Termites are of different types such as the flying termite, dry-wood termite, subterranean termites, and Formosan termites.
All these can infest at places that are not easy for you to inspect. It is always advisable to take the help of professionals while dealing with termites.
Steps to Protect Your Home from Termites
If the soil has the moisture it will attract the termites, so it is required to keep moisture away from your house. The gutters should be clean and must drain at a distance from your house.
Water leakage must be avoided because termites not only use wood to burrow but also the soil in search of moisture.
All the wooden debris surrounding your place should be removed because it is like food to the termites, and after they are done with the debris they are going to attack your house.
Things like newspapers, cardboard boxes, firewood, etc should be kept away from your house and its surroundings. Your house should be crack free. Cracks are an easy opening for the termites and should be repaired and sealed. Structures made up of wood should not touch the ground.
There should be a minimum space of half a foot between the wooden object and the ground. Redwood, cedar and juniper are termite-resistant woods that should be used as they are less attractive as a food source for the termites, though not termite-proof.
Using sand as a barrier is pretty effective and useful, especially for those who do not prefer using chemicals. Termites can move particles of certain sizes using their mouths to burrow.
Sand particles that can go through a 16-mesh screen can stop termites to tunnel through the sand into your home. This sand barrier should be done by a professional who will build thick trenches of sand all-around your foundation or will pump the sand below your house using a sand-pump.
Regular inspection for termites is a healthy thing to do, which is to remove the colony of termites while it is building up and have not caused much damage to your valuables. Never try to fight away or kill the termites all by yourself.
People sometimes try using insect sprays to kill them when they find the colony in one of their property or nearby. The spray is not good enough to kill and the termites move away, often moving right into your place.
General Ways to Kill Termites
- Borate Termite Treatment – This is carried out by applying it directly on the wood, like a coat, usually carried out during the construction time.
- Liquid Termite Treatment – Liquid termiticides are sprayed in the surroundings of your house to keep the termites away.
- Termite Baits – Baits are put around your house to kill the termites as they spread pesticides through the workers.
- Fumigation- This method is only used for drywood termites found in the southern parts of the United States.
The term red termite comes from the alates who have wings and fly around during the springtime looking for new nesting grounds to mate and lay their termite larvae eggs.
People often confuse the red termite with the flying ants. Although termites live in colonies as do ants, which will be the only similarity.
Ants are destructive, but termites are devastating. Some interesting things about the red termite, it is just another destructive and destroying regular old termite.
Termites are sometimes called white ants although they belong to a group that the cockroach belongs to and the ant belongs to the group with wasp and bees. There are three groups of termites with many different species in each group, but there is not a species called the red termite.
The term comes from the biological cycle of the termites. The red termite as people say helps with our ecosystem. They feed on dead wood, plant debris, tree stumps, and other matter in the wilderness that needs recycling into humus. This helps to fertilize the ground soil.
Everywhere a colony exists, the soil will be well fertilized. This accounts for why farmers will plant their crops close to underground colonies. Termites attract to cellulose that we find in wood.
This is true for the many buildings with termite infestation that go undetected for years. These pests have the uncanny ability to hide and can go unnoticed, gradually destroying homes and business establishments.
These devastating insects devour up to fifteen pounds of wood a week and if left undetected will destroy a building in no time.
Another interesting thing about the red termite is they will take plaster, plastic, and paper to the nest for construction. They also feed on materials that contain cellulose, which is paper, carpets, clothes, and other things that contain cellulose.
Because nothing you own is safe from the termites, this accounts for the billions of dollars spent yearly to replace termite damage.
On one acre of land, you can find up to fifteen colonies, which broken down comes to four or five colonies around your home alone.
If you have some knowledge about red termites, you can try to protect your home by treating the inside and the outside of your home to prevent infestation.
You need to create a barrier outside around the foundation of your home to block the termites from gaining access to your home.
How can you find out whether your house needs a termite infection? Knock on the wood and see if it is hollow. If you find them becoming hollow then it is a warning sign. If you find winged insects in and around the house that is another danger sign.
Cracked paint and discarded wings only confirm your suspicions. If you identify more than one of these symptoms you better get a termite inspector to inspect the house. When you are buying or selling a house it is mandatory to go through termite inspection.
If you are looking for hiring a pest control inspector to properly identify the bugs that look like termites, then go ahead and do it before these tiny pests cause further damage.
