Tuesday, 18 August 2020

5 Debunked Myths on Termite Infestation in California

Myths and legends can often be misleading.

It is particularly true about the myths on termites that have been floating around for years. Before falling prey to those myths and misinformation, you can do some research and check authentic sources.

Many people believe in incorrect information and drop their guard against termites. It often results in significant damage to their home.


5 Debunked Myths on Termite Infestation in California


In this post, we will debunk the following termite myths and provide accurate information.

Myth 1: My home has a concrete and steel foundation. Termites can’t infest here

Indeed, termites cannot infest concrete and foundation. However, there are still plenty of materials in your home that termites can feed on due to their cellulose content—for example, wooden floors, drywall, furniture, wallpaper, and others.

Termites target wooden components for cellulose because it is their primary nutrient. This is why even concrete or stucco homes in the US with timber frames and furniture are vulnerable to termite damage.

Also, brick and concrete are not entirely impenetrable. They often develop cracks in them that create openings for termites to infest and start feeding on them.

Myth 2: I can take care of the termite problem by myself

It is excellent you if like to try the DIY approach in everything starting from a home improvement or fixing your backyard. However, trying DIY methods often end up producing disastrous results. For example, if you spray natural chemicals to kill termites, it may pose serious health hazards to your family members, especially kids and pets.

Instead of using DIY methods, consult a reputable termite control company that applies state-registered chemicals like non-repellant Termidor to eliminate dry wood and damp wood termites. These chemicals are clean and efficient and have no health risks.

Myth 3: I had termite treatment at my place earlier. It got it covered

Even if you already had termite treatment at your place, it does not make it safe from termites. The instances of termite swarming occur in the US throughout the year, including spring and summer. Swarmers build new colonies and start infesting homes and shops.

When termites build colonies in a geographic area, they infest all the homes if there is dampness or moisture on the ground. A single settlement generally has millions of termites that create tunnels to expand their reach to homes that are close to each other. It means termites pose a threat to all the households in an infested region or area. Even when you have termite treatment in your home, it will not rule out the chances of re-infestation.

Myth 4: We do not have termites in this area

Well, it is still not a good enough reason for not having a termite inspection or treatment in your home. Alaska is the only place in the US without any termite infestation.

In other states, termites more or less build their colonies, and they mainly thrive in warmer weather. These insects are most active in the south, southwest, southeast, and west of the US.

In California, dry wood and subterranean termites wreak havoc and damage properties worth millions. They eat away everything starting from wooden beams, floors, walls, furniture, fences, and other stuff, leaving homeowners distraught. It is even more concerning is that home insurance does not cover termite damages.

The bottom line is if you feel termites do not live your area, it might change any day with sudden swarming. Look for signs in and around your home like mud tubes, and call professionals right away.

Myth 5: Cleaning up bushes, dead tree branches, shrubs will leave no room for termites to infest

 This is another myth. Even if you remove shrubs, dead tree branches or bushes from around your home, it does not keep off termites from invading. Instead, the termites may reach right below your home in search of new food sources.

If your house is close to a wooded area or you are looking to buy a new home where bushes or branches are cleared up recently, it would be better if you get a termite inspection before moving in.




Before We Go

You can save yourself from a lot of trouble and regret by recognizing these myths and paying no heed to them. Termite control services are the ideal solution for you to prevent your dream home from getting ruined by hungry termites.

If you want to find out whether your home in San Jose or San Francisco has termites or at risk of infestation, please contact us at (888) 322-8889 to schedule an escrow inspection! You can also write to us at info@hitechtermite.com, and we will be glad to assist you.

Subterranean Termites Cause 95 percent Structural Damages in the US - Study Says

Did you know that a single colony of eastern subterranean termites can infest nearly 11,000 square feet of land, and comprises up to three million wood-devouring workers? These shocking revelations made by a recent study.

In the US, property damages by termites cause financial losses between three and seven billion dollars every year. It makes termites more destructive and financially damaging than floods, fires, and tornadoes put together.

The eastern subterranean termites (Reticulitermes flavipes) are the most economically damaging in the country. These termites mainly infest in all the eastern states where the instances of hurricanes are common.

Subterranean Termites Cause

Things You Should Know About Eastern Subterranean Termites

According to the researchers of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, eastern subterranean termites cause nearly 95 percent of all structural damages every year in the US.

Further studies show that these types of termites are invading more in the northeast US and southeast Canada as they are expanding their colonies towards the north.

Experts divide termites into three categories after observing their habitat preference: subterranean termites, damp wood termites, and dry wood termites.

Eastern subterranean termites make their colonies below the ground where the worker termites make tunnels through damp soil seeking food. These termites prefer to eat moist and decayed trees, wood logs, dead tree branches, and stumps.

Once the termite colonies mature in a few years, the queen increases her offspring reproduction, which can be more than 2,000 new eggs every day.

