Homeowners Can Prepare For Termite
How often in life do you plan for something that is upcoming? Are you the type who has every detail accounted for before an important event, or are you more of the “whatever happens, happens” kind of individual? No matter what kind of person you are, one thing is undeniable – termite season is here. If your home does not already have termite protection in place, now is the time to start considering steps you can take to ensure it will!
What Termite Swarmers Are & What They Could Mean For Your Home
There are a lot of dangerous creatures in life that we can agree don’t need wings. For instance, if lions, tigers, and bears could all grow wings once a year, it would raise some serious concerns for everyone; yet, home-wrecking termites do sprout wings once a year, and most homeowners don’t even know it! This is not surprising since winged termites can be mistaken for flying ants or other known flying insects. Unlike most other flying insects, however, winged termites pose a serious threat to your home.
If you see termite swarmers around your property this spring, it is not a good sign. They are either a sign that your home already has a major termite problem, or a sign that a termite problem is on the horizon. That being said, let’s discuss some practical prevention steps you can take as a homeowner before termite swarmers show up.
Steps To Take To Mitigate Your Risk Of A Termite Infestation
If you are not seeing termite swarmers around your home, and there are no signs of an already existing termite infestation, there are some things you can do to deter future termites from settling down on your property. Before we start our list of helpful tips, you should know one fact: termites are attracted to water-damaged wood and moist conditions. Every step below works to reduce or eliminate these attractants as much as possible.
Trim back greenery from the perimeter of your home. This allows more direct sunlight to touch your home’s exterior and keep it dry.
Find and fix any leaky piping or appliances inside and outside of your home.
Eliminate sources of water build-up.
Make sure your gutters and drains are in good working order.
Fix or replace any structural wood of your home that has been water damaged.
Termites cause billions of property damage every year – don’t let your home be compromised by these hungry creatures. Termites love to eat and digest wood and other cellulose material (like cardboard and paper). The wood studs and joists in your home are made of the same cellulose wood material, the wallboard has a paper backing, and those cardboard boxes you have stacked in the corner are mighty tasty
In the thousands of termite treatments we’ve performed, we’ve continuously learned and adapted our treatment methods to be the most effective in battling termites. Whether you need a spot treatment, a soil barrier, a complete perimeter barrier, or the foundation’s stemwall treated,
DO I HAVE TERMITES?
The best defense against termite damage is a good offense, mainly, your own eyes. What you should look for are the small, sandy mud tubes the termites build and travel within. Check around the foundation of your home – if you see a sandy-looking ‘vein’ going from the soil up to the stucco/siding, it’s probably termites.
HOW DO I STOP TERMITES?
The best way to stop termites is to remove potential food sources and eliminate moisture problems.
EXAMPLES OF FOOD SOURCES:
Wood chips abutting the home
Firewood stacked against the home
Wooden fence or gate posts that are in direct contact with the soil and are also in contact with the home
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Termite Damage?
A termite infestation can cause a lot of damage to your house. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), they cost homeowners an estimated $5 billion a year to control and repair damage
IS TERMITE DAMAGE COVERED BY MY INSURANCE POLICY?
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), many homeowners insurance policies don’t cover termite damage or removal. Termite infestations may be prevented with routine home maintenance and is the responsibility of the homeowner.
ARE THERE ANY SCENARIOS IN WHICH HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE WOULD COVER TERMITES?
If termites were to chew through your home’s wiring and cause a fire, your insurance company may step in to help pay for the damages, as fire is a covered peril under most policies
To help prevent termite damage to your house, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends:
Avoiding moisture accumulation by diverting water away from your home’s foundation (make sure you have properly functioning gutters, downspouts and splash blocks)
Regularly checking for changes to all your wooden areas, like windows and doorframes
Inspecting the foundation of your home bubbling paint, or wood that sounds hollow when you tap it
Maintaining an 18-inch distance between the wood portions of your home and the soil (termites can still gain access by building so-called shelter tubes or chewing through non-wood materials, but barriers can be built to discourage them)
HOW TO SPOT TERMITE DAMAGE IN YOUR HOME
The type of damage your home suffers often depends on the type of termite you’re dealing with. The three most common types are dampwood termites, drywood termites and subterranean termites. Dampwood termites prefer wet wood, drywood termites (which are rare in the U.S.) seek out dry wood.
