Silent destroyers ?

5 August 2022

Termites are often called the “silent destroyer” because they may be secretly hiding and thriving in your home or yard without any immediate signs of damage.

All termites consume cellulose-based plant materials. Unfortunately, all homes, regardless of their construction type, can provide cellulose food for termite infestation. Eliminate Moisture Problems by repairing leaking faucets, water pipes, and A/C units, Divert water from foundation, Keep gutters and downspouts clean, Remove excessive plant cover and wood mulch, Get rid of standing water on roof, Keep all vents clear and open, Seal entry points around water and utility lines or pipes. Also remove termite food sources, keep firewood, lumber or paper away from foundation or crawl space, get rid of stumps and debris near house, place screens on outside vents, check decks and wooden fences for damage, wood on your home shouldn’t contact the soil.

 

Since subterranean termites build their nests underground, damaged wood usually has an accumulation of soil or mud within the tunnels of the wood they are eating.

Since subterranean termites only eat the softwood, damaged wood appears to be layered, the result of the workers not eating the hardwood portion. In addition, subterranean termites feed “with the grain” rather than across the grain, as do drywood termites. As their group name suggests, the nest is usually found below ground. Nests may be found above ground, but only when sufficient moisture conditions are available to support the above-ground nest and the colony is old and well established. They Live in colonies underground, from which they build tunnels in search of food; able to reach food above the ground level by building mud tubes; dependent on moisture for survival. Diet consists of wood and other cellulose material.

Different rates of growth from egg stage to adult, depending on individual species; one primary queen per colony, which can lay tens of thousands of eggs in its lifetime, but eggs also can be laid by supplementary reproductives in an established colony.

A subterranean termite infestation begins when warm temperatures and heavy rainfall trigger an established colony to send out a swarm of winged termites. Swarms consist of winged reproductive males and females. Subterranean termite colonies are usually active for three to five years before winged reproductives appear.

Winged, reproductive termites are frequently mistaken for flying ants, but are smaller than ants and have straight, rather than bent, antennae. Termite swarmers have four wings that are all the same size. Ant swarmers have two large wings in front and two smaller wings behind. After mating, swarmer termites land and shed their wings, leaving them in piles that resemble fish scales.

If there are piles of wings on windowsills of your home, check to see if they are all the same size. They could be termite wings especially if they are all the same size. Call us today if you suspect you have termites we will send out one of our expieranced technicians! 

 

Dampwood termites get their name from the damp, sometimes decaying, wood that they use to locate their colonies. Dampwood termites do not typically nest in the soil. They will invade wood that is on the ground, especially if it is decaying.

Dampwood termites are common along the Pacific coast. They are considered an economic pest. There are also dampwood termites in the Southwest desert and in southern Florida. A pair of winged swarmers starts a colony of dampwood termites. They find a suitable piece of wood and make a chamber in it. They produce a few eggs the first year.

Colonies are usually small, but in ideal conditions dampwood termite colonies can become large. Dampwood termites do not usually have contact with the soil. They do not make tunnels like the subterranean termites. Wood that dampwood termites have damaged usually looks clean and smooth inside. They often eat across the grain, especially in wood that is decayed.

Because moisture is critical to these termites, solving moisture problems is an important part of dampwood termite control. Plumbing problems, leaks in roof or siding, wood that is touching the ground and even rainwater drainage are all examples of situations that may need to be addressed. After the moisture conditions have been corrected, the damaged wood can be replaced. It is sometimes necessary to use treated wood. Termiticide treatment in the wood is sometimes necessary

 

There are over 2,300 described species of termite living today. Many of them are found in tropical and subtropical regions such as deserts and rain forests. However, there are more than 50 species that have been found living in the United States. Collectively, they are responsible for an average of $1 billion per year in property damages, infesting 350,000 structures. Give us a call today for all your Termite inspection! 

 

Ant control can be difficult, but there are some things you should know about how ants’ behavior can lead to big headaches for you and your home.

For starters Ants can enter through even the tiniest cracks, seeking water and sweet or greasy food substances in the kitchen pantry or storeroom areas. Ants leave an invisible chemical trail which contains pheromones for others to follow once they locate the food source. They can nest about anywhere in and around your house; in lawns, walls, stumps, even under foundations.

Colonies can number up to 300,000 to 500,000, and whole colonies can uproot and relocate quickly when threatened. A colony can live a relatively long lifetime. Worker ants may live seven years, and the queen may live as long as 15 years. Most do-it-yourself ant control approaches kill only the ants you see.

Some truly effective treatments can penetrate and destroy nests to help prevent these pests from returning. Also, home remedies don’t account for the fact that different kinds of ant infestations require different treatments.

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