Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Termite Control without Fumigation

Dry wood termites are California’s second largest menace and most common of termites, after the subterranean termites. These pests are generally found along the Pacific coastal region, stretching into the desserts and Central Valley of Southern California. They feed 24x7 and in California, these dry wood termite species, create terrible structural damages. 

Professional pest control managements now integrate practices that use products which are more effective, low in toxicity, do not require tenting (which is a costly and inconvenient process to the owner of the building), and provides long term results. Additionally, it is no longer, a drawn out process, as detection of termite colonies are detected with the aid of detection scanners, therefore, the treatment is always spot on.

Consequently, professional termite control companies now offer several solutions, many of them environmental friendly and result oriented. 

The Traditional Fumigation Solution

Traditionally, a home where termites have been found is fumigated to exterminate them. This involves sealing the whole house, filling it with highly toxic gasses and tenting it. The gasses have to remain in the building for a few days, to kill the infestation. While the fumigation process is on, the residents cannot dwell in the premises. The family’s routine is completely upset as they have to move out to a friend’s or relative’s home or go to a hotel. If there are children or pets involved, the complications only increase. Another problem is that some of the chemicals used in the fumigation process can leave stains on paint, wood or fabric, which will then have to be cleaned, and if that does not work, replaced.

In the United States most fumigation is done using gases that contain Sulfuryl Fluoride. This can be dangerous to humans. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that entering a homes after fumigation is safe only when the Sulfuryl Fluoride levels in the air fall below 1 part per million. During the fumigation the levels can reach up to 3,850 parts per million.
The Other Option

Although fumigation, if done by professionals, is very safe, there are those who may not want to have their home filled with deadly gases. For them there is a new and equally effective way of dealing with termites. That is with a non-fumigation termite control process. This process uses low toxicity chemicals to get rid of termites in just one day, meaning that inconvenience and disruption to routine is minimized. Instead of filling the home with toxic gases, the chemicals are injected in the affected areas, destroying the termites and stopping any further infestation. With this process there is no risk of staining or damage to the home or fittings and no cleaning up to do afterwards. Even the indoor plants can stay in place with no risk of damage.

What type of termite eradication is right for your home is a decision best left to the professional termite control experts. When you contact a termite control service, make sure that they offer both the traditional fumigation as well as the non-fumigation options. A company that offers both will be able to take a fair and unbiased view on what is the best solution for your home and will complete their task, with minimum inconvenience to you and your family.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

So You Saw a Termite?

If you see a termite in your home, you are not alone. It’s a problem millions of Americans face every year. The questions is –what are you going to do about it? Panicking is not going to do any good. The only viable course of action is to call in a termite control company. Yes, plenty of advice is available online, on DIY termite removal. But that is always a risk. Termite control is a very specialized field and amateur attempts to control them may only result in getting rid of the termites that are visible. In the meantime, those that stay hidden continue to eat their way through your home, while you may be basking under a false impression that you have rid your home of the pests. Do not take risks with your home – call in professionals without delay. That being said, the severity of the infestation depends on where the termite was seen.

Termites in the Living Area

This is a bad sign. Termites prefer to stay hidden and eat away unseen by human eyes. The fact that one or more were spotted in a part of the home that is well occupied means that there may be a huge number of them and a few became separated and lost and accidently wandered into plain view. If this is the case, it is possible that there is a very large infestation that will require complete structural fumigation to exterminate the pests.

Termites inthe Walls, Crawlspace or Attic

This is where termites are often found – out of the sight of humans and where there is a lot of organic matter for them to feed on. The only good aspect of spotting termites in these places is that it is possible, that the infestation is not so large as yet. Termites (except the swarming type) usually enter a structure at the ground level and work their way upwards through the building in search of food. The lower in the structure they are found, the more recent the infestation and the less damage that may have been caused. This does not mean that this is something that can be ignored or that immediate action is not required. It only indicates that the infestation may be in the nascent stages.

Why You Need Professional Termite Control

If the infestation is severe, the termites must be controlled before any more damage is done. The sooner they are eradicated, the less will be the repair and replacement costs for the damage they have caused. If the problem appears to be in the early stages, that does not mean that it can be handled by an amateur or a local handyman. If the termites are not completely removed, the few that remain will start a new colony and the problem will resurface.

The science of termite control is evolving rapidly with new systems and technologies being developed to ensure better control and eradication. Only a professional termite control company will have access to the most up to date technology that will offer your home the most effective termite control and protection. Dealing with some household problems can be postponed. Termites are not one of them.

Monday, 25 April 2016

How to Choose a Termite Control Company?

Confused with the many options before you in choosing a termite control company? Dothey all make claims of being the best and providing “unmatched” services?Given the damage that termites can cause, even in a short period of time, you need to be sure that the company that you use, is one that has experience, skill, equipment and technology to rid you of the infestation in the most effective manner. So how do you go about choosing a termite control service?

Here are a few key factors that you need to keep in mind.

