Showing posts with label termite treatment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label termite treatment. Show all posts

Thursday, 24 September 2020

6 Easy Ways to Spot Early Signs of Termites at Your Home

If you live in or around the Bay Area of California, you must be in love with the place and your beautiful home there. For you, the durability of your home is of top priority. However, issues like persistent termite infestation can damage both the interiors and the exteriors of your property. You would not want termites to eat away the wooden structures and furniture and make your home fragile.

As far as termites are concerned, the Bay Area and Northern California have a high probability of encountering infestation without adequate preventive and control measures. A study by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) shows that California falls in the termite infestation probability (TIP) zone 1.2. It means California has a high risk of getting infested by termites.

On top of it, California is one of eight US states with a significantly high risk of termite infestation according to the Council of American Building Officials, which published a probability map regarding termite infestation.

You may find it difficult to figure out if your home has a termite infestation. This is why in this post we will talk about spotting the six signs of termites so that you can take termite control measures immediately.

6 Easy Ways to Spot Early Signs of Termites at Your Home

Six Signs to Spot the Presence of Termites in Your Home

1.     Damp or Moist Areas

Termites like to build their colonies in damp or moist areas and they avoid places that have direct sunlight or are dry. So, look around your home to identify damp areas due to water clogging. If the soil underneath your home has moisture, termites will likely dig tunnels and reach the wooden structures.

Termites feed on moist wood because they get cellulose from them for nutrition. A termite expert can guide you about the areas that have termites and the measures you need to take. 

2.     Cracks or Entry Points to Your Home

You should keep doing surveys from time to time around your house to spot any cracks that may provide possible entry points to termites. If the structure of your house is predominantly wood, cracks may appear at the base or on the walls, which will make it easier for termites to get in and damage further. During the inspection, wherever you spot cracks, make sure you seal them to prevent possible termite movement.

3.     Mud Tubes

While looking around your house, you may notice some tiny piles of wood cellulose or soil. Those are mud tubes that termites create while digging tunnels. Through those tunnels, termites infest various wooden structures. If you spot several mud tubes around your house, it is a sign of large-scale infestation. Inspect your wooden walls, floors, pipes, attic, and chimneys. Also, check your home foundation as you may see many of those tubes there.

4.     Signs of Wood Damage

Take a stroll around your house and tap various sections that contain wood and listen to the sound. If you get a hollow sound instead of a solid thud, termites have probably already damaged those areas. The mud tubes we talked about before are potential signs of wood damage and the larger the tubes, the more the damage.

5.     Termite Swarming

Termite swarming is a common sight in various parts of the US, including California. You may have seen a bunch of insects flying or hovering in the evening around the streetlights during spring or summer. Those are termites migrating to build new colonies. If you see such swarming close to your home, the infestation may already have started in your home as well as neighboring homes. In such cases, call a termite control company to stop infestation at the early stage itself.

6.     Wooden Structures

If there are a lot of wooden frames or structures like firewood or fences around your house, termites may start nesting in the damp ones. Also, if there are dead or broken trees, try to clear them to prevent infestation. Once termites eat away those wood supplies, they will start seeking fresh sources of food and are likely to move towards your home. Check all the wooden stuff around your home, and if you spot signs of wood infestation, call experts right away.


Also Read: How to Get Rid of Termites from Hardwood Floors


Before We Go

If you survey your home as mentioned in this post, you are likely to spot signs of termites. To be sure, you can call us for a termite inspection. We are a leading termite control service provider in the Bay Area and our experts will spot termites easily.

If you wish to take termite control measures, we will block the entry points and lower the moisture content around your home. We use advanced microwave technology, along with state-registered chemicals like non-repellant Termidor for clean and efficient termite control.

For more details, give us a call at (888) 322-8889 or drop an email to info@hitechtermite.com, and we will assist you as soon as possible.

Friday, 22 November 2019

How Microwave Termite Control Works

Termites have always been a problem for homeowners, especially in states like California. The sight of a house being tented while it is filled with chemicals to eliminate the termites that have gotten into it is a common one. In fact, fumigation is the oldest form of termite control and has been in use for generations. Over time, the chemicals that have been used have undergone changes to meet the increasingly sophisticated health and safety concerns. They have also become more effective and today fumigation is more effective than ever before in removing termites from a home. However, fumigation may not always be a viable option and in such cases, microwave termite control provides an excellent alternative.



The Fumigation Problems

While the fumigation agents used today are extremely safe, there may be some instances where it is not advisable to use them. For example, for elderly people, moving out even for a short while might be a discomfort; a similar situation might be experienced with infants with specific health issues, pets and other conditions where fumigation may not be a practical solution. This is where technology steps in to offer several non-fumigation termite control methods. Among these options, the use of microwaves to destroy termites is increasing in popularity.

Microwaves Kill Termites

The principle used in microwave termite eradication is the same as that which cooks food in a microwave oven. The microwaves come into contact with the water molecules inorganic matter and this agitates the molecules and creates friction; this friction turns into intense heat. The heat cooks the food in the oven. When this heat is directed against termites, the heat causes them to cook from the inside and die.  There is no usage of chemicals so there is no need for fumigation or tenting and hence those homeowners who do not want chemicals in their homes, no matter how safe they are, are satisfied. However, microwave termite control may not be right for all infestations.