Termites have been branded as the “most economically important wood-destroying organism” in the United States and, presumably, around the world.
This is not only because of the devastation it causes on people’s homes but also because approximately two billion dollars every year is being spent on the prevention and treatment of such devastation.
This huge amount can be reduced significantly if only homeowners would take the time to implement some measures to prevent termites from invading their homes.
After investing so much time, effort, and money to make your house look as good as it does now, wouldn’t it be such a waste to lose it all to termites?
It is one thing to know that termites can cause a lot of damage to your home, but it is another thing to be able to recognize them. Termites are often confused with other insects – particularly ants. Here are some ways you can identify termites.
There are several features that make it easy to identify termites. For one thing, termites do not have the very slender waist that an ant will have.
Termites are rather thick in the mid-section and really have no waist to speak of. Another unique feature is their antennae. A termite’s antennae are beaded, and are straight, whereas an ant’s antennae are bent and smooth.
The bodies of termites are generally light in color. Some workers have almost transparent abdomens. Soldiers are usually a little darker in color and also will have larger heads and jaws.
The jaws of some types of termite soldiers make it impossible for them to feed themselves, but workers must feed them, too, as well as the queen. When it comes to wings, there is again a difference.
A termite’s four wings will be equal in length, whereas this is not true of an ant. Their wings are not equal. Both termites and ants will fly at certain seasons. When a colony of termites becomes large, potential kings and queens will leave the colony and create termite swarms.
They will then quickly form a nest, mate, and lay eggs. Neither kings nor queens eat wood, however, but the workers that will be born will.
Termites quickly lose their wings and you may find them lying around the house. This is sure evidence that you have termites.
Unfortunately, you will not know whether they are leaving the nest in your house, or if they are just now coming to your house and starting the first colony. A termite inspector will be glad to come and help determine if you have termites or not. He knows what to look for and where to look.
Even better, though, is that once the particular type of termites is identified, then the right poisons can be used for termite extermination.
Swarmer termites are subterranean insects, meaning they find their way passageway underground to find their main source of nutrition: wood. This explains why they can still find their way to your wood structures even if you do not see where they come from.
Termites follow a very defined structured colony so even if you have terminated a handful, their colony will still send more of their cavalry to wreak havoc to your wood properties. So, how do you go about totally eradicating the termite colony?
Some people resort to self mission in how to get rid of termites but most people strongly advise professional pest control companies to handle the termite infestation.
The latter seems to be the appropriate choice since they do it for a living and some pest control companies even offer service insurance if the termites do come back.
Pest control companies often do the following steps below in stopping termite infestation for good:
- Locating the termite colony.
This is a difficult task because underground termite highways are very hard to find. The best way to find them is by tracing the point of their entry of your damaged property.
They start there and investigate the trails of wood and mud matter. Take note that this is essential so you will know for sure where your hired professional will point their attention to get rid of termites.
Property handling discussions will be necessary so you know which part of your property will they have to use when they work.
- Using chemical measures.
Most pest control professionals use chemicals in how to get rid of termites. Termiticide is the usual chemical used to treat the soil around the space assaulted by termites.
Some bait these termites by introducing toxicants like boric acid treated wood at the place where they are found. When the termites take a bite of the treated wood, they carry with them toxins back to their colony where it also works to eliminate the whole colony dead.
Or they use their equipment that releases chemicals to totally shut down the termite nest. You have to be around the operation to know how to manage harmful chemicals being introduced in the household to keep you and your family aware and safe.
- Deploying preventive methods.
To make sure termites do not come back, pest control companies encourage you to keep wood or mulch as far away as possible from your house.
They ask you to wipe with citric acid the place where termites have done damage. Or they could recommend you to some discounted wood treatment services in the area to make sure no termites will ever ruin wood structures in your place again.
Follow their suggestions to prevent asking how to get a rip of termites ever again.
It is encouraged to call in a termite treatment crew to get rid of termites to prevent further damage and rid yourself of these termites for good.
When it comes to termite warranties, local termite companies in the industry offer two types- service plans and protection plans. A service plan is the most common warranty.
It simply means that when termites re-infest a home or structure, the termite control company will return to perform retreatment. The company is responsible for ridding the structure of termites- nothing more, nothing less.
A protection plan incorporates the service plan with a damage warranty, meaning that if termites return to a structure after it has been treated, the company will perform re-treatment and repair the damages that have occurred.