  • Check the qualifications. Find out if the company has the correct license and certification for termite control. Also enquire if it is up to date with any changes in regulations, product usage limitations and recalls (if any) and so on.
  • Find out about the company’s experience. How many years has it been in business? Are they familiar with the specific type of problem you face and how many such cases have they dealt with? Are all the staff who will work on the job fully trained in termite control and the use of the equipment?
  • A company’s reputation is a reliable guide to the quality of the work it does. Ask for testimonials from people who have had similar work done for them by the company. Contact them to confirm what you have been told has been their experience. If any customers are located nearby, ask if you can visit them to have a look at the homes that have been treated for termites.
  • Ask if the company has affiliations with pest control associations. These associations keep members informed about the latest developments in their fields of operation and also have a code of ethics that members must adhere to.
  • Does the company guarantee its work? If not, there is reason to be sceptical about the service being offered. If there is a guarantee, study it carefully to look for any unreasonable loopholes. Also check what your obligations are so you can be sure of not doing anything that could void the warranty.
  • Be wary of a company that does not communicate properly. The termite control service must be ready to give you a full picture of the nature of the infestation you face, the options for dealing with it, which option they plan to use and why, and also be happy to answer all your questions. A company that tries to brush your queries off, gives evasive answers or uses jargon to try and confuse you is one that should be avoided.

Your home is the center of your world and you cannot afford to take chances with it. DIY attempts at termite control or using the services of handymen and unlicensed local services may give the appearance of having remove the pests, but they may still be causing damage out of sight. Only a professional termite control company with the rightqualifications, experience,skills and technology can give your home the protection from termites that it needs.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Termite Prevention Tips

Termites are among the hardiest creatures on earth and the most difficult to get rid of. They can, if left unchecked, destroy a home and along with it, a family’s future. Protecting your home is a two stage process- preventing termites from accessing your home and treating any infestations when they are found. The most dangerous of the various types of termite is the subterranean variety and here are a few tips on how to prevent them from entering your home.

Remove Entry Points

Termites can enter through the smallest of crevices. To stop them from getting into your home, seal all gaps around gas and water lines. Holes made to allow pipes to pass through walls often have gaps big enough for termites to get in. Make sure the seals are tight and complete. Another common access point is through wood to ground contact. The termites eat their way through the wood and get inside the structure. Reduce the wood to ground contact as much as possible and treat what remains with termiticide to keep the creatures away.

Reduce Food Sources

Termites feed on all types of cellulose materials. Ensure that there is nothing of this kind accumulating anywhere near your home as it will attract termites. Check the crawlspaces for any cellulose or wood that may be lying there and get rid of it. Clean out the crawl space as much as possible and have it treated with termiticde. If mulch has been used for your landscaping, have it replaced by cellulose free options and if that is not possible, ensure that the mulch is kept at a distance of at least one foot from the foundation of the house. Termites love wooden sidings. Ensure that the sidings in your house are at least six inches clear of the ground to prevent termites from reaching it.

Eliminate Excess Moisture

Termites love a moist environment and if you allow water to collect in or near your home, it is an open invitation to termites. Check to see if water is collecting around or near the foundation or roof of your house and if so, find out the source and get the problem fixed. Check the basement and crawlspace for signs of excess dampness. There could be many reasons for this and if you find it, it is better to get an expert to identify the problem and find a solution. Check for leaks in the plumbing and air conditioner condensation lines and for faulty gutters. If anything is found, have it fixed without delay.
Taking all the precautions you can to prevent termite infestation is always a good thing. However, signs of termites are not noticed until the situation becomes severe. Regular inspections of your home by a reputed termite control company will help to ensure that your home is termite free. And if any should be found, the company will have the expertise, materials and equipment to get rid of them completely.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

What are Termites?

Termites have been a problem for man ever since he first started building structures. The earliest habitations were made of wood and plant and where these are, termites will also be present. These insects are known as “silent destroyers” because they are hard to spot and by the time their presence is noticed, considerable damage to a structure may have already occurred. If not stopped in time, a home can be completely destroyed. There are very few types of construction that are totally immune to termite damage.

Termites play an important role in nature where their ability to consume large amount of dead wood and other cellulose materials helps to keep the floors of forests and jungles clear to allow for new growth to occur. However, when wood is used for construction, they become a serious menace.

What They Eat

Termites feed on dead plants and trees as well as the parts of trees that are still alive. Because they feed on detritus they are known as detritivores. A termite has a very powerful mouth and jaws and is capable of chewing through even the hardest of wood. Although the largest termite measure only a few millimetres in length, they can eat many times their own weight in wood and in the process cause massive damage to any kind of dwelling.  From woodwork in a home to furniture, books and even foundations of a structure, nothing is safe from these pests. 

The Three Types OF Termites
  1. Subterranean termites live in the ground and build mounds with elaborate tunnels systems through which they travel to find sources of food, both above and below ground.
  2. Drywood termites live within their food source. That is, they live within the wood they consume, eating their way from the inside to the outside.
  3. When termite colony has matured and developed, the insects can grow wings and start to fly. These winged insects are called swarming termites and are attracted to sources of light, from where they go exploring for food sources. They can often be spotted hovering around doors and windows and use these opening to enter a home.
Within these three broad categories there are numerous subspecies, each with its different eating habits and food preferences. One thing they all have in common is that they are all destructive and if allowed to spread unchecked, can cause severe damage to any human habitation.

