What Do I Need to Know About Termite Control?
What Are the Signs of a Termite Problem?
Termites aren’t directly harmful to humans, but they can (and often do) cause massive property damage. Not only can termites ruin carpets, furniture, walls, and floorboards—they can also weaken the structural integrity of your home to the point where floors and ceilings cave in.
The earlier you discover termites, the sooner you can act to eliminate them before severe damage occurs. Look for the following signs of termite activity:
Termites destroy homes from the inside out, so their presence may not be obvious at first. Stay alert for the signs listed above, and consider scheduling annual termite inspections to maintain your peace of mind even when signs are not present.
How Can I Prevent Termites?
Here are a few strategies you can use to make termites less likely to invade your home:
- Keep woodpiles (including scraps and firewood) off the ground and at least 20 feet away from your home.
- Avoid burying scrap wood or wooden objects near your property.
- Remove branches and other wooden debris that could attract termites from rain spouts and eavestroughs.
- Move mulch piles away from your property.
- Remove potential water sources for termites by fixing leaky faucets and damp or rotten patches of wood.
- Hire pest control professionals to perform annual termite inspections for your property.
How Does a Termite Inspection Work?
A termite inspection can save you thousands of dollars by alerting you to termites and giving you time to act before they cause significant damage to your home. When you hire our team to inspect an area of concern, we take the following steps:
- One of our termite inspectors will visit your home and explain the process. They will also ask you if you’ve noticed any signs of termites on your property recently.
- The inspector will check the area of concern for a termite infestation.
- The inspector will look for signs of a termite infestation (such as mud trails or discarded wings). Our extensive experience allows us to detect termite problems that might escape the notice of everyday homeowners.
- If the inspector discovers termites, they will alert you to the nature and extent of the damage. They will also recommend a strategy for dealing with the infestation.
- If you do not have a termite problem, your inspector will recommend preventative measures to keep your home termite-free.
Please note that this inspection is not valid for real estate transactions.
How Can I Get Rid of Termites?
There are plenty of ways to try removing termites by yourself, but none of them are as effective as calling a pest control professional. Companies like ours typically use one of 2 methods to remove termites from a home:
- Liquid Termite Treatments: liquid treatments can eliminate a current termite infestation and discourage termites from invading your home again in the future. During a liquid termite treatment, our exterminator creates a narrow ditch in the soil around your home and fills it with a treatment formula that infects termites traveling through it. Once the contaminated termites return to their colonies, they spread the chemical and die. The chemical barrier remains behind to prevent another colony from forming.
- Baiting Systems: this approach uses similar chemicals to liquid treatments but uses them to infect likely food sources for termites rather than the ground near your home. Termites who chew the infected wood, cardboard, or paper become poisoned, then bring the poison back to their colonies and destroy them from within.
Both liquid termite treatments and baiting systems take time to remove termites completely (usually 1 to 6 months). However, both methods offer more thorough and long-term results than over-the-counter termite control products or fumigation.
What Kind of Termites Should I Worry About?
There are at least 23 known species of termites in California, but the ones that homeowners need to worry about fall into 3 different categories:
- Drywood Termites: These termites live throughout the Central Valley but can also be found on the coast and in desert areas. They often live entirely above ground and are more likely to infest furniture or lumber wood. They are also commonly found in wall studs and floor joists.
- Subterranean Termites: These termites are found throughout the state and include the most destructive species (Reticulitermes). Colonies can contain hundreds of thousands of individual termites and tend to make their nests underground.
The best solution to your termite problem depends on the type and severity of your termite infestation. Our team can help you learn what kind of termites you’re dealing with and recommend an effective way to eliminate them.