Comparing the two, you would assume the protection warranty is definitely the way to go, but that is not always the case.
This might sound a bit cliché, but a warranty is only as good as the reputation of the company, or, the reputation of the person in charge.
Nearly every protection warranty written states that damage repair will only be granted if “new activity” is found. A new activity is always defined as live termites.
This condition in your warranty protects the termite company from being responsible for damage that occurred before they put you on a protection plan.
Here’s an example, say you’ve had a protection agreement with a company since 2000. In the year 2009, you had a re-infestation of termites in the wall of your garage. You called the company, they came out, retreated your home, did some half-hearted poking and prodding around, and then concluded the damage to your wall was minor. No need to fix something that’s barely damaged, right?
Now fast forward to 2020, when you notice your garage wall is looking a little funny. Maybe not in the exact location of where you found the re-infestation of 2009, but pretty close to it.
You call a contractor to take a look at the situation. After opening up the wall, he finds old termite damage that had weakened the studs. As time went by, the weight of your home caused the wall to slowly dip.
According to the conditions of your warranty, the damage found by the contractor is not covered because live termites were not present when the damage was discovered.
Will they take responsibility? Maybe, maybe not – it comes down to the manager’s discretion.
If you’re denied a damage claim similar to the one above, you do have options (calls to upper management, legal actions, etc.), but there is no guarantee your claim will be reconsidered for approval.
It’s for reasons like this you should always speak directly to the manager/owner of a termite control company before you sign on the dotted line.
Try to get a feel for how they conduct business. For privacy issues, you won’t be able to speak with customers that have filed damage claims with them, but you can ask to speak to the termite company’s repair contractor(s). Not being employed by the termite company, the contractor will usually be much less guarded and more open and honest about the manner in which damage claims are conducted.
Even just saying the name termite infestation is enough to worry most homeowners and if the unwary owner has not previously had a yearly pest examination or at the very least inspected around their own property for early signs of termites, the pests could already have made their way into your home and have started to gorge on their favorite food source in your home already.
Termites are tiny soft-bodied insects that are related to cockroaches. These creatures live in complex hierarchical social structures and operate like very efficient working machines.
They travel in specially constructed mud tunnels in search of wood and other types of cellulose as food sources, and this means that they will view a house that contains lots of untreated timber as especially delicious, and vital to building and repairing their colony.
Termites are enticed to wood products, so remove any potential termite meals away from your home – their meals can include timber stacks, tree stumps, building refuse, garden decoration such as sleepers and logs or old furniture you are meaning to take to the tip.
Do you suspect you may have termites? Treatment to eradicate these pests from your property should be sought urgently.
If left to run rampant, termites can devour a house within a few months in order to build up their own society.
Termites have existed for millions of years and they are persistent and adaptable. Their evolution has led them to be found in most fairly-warm areas of the world.
Termites in Phoenix consist of subterranean, damp-wood and dry-wood varieties. It’s the first type — the subterranean — that tends to thrive in Arizona’s urban areas.
As the name suggests, these termites travel underground, and they are the ones that are particularly attracted to human habitats that have some timber in them.
When it comes to eradicating termites, treatment may involve more than one strategy. Sometimes a combination of pest management techniques is required. This should be managed by a professional, as only qualified pest control experts are permitted to handle the chemicals used for termite treatment. They also have access to the latest technology to accurately locate termite activity in your house.
How do professionals treat an infestation of termites? Treatment options include physical barriers to preventing termite entry to your house, chemical barriers, and baiting systems to eradicate the whole colony, as well as direct destruction of the nest.
Any old-style or do-it-yourself termites treatment is not recommended — effectiveness may be limited and because termite damage can cost a homeowner many thousands of dollars to repair, it’s worth investing the comparatively small amount in effective detection and treatment.
If your home has termites, treatment should be administered by an expert who is a member of a recognized pest controllers association, has a good track record, and has an appropriate liability insurance cover.
If you suspect you may have a termite problem or you have found termites on your property and require an urgent treatment call a termite pest control professional today.
Termites do not generally bite humans. But they do have the ability to bite and there are instances where a termite will deliver a bite to a human being to protect itself or its colony.
Like most ants, termites live in a caste system that comprises of highly evolved soldiers as well as queens. The soldier termites are rarely a menace to humans or pets for as long as they are not bothered with.
