What will an inspection cost?
The cost of an inspection is minimal. You should keep in mind that even if the results of an inspection are negative–if termites aren’t present–your money wasn’t wasted. You’ve purchased peace of mind.
If I have no signs present, does that mean my home is free of termites?
Not necessarily. Termites work from the inside out and are very often hard to detect. Especially drywood termites that have no link to the outside and spend their entire lives indoors—in walls, in roofs, etc. The only way you can be sure you’re not sharing your home with termites is to have it inspected by a professional pest control operator (PCO).
How can I tell if I have a termite problem? And, if so, what kind?
Subterranean termites are often detected during swarming, usually in the spring, when some fly from their nests to start new colonies. Other signs are shelter tubes primarily composed of mud on the surface of walls, joists, piers, chimneys, plumbing and other fixtures. Weak or broken structural members, blistered wood and soil in cracks can also be evidence of subterranean termites. Drywood termites sometimes give themselves away by creating surface blisters on wood and leaving wings or piles of waste that look like sawdust on windowsills and floors.
Don’t termites attack only old, run-down buildings?
Termites have been found in buildings as early as four days after construction. Every building fabricated wholly or partly of wood is susceptible. Chemical or mechanical barriers can be established in the construction stage, however, to prevent or discourage termite infestations in new homes.
How destructive are termites?
Nationwide, termites cause billions of dollars in damage annually—more than all tornadoes, hurricanes and windstorms combined. Because they nibble away slowly from the inside, damage can be very extensive before it’s noticed. It’s not unusual for a termite to feast on a building throughout a life span of 15 years—and the queen can live and produce eggs for up to 50 years. Undetected and untreated, termites can severely damage and, in time, destroy a home.
What is the difference between Subterranean and Drywood termites?
Subterranean termites usually return to the soil to live and reproduce, and are found throughout Texas. Drywood termites, found more commonly in coastal areas such as Houston and Corpus Christi, do not have soil contact but can live inside walls or other wooden building materials.
Where and how do termites live?
All termites subsist on cellulose, which termites get from wood. Termites are social insects with a highly organized caste system, much like ants or bees. Subterranean termites usually live outside the house in underground nests. Subterranean termites use moisture in the earth to survive. Since subterranean termites also need cellulose, they often tunnel into nearby homes to get it. Drywood termites, on the other hand, need no contact with the earth, their moisture is derived from the moisture in the wood and home. Drywood termites, DO NOT need to make contact with the soil they live right inside the home; they can have multiple infestations throughout the home.
What treatment methods are commonly used to combat termites?
Subterranean termites are treated using the methods and procedures listed on the product label. You have basically three treatment methods, Pre-Treatments, this is treating the soil prior to the home being built, Post Treatment, this is a treatment after the final grading or any time after construction, fumigation, this method is normally use for Drywood Termites wood removal or borate products for spot applications. When fumigation is performed, a certified applicator for the pest company must be present at the time the gas is released into the house and when the house is released for occupancy following the fumigation and proper aeration. A technician licensed to do termite work with the advice of a certified applicator can perform a treatment for Subterranean termites without the Certified Applicator being present.
What should I do if I have termites in my home or if I think termites are damaging my home?
Do not panic. Most types of termites do their destructive work very slowly, so your house will not collapse overnight. If you are not sure you have a termite infestation, an inspection will reveal if a visible termite infestation is/is not present. If you have termites swarming (flying around) in your house, the swarmers can be combated using a variety of over-the-counter pesticides designed for flying insects that are available to homeowners. Termites generally swarm once a year for a period of about twenty-four (24) hours. The swarmer is the reproductive form of the termite, and does not do damage to wood. It is helpful to save several of the swarmers in a plastic bag for the inspection by one of our associates before a termite treatment is performed.