QUALITIES TO LOOK FOR TO FIND THE BEST TERMITE COMPANY
Did you know that owners will have to pay $2 billion each year to fix the damage termites cause to their properties? This means a big potential strain on your finances and plenty of headaches dealing with the damage to your house.
You might only think about the holes and tunnels termites leave in their path. But an infestation can even cause problems like stuck doors and windows. If you’ve noticed some of these problems, or you just want to prevent them, your first step is selecting the best termite company in your area. But you might feel stuck choosing between several offering to fix your termite problems fast for a low price
Expert Knowledge of Termite Treatment
The best termite company will know the ins-and-outs of finding termites in hard-to-detect places. It will also recommend the best treatment options for your situation and have a high success rate.
Technician Training and Licensure
You’ll find that the best termite treatment companies use technicians with certification and licensure. This means they underwent thorough training on termite inspection and treatment and passed an exam to meet state requirements
Guarantee Provided for Services
The best termite control companies will guarantee their service plans. Usually, this means that the company will be liable for any damage or termite infestations that occur while you receive ongoing treatment.
How To Choose a Professional Termite Company
What should I look for when choosing a professional termite pest control company?
Every professional pest control company should offer a guarantee of effective services. Before signing with a company, make sure you understand the terms and conditions and how long the guarantee is good for.
Ask around for recommendations. A good reputation is an indicator of good and dependable service.
When you have a company in mind, check with your local Department of Agriculture or Better Business Bureau to find out if they have had any substantial complaints filed against them.
Don’t underestimate the power of credentials. The company you select should be a member of your state pest control association and the NPCA (National Pest Control Association). This is good indication that the company has access to the latest pest control technologies and education.
Don’t go with the first company recommended. Obtain proposals from a minimum of 3 reputable termite control companies. A proposal is very important and should document the company’s plan for chemical treatment procedures, bait station placements, repair or wood work, copies of insecticide labels, and warranties.
Find out about liability insurance.
Thoroughly compare bids before making a decision.
Make sure that follow-up inspections are included in the contract. The extermination contract should also include annual or semi-annual follow-up inspections to make sure the home is protected on an ongoing basis.
What should I know about annual termite pest control contracts?
It is a common misconception that an “annul contract” implies re-treatment by the pest control company on an annual basis. This is not how an annual contract works. Annual treatments are actually illegal under state and federal law, unless evidence of termite activity is present.
If an annual contract is written up, then the pest control company is liable for termite treatment only if you or the company can detect evidence of termite activity.
Termite treatments carry an automatic one-year guarantee in most cases, as do some homes. After one year, the contract may be renewed if deemed necessary.
On average, it costs between $75 and $200 to renew your annual contract. The exact price will depend on the size and construction of the structure.
Do I need the annual contract?
The answer to this question is a matter of preference. Some things to consider:
If you have plans to sell your house in the near future, an annual contract is a good idea. This ensures that if termites are discovered at the time of inspection, the pest control company, NOT YOU will be responsible for termite treatment.
If you plan to sell your home, find out whether the pest control company allows for the transfer of the contract to a new homeowner, or if it automatically terminates.
If you do not plan on selling anytime soon and you feel comfortable with doing home inspections yourself, you don’t need an annual contract. The day that you find evidence of termite activity, however, you will need to decide if you can handle your own termite treatments or choose a professional company at that time.
Termites are always present in nature, but that does not mean they are always attacking our homes. However, it does mean there is a chance they will attack and that every home is at risk. Bait Stations can be a great tool for self-monitoring, to lend peace of mind.
Termites: How to Identify and Control Them
Does termite damage worry you? If so, you are not alone. Every year termites cause billions of dollars in structural damage, and property owners spend over two billion dollars to treat them. This fact sheet focuses on how you, as a consumer, can identify and help protect your property from termites through effective prevention measures and appropriate use of termite treatments.
How do I Know if I Have Termites?
The first step in prevention is to be on the alert for termites. Termites rarely emerge from soil, mud tubes, or food sources through which they are tunneling. Most people are not aware they have termites until they see a swarm or come across damage during construction.
Make the Structure Less Attractive to Termites
During construction, use a concrete foundation and leave a ventilation space between the soil and wood. Cover exposed wood surfaces with a sealant or metal barrier.
Maintain the Termite Prevention Features
After construction, keep the soil around the foundation dry through proper grading and drainage (including maintenance of gutters and downspouts).
Reduce openings that offer termites access to the structure (filling cracks in cement foundations as well as around where utilities pass through the wall with cement, grout, or caulk).
Fix leaks immediately.
Keep vents free from blockage, including plants.