The physiology of the soldier is equipped with a big head and bigger mandibles for the purpose of cutting food into tiny pieces for easy transportation. But those pincers also serve as weapons to offer protection and defend the colony against ant invasion or fend off rival termite groups.
The bite of a termite can be equated to a mosquito bite. You might feel it most of the time by you might miss it all together depending on where their bite is at.
If they bite on a fleshy part of the body, you may not even notice it, however, if they take a bite on a section where the skin is thin such in the middle of the toes, you will definitely know that you have been bitten.
These insects are fairly slow unlike ants. So it is more difficult for them to get to you for a bite. Termites will grow wings at maturity and this makes them a bit faster and may be quite confusing if a winged termite bit you as you would not be sure whether it is a termite or something else.
But home owners who spot termites in the yard or in the home should be less concerned about bites from termites as they rarely happen. Their attention should shift to where the termites are and what are the chances that they have entered your home.
Other than biting humans and other mammals, termites would rather feed on the cellulose on wood. They often make tunnels in the wood also known as ‘galleries’ which makes it difficult to spot them. If you happen to see one or several termites, it’s often a sure sign that you may have loads of them in the house already chipping away at the wooden structure of your home.
How can you tell that you have termites?
Signs of termite infestation will vary and may depend on the type of termite you have. Most common indicators may be a bite from them when disturbed inadvertently.
Termite poop on wood may be another sign. The most obvious sign is seeing them physically mostly on damaged wood.
Muddy tunnels on wood are a sure sign that you have termites in the home. A common indicator of a termite infestation can also be a sagging floor or ceilings.
While termites will occasionally bite people, the bite is more like a mosquito bite and may result in red spot on the skin that will disappear in a few days. What should concern you more should than the bite when you spot termites in the house is the structural safety of your home. Termites can literally eat your home to destruction. Calling in a licensed pest official to access the extent of a termite infestation and advice on how to deal with it, would be the best way forward.
Termite swarmers are adult termites that have sprouted wings and will fly in a swarm to find their own new homes and start their families. Swarmers in a sense are nature’s way of reminding you that termite are around.
Swarmers originate from a termites nest and can appear outoors or indoors. If you do see them outdoors, it means that the termite nest may not be too far away from where you have seen the swarmes. If you happen to spot swarmers indoors such as in your house or office, it is an indicator that the termites nest is very like within your home or office building.
What do swarmers look like?
Examining them closely, you will see that they have two sets of uniform wings, a broad waist and straight-bead like antennae. Despite having wings, termiteswarmers are poor fliers and will not fly far. That is why their presence means that the termite nest from which they came from is in close proximity.
Are termite swarmers harmful?
Termite swarmers are harmles, infact they are quite helpful because their sighting confirms that one could already have an infestation or may want to inspect the yard for the presence of a termites nest.
Swarmers do not live long and will die shortly after you have spotted them. They can appear in small numbers or in the hundreds. Many times you may not even spot them when they are alive but all you will see are remnants of their body parts on the window seal or floor.
Swarmers are more of a nuisance than a threat. Although killing them will take care of the immidiate nuisance, it does not take care of the underlying problem of termites in your home or in the yard and potential damage they are already causing or about to cause.
What should you do when you see termite swarmers?
One should first confirm that the swarmers are indeed termite swarmers. That is necessary because other ant species also produce swarmers. To an untrained eye, they all look similar. You can catch one as a specimen. Or if you find remnants of body parts only, you can place them in a small jar or wrap them in soft tissue paper and take the specimen to a licensed pest officer. They will be able to confirm whether the swarmers at your home or yard are indeed termite swarmers.
If it is confirmed that they are termite swarmers, then it is prudent to have a licensed pest company inspect your home and grounds for the presence of termites. Once the nest is found indoors or outdoors, the pest officer will propose ways in which to deal and with the termites on your property.
Although there are many methods to rid your home of termites, the officer will often use an appropriate soil treatment with a liquid insecticide or may opt to install a baiting system. Such methods and other are dependent on the extent of the infestation.
Termites if left unchecked are a destructive force that will destroy the structural integrity of your home. The next time you see termite swarmers inside your home or on the yard, take it as a reminder to have the property inspected for the presence of termites. Then if necessary, have the property treated accordingly for termites.
Between termites and ants it is hard to say which one causes the most damage. Although both of them operate differently, it is fair to say that whatever they choose to attack, they do so voraciously and can cause massive losses if left unchecked.