Can termites spread disease?
Yes, termites do bite people but only if you get them angry. Most termites have to be biting on thin skin (like between your fingers or similar) before you’ll even be able to notice their grim determination. They don’t set out to bite people, but they will bite in defense and they do tend to hang on. The bites of bigger species like Mastotermes, Macrotermes and some dampwood termites are quite easily noticed. I’ve seen small blood marks from a Mastotermes bite near a technician’s navel. Strangely, it is much more often the meek-looking workers that bite (me) than the big-jawed, heavy-set, scary-looking soldier termites. Alates (swarmers) may have bitten me. I’ve never noticed.
What’s a termite lifespan?
There’s no simple answer to this one. It depends. The species, life-type, wear and tear, the colony’s health–all these things affect the potential for a termite’s long life. A worker or soldier termite can live to about three years in my lab, but most probably only live a year or so in the wild. They can also get killed soon after starting work and so, on average, many only last a few months. A reproductive female, the termite queen is something quite different. In some mound-building species queens are reported to last more than 40 years, perhaps several decades more! The reproducing males also last a long time
As usual, though, termite reality is stranger than we first thought. Imagine an amoeba, a superbly simple single-celled animal. If one splits (binary fission), producing two individuals, is the original one alive or dead? I think it is still alive. Do we think the same if the animal is multicellular and reproduces less simply? The issue arises with termites.
Like, where did they live before there were termites to live in?
Termites are just cockroaches that have learned to cooperate very well. They are thought to have begun as something like the wood-feeding cockroach genus Cryptocercus. The microbes that live so successfully in their guts are derived from similar free-living forms in rotting logs that get eaten when cockroaches eat the rot. So both the ancestoral microbes and the ancestoral cockroaches were living in logs and soil well before termites came about. You can imagine a termite as a streamlined cockroach shaped by the needs and profit of the microbes as well as the benefits of living in social groups. Over time, the gut organisms became adapted to their unique habitat and co-evolved tightly with their hosts to the point that most are critical for the termites’ success.
They don’t, just the vast majority of them.
Termite scientists are a fairly conservative lot, and like patterns. Termes is a Latin word meaning wood worm. It is a widely followed convention that the genera of termites be given names with -termes at the end, but it isn’t required by the rules of naming animals. Just makes things easier I guess. Some genera don’t. This is because the taxonomist who authored them broke with convention
Termite Control: Liquid VS. Bait
The most destructive insect in the United States is the subterranean termite. These wood-destroying insects cost U.S. property owners billions of dollars each year in repair costs, and billions more to exterminate these pests and arrest the damage being done. But it does not have to be this way. You can actually stop termites before they enter. The two ways that work best are liquids and baits. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of these two processes, and see which works best
This process, which creates a barrier of termiticide in the soil around a structure to kill termites that pass through, has been the industry standard for controlling termites for many years. This method is extremely effective, but it has two drawbacks. First, it is necessary to bore holes and trench around the foundation of the structure and this can sometimes be problematic. Second, some liquid barriers do a good job of killing termites, but they do nothing to destroy the colony that is sending workers to breach the barrier. When the liquid barrier slowly wears out, worker termites will eventually find a way through.
realize that liquid barriers can have drawbacks. That is why we use Altriset. This eco-friendly product doesn’t just kill termites, it also works to kill the colony that is attacking. Chlorantraniliprole, the active ingredient in Altriset, causes a paralysis in the jaw muscles of worker termites, slowly making it so they can no longer eat. Those workers then carry and spread Chlorantraniliprole to other workers in the colony, causing them to starve and die. This can work its way all the way back to the colony and kill the queen. Without a queen, the colony dies.
What is most amazing about Altriset®, compared to other termiticide barriers, is that it doesn’t affect other beneficial insects. You don’t have to worry about honey bees or earthworms dying off because of your termite treatment. Altriset® is completely safe for the environment. And, if you’re looking to protect a new home, Altriset is the perfect product. It can be put into the ground before construction, without trenching, and protect a home for years.
Baits work in two ways: they can be used to monitor for termites, and they can be used to kill termite colonies