Tuesday, 22 January 2019

EPA Guidelines on Choosing a Termite Control Company

The internet provides access to a lot of advice on DIY termite and other pest control methods; but they are never as effective, reliable or safe as using a professional pest control service. There is also a considerable body of ‘expert’ advice about how to choose a pest control company. Some of this advice is simply common sense, some of it questionable and the rest downright wrong.

The best reliable guide to finding the right pest control company is that of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Its Citizen's Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety is a comprehensive handbook on pest control. The section on how to choose a pest control company is clear and simple. The following aspects demand your attention to ensure that your home is well protected from termites and other pests.



1 Is the company licensed?

It is mandatory for a professional pest control company to hold a license from a state or local authority. Check to find out if the company you are in touch with is properly licensed and if the license is current and valid.

2 Is the company able to offer pest control options?

There are various types of pest control options, especially when it comes to termites. A good company not only offers these options, but also gives you all the information you need. You understand why a particular type of pest control treatment they recommend is better than another treatment. This applies to all pest control services, including those that say their services are “Green.

3 Are the company’s track record and reputation impressive?

No business will ever admit to potential customers that its services are sub-standard. Hence, you need to evaluate its pest control reputation. For that, you can check its testimonials received from genuine customers, and examine what they have said about the service they received. This will give you an indication of what you can expect. Also, check with the Better Business Bureau for any serious complaints against the company. A Diamond Certification and inclusion in Angie’s List are indications of the reliability of the company.

4 Does the company offer customer-friendly insurance and bonding cover?

A good company offers insurance cover for damage they cause your home or the environment. There should be worker’s compensation as well to protect you in case one of their employees is injured while working in your home. The employees should be bonded so that you will be compensated for any loss or damage they may cause you.

5 What kind of warranty is available?

A good professional company will offer you a warranty on its service so that you are protected against any recurrence of the problem for a defined period. Preferably, choose a company, which offers an industry-leading three-year full structure warranty.

Any termite control company is not the right one for you. The reliable one carries out the kind of work that meets EPA guidelines so that your home and family remain safe from pest infestations. Do not settle for anything but the best when choosing a termite control company.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Termite and Pest Control: FAQ’s

Did you know that termites have the ability to cause serious property damage? Have you heard that asthma can be triggered by cockroaches? Perhaps you did not know that ants and rodents can contaminate food. West Nile virus and mosquitoes, Lyme disease and ticks, the dangers that pests cause are serious. However, they are only scary if you are not well informed and proactive with eliminating these problems.

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It is very normal for those suffering from pest and termite problems to have questions they need answers to. Here are a few common questions related to pests and termites.

Q1 How does one know that there is a pest in the house?

Pests are essentially miniscule organisms that are very difficult to locate. Normally, they stay hidden within damp and dark corners of the building, creating a colony. However, there are still several signs from which you can determine their existence like:

  1. You feel the wooden furniture is getting hollow
  2. Muddy dirt throughout the house
  3. Vegetables, fruits and other items that are slightly eaten
  4. Uneven cracks within the floors and walls.
Q2 Are chemicals used for killing termites harmful for children?

All good companies know how harmful pesticides can be. Hence, they prefer using just those chemicals that are environment-friendly and safe.

Q3 How frequently should I get my house checked for any pests?

If you are someone who wishes to keep their office or home in perfect condition, it is best to get pest control annually or half yearly. This ensures that your property remains in optimal condition all through the year.

Q4  I am allergic to a lot of things. Will it be safe for me to stay within the house while the pest control work is going on?

If you suffer from allergies, it is best to keep out of your building at the time the pest control operations are happening. Make sure you avoid entering the premises for a day or two. This is just a very cautionary measure till the time the experts remove any possible risks concerning your health.

Q5  What does it normally cost to acquire the services of a termite control specialist?

There are several factors that contribute to the fee. These factors include, kinds of pests, the duration since the house has been infested with these insects and the definite damage instigated by them.

Q6 Are pets safe during pest control procedures?

All good companies make it a point to not use extremely toxic chemicals. Because of this the pets are under no danger of getting infected from pest control.

Q7 How much time does it take to eradicate pests from the property?

Once professionals have conducted termite and pest control, you may not get the results overnight. Ants and cockroaches do not get eliminated immediately. You will have to wait for a little while to see the effects.

With just the right information and a good pest and termite expert by your side, you can counter this problem without suffering from serious damage.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Termite Attacks – Reasons and Prevention

Even wood and fire are not as big a worry for homeowners in comparison to termites. This statement in itself is enough for anyone to realize the capacity of these insects to inflict havoc in a house. They may eat away the wood inside the house until they are blocked prematurely. It is best to keep these insects away.

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Surprisingly, a lot of termite infestations are caused by the careless actions of the house owners. Because of this, it is extremely important to counter things that may incite termites to attack your building, and ensure that these insects are kept at bay at all times.

Plants:

Plants growing uncontrollably at the sides of your building are one of the most common reasons for termite attacks. This is why you must always keep flora away from your building. In case you want to keep plants, make sure no part of them is in touch with your house.

