Every home owner fears termites and their devastation. The first sign of termites and instantly everyone begins to wonder how to solve the problem. The first step to solving a termite problem is determining whether or not you have termites.
Determining If You Have an Infestation:
Shed Wings. Reproductive termites gather in groups called swarmers. You will see them where there is presence of light. While these termites are swarming they shed their wings which will pile up and look like a pile of fish scales. This signals that you do in fact have a termite infestation.
Frass. Frass is where termites leave piles of droppings that are wood colored. Normally these droppings will be near where they nest.
Pocked Wood. If any of the wood in your home has been hollowed out you have an infestation. If you knock on the wood you will hear a hollowed sound that will tell you how hollow the wood is.
Sunk in areas on walls. If you have areas on your walls that are sunken in that will definitely give evidence of an infestation. As the termites eat away at your wood it will leave sunken areas on your walls and can even cause the pain to bubble.
If you find that you do in fact have a termite infestation then it is time to take action. There are many ways to rid yourself of termites and it is best to act fast because termites can quickly cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home. The first step you must take is determining what type of termite is infesting your home.
Different Species of Termites:
These termites are normally found along the Pacific Coast and in Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Florida, and Hawaii. Dampwood termites are the biggest of all the termite species. To survive dampwood termites must live in moist areas. If the wood is not moist enough the dampwood termite will not survive. While the Florida Dampwood termite does minimal amount of infestation and rarely infest homes, the Dampwood termites of Nevada and the Pacific coast do massive damage to homes.
Treatment Options for Dampwood termites. The best way to rid yourself of dampwood termites is to reduce the moisture in infested areas. Ensure you repair any plumbing leaks, increase ventilation, and make adjustments to ensure minimal contact with wood and soil. There are also products that are highly recommended that you should invest in.
Bora-Care. This product provides prevention and enables you to control termites. It is applied directly to wood.
Premise 2- This product is used mainly in subterranean infestations, however, it has been effective in the treatment of Dampwood Termites as well.
Premise Granules- Granulated formula that is highly effective in killing wood pests, including termites
Timbor- This product protect wood against fungal decay and termites. Highly recommended.
These termites are very unique because they do not need moisture or water. These termites are mainly found in regions that do not have freezing temperatures. While drywood termites damage to property happens slowly than other species of termites there is a huge possibility of having larger areas of damage because of how hard drywood termites are to detect. Professionals do not suggest trying to rid your home of drywood termites without professional assistant because drywood termites do not leave their galleries. The normal baiting and sprays do not work in these instances.
Many professionals suggest the best treatment option to kill drywood termites is fumigation if there is a large infestation. During the fumigation process the structure will be wrapped in tight tarps that will not release the gas. A fumigant will be released within this wrap replacing the oxygen with a deadly gas. Normally this process is 100% effective because only the adults need to be killed as the immature will not survive without the adult care. This process may only be performed by a licensed fumigator.
If the infestation is only in a small localized area there are treatment options such as liquid, foam, and dusts. To use this method effectively a hole must be drilled in the infested area and then have the insecticide placed inside that hole. After the insecticide has been placed inside the hole it must be plugged up for the maximum efficiency. The most highly recommended treatment options for small infestations are:
- Termidor Foam – Aerosol
Termidor Dry – Aerosol
Premise Foam – Aerosol
Alpine Foam – Aerosol
Timber – Dust Formula
TriDie – Dust Formula
Invader – Foam
D-Foam – Foam
TriDie – Silica Gel
These termites are a species of the subterranean termites. However, they are more aggressive and cause more destruction. These termites are found in the southern states such as Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, and South Carolina. The species originated in Taiwan and China however. Formosan swarms are the worst at night during the spring and summer. If the colony of the Formosan termites is mature they can go through 13 ounces of wood a day, completely destroying a wooden structure in three months.
Formosan termite infestations can be treated in multiple ways. Any parts of the structure that is gathering moisture needs to be modified to reduce the moisture.
There are also termiticides and baits:
Hex Pro Termite Baiting System
Fumigation is also an option for treating Formosan termites. However, if the soil has not been treated then fumigating will not work. Baiting is also an option for complete removal of nests. The recommended baiting treatment is Hex Pro Termite Baiting System.
These termites can be found in every state except Alaska. Subterranean termites must have moisture to survive. Normally these termites live underground, but if they find somewhere with moisture they will swarm there.
Professionals find that using liquid repellants is effective in treating subterranean infestations.
Recommended brands are Prelude and Talstar. Repellants are effective as they discourage termites from swarming to the structure. Another method highly boasted at killing subterranean termites is using liquid non-repellant termicide treatments. These treatments will allow the termites to survive up to 90 days, however, the termites share the poison to others and this effectively kills the entire colony over time. The recommended non-repellant termiticide treatments are Phantom, Premise, or Termidor. Bait systems are also recommended and have been said to be the easiest termicide to use. Recommended baiting systems are Advance and Hex Pro.
Having a termite infestation is very scary, however, there are many options available. The best way to handle a termite infestation is to stay calm, identify, and treat. Ensure that you take every precaution to protect your home. If it feels way to overwhelming then definitely turn to a professional. Think about investing in termite repellants to dissuade termites from ever attacking your home. In the end, termite infestations is a scary thought, but it can be treated effectively, and being knowledgeable about those treatments is the first step in protection and defense.