TERMITE / CARPENTER ANT & CARPENTER BEE INFORMATION
TERMITE SHIELDS VS CHEMICAL SOIL TREATMENT
Pretreatment for termites is cheaper and more effective in preventing termite infestation. Some may think exterminators simply urge pre-treatment in order to increase their income. In reality, post construction treatment is considerably more expensive.
Physical shields alone have been proven over time to just DO NOT work. The termites find ways around them, as they only need 1/64 of an inch to enter. Because the shields are not continuous, due to joints or piercings with nails during installation, termites are allowed to cross this barrier.They don't keep the termites out, however they can make them easier for trained technicians to find.
We have treated multiple homes in the area that have had these "shields" in place. The termites infested the homeowner's investment and destroyed beautiful hardwood floors. Termites can cause considerable costly damage which you will find is NOT covered by Homeowner's Insurance.
Protect one of your biggest investments by pre-treating the soil during construction even if you also install a termite shield. The long-term savings vs up front protection is tremendous! A preventative treatment or monitoring system can be done even post-construction to help protect your valuable property.
We use only the best chemical on the market today such as, Premise 75 & Termidor. These manufacturers, unlike others, require technicians be trained, tested & authorized to purchase & use their chemical.
TERMITE BIOLOGY & INFORMATION
The Subterranean termite is the most destructive & widely distributed wood destroying species on the North American Continent. Termites live in social groups called colonies, their nests are in the soil. They are very secretive & often overlooked, yet within a termite colony there may be millions of individuals. The great destruction termites can cause is related to their unusual talents of converting cellulose in wood & paper to sugar. There are over 45 species of termites found in the United States.
Termites & winged ants look similar but are rather easy to tell apart by the trained eye. Ants have elbowed antennae and a constricted midsection, while termite have neither of these features. The front wings on ants are longer than the back, whereas, both pairs of termite wings are the same size.
Winged “swarmers”, also called reproductives, are usually dark brown or black, flattened, and about 3/8 of an inch long with big compound eyes. Large numbers of winged individuals emerge on warm sunny days, sometimes after a rain, as early as March or April. This is often the homeowner’s 1st indication of a termite infestation. After taking flight & finding a mate, they loose their wings. They often die in 3-4 days and dead termites & piles of wings can be found in windowsills or along baseboards.
Worker termites are the most numerous and are white or cream colored, soft bodied, ¼ inch long. They have no eyes or wings and are very sensitive to heat, light & dryness. Their need for moist humid environments require them to live within the ground or in mudlike tubes that they construct into the wood they are attacking. Termites leave little sign on the outside of the wood they infest. Tapping infested wood with a screwdriver will produce a dull & hollow sound.
CONDITIONS FAVORING TERMITE INFESTATIONS:
Subterranean termites become most numerous in moist, warm soil that contains an abundant food supply in the form of wood or other cellulose material. Such conditions are often found in poorly ventilated crawlspaces beneath buildings, and where scraps of lumber, form boards, grade stakes, stumps or roots are left in the soil. Most termite infestation in buildings occur because wood is in close or actual contact with the ground, as is often the case with porches, trellises, or steps. In addition, cracks or voids in foundations and concrete floors, make it easy for termites to reach wood that is not in contact with the soil. Termites can enter through cracks as small as 1/32 of an inch, roughly the width of a piece of paper.
METAL TERMITE SHIELDS:
Properly designed, constructed, installed, and maintained metal or copper shields will force termites into the open, revealing any tunnels constructed around the edge and over the upper surface of the shields. However, experience has shown that good shield construction & installation is rare. Also, no termite shield has yet been developed that is absolutely effective in preventing the passage of termites. Shields are primarily used to
protect portions of buildings above the ground. They are not effective in safeguarding finished areas of basements. They can enter these rooms through expansion joints, foundation wall crevices, or cracks in floors. Termites can construct tubes on the lower surface of the shields. Frequent inspection for these tubes is essential.
Chemical treatment of the soil under and around the foundation is one of the most important ways of protecting a building from termites. It can provide protection from termite infestation for many years.