Wood:

Wood is another very common reason that leads to termite infestation. Wood is known to be most popular and well liked by termites. If you wish to construct a deck or a shed in the backyard using wood, make sure you utilize wood that is the least attractive for these insects. Juniper and Cedar are some of the wood types that do not attract termites. It is best to use such varieties although they are a bit expensive when compared to other wood options available.

All the above mentioned reasons for  termite attacks has a lot to do with wood availability as these tempt the insects to attack the house. Dampness in other items that are just as attractive to the termites may also cause infestation. Observe for any kind of moisture from within or outside the house and make sure you take care of the issue. In case it is rain water falling over the roof, then make sure you install gutters for accumulating the water and then redirecting it to a place away from the house. Leakage inside the pipe lines can also be a cause for moisture inside the house. Search for any other such water source within the yard and get it fixed immediately.

Also, for over five decades, gas fumigation has been one of the most effective methods to eliminate dry wood termites. This technique is used by almost all termite fumigators. The gas acts quickly and does not leave any kind of residue. However, it can be an extremely risky and toxic substance, consequentially and must be used carefully. Proper preparation for fumigation will make sure that you, your loved ones and also all your priced possessions and belongings remain safe and protected. The process of fumigation normally takes some time, so you will have to leave the house and stay someplace else during the whole process. It is also important to choose a termite control service that has the expertise and equipment to eliminate the infestation from your building.  

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Effects of Termite Damage

Termites can have devastating effects on any building. In case your house is infested with a swarm of these insects, there is a big possibility that they may consume the entire wooden beam and create serious problems with the structure of the building, making it completely uninhabitable. Termites may take several years to create serious problems with the structure, which is the reason why you must pay attention to what is happening within your house. Check the house regularly for any damages and take the required steps for controlling the infestation before it is too late.

Image Courtesy : Pixabay
Wood:

The integrity of the wood is seriously compromised by termite damage. This means when the termites start to feast on the wood, they deteriorate it, make the drywall crumble, damage door frames and window sills and a lot more. While these insects are as small as a centimeter, the results of termite damage over a structure is huge and can turn out to be extremely expensive.

Termite killing agents:

For a lot of people, the biggest health risk related to termite infestation is not from the insects, but from the chemicals that are utilized for repelling or killing them. Most of us under estimate how less secluded the application site is from the other parts of the house. We may also sometimes give very little time for solvants to evaporate before we start using that area. Anyone who is dealing with an infestation must consider hiring a termite control professional to make sure that the right chemicals are utilized and applied safely.

Unreachable places:

Another harmful effect of termite is the presence of these insects in places where you are not able to visibly notice them such as, the walls or crawl space. Such damage can be tough for a person to catch sight of. For this reason, it is best to call for professional termite inspection for the entire building to ensure peace of mind. Moreover, a licensed expert can point out towards the various damages and offer the right advice and suggestions on how to correct the issue.

It is very important to be aware of what to look for in a house during inspection to see if there is any underlying termite problem. If steps are not taken quickly in case of an  infestation, the damage may get uncontrollable. Begin by looking at the exterior of the house, particularly close to the foundation. 

Termites have the ability to enter a building from the tiniest of openings, so make sure you pay attention to any cracks within the foundation and seal them by using an appropriate filling. This will ensure they do not get in.

Home owners who still wonder if termites have harmful effects on humans, can be rest assured that these insects are not dangerous. For those who have no allergies or breathing problems, termites will practically create no ill effects on health. Of course, stopping infestation of termite should still be a very important aim for home owners, considering that damage caused by these insects on the integrity of a structure is grave. If the stress and anxiety that comes with invasion of termites is factored in, prevention is definitely an investment.

Monday, 24 December 2018

Do Termites Hibernate in Winter?

California may not have the same bitterly cold winters as the northern states do, but there is an appreciable difference of temperature between them. That drop in temperature is often enough to make homeowners in the state think that they are safe from termites in winter.

According to a popular belief, insects hibernate in cold weather, and so the risks to health and property they pose are few. This is not completely true, as termites do not hibernate or die off when it’s unbearably cold. These insects just have a knack for surviving even the worst cold weather.

Image Courtesy : Pexels
 Where they go

Formosan subterranean termites go underground where it is warmer, when the weather becomes too cold for them. They are less active in cold weather than they are in warmer ones, but they do not hibernate. The colder it is the deeper they go underground. However, if the winter is mild, with only a slight drop in temperature, they go underground still but remain close to the surface.

This is where the danger lies. From just below the surface, these still active pests can find their way to the foundation of a building. They can enter through small cracks and in this warmer and protected environment, they can start swarming if there is even a slight increase in temperature – just a warm day or two is enough.

Drywood and dampwood termites make their nest in trees and tree stumps for the winter. These insects too do not hibernate, they just slow down to ride out the colder weather. Any wood or cellulose-based material that connects the house to the ground becomes a passage for them to gain entry into the building.

When the weather turns warm again, they begin their search for food. They can transfer themselves quickly and easily from the trees to the nearest structure, such as a home.

