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Termites eat wood nonstop and never get fat!
The trailer for a new horror film? No, but it is 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! Clearly, termites extermination is important.
Education on prevention, plus a professional inspection every 2-3 years are the keys to protecting your property from termites. Without regular inspections, termite control will be more difficult and your home can be under attack by termite infestations undetected for years; hidden behind walls, floor coverings, insulation and other obstructions.
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 termite 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.
What's 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.
Getting a termite inspection could make a big difference in catching existing problems before they become more severe. Here are the steps you can expect to take place during a complete wood destroying organism inspection:
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 termite inspection every 2-3 years. And if you already have these pests, termites extermination is crucial.
To make sure that your home sells, confirm it doesn’t have any termites or termite damage
Call a Western Exterminator technician to do a real estate termite inspection
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.
With most things, it's more economical to take preventative measures. And that goes for keeping your house free of termites, too.
Protection Plan - Protecting your home from termites under our protection plan gives you the peace of mind that these hidden invaders will be dealt with quickly and efficiently. Our protection plan 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 a system 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.
To help keep your home termite-free, try these tips:
Remove stored timber, debris and cellulose materials from under, in and around the property and under the house - Storing timber against or under your house or property on a soil sub-floor will provide an attractive food source and nesting site for subterranean termites. It can also hide evidence of termites invading your home. Remove any timber and/or debris (dead leaves) away from the house.
Repair leaking taps and pipes - These include leaking taps, pipes and hot water overflow pipes under or around your home. Repairing these will reduce moisture levels, which attract subterranean termites close to or under your property.
Ensure that vents to subfloor areas are never blocked - Substandard ventilation in the sub-floor areas of your property will result in high humidity, and high moisture levels. Good ventilation and extraction fans where necessary are essential to reduce the risk from subterranean termites.
Screen attic and foundation vents with bug screen to exclude drywood termite reproductives who are looking for a welcoming entry to your home. The screening of vents along with good maintenance of window screens excludes a multitude of unwanted critters.
Divert all hot water services & air conditioning overflows away from side of house - Ensure stormwater runoff is properly connected.
Practice good maintenance of all exterior wood surfaces. Your local paint store is the best defense against drywood termites. Drywood termites will not enter wood that has a good coat of paint.
Construct timber fences, decks and support posts with a 50mm clearance between the timbers and the soil - Often the bases of timber fence palings and/or sub-floor timbers breach the soil surface. This allows termites access without detection. Galvanized post shoes that elevate the timber off the ground are available from any good hardware store.
Don’t allow climbing plants or bushy gardens to grow against the structure - Climbing plants growing against the side of the structure of your property provide termites with entry undetected. The roots of some plants can also penetrate the foundations of your property allowing termites access that is very difficult to locate. Allow at least a 30cm clearance. DO NOT plant trees that are notorious for sending roots under slabs close to the home.
Remove dead trees or stumps - Dead trees and stumps are ideal sites for termites to nest in. Remove these or have them treated to reduce the risk to your property.
Roofs: Broken tiles create moisture which attracts termites, and can provide a gateway inside. Prevent termites by making sure the roof is dry inside, cracks and breaks are repaired.
Air conditioner unit: Termites prefer moist environments, which is what air conditioning units create. Ensure the moisture release of air conditioning units are away from the foundations of your home and get rid of any puddles, condensation and other moisture build-ups.
Wooden beams: Check regularly for termite damage by pressing thumb against the timber to check if it feels spongy.
Boxes: Termites devour cellulose and that means cardboard, so too much of it can lead to a termite infestation. Use plastic boxes to store items in the attic and make sure cardboard is removed unless you are using a cardboard trap to get rid of termites in the attic.
Wooden flooring: Being close to the ground wooden floors can act as a stepping stone for subterranean termites to the rest of your home. Carry out regular inspections for termite activity. When building a new home lay down a termite barrier.
Wooden furniture: Keep furniture away from walls. Opt for items made of other materials such as metal. Put wooden furniture out in the sun if you find signs of termites.
Cupboards: Regularly inspect your cupboards for termite activity. If you are worried, call professional pest specialists!
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. It only takes 2 termites to restart a colony, so if a system was not 100% effective, we would not want to recommend it.
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?
Western Exterminator provides termite control methods that combat termites so you can feel safe at your property. Our Sentricon termite monitoring service includes treatment and prevention - it utilizes soil-based bait stations that are positioned around your structure’s perimeter. The stations are monitored in order to identify any termite activity. When termite workers take in the bait, they also pass it to other termites in the colony, which gets rid of the colony.
We use the Sentricon Above Ground bait station in places where observable termite activity is present. This station is put on places like the wall or floorboard in order to give the termites faster access to the bait. Learn more about termite control solutions.
Don’t take a chance. Call in the experts in termite inspection, control and prevention. We are Western Exterminator and you can fill in our online contact form or call us at 800-937-8398 to schedule an appointment.