Termite ControlAn Ounce of Prevention!

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Termite control is something that needs to be taken seriously by every homeowner When buying or selling a home, very often a termite inspection is a condition of sale. If termite damage is found, it is a sure bet there will be termites close behind it. If, upon thorough inspection, evidence of termite infestation is found, this could be cause for renegotiation of the sale.

Termites primarily feed on wood and wood products. They can also cause tremendous damage to paper items, books, and insulation. They have even been known to destroy pool filtration systems and liners. Termites are known for putting the finishing touches on plants that are already diseased and dying; but they can also cause damage to living trees and bushes. On the whole, termites are estimated to cause billions of dollars in damage every year. According to some statistics a good $2 billion dollars is spent in the United States alone on termite control every year.

Once termites have invaded a home they multiply very quickly. It is said that one particular species of these pests includes a queen that can lay an estimated 40,000 eggs every day. For all the aforementioned reasons, and more, termite infestation control is a necessity to a homeowner. Termite control services are available almost anywhere. Homeowners can find local services that provide termite control for homeowners in any town or city.

Spring is the season when termites emerge, beginning to swarm and infest homes. When they settle into a colony, they shed their wings and can look very much like ants, which also begin to swarm in the spring. Many homeowners mistakenly believe that they have an ant problem and call an exterminator, only to find out, upon the exterminator’s arrival, that the pests they are seeing in their home are termites. The difference between termites and ants, among others, is that the antennae on a termite are straight, and, on the ant, the antennae are bent, almost looking like an elbow. In addition, the termites body, or waist, is straight, and the waist of the ant is constricted.

Termites are actually attracted to light which is the reason they will very often be seen swarming around doors and windows. They will also be seen hovering around tree stumps and around piles of wood. This, however, does not necessarily mean that they are also in the house. If they are noticed around the foundation of a home, around a porch attached to the house, or on a patio, then the house itself is very likely infested and termite control services should be called.

Of homeowners surveyed, 20% said that one of their biggest concerns was termite infestation. If a home is not showing any evidence of termites, a general household pest control inspection should be done anyway, from time to time, in order to keep the house free of termites and other pests. Different companies will use different pest control solutions and will discuss the termite control options they offer with the homeowner.

There are two basic methods of treatment to rid a structure of termites that have been found to be the most effective. The first is a liquid method, where a chemical is applied right into the soil around the house that will form a chemical barrier to keep termites in the soil from entering the house itself. In addition, whatever termites are living in the soil will be destroyed. The other method of treatment is referred to as baiting, which is just what its name says it is; bait. This treatment consists of adding a slow acting poison to something that termites like to feed on; paper, wood, or cardboard. The bait is usually placed in plastic cylinders and planted underground in the yard of the house. The termites will be attracted to it, eat it, and even share it with each other. Gradually, as a result of ingesting the poison, the numbers of live termites in and around the house will diminish.

Typically, the liquid method of termite control is supposed to last for five years. Most exterminators will preface that estimate by saying that it depends upon how thorough a job is done in applying the liquid.

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