Termite control

Mar/1/2012
Written by Pestmall.com

Termite Control

Some may actually consider termites to be one of the most expensive pests in the United States. The reason we say this is because they actually cost homeowners around the country billions of dollars a year for damages that have been caused by their infestation. You can look at termites as the pest that infests and damages one of your largest and perhaps your most expensive investment.

Like many other insects, termites will be separated into several different species. Some of the most common species of termites that are found in the United States include the subterranean termites, drywood termites, formosan termites, and dampwood termites. Scattered around the United States, certain regions are homes to specific termite species. They also infest homes in different ways and so it is important to correctly identify the termite species so that you are able to eradicate them in the most efficient way.

Subterranean Termite Drywood Termite Formosan Termite Dampwood Termite
Color White to cream color White to beige color White to cream color Whitish Color with reddish brown head
Size 1/8 to 1/4 inch 1/4 to 3/8 inch 1/4 inch 1/2 to 5/8 inch
Ground Contact Yes No Yes No
Treatment Soil (chemical barrier) treatment and Baiting Spot(local) Treatment or Replacement of the infested wood Soil (chemical barrier) treatment and Baiting Spot (local) Treatment and Controlling excessive moisture condition
Termite picture
A: Swarmer B: Queen C: Soldier D: Worker
Termite picture Termite picture Termite picture

Signs of Termite Infestations

There are a few key signs that should alarm homeowners of a suspected termite infestation. Termites have become infamous for their keen ways of going unnoticed, but some signs are very obvious. Some of these signs that are considered red flags for infestation are going to be damaged wood, swarmer termites, and mud tubes. It is important to notice these signs and have them inspected for immediately by a professional pest control company so that you can confirm the infestation before applying any pesticides.

Damaged Wood: Several different circumstances can lead to damaged wood like excessive moisture, other insects like carpenter bees or carpenter ants, from simply being too old, and even large animals and birds. One of the ways you can tell that the wood has been damaged by termites is to look for hollowed out wood along the grain. You may also find dirt lining in the hollowed out chambers of the wood, which termites may have carried in from the ground. Other sources of wood damage like other insects and even water damage will not portray this kind of wood damage. You may even be able to open up the wood and find actual worker termites. Unfortunately though, a lot of wood damage done to the internal structure goes by unnoticed. The damage can actually go undetected for years because although the insides may be hollowed out, termites are able to keep the outer surface quite even and intact.

Swarmers : Swarming termites can normally be visible outdoors and may not necessarily mean that you have an infestation at hand. However, if you frequently find swarming termites inside the house, it is almost always a warrant to treat for an existing infestation. Do keep in mind though that swarming termites and swarming ants are very different, but all too often confused for each other because of their similar physical characteristics and also habits of swarming around similar times of the year. You can tell the difference between the two by comparing the antennae, waists, and wings.

Swarming termites are winged termites that will normally emerge during the spring season. Their purpose is to find a new location to begin a colony after being dispersed from their original colony. It is not uncommon that swarmers will emerge from such places like stumps, woodpiles, and other areas around your neighborhood or yard. It is really a red flag though if swarming termites emerge from the foundation of your home, patios, porches, and are found inside the house.

Mud Tubes : Mud tubes may be specific to the subterranean termite species, but they are important to identify a termite infestation. They are external chambers of dirt buildup that will extend past the foundation walls. Since subterranean termites need the moisture from the ground, they will construct mud tubes and use them as a means of travel between their colony and the structure.

How to Get Rid of Termites

There are a variety of ways you will have to treat for termites. Depending on the species and the location of the infestation, the way you treat for termites may change. Also, the type of termiticide you will use will also change as well. For concentrated infestations, you may use a foam or a liquid spray. Generally though, termites are controlled and maintained by two different treating methods which are the use of liquid termiticides to trench around the structure or a termite baiting system that is installed around the perimeter of the home. These two methods can be used individually or in conjunction with each other.

Liquid Termiticides : Trench treatment requires a liquid concentrate termiticide that is diluted with water. Normally, ground treatments will last for at least 5 years when it is applied according to the product label. Of course, natural circumstances like weather can change the residual of the insecticide. There are two types of liquid termiticides, which are repellant and non-repellant. Long time ago, repellant termiticides were more commonly used to repel termites rather than kill them on contact. Recently though, non-repellant termiticides have been a more reliable termite control method. Undetected, termites enter the underground barrier of termiticide and will either intake the poison by cleaning or through their bodies. Trenching around the home can be a difficult task and must be done thoroughly and in a precise manner. Often times, homeowners may find that termites will continue to swarm even within a year of application. Usually though, this does not mean that the chemicals have degraded, instead, it may mean that the application was not done thoroughly enough and there may have been a gap that the termites have found. For help on trenching directions or what liquid termiticide may be suitable to use for your infestation, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-788-4142.

Common Termiticide Products Available

Active Ingredient Products Target Pest / Repell
Imidacloprid Dominion 2L
Premise 2
Premise 75
Subterranean / Non-Repell
Sub and Drywood / Non-Repell
Sub and Drywood / Non-Repell
Fipronil Termidor SC
Taurus SC
Subterranean / Non-Repell
Subterranean / Non-Repell
Chlorantraniliprole Altriset Subterranean / Non-Repell
Borate BoraCare Timbor Sub and Drywood / Non-Repell< br /> Sub and Drywood / Non-Repell
Cypermethrin Cyper TC Subterranean/ Repell

Termite Baiting Systems : Termite baiting systems have proven to be an effective way of monitoring subterranean termites and keeping termite infestations at bay. Termite baiting systems are heavy-duty chambers that usually hold a monitoring base and a termite bait made of paper, cardboard, and other palatable food that attracts termites. These systems are inserted into the ground and the tamper free stations are then monitored and checked every three months. When termite activity in the station is noted, the monitoring bases can then be replaced with poison baits that will kill the termites that consume material. Termite baiting systems is a type of treatment method that many professional termite companies are using today in the United States.

Common Termite Baiting Products Available

Active Ingredient Products Application
Diflubenzuron Advance Termite Bait System Baiting
Sulfluramid Firstline Termite Bait System Baiting
Hexaflumuron Hex-Pro Termite Bait System Baiting