Termite Control FAQs
Termites are a threat across 70% of the world, found in all Continents except for the Arctic & Antarctic, are widely spread in tropical & sub tropical countries in humid conditions.
Q. How much damage do termites cause?
Termites work 24 hours/7 days a week at damaging the wood in and around a structure. They have estimated to cause $5 billion in damage each year in USA only. Termites cause damage to structural timber such as timber flooring, skirtings, pantry cupboards, wall cupboards, window & door frames, furniture, roof and timber ceilings, furniture, carpets etc…
Q. Our neighbors have termites in their house; will we get them in ours?
There is an old saying; there are two kinds of houses, those with termites and those that will get termites. Seriously, there is no guarantee that a house will or will not get termites. Termites are all around us in the soil. They convert thousands of pounds of dead trees and other forms of cellulose to organic matter each year. They are constantly foraging for food sources. They do not intentionally set out to destroy your house; they just see it as another food source. If your home has not been treated and they are in your neighbor’s house, chances are they will eventually run into yours.
Q. My house is less than one year old, why do I have termites?
Many houses have remained termite free for years while some new houses get termites in just a few weeks or months. If your house was pretreated and you have a termite infestation in less than 1 year, it is possible that during construction your home did not get a continuous termiticide barrier around and under it. Also, the termiticide barrier may have been disturbed in some way such as planting shrubs around the foundation or adding sidewalks or patios after the final grade treatment.
Q: How will I know if my home is infested?
Discovering winged termites indoors almost always indicates an infestation warranting treatment.
People often confuse winged termites with ants, which often swarm at the same time of year. Termites can be differentiated by their straight antennae, uniform waist and wings of equal size. (Ants have elbowed antennae, constricted waists and forewings that are longer than the hind wings.)
The swarmers are attracted to light and are often seen around windows and doors. Termite swarmers emerging from tree stumps, woodpiles, and other locations out in the yard are not necessarily cause for concern, and do not necessarily mean that the house is infested. On the other hand, if winged termites are seen emerging from the base of a foundation wall or adjoining porches and patios, there’s a good chance the house is infested also and treatment may be warranted.
Other signs of infestation are earthen (mud) tubes (shown right) extending over foundation walls, support piers, sill plates, floor joists, etc. The mud tubes are typically about the diameter of a pencil, but sometimes can be thicker.
Termites construct these tubes for shelter as they travel between their underground colonies and the structure. To help determine if an infestation is active, the tubes may be broken open and checked for the presence of small, creamy-white worker termites.
If a tube happens to be vacant, it does not necessarily mean that the infestation is inactive; termites often abandon sections of tube while foraging elsewhere in the structure.
Termite-damaged wood is usually hollowed out along the grain, with bits of dried mud or soil lining the feeding galleries. Wood damaged by moisture or other types of insects (e.g., carpenter ants) will not have this appearance. Occasionally termites bore tiny holes through plaster or drywall, accompanied by bits of soil around the margin. Rippled or sunken traces behind wall coverings can also be indicative of termites tunneling underneath.
Oftentimes there will be no visible indication that the home is infested. Termites are cryptic creatures and infestations can go undetected for years, hidden behind walls, floor coverings, insulation, and other obstructions. Termite feeding and damage can even progress undetected in wood that is exposed because the outer surface is usually left intact.
Confirmation of infestation often requires the keen eye of an experienced termite inspector. However, even the most experienced inspector can overlook infestation or damage which is hidden.
Termite damage to baseboard. Hidden infestation was discovered when vacumn cleaner attachment penetrated surface of baseboard.
Q: Can I treat the house myself?
Ridding a home of termites requires special skills. A knowledge of building construction is needed to identify the critical areas where termites are likely to enter. Many of these potential points of entry are hidden and difficult to access. Termite control also utilizes specialized equipment such as masonry drills, pumps, large-capacity tanks, and soil treatment rods. A typical treatment may involve hundreds of gallons of a liquid pesticide, known as a termiticide, injected into the ground alongside the foundation, beneath concrete slabs, and within foundation walls.
In short, termite treatment is a job for professionals. A possible exception would be if a mailbox post, sandbox or other small wooden object not attached to the house was infested. “Do-it-yourself” products, sold to homeowners at retail stores or bought over the internet, will seldom eradicate an existing termite problem
Q. I have termites in my home, what do I do?
Q. About how much does it cost to treat for termites?
The cost varies according to factors such as the pest control company, termiticide and treatment method. Value for money is good, very cheap is not! In pest control, mainly termite control, low prices often mean, cutting corners. Nature will fight back; compare the prices with services offered.
Q. Are the chemicals this company wants to use inside my house dangerous?
Most termiticides should be considered dangerous. Presently, all the liquid termiticides carry a signal word of warning or caution on the label. Warning signals that the product is moderately toxic and caution indicates the product is slightly toxic. Termiticides, like most pesticides, when used correctly can be applied safely and without undue risk to the homeowner. Most termiticides are applied into the soil, under slabs and around the foundations of structures. It would be advisable for the occupants of the home to leave during a termiticide application and for a few hours afterward. It might be necessary to air out the house for a few hours upon return. If these precautions are taken, there should be little chance of exposure to the termiticide
Q. What termiticide is the best?
There are many products on the market today that are labeled for termite treatments. The newer non-repellent termiticides that are now in the market have had good reports. No matter what termiticide is used, the key to getting a good application is coverage and obtaining a continuous barrier. Ask the Pest Control Company the termiticide they will be using and to provide you with a copy of the label and MSDS. Do not hesitate to ask questions, the more you ask the more you will be confident with the pest control firm. Also don’t forget to ask the quantity of termiticide and the dosage which will be used at your premises
Q. Can I treat my house on my own?
Termites are nearly impossible for homeowners to treat on their own. On the other hand, pest control professionals have the training, expertise and technology to eliminate termite infestations.