Expert Treatment Is Essential

Termite infestations can be broadly divided into 2 types –subterranean and dry wood. Subterranean termites travel underground and typically spread all over a structure and so targeted treatments like the use of microwaves may not be completely effective in removing the infestation. In the case of drywood termites, nests are isolated to specific pieces of wood and other cellulose materials. It is here that targeted microwaves are highly effective in getting rid of them completely.

The type of termite treatment that is right for a home will depend on the type of termites present, the extent of the infestation and other factors. These are variables that only a termite control expert will be able to evaluate so as to find the most effective termite control solution. If you are worried about termites in your home, contact a professional termite control company that will be able to evaluate the situation, brief you on the type of infestation, inform you about the treatments available and work with you to apply the treatment that will produce the best results. Also, make sure that the company gives you a warranty on its service so that you remain protected in the future.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Does Permanent Termite Control Exist?

Despite what the DIY articles and some dubious termite control outfits claim, there is no such thing as a single permanent lifetime solution that will keep termites out of your home forever. Termites are among the hardiest of insects and getting rid of them is never easy. A common complaint among homeowners is that they had a termite treatment done 5 or 10 years ago and never had a problem after that until termites suddenly made an appearance once again. They should not be surprised, nothing lasts forever. It is also possible that the termites they now see have been around for a long time, doing serious unseen damage while they relaxed thinking that the old treatment would never need to be repeated.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

Termite Control Treatments

Unless proactive means are deployed to prevent termites from entering a home, they most likely will enter sooner or later. They feed off cellulose materials, in other words, wood, and will eventually find their way to wherever their food exists. In the past, a chemical called chlorodane was used to kill termites in houses. Because this chemical was found to contaminate groundwater, its use was banned in the 1980s. For safety reasons, chemicals used for termite control were repellents that drove the insects away but did not kill them. Because the termites remained near the structure, there was no way of knowing when they would find a way to return.

Today repellents have been replaced by a number of environmentally safe chemicals that kill the termites instead of merely driving them off.  However, there are some instances where it may be unsafe to use chemicals such as in the vicinity of people who are unwell, infants, those with allergies or when tenting is not an option for whatever reason. In such cases, there are now nonchemical options that can be applied, including the use of microwaves to kill the termites. Termite control experts will know which option is best for each home and family so that the menace of termites is removed.

There is a simple way to keep your home and your family protected from termites now and for years to come. Call in a professional termite control company that has the experience, knowledge, and materials to remove these pests effectively and ensure that they do not return for a very long time. The best companies will have a wide range of termite control solutions so that the one that is right for your home can be chosen. A company that is sure of the quality of its work will also offer you a multi-year full structure warranty on its services so that you can relax and enjoy your home for many years to come with the knowledge that it is now safe from termite damage. A repeat treatment at the end of the warranty period will keep the protection going. There is no single permanent way of getting rid of termites, but by taking this route, your home will be safe and will remain so in the future.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Termite Treatment and your Dog

A dog is not just a pet: being a member of the family, she receives the same amount of love and care as the others do. That includes having a safe place to live. When termites get into a house, they compromise safety in many ways. First, there is the damage done to the wood/cellulose material that could cause structural problems as well.

In addition, the humans in the home run the risk of an exposure to infection carried by the termites. Your dog is rarely directly affected by termites; if her favorite sleeping place is damaged by termites, she will find another place.

The chances of a dog getting an infection from termites are rather small, unworthy of any serious consideration. However, the presence of termites can create an indirect health risk for your pet: the chemicals used to eradicate them could be harmful to your dog.

The toxic risk

DIY termite control efforts are rarely completely successful; the pests often hide underground only to return in a short time. Meanwhile, the chemicals used for these treatments could be harmful to both humans and canines.

Even if the label on the termite treatment says, it is safe for humans, that does not mean it is safe for dogs or other pets.  If you have a pet in the house, DIY termite treatment is just not worth the risk, both in terms of health and damage to your home.

The problem

Professional termite control companies are bound to comply with mandated standards of safety in their operations. That means they have to care for not only human safety, but also the health of your dog.

In many cases, the whole family may be required to leave home for a day or more, while the fumigation process is on; that is a hassle for the humans, and the problems increase if there is a pet dog with them.  Motels may not allow dogs; friends and neighbors may be uncomfortable about having a dog as a guest in their homes.

The solution

Modern technology has developed new methods of termite removal that do not require the use of toxic chemicals and they even do away with the use of chemicals.
  • Non-fumigation termite control: It involves the use of chemicals with low toxicity to get rid of the termites. The procedure is completed in one day, which means safety of both humans and pet animals, and there is no hassle of finding a place to spend a night or two.
  • Microwave procedure: Another option is the use of microwaves to destroy the pests. Professionals inspect the premises very closely, identify the location of the termite nests, direct the microwaves carefully, which kill the pests instantly.
If you want to ensure the safety of your dog or other pets when termite eradication is on in your home, better have the job done by a professional termite removal company. Assured safety, minimal inconvenience and industry-leading standard of a 3-year full structure warranty are the hallmarks of a reputed company.

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.

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.

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