Friday, 19 July 2013

Signs of a Termite Infestation

Telltale Signs of a Termite Infestation

Many homeowners are unable to detect an early termite infestation on time. However, by keeping close attention to the obvious signs of an active termite infestation, you can seek termite control services at the earliest time possible. Listed below are some of the signs of an existing termite attack.

Swarms of Winged Insects or Left-over Wings

This is generally one of the first signs of an existing or an impending infestation. It’s common for these “swarmers” or winged reproductive termites to gather in areas with indoor lighting. Also, as these winged termites normally travel to establish new colonies, they can be seen outdoors in swarms. During springtime, swarms of subterranean termites are more common. As these swarmers gather, some of their wings fall off and leave their traces on the ground and other surfaces.

Mud Tunnels

Subterranean termites, which normally dwell under the ground, create mud tunnels in order to scour for food and search for water. These tunnels are mainly visible on exterior surfaces such as outside walls, foundations, and other structural materials. Termites use these mud tubes in order to retain moisture during their forays for food and water. These tunnels also serve as an easy way for them to travel if they cannot bore into a tough structure such as concrete walls and foundations.

Wood Damage

If the wood has visible damage or if it sounds hollow when tapped, this is a strong indication of an active termite invasion. Another indicator is cracked paint on wood surfaces. Paint becomes split and splintered as termites gain access into the wood. However, some termite attacks may not be visible on the outside. If the wood appears fine on the exterior but emits a thudding sound when tapped by a solid tool such as a hammer, it’s important to subject the home to a complete termite inspection.

Frass

Dry wood termite droppings are called frass. These droppings take the form of six-sided pellets which resemble the color of the dry or decayed wood consumed by the termites. Also, subterranean termites use their feces as material in the creation of mud tunnels.

According to statistics released by the National Pest Management Association, more than $5 billion in structural damages are brought about by termites in the United States year after year. Termite infestations are definitely no easy matter. Make sure you obtain expert solutions from a trusted termite control company, especially with the presence of any of these tell-tale termite infestation signs.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Termite Types You Need to Know

Different Termite Types You Need to Know

Termites are one of the most destructive pests to have around the home. A termite infestation is often hard to detect because these pests gnaw on wood and damage wooden structures and fixtures in a silent manner. While termites generally cause a lot of destruction both within and outside your home, different types are known to thrive in certain locations, such as dry wood and under the soil. A basic knowledge on these types and their distinct behaviors and habits can help determine the best possible elimination procedure, for a home that’s free from termites and other pests.

Damp Wood Termites

Typically bigger than subterranean termites, damp wood termites are known to thrive and build colonies in damp wood. These termites avoid the soil, although they will bore into decaying wood located on the soil. As these pests prefer moist environments, dealing with moisture problems, such as roof leaks and plumbing issues, is an important step in eliminating damp wood termites.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites live underground, through colonies and tunnels that reach ground surface where decaying wood serves as their food. Like damp wood termites, subterranean termites also do well in moisture-rich locations. It is easy to mistake reproductive subterranean termites for ants, although the former are generally smaller. To prevent attacks, it is important for any property buyer to termite-proof their homes, especially if these are located on infested soil.

Formosan Termites

Formosan termites are a type of subterranean termites, although this type thrives better in warmer climates. While these termites usually build nests underground, they don’t need to revisit the soil frequently, especially when nesting and feeding. A home attacked by a colony of Formosan termites will have sagging wood walls and other damaged structures.

Dry Wood Termites

Dry wood termites, as their classification indicates, need very little to no moisture in order to survive. Because these termites do not need soil to build nests and colonies, they are often found to attack higher areas, such as a home’s attic. One of the clearest signs of a dry wood termite infestation is the presence of fecal pellets around the home, especially along windows.

Termites can attack without warning and cause extensive damage over a short period of time. Whatever type of termite is infesting your property, you need to make sure that you have appropriate solutions at hand. A trusted termite control company can inspect your home for these destructive pests and devise the best possible termite elimination solution.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Preventing Termite Attacks

Ways to Keep Your Home Termite-Free

A termite infestation is one of the most destructive things that can happen to your home. Since a termite attack takes place silently and without warning, you may not be able to seek treatment until it’s too late. The best route to take, other than to seek the help of a termite control expert, is to make sure your home and its perimeters are not conducive to a termite invasion.

Keep Moisture Away from the Foundations

Most types of termites, such as damp wood and subterranean termites, prefer damp environments. Decaying wood that comes in contact with any physical structure can allow these termites into your home. This is especially the case if the foundation consistently accumulates moisture, coming from downspouts, sprinklers, and poor drainage systems. As much as possible, keep water or moisture away from the foundation of your home to discourage termites on your property.

Eliminate Earth-to-Wood Contact Outside Your Home

As already mentioned above, it is important not to allow wooden structures of the home to touch the soil. This direct contact encourages termites to travel from the soil into the house, where they will scour for food, such as wood or paper. You will need to make sure that wooden parts of your home are situated at least six inches above the ground, as much as possible.

