Termites are known as “silent destroyers” because of their constant gnawing can go unnoticed until significant structural damage to the home occurs. Termites feed 24-hours a day, seven days a week on the cellulose found in wood and paper products.
Winged swarmers are the first sign to homeowners that termites may be invading and typically appear in spring to search for suitable spots to create a new colony, often settling down in homes that have sustained moisture damage over the winter from snow, ice, rain or wind. Subterranean termites are most likely to cause problems in Southern California this year, so it’s important for homeowners to remain vigilant for signs of these wood-destroying pests in and around their property.
Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive termite species. The hard, saw-toothed jaws of termites work like shears and are able to bite off extremely small fragments of wood, one piece at a time. Over time, they can collapse a building entirely, meaning possible financial ruin for a homeowner. If you suspect a termite infestation, contact a pest professional about subterranean termite treatment.
Innovative Pest Solutions offers the following signs that termites may be present in a home or property:
- Mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source) on the exterior of the home.
- Soft wood in the home that sounds hollow when tapped.
- Darkening or blistering of wood structures.
- Cracked or bubbling paint.
- Small piles of feces that resemble sawdust near a termite nest.
- Discarded wings near doors or on windowsills, indicating swarmers have entered the home or swarmers themselves, which are often mistaken for flying ants.
If homeowners notice any of these signs, they should contact a pest professional who can best determine the extent of the problem and recommend a proper treatment plan.
To schedule a free termite inspection please contact us today!
- Trench and Treat: Our service specialist will trench the foundation of the home and make a liquid application to create a chemical pest barrier that will protect your home and eliminate active termite infestations
- Rod and Treat: A sub slab injection will allow a barrier to be placed between the foundation of your home and the soil beneath your home offering great protection against active termites.
- Drill and Treat: A liquid application will be made into wood to quickly eliminate any active termite infestations
- In-wall Foam Injection: This allows a complete treatment of the interior walls of your home, without having to leave home. You don’t have to bag up your food, remove your plants, and cause unnecessary disruptions to your everyday life.
- Fumigations: A tent will be placed over your home for three days giving you the peace of mind to know that all active infestations wherever they may be have been eradicated.
- Full Subterranean Termite Treatment: Pressure treat your slab, foaming, trench and treat, rod and treat, etc. When it comes to protecting your home from subterranean termites we have the solutions you need.
Termite Monitoring and Baiting
Termite monitoring stations will be placed in strategic locations around your home to monitor any active termite infestations. We will inspect and monitor them on a regular basis. If active infestations are found the monitoring sticks will be replaced with a bait that will allow the termites to ingest and carry back to the colonies giving your home the protection it needs and keeping active infestations under control.
Large swarms of winged insects inside and/or around the home is the most obvious sign of termite activity. Swarming occurs when reproductive male and female termites exit the colony and attempt to begin building a new colony. Since it takes most termite colonies at least three years to produce termite swarms, this is a likely sign of an ongoing problem.
When do termites swarm?
The exact dates termites swarm vary each year according to geographic regions, species type and weather conditions. Swarming season begins in February and can last through May or early June. As a general rule, most subterranean termites swarm under these conditions:
- Daytime, usually mid-day
- Often following rain
- Formosan termites are a notable exception in that they typically swarm in the early evening.
Other signs home owners should watch for:
- Dead termites or wings around windows, doors, heating vents, or in bath tubs and sinks, certain signs of termite activity.
- Termite mud tubes on walls located outside or inside the structure. The tubes are either round of flat and usually measure at least 1/4 inch or wider. They look like their name – a tube of mud.
- Damaged wood. Termites eat from the inside of the wood out, so damaged wood is sometimes very difficult to detect. “Hollow” sounding wood should be inspected for termite damage
- Live termites. Termites are sometimes found while doing home remodelling or repair. Worker termites are small, whitish creatures that will quickly move away when exposed to light.
Termites vs. Ants
It is often difficult to determine the difference between termites and ants. Termites have two pair of wings (front and back) and are of almost equal length. Ants also have two pair of wings but the fore wings are much larger than the hind wings.
- Termites have relatively straight antennae while ants have elbowed antennae.
- Ants generally do not swarm at the same time as termites, but it can happen.
- Termites have a thick waist and ants have a narrow waist
- Termites have straight antennae and ants have elbowed antennae
- Termites have four wings that are all equal in length
- Ants have four wings, however, two are larger and two are smaller
- Responsible for millions and millions of dollars in damage to home/businesses each year.
- Live for 15 years
- Lay 1 egg every 15 seconds
- Have 4 wings
- Burrow tiny mud tunnels to a source of wood
- Leave sawdust near windows
- Enjoy wood resulting from leaky plumbing
- Can destroy entire house in about 2-3 years
- Found in every U.S. state except Alaska
- Help the food chain by recycling wood for the soil
These social insects infest dry wood and do not require contact with the soil like Subterranean termites.
Drywood termites form colonies of up to 2,500 members. Unlike subterranean termite species, drywood termite colonies do not have a worker caste. The work is done by immature termites before they reach adulthood. These termites bore through wood, leaving holes to “kick out” waste material and fecal matter. These small holes are called Kick-out holes. The waste material and fecal matter combined form pellets and are often found near the site of kick-out holes. Each year, drywood termites leave their nests and fly to new locations. This process is called swarming and it often takes place during the fall season in southern California.
Drywood termites infest dry wood, like window frames, attics, eaves and decks. They also infest trees and wood fences.
Each year, drywood termites cause millions in damages throughout the southwest. If left untreated for a long period of time, they can compromise a building or structure’s safety.
Preventing a drywood infestation can be very difficult. Since these termites usually begin their colonies in the wood by flying to the structure, you will have a very tough time keeping them from arriving. Eliminating Drywood Termites really is a job best left to licensed professional pest control companies. We offer a variety of drywood termite treatments that include localized spot treatment, fumigation and heat as well as wood repairs and restoration to infested areas. For more information about our drywood termite services, call us today.