Ensure that trees and shrubs are not planted too close to the structure and do not allow them to grow against exposed wood surfaces.
Do not pile or store firewood or wood debris next to the house.
Inspect periodically to help ensure that termite colonies do not become established.
Some ways to keep termites out do not involve the application of insecticides. For example:
One such method is a physical barrier, typically incorporated during construction.
Steel mesh and sands of particular sizes have been shown to perform effectively as physical barriers.
Biological control agents (nematodes and fungi) have demonstrated some success, particularly in laboratory settings.
Dealing with termites
Termites are a destructive pest. It’s important to have regular and thorough inspections of your home to detect the early signs of termite activity and infestation. However, finding a reliable and experienced pest manager can be hard to come by, and promising credentials don’t always guarantee they are reliable. Here we’ll tell you what to ask and what to look for when it comes to termite management.
How to recognise termites
Here are a few signs that termites might be wreaking havoc on your home:
Mud shelter tubes they build for protection (pictured). These can sometimes be seen in brick foundations or in architraves.
Hollow sounding timber (meaning they’ve eaten away at the timber).
Sagging floors or doors.
Easily damaged skirting boards, door jams or architraves (because termites take away the structural integrity of timber, a small knock to these areas can cause damage).
Cracked paint or plaster (termites eat away at timber they affect the structural integrity causing cracks in paint or plaster).
Power failures (termites are attracted to the warmth of electrical fittings behind walls)
Temperature and rainfall seem to have the largest impact on termite activity, followed by the house’s age. If you stumble across a termite nest on your property, don’t disturb it until you’ve determined an appropriate termite management plan with a qualified pest manager. Once disturbed, termites might abandon the area, move elsewhere and remain undetected.
How to reduce the risk of termites
Fix any moisture problems like poor drainage, leaking pipes or inadequate ventilation.
Check your home’s surrounds – shrubs or garden beds should be well clear of the building edge and not cover weep holes (the small gaps left between bricks to let water drain out).
Keep areas under your house clear – don’t store items that can reduce the ventilation space under the house.
Remove any wood that’s in contact with the ground and close to the house.
If you’re building a new home, certain construction methods and materials can reduce the termite risk considerably.
Get regular professional pest inspection and follow their advice to reduce your termite risk.
The different approaches to termite management
The Building Code of Australia requires that all new homes and extensions have a termite management system in place in all areas (except Tasmania, where the termite risk is negligible). Homes built after July 1995 must have a ‘durable notice’ of treatment fixed to a prominent position in the building (near the meter box or the entrance to a crawl space)
Things Exterminators Check During Termite Inspections
So, you’re thinking about calling an exterminator to address those nagging worries you have about termites eating your house out from under you. Maybe you think you hear the sound of chewing in your walls (that’s probably your imagination), or you just discovered a winged ant in your basement and fear the worst. After all, termites are destructive pests. They’re found in 49 of the 50 states (Alaska has been spared the scourge), and cause an estimated $50 billion in damage to buildings and dwellings every year.
Termites are scary because they can cause extensive damage before you ever realize you have a pest problem. They eat wood from the inside out, so their presence is hard to detect unless you know what to look for. Everything will look solid and sturdy until your porch starts listing to the left or collapses completely. Well, it’s not quite that bad. Termites actually work pretty slowly, especially when you consider that some nests can harbor hundreds of thousands of hungry mouths to feed.
If you have your home evaluated annually or do the honors yourself (with a few tips from us), you can usually spot an infestation before termites can do much damage to your home’s foundation. Termites are sneaky, working in secret areas of your home you seldom inspect very closely. They aren’t infallible, though. On the next few pages, let’s take a look at five key things a termite inspector will look for to determine whether or not you have a termite problem. Grab your work shoes; we’re going on a bug hunt.
Evidence of Swarmers
Although there are three major varieties of termites in the U.S., the most prevalent are subterranean termites, so we’ll be discussing them in detail. Termites start new colonies from existing nests. Here’s how it works: Established, successful termite colonies start producing winged, sexually mature adults called alates after a few years. The alates fly off to create their own nests during the spring when the temperature is mild and the air is humid and relatively still. Nests release all their alateat one time in swarms that disperse quickly. If you detect the presence of multiple winged termites inside your house, there’s a good chance there’s a termite nest nearby using the wood in your home as a food source. Check your window sills. Alates will try to get outside, so you may find them clustered around closed windows or doors.
A termite’s rear wings (they have two sets) are the same length as their front wings. In flying ants, the rear wings are smaller than the front wings.
Termites have wide waists, but ants have wasp waist indentations below their second set of wings.
Termites have straight, beaded antennae, where ants have antennae with elbows and jointed bends.