Check Termite-Prone Indoor and Outdoor Areas Regularly

As a precaution against possible infestations, you need to check all termite-prone areas both outside and inside your home from time to time. If you see mud tunnels on the outside walls of your home or indicators of termite droppings on the windowsill, don’t hesitate to call a termite control company immediately. Early termite detection and appropriate treatments can help prevent extensive damage, saving you from expensive and complicated repairs.

Get the Services of a Termite Control Professional

Termites often cause extensive damage on wood and, if left untreated on time, may contribute to the total collapse of the foundations, walls, or roofing of your home. This is why it pays to work with a termite control specialist when it comes to eradicating termites altogether. While these prevention steps can help deter an impending attack, any active infestation will have to be dealt with professionally and promptly.

Some properties are more prone to termite attacks than others, especially if the home is situated on infested ground. By keeping these prevention tips in mind and subjecting the property to a termite treatment procedure, there’s no reason for you to worry about termites and the destruction they bring.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Fumigation as Pest Control: A Look into its Pros and Cons

Fumigation has long been considered an effective way to completely eradicate termites from your home or other property. However, is it the ideal form of pest control for you? Here we examine the pros and cons of fumigation and why this procedure may or may not be the best pest-control option for you.

The Advantages of Fumigation

Fumigation is a procedure that eliminates termites and other pests in homes and under the soil through pesticide gas. Due to the fact that this pesticide gas is highly potent, fumigation is ideal for extensive termite damage, especially one that involves still-active infestations. Many homeowners will want to eliminate all termites and other wood-boring pests in and out of their homes completely. Fumigation kills all pests, especially termites, and prevents further and recurring damage to your property.

Drilling into wood is one way to deliver termite-destroying treatment, but if you don’t want drilling to be done or if active infestation is located in an area that is largely inaccessible, fumigation is a viable option. This procedure is also called for if you want to sell your property anytime soon. Fumigation is guaranteed to eliminate termites and other pests completely and effectively.

Why Fumigation May Not Work for You

Fumigation, however, is not without its disadvantages. Due to the fact that pesticide gas is used in this process, fumigation carries with it a lot of health risks, such as respiratory problems. The use of poisonous gas will not only kill pests, it will eliminate good organisms, too. This can be disadvantageous if soil fumigation is used to eradicate subterranean termites.

Furthermore, this process can be highly inconvenient. To protect your health and the health of your family and pets, you will be requested to vacate the place for a period of 24 to 48 hours while fumigation is taking place. Since fumigation may cause plant damage, it can be disadvantageous if you have well-thriving plants around the home. The hassle also involves having to seal everything that may be contaminated by the lethal fumigation gas. When not done properly, this procedure may even cause irreversible roof damage to your home.

If you are not willing to go through all of the hassles in termite elimination, you might want to check non-fumigation termite control procedures available from your trusted termite inspection and control company.

While fumigation has long been established as an excellent form of pest control, there are other termite control procedures available. Make sure that you go for a termite control company that offers you a range of options other than just standard fumigation.

Monday, 10 June 2013

How to Prepare your Home for an Escrow Inspection

When it comes to making sure that the residential property you plan to purchase is free from termite infestations, you need to subject it to an escrow inspection, or what many homeowners simply refer to as termite inspection. An escrow inspection, however, refers specifically to a termite inspection done on any home or property you plan to buy.

While an escrow inspection can take some time, there are a few things you can do to prepare your home prior to the procedure. This ensures that no space, nook or cranny is left uninspected, making the task easier for the inspector and saving you potential problems in the future.

Indoor preparations you can do

An indoor escrow inspection will have to be thorough, given the fact that termites can thrive and hide under complicated woodwork and other hard-to-reach areas. To make the inspection easier for the inspector and more comprehensive, make sure that you clear the walls of anything, such as hanging frames or any other decorative items. Since the attic is usually filled with storage items and may accumulate unchecked moisture over time, it can easily attract termites and other wood-boring pests. As much as possible, clean the attic of anything that may hamper an escrow inspection. Cabinets under the kitchen sink and bathroom sink will have to be cleared of any stored items and clutter as well. Anything that blocks potential access points for the escrow inspector, such as furniture and appliances, will have to be set aside before the actual check-up begins.

Preparing the exterior of your home

If you want to make sure that no subterranean termites are infesting the perimeter of your home, you might want to have the exterior of the property inspected as well. An exterior escrow inspection can save you a lot of trouble later on, especially if the property is prone to termites that live underground. To make the inspection faster and more effective, take time to remove any debris around the borders of the home. Most inspectors require two feet of unobstructed space, at the very least, in order to work. Bushes or plants that grow adjacent to the wall will have to be trimmed or temporarily removed. Inspecting the garage and tool shed will also be easier if clutter is eliminated prior to the escrow examination.

With these simple preparation tips for an escrow inspection, you are assured of a more thorough and stress-free examination of your home from termites both inside and out.