Dealing with termite infestation is not a DIY job. Unless the termites are completely removed from a building, the colony can grow again and start damaging the structure. Improper removal of these insects can result in the homeowner becoming complacent and not noticing the signs of new damage. Catching and exterminating termites as early as possible will make getting rid of them easier while minimizing the damage that is done. Regular inspections by a professional termite removal company that has both experience as well as the latest methods of handling the problem is the best way to keep you home and your family safe.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Termite Control with Pre-Treatment

For the average homeowner, termite concerns are usually limited to worries about damage to woodwork in the house and to trees and plants outside. While these are genuine concerns, what is often not appreciated is that there is a type of termite that can cause damage to the very structure of the house. These are known as subterranean termites and as their name says, they live underground, at the level of the foundation of a normal home. The damage they can cause could, in the worst case, affect the integrity of the structure. These termites are common in California which is why architect and builders often include special treatment against these termites in the building plans for new structures. This is known as pre-treatment.

How Pre-Treatment Is Done

There are 3 methods that are commonly used for pre-treatment.
  1. The soil surrounding the foundation of the building is treated with special termiticide to kill any existing termites. The area is then sealed to prevent any termites from getting into the building in the future.
  2. Liquid termiticide is applied all around the foundation to pre-empt any termite infestation or nest formation.
  3. Liquid termiticide is injected directly into the foundation walls and also over and under the concrete slabs to stop termite entry.
Which One is best for Your Home?

Soil conditions, the history of termite activity in the area and other factors are taken into account when deciding on which of the pre-treatments to use. A professional termite control company will have the experience, knowledge and equipment to determine which method is the best. The actual treatment itself, whatever option is chosen, is a complex procedure and if not done correctly, may fail in its objective of protecting the home from termites. Here too, a professional termite control company will be able to ensure that the treatment is done the right way to offer effective and long lasting protection.

Why Take Chances?

If you are planning on building a home for your family, it is a once in a lifetime investment. It is extremely costly and can involve a great deal of anguish when the unexpected happens. However once the home is complete, all that is forgotten in the joy of living in a new home, designed for your family. Why take a risk with something happening in the future to destroy that happiness? Especially if it is avoidable? Termite infestation is as real a threat to your home as burglary, fire and other hazards. You install security devices and fire alarm systems to protect your family. Termite protection is just as important.

Protecting your biggest investment requires special care. When it comes to termites, use only the services of a company that is a specialist in the field. Look for one that offers a full range of service from pre-treatment to infestation eradication. Choosing one that has a variety of treatment options so the most suitable one for the specific problem can be applied effectively.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Concrete Structures and Termites

One of the most dangerous of termite related myths is that if you live in a house made of concrete or brick, you don’t have to worry about them. True, termites do not eat concrete or brick. But there will always be wood in almost any building.

Where the Damage Occurs

While concrete block construction reduces the amount of wood used in a building, it does not completely eliminate, the use of it. There will be wood on the walls and in the form of fixtures on the floor. Wood will often run down to the floor slab and this will attract subterranean termites, which live underground but climb up to feed on available wood. There are also wooden strips, known as “furring”, which are placed inside the building’s concrete walls to provide a mounting surface on which dry walls can be erected. These offer an easy pathway for termites to spread through the building.

Another species, known as dry wood termites, do not need a wooden connection to the ground to enter a concrete structure. Swarms of these pests travel through the air and can enter a building through any above ground openings. The most common way of entry is through the attic or storage spaces close to the roof. They begin feeding here and work their way down in search for more food.

How They Get In

  • There are usually minute cracks in the slabs that some buildings are built on. These occur when the new concrete is drying or when soil under the buildingsettles. The cracks provide easy access to termites. Termites are known to travel under carpeting from the crack to the nearest wall where they consume the wooden sills and studs.
  • Where concrete slabs meet, there are what are known as expansion joints. Car ports, bay windows patios and garages often have separate slabs from the main building. Termites can crawl up these gaps to enter a building.
  • The slabs under a building have openings in the concrete to allow pipes to enter the structure. If an opening is not completely sealed around the pipe, the small gaps that remain are enough for termites to enter and start eating the wood in the wallswhere the pipes run.

If you see tiny mud tubes on the exterior or interior foundation walls of your building, then this is an indication there are termites present. These tubes are their highway between their nests and the wood that is their food source. Finding these tubes is not easy, often only a professional is the only person who can spot them.
The longer termites infest a building, the more damage they cause. Spotting the early signs of termite infestation is not easy.A regular check of your building, by a professional termite inspector, will ensure the presence of termites is caught in time before serious damage occurs. There are different species of termites and different types of damage. A full service termite control company that can do the inspection and has the equipment to provide a full range of termite treatment options is the best way to protect your building or your home.