Eastern subterranean termite workers also occasionally build vertical mud tubes next to the foundation walls of properties to infest the structural woods above the ground.

During the initial two or three years after subterranean termite swarmers (alates) start building new colonies in damp soil, the number of offspring production declines.

The vast networks of subterranean termite colonies pose a massive threat to the wooden structures. These termites are commonly visible in and around forested and densely wooded regions.

You can look for mud tubes around your house, as these are the most visible signs of eastern subterranean termite infestation.

Structural Damages that Termites Cause in the US

The colonies of eastern subterranean termites are more than double of other types of termite in the US. On top of it, these termites are also responsible for damaging the majority of structural damages reported in the US every year.

The US Department of Agriculture states that the financial value of property damaged by termites is more than 40 billion dollars worldwide annually. Termites infest a minimum of 600,000 homes every year in the US alone.

Worker eastern subterranean termites can quickly eat away sub-structural wood materials and components that are close to moist soil. Besides, these termites can also infest wooden structures above the ground at the base of timber-framed properties by creating protective mud tubes.

Generally, you can notice the infestation of eastern subterranean termites in structurally important wooden components such as floor supports, walls, posts, girder ends, beams, columns, laminated timbers, and sill plates.

Things You Should do to Prevent Termite Infestation

It is essential to keep in mind that eastern subterranean termites feed on old lumber scraps, wooden fences, home renovation stuff, landscaping materials, flowerbeds, ground dams, and any wooden thing.

If you use all the mentioned components for home renovation or maintenance, make sure to clear the scraps once you complete the work. Otherwise, it will be a recipe for disaster as all these wooden things are likely to attract termites. If left for an extended period, termites will build a colony beneath the ground and infest the main structure of your house.

An example can support the fact that during the aftermath of the Katrina hurricane, the collection and distribution of lumber debris throughout the southeast US brought in non-native termites to the states where termites were earlier absent.


Also Read: Termite Infestation in California


Before We Go

Do you think that subterranean termites are infesting near your home? It would then be ideal that you consult a professional termite control company, which will block the entry points and reduce moistures around your home to keep termites away.

Give us a call at (888) 322-8889 or send an email to info@hitechtermite.com, and we will provide immediate assistance.

Friday, 24 July 2020

How to Prevent Termites from Damaging the Wall Insulation in Your Home

Many states in the US, including Alabama, California, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, witness frequent termite infestation throughout the year. Numerous urban and suburban structures in these states are standing right above multiple subterranean termite nests. Unlike damp wood and dry wood termites, subterranean termites build colonies in places with moist or damp soil. Besides damaging wood, subterranean termites also destroy wall insulation, which often results in higher electricity bills. A study has found that a subterranean termite colony comprising a minimum of 60,000 individual termites can eat lumber measuring 2 feet by 4 feet in one year. A colony of nearly one million termites can eat away structural wood in homes within a short period. They can also inflict major damage on wall insulations.

How to Prevent Termites from Damaging the Wall Insulation in Your Home


Why Are Insulation Damages by Termites a Serious Issue?

Home insulation has a thermal resistance called R-value. All insulation materials come with an R-value. A high R-value indicates a higher resistance to heat loss. Despite the higher expenses attributed to an increase in the R-value of a home's insulation, it pays off in the long run as such improvement lowers heating bills.

Most insulation products come with a layer of plastic-lined paper that maximizes resistance to heat-loss. As paper contains cellulose, termites feed on the insulation lining. Such damages by termites reduce the R-value of insulation and consequently increase heating costs. In fact, termites can damage a home's insulation extensively by accessing wood. Besides paper and wood, termites can even damage insulation with fiberglass.

A study carried out in Florida revealed that termites could infest and damage a home's insulation until its efficiency in terms of warming goes down by 75 percent. In addition, researchers at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida tested the extent to which termites can damage insulation. They used materials like plywood and foam board insulation. At the end of the experiment, researchers found that termites damage both the construction materials. However, the damage to foam insulation was more, which reduced the insulation's effectiveness by 27 percent. This is why the International Residential Code, the model building code of the US, prohibits using below-grade foam board in high-risk areas prone to heavy termite infestation.

Considering the Termite Factor When Insulating a Home

Here are the key factors to consider for preventing termite infestation while insulating a home:

1.     Fiberglass Insulation: At the time of installing new insulation or repairing an old one, use standard fiberglass batt insulation and sprayed in closed-cell foam insulations.

Closed-cell foam insulation resists moisture and contains a higher R-value compared to standard batt insulation. In addition, this type of insulation strengthens the structure of the subfloor system.

2.    Termite Treatment: Consult with a reputable termite control company before doing any repairs or modifications in the crawlspaces. The termite control company you consult first needs to treat the crawlspace soil before you install the liner. If your property has not gone through soil treatment and is not under warranty with a termite control firm, it would be better to get it done.

