony during the summer and fall months. One of the best ways to avoid dealing with a termite infestation is to contact a pest control company to spray a preventative treatment around the exterior of a property.
Professional exterminators can tell the type of a termite by examining the appearance of their soldiers and swarmers. One notable feature about dampwood termites are that they don’t have any workers. Their termite colonies can be found in wood which is damp or decaying, and are usually located near the ground. Around buildings, this means that termites like to build their homes around the structure’s foundation, where there is a greater chance of water or rot. Dampwood termite soldiers and swarmers are larger than their equivalents in other types and are roughly 20-25mm long. The soldiers have large jaws and mandibles and their heads are greater in proportion to their body than in other termite categories. A drywood termite eats against the grain of wood and leaves behind sticky fecal pellets that stick to the entrances of their tunnels.
The next type of termite is the drywood termite. Like their name indicates, they prefer to form their colonies in and around wood which is not affected by moisture. Many of their colonies can be found on the upper levels of structures or in attics near the insulated roof. Their swarmers have two pairs of wings which usually break off before they die. These termite corpses are easy to identify by professionals and nonprofessionals alike. Their soldiers have the same large mandibles of the soldiers from other termite types. Unlike dampwood termites, a drywood termite absorbs most of the liquid from its fecal matter and leaves behind pellets which are dry and often fall away from their tunnels.
Finally, people around California are most likely going to encounter a colony of subterranean termites. This type of termite builds its colony underneath the ground. A subterranean termite eats with the grain and will often leave dirt near the entrances to its tunnels because they crawl out of the ground to eat. Their swarmers have wings but the workers and soldiers do not. Their soldiers have large mandibles, dark brown heads, and white bodies which make them more distinctive than other types of termite.
Despite this information, a termite colony is not easy to find. Although they eat wood, termites often carve their tunnels inside of wood where there aren’t visible. People might see the swarmers leave the colony when they reproduce, but most people will not be able to tell they have a termite infestation until significant damage is already present. If even one termite is found, it is often better to contact a team of trained professionals to ensure each termite is eradicated before the property suffers from severe structural damage.
Termites are one of the most common and yet damaging pests that commercial and residential properties might encounter. Termites are small, wood-eating pests which are descended from the same ancestor as cockroaches. They are sometimes called white ants, but the term is a misnomer. Although there are many different roles for termites in the colony, exterminators look at the swarmers, the workers, and the soldiers to determine what type they are and where they live. It’s important to identify and remove them as soon as possible because termites cause more than $5 billion in damages each year in the United States through their ability to weaken and destroy entire structures.
Three types of termites are common in California: subterranean, drywood, and dampwood. Termite swarms are typical the day after it rains and are seen during the summer and winter months. Each region of California is considered to be part of Termite Infestation Probability Zones 1 and 2, meaning that the chance of termites roosting in commercial and residential properties are heavy to moderate or moderate to heavy. One of the best ways to avoid the trouble that comes with termites is to call a pest control professional to apply preventative treatments on and around a structure. Many preventative treatments last all year or several years and are always cheaper than trying to cover the costs of termite damages on a property.
Subterranean termites are the most prolific type of termites in California. Their main distinctive characteristic is their tendency to build underground nests. Any damage they cause to wood therefore has dirt in the tunnels and around the openings, which is caused by the termites leaving their nests to eat the wood. Subterranean termites will also eat with the grain rather than against it. This can be hard for people without carpentry experience to notice, but is almost always present. Subterranean termites have swarmers with wings and workers and soldiers that are wingless. The soldiers are the most unique-looking and possess large jaws, dark brown heads, and white bodies.
Drywood termites are the second most common type in the state. The swarmers of this kind have two pairs of wings which are typically shed shortly before death. If there are many dead termites which lack wings, they are most likely drywood termites. Their soldiers also have large mandibles and are much larger than subterranean termites. These termites often do not need to be connected to the ground or the outdoors. Their diet is almost entirely wood, and their colonies can be found away from the ground, on the upper floors of buildings or in attics. Another characteristic is their feces, which are hexagonal and roughly 1mm long. Drywood termites remove most of their water from fecal matter before expelling it, and thus leaves distinctive pellets that can be identified by a professional or someone familiar with their habits.
The last category of termites in California are dampwood termites. Unlike other types, dampwood termites do not have any workers. Instead, they have swarmers and soldiers which are much larger than other groups of termites, ranging from 20-25mm in length. The soldiers have heads which are large in relation to their bodies and also possess massive mandibles to defend the nest. Like their name indicates, dampwood termites live near the ground in moist wood that is often decaying. They can often be found near the foundations of structures or in areas where water damage is present. They eat across the wood grain and leave behind sticky fecal pellets which often stick to the entrances of their tunnels.
So, how can someone tell whether they have termites or not? Honestly, most people will not realize they have an infestation until severe destruction has already been wrought within a structure. Termites often eat and build their nests inside of wood and are not noticeable on the exterior until they have constructed many tunnels and drastically weakened their environment. Sometimes, people might see their tunnels. It is also possible for people to glimpse the swarmers as they leave the nest to reproduce in new areas. However, the easiest way to tell if there are termites is to call a team of professional exterminators who can catch termites before they cause drastic levels of damage to a home or business.
Jose D. has been providing pest control solutions to North County San Diego residents since 2000!