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Residential Pest Control
Mr. Little's Mallet

Termite Control

Termites eat wood nonstop and never get fat.

The trailer for a new horror film? No, but an apt description of the menace that termites can be when they take up residence in your home or business. With some local species having upwards of 2 million members in a single colony that never sleeps, termites cause $5 billion in property damage each year. Another irritating fact: termite feeding and damage can progress undetected in exposed wood because often the outer surface is left intact while the inside is eaten away! Education on prevention, plus a professional inspection every 2-3 years are the keys to protecting your property from termites. Without regular inspections, your home can be under attack by termite infestations that can go undetected for years; hidden behind walls, floor coverings, insulation and other obstructions.

  • The Termite Colony
  • The Nymph
  • The Worker
  • The Solider
  • The Swarmer

The Inspection

The technical phrase is WDO (Wood Destroying Organisms) Inspection. Most people call it a termite inspection, but it also includes those things that can attack the structural integrity of any building: wood borers, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, fungus, and dry rot. The inspection also points out any conducive conditions - areas of the structure that, if they aren't fixed, are likely to attract termites, fungus, dry rot, and all the rest. The really scary thing about termites? Oftentimes there is no obvious indication to the untrained eye that a structure is infested or vulnerable. Western's WDO Inspection experts thoroughly examine the structure and identify wood destroying pests and organisms, determine the source of any infestations, and make any necessary recommendations for repair.

Signs of infestation - how do I know if I have termites?

Termites are called hidden invaders for a good reason. Often there is nothing visible to the untrained eye indicating that termites are eating a structure. If you look closely, you may note a few telltale signs that a colony has taken up residence in your real estate investment. Termites do leave a variety of signs of their presence, and with diligent inspections you may be able to tell if you have an infestation and catch it before too much damage is done. Wings on windowsills or flying termites in your home certainly are cause for alarm. Wood damage can be an identifying sign of a termite infestation. If you find or break open a piece of wood and it is honeycombed or carved out, the damage was likely caused by termites. You can probe suspect wood with a knife or flat-blade screwdriver to see if it's been hollowed. Severely damaged wood may sound hollow when tapped. Unexplained piles of what appears to be coarse grains of sand (which can appear almost anywhere throughout the structure) may actually be termite fecal pellets sifting out of wood members. Mud tubes on walls, along baseboards or in cracks and crevices indicate termites. Termites can cause appreciable damage can be done in just 3 years, so we recommend a professional inspection every 2-3 years.

What to do if you've got termites?

The most effective type of treatment depends upon the location and severity of the infestation, the species of termite, and the construction of the structure. Our inspectors assess each infestation separately and discuss with you any recommendation for a rigorous treatment plan that effectively controls the specific termite population. We never arrive ready to sell you a predetermined product or solution - imagine if your doctor prescribed the treatment before his examination? We recommend only the scientifically-proven methods that will most effectively eliminate the exact problems associated with your structure, protecting your home or business. If wood damage is found, our termite repair specialists can also make any repairs caused by these pesky critters.

What to do if you don't have termites now but want to be protected?

With most things, it's more economical to take preventative measures. And that goes for keeping your house free of termites, too.

  • Homeowner Protection Plan (HOPP)

Protecting your home from termites under our HOPP gives you the peace of mind that these hidden invaders will be dealt with quickly and efficiently. Our HOPP gives you an annual inspection and if necessary, re-treatment as part of your yearly fee. The cost of the annual maintenance is a substantial savings over the cost of treatment.

  • Sentricon® Colony Elimination System

Your home may have a security system to alert you to a human break-in. Why not have one to alert you to a termite break-in? Once you have Sentricon® installed, it starts protecting against subterranean termites with a unique baiting system. Western regularly monitors the discreetly placed Sentricon® stations for termite activity, which keeps those ravenous little wood eaters away.

  • Preventative Subterranean Termite Treatments

Unlike a curative treatment that wipes out termites after they have damaged your home, a protective preventative treatment can be extremely valuable in ensuring that subterranean termites will not become a problem. In most cases, a treatment along the exterior perimeter of the home may be all your property needs to ensure subterranean termites don't become a problem.

What about orange oil?

Orange oil is not new. It's been around for nearly 20 years, but has only recently been marketed as the 'wonder drug' for termites. Western has orange oil as part of our arsenal of treatment strategies, but we rarely recommend it because it is not the best solution in most situations. Recent studies by University of California researchers show that in ideal laboratory situations, the termite mortality rate for orange oil was only 77%. Well, it only takes 2 termites to restart a colony, so imagine how vulnerable your home is if nearly ¼ of the colony is still active? Bottom line: if orange oil worked as advertised by some companies, wouldn't every company in the termite industry be using orange oil for all their drywood termite treatments?

Conducive Conditions.
To help keep your home termite free, try these tips:

  • Keep shower pans free of leaks, and all plumbing in good repair.
  • Routinely fill in any cracks in your masonry or concrete; make sure there are no entry points to your attic.
  • When watering your lawn, don't sprinkle stucco or wood siding.
  • Keep your gutters and downspouts in good repair.
  • Keep foundation air vents fully exposed; don't let them become overgrown with shrubbery.
  • Avoid moisture accumulation around the foundation of your home.
  • Remove old form boards, grade stakes, etc., left in place after the building was constructed.
  • Remove old tree stumps and roots around and beneath the building.
  • Eliminate any wood contact with the soil. An 18-inch gap between the soil and wood portions of the building is ideal.

If you suspect termites, call in the professionals quickly. Small, localized infestations can many times simply be removed and replaced by a qualified person.

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