> Termites cause over $5 billion in damage to U.S. homes each year (source: National Pest management Association)
> One small termite colony of approximately 60,000 termites can eat a linear foot of a common 2" x 4" in just 5 months (Source: Haverty, MI- 1976)
> Subterranean termites cause over 90 percent of termite damage in the U.S.
>Termite swarming can begin in January in the South and May to June in the North
> Colonies can contain anywhere from several thousand to more than one million foragers
> Some termites can tunnel through lead, asphalt, plaster or mortar to find wood
> Nearly 4 million homes in the U.S. are infested by termites each year and are found in nearly every state
> Termites have been here for about 250 million years
> Termite queens live 15 to 25 years and can lay an egg every 15 seconds
Only the best chemical on the market, Premise 75 (liquid, foam & gel) and Termidor is used. We have been certified & tested by the manufacturers to be athorized users of these chemicals. Although there is a wide range of less expensive chemicals available to us, we prefer to use only the ones we would use on our own home.
We also use Halo Electronic Termite Detection Monitors manufactured by Dow. They are accurate, proven and environmentally sensible. They do not attract termites, but rather, signals when termites are present in the stations placed around your property. Monitoring systems are ideal when the house is on slab construction or on a finished basement, because termites are much more difficult to detect inside the home due to wall coverings, floor coverings and ceilings.
We taylor each treatment to the specific problem and usually are able to offer a choice of treatment types. Although we generally recommend what our professional knowledge & experience feels is best for your property, we want you to feel secure in your decision. Our goal is share termite information, habits, and treatment methods, then help you decide the best option for your situation.
We offer interest free payment plans and accept most forms of payment including all major credit cards and payments from closing if the property has been sold.
|Ants Love Hot Tubs, Too|
BY: Phil Allegretti
Carpenter ants are one of the toughest insect pests to manage because of the various harborages where they choose to nest, including trees, stumps, wood piles and landscape timbers on the exterior of the account. In addition, residential interiors can provide foam insulation, fiberglass insulation, moist wood, hollow core doors and constant heat year-round.
One of the most overlooked places in which I have continually found large infestations of carpenter ants that has all the aforementioned nest conditions, is the hot tub. Consider, if you will, that a hot tub has everything a carpenter ant colony needs to exist and thrive-nesting material, moisture and constant heat.?
A hot tub is usually a self-contained unit consisting of a weatherproof box. The box contains a fiberglass or wood holding tank, with several hundred gallons of heated water surrounded by rigid foam or fiberglass insulation. This entire apparatus is usually resting on soil or concrete that is moist, due to small leaks, condensation or water splashed around.?
During my past 20 years of practicing pest management in the Pacific Northwest, I have discovered some incredible colonies of carpenter ants in hot tub units. Many times I have solved a problem that other pest management professionals (PMPs) have given up on, simply by checking the indoor or outdoor hot tub that was overlooked.?
In order to determine whether a hot tub is infested, check for ant activity around or inside the hot tub pump and heater compartments. Look for live or dead workers, wood frass, insulation particles or insect parts expelled by the colony. I have seen ants actively throwing out frass through small windows they have chewed through the wood panels on the outside of the units. More often, though, you have to look inside the panels. ?
Once it has been determined that a hot tub is infested, you must decide whether you are confident enough to disassemble the panels yourself, or enlist the aid of the homeowner's hot tub service technician to do it for you.?
What Lies Beneath
Hot tub panels are easily unscrewed and removed. This will expose the insulation that covers the holding tank. Once exposed, the ants are easily treated. Personally, I like to inject the galleries, following up with a residual spray or dust-being careful not to spray where people using the unit will come into contact with the material. If the unit is sunk in a deck, I like to treat under the deck as well.?
Certain hot tubs are built on two-by-two boards, which create a void between the floor and ground. This area can also be drilled and treated.
I have discovered carpenter ant infestations a few times in the early spring in brand-new hot tubs that had been installed the previous winter. This has led me to believe that some units are probably infested prior to shipping, most likely at the factory storage yard or local suppliers yard.?
We Leave 'em The Way You Want 'em- DEAD!