Termites are serious wood destroying insects. They feed on cellulose of any kind. That could be a stick or tree in the yard, the foundation wood of your home, vermiculite on the wall, a cabinet in the kitchen, books on the shelf, carpet on the floors, your beautiful hardwood floors, your grandma's antique chair, or any other thing made of wood.
During cold weather the insects are dormant if they are outside, but in a heated structure (like your home) they will remain active and damage will continue to occur.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF THEY ARE TERMITES?
Normally, people do not know that termites are feeding in their home and are amazed, as well as frustrated, when they see hundreds (or thousands) of "swarmers" (the flying reproductive termites).
When swarmers emerge on a warm, humid spring day, they will fly to a light source, usually a window. They will drop to the sill and many will break their wings from their body. When you find a lot of wings on the sill, you will know that termites are present. Swarmers may also be seen outside around wood or above the soil.
Even if the swarmers do crawl away from the window, the presence of wings will be a positive sign of termites. Ants do not break off their wings.
To see the difference between termites and flying ants, look at the picture below, comparing body shape and antennae.
BUT I THOUGHT TERMITES LIVED IN THE GROUND?
They do...they need a source of moisture and that is usually the soil. However, if they find another source of water, such as a leaky roof, leaky toilet, broken water pipes, air conditioner drips, etc., the termites will find it and be able to survive without soil contact.
Subterranean termites (the kind found in Holmes County) produce earthen "tunnels" that you might see along the grain of the wood, or stretching across basement or foundation walls. These hollow tunnels or tubes may be covered with grayish-brown excrement and soil.
If you break open a tunnel, you may see pinkish or cream colored, wingless, worker or soldier termites making their way back and forth through the tunnel. They will be small, about 1/8 of an inch long.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET RID OF THE TERMITES?
First of all, If you suspect you have termites, get a professional inspection. There are other wood destroying insects that cause damage similar to that of termites. It is very important to identify the insect in order to choose the right kind of treatment.
There are 2 basic types of treatment.
The "Old Way" was to place a liquid application in the soil around the structure as a barrier. This involved considerable work of drilling the cement walls, and floors and forcing the termiticide into the ground underneath. This was also done around the outside of the house. This "repelled" the insects, as they would not cross over this chemical barrier into the house or building, but it did not kill them or the colony. If the barrier is incomplete (with gaps) or too weak, the termites will be able to re-infest the structure.
The "New Way" is to use "Bait Stations". These plastic containers are placed at certain intervals in the soil around the base of the structure. They are "baited" with untreated wood and monitored by a pest control technician on a regular basis. When the termites find the "bait", then the treated wood is put into the stations. The technician inspects these treated stations on a regular basis and is able to determine when the colony has been eliminated. This method actually kills the termites because the bait is taken back into the colony where the other termites feed on it and the dying workers. We HIGHLY recommend this type of treatment. We prefer and use the Advance Termite Bait System.
WHAT'S THIS GOING TO COST?
The first step is to make sure you have termites, which can be done by your Bugs R Gone technician. Once we determine that you do have termites, a cost estimate is given based on the size of the structure (linear feet) and other circumstances that may be found at the time of the inspection.
FOR YOUR FREE TERMITE INSPECTION,
CALL BUGS R GONE AT 330-674-0371 OR 330-473-2042
Bugs R Gone is licensed by the State of Ohio Department of Agriculture.
License # 108150
TERMITES IN BAGGED MULCH
The Louisiana State University AgCenter has indicated that Formosan Subterranean Termites are very active in all of the hurricane damaged trees in the New Orleans. The problem is that these trees are chopped into mulch, bagged, and sold to companies that are transporting the mulch all over the country. This is a problem for the home owner who buys the bags of mulch from Lowes, Home Depot, WalMart, or any other company who wishes to sell dirt cheap mulch from the hurricane damaged area. In an effort to clean up all of the damaged trees, these trees were chipped up into tons and tons of mulch and the state has sold the mulch to anyone who would haul it away.
Formosan Termites are not normal in Ohio but they have gotten a strong foothold in New Orleans and most of the trees blown down were already badly infested with those termites . Now we may have the worst case of transporting a problem to all parts of the country that we have ever had.
"These termites can eat a house in no time, so tell your friends that own homes to avoid cheap mulch and know were it came from"