Chose a termite control company that provides excellent inspection services and a detailed estimate regarding the termite treatment.

3.   Dehumidifier: It is a good idea to install a dehumidifier in crawl spaces to ensure adequate air supply. It also prevents the accumulation of moisture. Subterranean termites prefer damp or moist areas to build their colonies. This is why taking preventive measures can save you money, time, and energy.

Closing Words

If you do not have a termite control agreement for your home, think about getting one now. Termites destroy properties in the US worth billions of dollars every year. Eliminating these insects is one of the key steps towards protecting your property. If you live in and around California, we can surely help you out as we serve in as many as 15 service areas, including San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Santa Clara.

We offer fumigation, non-fumigation and termite damage repair services at economical costs. To get a free estimate fill out this form here. You can also call us at (888) 322-8889, and we will be glad to assist you.

How to Get Rid of Termites from Hardwood Floors

Do you suspect that a termite infestation is damaging your hardwood floor? If you are right, then it could be a serious issue as termites can eat away the floor. Although termites generally prefer to feed on softwood floors or support structures like floor joists, they can damage hardwood parts in a house as well, including hardwood floors.

Besides hardwood floors, building foundations, walls, and ceiling beams are also at risk of a termite infestation. Especially if there is a colony of termites living and thriving underneath your house, they can make the structure hollow and fragile.

In this post, we will discuss why termites pose a massive threat to your hardwood floor, what the signs are and how to get rid of termites.

How to Get Rid of Termites from Hardwood Floors


What Are the Signs of Termite Attack on Hardwood Floors?

Termites do infest hardwood floors as much as soft floors and structures. However, it takes longer to damage hardwoods. When that does happen, there are some apparent signs that homeowners often overlook. If you do not notice the signs anytime soon and leave it uncontrolled for a few years, termite colonies can destroy the hardwood floors. Repairing the damage or replacing the floor would be costly.

Here are some of the signs to be aware of to find out if there is a termite infestation in your home:

  • Mud Tubes/Leads: Termites usually, build mud tubes/shelter tubes or leads in moist places outside the house to access the interiors through tunneling.
  • Frass: This is termite feces that you may find near or along wall cracks which are used by termites as exits. Frass pellets have a pointed shape on one end.
  • SquishyWood Flooring: If parts of your hardwood floor get soft or squishy and you are able to easily penetrate it with a sharp tool, it is likely to be a termite infestation issue.
  • Termite Swarming: This usually happens in the evenings as termites are attracted to lights, such as lamps or bulbs. After that, termites typically shed their wings and you will see discarded wings around your house. These are visible signs of an infestation.
  • Empty or Hollow Sound: If tapping your hardwood floor gives an empty or hollow sound, it could be termite damage. The floor produces a hollow sound due to the cavities that termites leave.
  • Detached or Raised Floorboard: If termites eat through the joists and subfloor of your hardwood floor, it will raise or detach the floorboard. 

How Can You Keep Termites off Hardwood Floors?

It is possible that your house has been suffering from termite infestation for a long time and the termites have been damaging your hardwood floors. The only way to find out if termites are still there is to look for fresh feces. However, this can be misleading since termite feces are dry. After cleaning up, if feces surface again, it is a telltale sign that there is still an active termite colony.

There are various chemical and non-chemical solutions available to treat termites. If you hire a professional termite control company, they can eliminate these insects through methods like baiting or by using liquid pesticides. Termite controllers set a bait outside the colony’s entry and exit points. Termites die once they feed on it. In the second method, termite experts spray liquid pesticides on the soil around the house to kill termites. However, regular chemical solutions have not been effective. It is preferable to seek a termite control firm that uses state-registered non-repellant chemicals to eliminate termites.

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                                              Related Blog: Termite Prevention Tips

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Termites can inflict serious damage on your hardwood floors and other wooden structures. If you have noticed signs of a termite infestation, it is best to contact a reputable termite control services provider instead of trying DIY ways. Termite control experts will apply chemicals or powders to treat termites effectively.

Besides killing all the termites that invade your space, a leading termite control firm can also inspect and identify additional structural issues due to termite damage and submit a report to you on the same. For more details, call (888) 322-8889 or send an email to info@hitechtermite.com, and we will be happy you assist you.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

5 Tips to Keep Your House Free of Termites This Season

The spring season in the US is officially over, and summer has set in. However, there is still some time left before those humid and sweaty days. In most states in the country, the weather is always pleasant and sometimes a little moist. This is the time when thousands of pesky intruders silently invade your home.

Here we are talking about termites that swarm the cities and get on to destroying the wooden structure, furniture, or other stuff to extract cellulose, their primary food source.

During this time of lockdown, you have time and opportunity to keep your home termite-free this season. In this post, we have listed five tips that will help you get rid of termites.