Termites are known to chew on wood and are therefore a dangerous pest that can wreak untold havoc to timber and the structural integrity of structures built from wood.
While there are about 45 known species of termites in the US, they will all tend to fall under three categories as follows
The termites in this category live in the soil and are from the family Rhinotermitidae. These types of termites are the most destructive and are to be found in pretty every state in the US with the exception of Alaska.
They build their mounds and nest in the soil. The mounds consist of elaborate systems of mud tunnels that lead to food sources such as structural timber in house, fencing posts and trees.
Subterranean termites are the most destructive of the three groups because their colonies are larger and can build bigger homes in the soil with thousands of termites within a small area.
Kalotermitidae is the name of the family in which this category of termites belongs to. As the name suggests, this type of termite lives in dry wood and can be found in homes on the hardwood floor, ceiling, structural timber and dead trees.
Since they do not require contact with the soil and live in dry wood, their colonies are much smaller and therefore tend to cause less damage and at slower rate owing to their numbers.
- Damp wood
Damp wood termites belong in two families, that isHodotermitidae and Kalotermitidae. Although some of this termites do require contact with the soil. A majority of them do not. They live and feed off wood with mositure and are therefore less likely if at all to be found on homes or any other manmade structures.
A modest estimate of damage caused by termites annually in the US alone is about $5 billion.
Ants also have numerous species and can be very destructive in various ways. Some pesky ants that are commonly known to us include:
- Sugar ant.
Whilethey may not be very destructive, they can be anuisance by crawling all over your food.
- Carpenter ant
This one is quite a destructive ant specie because of the ability to make tunnels and nest in wood. They can weaken and damage structural timber and insulation foam in the home. A carpenter ant infestation will often mean a moisture problem in your home.
- Imported fire ants
Imported fire ants (Solenopsisinvicta and Solenopsisrichteri) are perhaps the most invasive ant species there is. That is because they can destroy crops,livestock and are a menace to human beings. This ants cause $6.7 billion in annual losses in the United States alone.
Termites are more specialized in destroying wood and homes, while ants will cause discomfort while destroying plants and livestock. Both pest are clearly very destructive and can cause massive losses.
Should you suspect an infestation of either on your premises, calling a pest official for an inspection and treatment if there is a need is a good ideas. An official will also help you in future preventative measures that help avert unnecessary losses from either of these pests.
To identify termites vs ants can sometimes be very hard for the average person. They are often mixed with ants. Termites live in large family units with between several hundred and several million family members. They work together in an organized system to find food sources.
Formosan termite identification can be done by looking at the colors on them because unlike the others they are a yellowish-brown.
They usually come out after the sun has set, and usually on warm and humid evenings in the months from April to July.
The Formosan termite colonies can be as large as 300 square feet and have no problems digging through the soil as well as eating your wood.
The LSU Agricultural Center has maintained records of the daily flights and records of how many of the termites in the process were caught in light traps in New Orleans since 1989.
These critters usually go after old tree stumps, poles, or other wood structures in contact with the dirt. They have even constructed galleries to second stories in buildings in order to feed on the wood.
The termite identification is easiest to see when they are in their swarming and or mating flight, though believe it or not they tend to cause more damage during the times after the swarm is over.
The Drywood termite must be identified in a different way. They are seen on most continents in the world and differ from subterranean termites in their appearance mostly due to their color difference.
Drywood termite swarmers look red and have black or dark brown wings. They are most commonly confused by people with the carpenter ant.
Wood termites can also thrive in dead branches or logs. Though once most of the deadwood has been eaten, the termites will either move onto greener pastures (more wood) or the colony will die.
How Termite Baits Work
People use impregnated wood slabs with toxic chemicals and set them out to control termite foragers. The termite will feed on the bait and bring it back to the nest. They then share the toxic chemical with other termites in the colony, and eventually the king and queen if all things go as planned.
For the termite, wood is a precious commodity because without this source they would have no place to live, eat or thrive. So they will live off of your deck, tree stumps, fencing or other visible food.
The termite is able to digest the wood as food because of they the flagellates for digestion and nutrition. If the termite did not have the flagellates in their body or stomach passage, the termite could still eat wood but it would slowly die in the process.
The termite is an active forest preserver because they eat dead wood and digest it into new soil making for new growth in the forest where they live.