Winter is no protection

Once termites get into a home, they enjoy the same warm and dry atmosphere that the humans residing there do. This makes them fully active once again and they begin devouring wooden items and other things they find irresistible in the home.

Termite damage in winter can be worse than that in warm weather. This is because homeowners let their guard down, thinking that termite threat is not very serious in winter. They fail to notice in time the signs of termite infestation and the situation becomes bad before they notice the problem.

An unnoticed termite infestation in winter can do a huge damage and cause thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs. To keep your home protected from these pests in winter, it is best to seek help from a professional termite control company. They will check thoroughly for the presence of termites and give your home an effective termite treatment, whether or not they spot termites.

Reputed companies offer a 3-year full structure warranty that covers all species of termites and wood-boring beetles. It includes infestations already identified as well as those that may appear during the warranty period. This will keep your home safe for more than one winter.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Are There Termites in Your Home?

Termites are a problem in every state of the country, except Alaska. That means a large majority of the US population has to live with the fear that termites could strike their homes at will any moment; the damage could be severe, if they are not on guard.

It’s not good for you live with the constant stress and worry of a probable termite invasion. It is best to engage a reputed termite control company at the earliest to get rid of the pests completely.


Swarmers

Mature termite colonies send young flying termites out into the world; the latter start new nests of their own. Hundreds of these young termites that leave in a group at a time look similar to a swarm of flying ants. Flying ants too are pests, but not as destructive as termites. Mistaking one for the other is easy and common; avoid this common mistake that could lead to serious consequences.

If you notice flying insects in your home, catch one immediately and examine it. The two sets of wings of termites are of the same size and their antennae are straight and beaded. Flying ants have smaller rear wings and the antennae are jointed. Take immediate action if the invaders are termites.

Termite tubes

Termites are surprisingly delicate insects that do not have any form of defense against predators. They can survive only in a moist, protected environment. If they are not underground or inside wood, they need to build tiny tunnels of cellulose and mud in which they can move easily from one spot to another. If you notice in your house small mud colored tubes that look like tiny straws, particularly around the foundation, you can be sure that you have unwelcome visitors.

Hollow wood

Termites consume wood unseen; signs of termite activity are difficult to spot until cracks and depressions appear on the surface of wood. However, if you tap the damaged wood with a spoon or a knuckle, you can hear an unnatural hollow sound; that could indicate termite infestation.

Termite cement

Termites need a damp protected environment, once they get into cracks in cement and wood; they use cellulose and mud to make cement like material that would plug the cracks, prevent moisture loss and reduce the flow of air. If you see signs of these ‘cement’ plugs, especially near the foundation of the house, you may guess you have a termite problem.

Carry out regular safety check

A regular safety check for termite infestation is a great idea. However, it is often difficult to identify the presence of termites. Clear signs may appear only after a great deal of damage is already done, warranting thousands of dollars in repairs.

A reputed termite control company should carry out periodical inspection and undertake suitable termite treatment, if required. That will get rid of any of the pests that may be lurking around. The very best termite control companies offer a full three-year structure warranty.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Termite Infestation Affects the Value of your Home


Homeowners fear termites as these pests have immense capacity for damaging a home along with the items in it. If it can be this bad for the owner, it will be worse for a potential buyer, who smells of the presence of termites in the house.

It is going to be a lifetime investment, probably with a loan to help finance the purchase. The buyer wouldn’t like to commit to a property that could suffer serious damage in the near future. That could cost huge amounts of money to fix. When you buy a home, you wouldn’t desire to face such risks.

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Termites affect the selling price

The fact is that the word ‘termite’ makes prospective buyers feel very uncomfortable; white ants for sure are a red flag to look out for. They do affect the selling price, no matter whether they have been removed from the house, or have not been seen there for a long time and any damage caused has already been repaired.

Even if the house is supremely loveable, the buyer will hesitate to make a move unless the price is too low to ignore. That is fine for the buyer, but not so good for you, the seller.

Do not try to hide truth

Trying to cover up the fact that termites were in the house and they caused damage is never a good idea. If your area is known for termite infestation, no doubt the buyer will have a termite inspection done. Even if no termite signs are visible after an expert repair work, buyer’s inspection might reveal signs of old damage. The feeling that an attempt was made to cover up the facts will sow seeds of doubt in the mind of the buyer about the value of the house.
Call in the experts

If you suspect that there may be termites in your house, call in an expert professional termite control company. They will be able to detect termite presence in no time. You can be sure they will take the required action to get rid of them. A good company with considerable reputation will offer a 3-year warranty on its services.

That will ensure the riddance of not only termites and wood boring beetles found during the inspection, but also of any new infestations that may occur during the warranty period. This kind of warranty will put a buyer’s mind at rest, and clinch the deal in your favor.

Add to this an annual maintenance warranty that can be transferred to the new owner: the buyer’s fears about termite problems in the future will fade away. Furthermore, the excellent reputation of the company of delivering the highest standards will wipe out traces of worry about recurrent expenses.

Do-It-Yourself termite control efforts may save you a few dollars. However, the results would be rather dubious. That will have again, a negative effect on the sale value of your house. It will be a big mistake you can’t afford to make.