Usually one of the first signs of infestation of termites is the appearance of swarmers. This is in the spring for many species such as eastern subterranean termites.
Some species swarm in the summer or fall. Ask us about which species are found in this area and when swarms occur. Swarmers are termites which are sent out to start new colonies. Swarms usually generate panic calls from homeowners who suddenly see what can be thousands of winged termites appearing in a living room or basement or even outside. Termites don’t bite so don’t worry, but a swarm where it appears that termites are being “pumped” out into the air, can be alarming. Swarms are an indication that termites are present and that a healthy colony may be nearby. Sometimes termites will swarm soon after an area is treated by a pest control operator. It is generally felt that this is a panic swarm where the termites are trying to escape the stress put on the colony by the treatment.
If you find termite tubes, which are vertical mud tubes, or experience a swarm, call our office today to have an inspection. Keep some swarmers for us to look at, and we’ll discuss a treatment program that is just right for you.
Treatment Types for Subterranean Termites
Currently there are three types of treatments available for use by the professional: soil treatments, wood treatments, and baits.
Soil treatments are liquid termiticides diluted with water to ensure adequate coverage in the soil. Injection of this system in the soil creates a treated area that repels or reduces the population of the termites and envelopes your house with a long-term protection. This is the most commonly used system and may be used in combination with baits and/or wood treatments. The newer termiticides (since 2000) are non-repellant and non-detectible to the termites. Termites will travel through the treated soil around the house and pick up the termiticide molecules on their bodies, then transfer those molecules to the other members in the colony, thus killing the colony over a period of a few weeks.
Wood treatments involve treating infested wood or potentially infested wood with liquids such as a traditional treatment or borate materials. This treatment type protects the wood from infestation and reduces or eliminates the infestation in the wood at the time of treatment.
Baits were popular in the 1990′s and involve installing bait stations in the ground around the structure to be protected. Termites that find the stations then eat the bait and transfer the active ingredient throughout the colony. This system reduces or eliminates the population of the colony feeding on the structure, but are generally more expensive both initially and annually than the newer non-repellant termiticides.
We do FREE termite estimates! Call us today to discuss these treatments we offer, and we’ll be happy to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each method. We also do termite inspections for your own information and real estate termite inspections.