Category: Termites

What to do After Termites Have Damaged Your Home

Termite damage costs an estimated $30 billion annually. Can termite damage be fixed? Yes. While it’s rare, there is a possibility that some termite species damage a house beyond repair. From structural supports to door frames and baseboards – termite damage costs can quickly add up. Following termite damage, construction can seem like a daunting task, especially because these pests eat the wood from the inside out. As soon as you realize you have termite damage, follow these steps when reconstructing your home. Continue reading

Can Termites Hurt You?

Termites aren’t known to carry harmful diseases if you happen to be bitten or stung. However, people who live in a house infested by termites may suffer from allergic reactions or asthma attacks from termite saliva or droppings. Most people don’t see preventing termite infestations as an essential step in protecting their health. However, doing so can lower the risk of unwanted health issues. Some of these health risks associated with termite infestation can come from the chemicals that they use to kill or repel them, especially those who have asthma. Continue reading

3 Major Signs Of Termites

Termite Treatment in FresnoTermites ruin homes, so knowing the major signs of termites early on can save you a ton of money. Once any key signs of termites are found, it’s important to contact a pest control company to prevent any more damages. Here are the top three signs of termites. &nbsp Termite Swarmers Termites begin colonization after the queen gives birth to winged termites, which are known as swarmers or alates. Swarmers will fly around a home until they find the perfect spot in the soil next to the foundation. Then the swarmers will begin reproduction of the new colony within their burrows underneath the soil. Swarmers are typically found during the months of March through June and are about a half inch long, with four wings. Recognizing these winged termites is important because it’s the beginning of a termite infestation.   Mud Tunnels/Shelters Once a colony of termites has been formed, small mud tunnels that act as sheltered highways to their food sources can usually be found on the foundation of a home. The size of the mud tunnels can be anywhere from the width of an ink pen to several inches wide. Identifying the mud tunnels on your home is one of major signs of termites, and termite control should be contacted as soon as possible.   Property Damage Termites destroy the structures of homes and furniture – it’s nothing new. However, they don’t only eat wood. Termites are known to consume many other materials such as drywall, plaster and even some metals. Unfortunately, by the time any property damages from termites are discovered, the termite issue could already be a full-blown infestation. Don’t panic though, a pest control company can easily take care of the problem. If any of these major signs of termites are identified, contact a professional termite control service such as Dustin Pest Control.

5 Ways to Keep Termites Away

One of the biggest enemies in pest control is termites. While some house damage and pest infestations cannot be stopped, there are some preventative measures that you can take. Continue reading to learn five different ways you can actively prevent termites.

Keep your home dry.

Termites are attracted to moisture, so fix any leaks and stop any excess water build up. Invest in a dehumidifier if you tend to have a muggy house.

Seal any cracks or openings you can see in the house.

If termites are interested, they will find any way they can to get in. If there are any holes or openings around window or door frames, fill and patch these as soon as possible.

Keep up with the exterior of your house and the yard.

Maintaining the outside will help protect in the inside. Keep the lawn clear of any debris. Clean out gutters, and fix any damages such as loose siding and lost shingles. Debris that contains wood, especially wet wood, is like a buffet to termites. 

Termites live off of wood, so protect the wood in your home.

If you have a wooden structure, make sure the wood is properly sealed and that you keep up with the maintenance. If there is any rotting or damaged wood, remove or replace it as soon as possible. If you use firewood, store it away from the house and try for covered and dry location.

Check Your Property

The best preventative measure you can take is having a professional check your property. They will be able to check your property for any damages or vulnerable areas. Call your local pest control company to set up a routine inspection. Do you see signs of termites in your home? If so, let the professionals at Dustin Pest Control help get rid of those pests.

The Life Cycle of a Termite

In the United States, there are over 50 species of termites and over 2,000 worldwide! Have you ever wondered how long termites live? Do they just chew apart wood, reproduce and die? The termite’s tale is actually quite an interesting one.

The Life Cycle of a Termite

A termite life starts as they hatch from their egg. Much like bees, termites are extremely social insects, and they all work together to maintain their lives under the ruling of the termite queen. A termite will fill one of the different roles needed to keep the colony functioning. Just like a company needs different people to do different jobs so does a termite colony. Termite colonies are inhabited by workers, soldiers, reproducers, and the queen. To maintain balance inside of the colony, the queen produces pheromones to shape the development of younger termites so that they will mature into the role needed. Termites can live anywhere from 2-50 years and colonies can remain active for as much as 50 years. The Workers Typically the largest group in the colony, worker termites don’t have wings and have soft bodies. It is the job of the workers to find and collect food, take care of the eggs and younger termites and to build and uphold the structure of the colony. After they are hatched from their egg, they start the molting process. Molting is when a termite grows a new soft exoskeleton under its hard exoskeleton. After the termite reaches maturity, the original exoskeleton sheds and the new exoskeleton becomes hard. The Soldiers Soldiers are the defenders of the colony. They are much larger than the other members of the colony. The heads of a soldier termite tend to be darker, and they have bigger mandibles. Mandibles are the oral appendage near the mouth of insects used to handle food or defend themselves or their colony. The Reproducers Reproducer termites are responsible for procreation. The reproducers continue their growth process called swarming. Once they hit maturity, they develop wings and darker bodies. After mating takes place, they shed their wings. When the weather is warm enough, these termites leave the colony to mate and form new colonies.

So You Think You Have Termites

Known as the silent destroyers termites can go unnoticed for months or even years. While a termite infestation may not be easy to spot early on there are some smaller signs you should be aware of.

Hollowed Out Wood

Termites eat wood from the inside out so while there may not be any visible damage you can typically hear a change inside the wood. Tap on the wood from the outside you may notice that it sounds less solid and more hollow than before. If the wood sounds hollow there is a good chance you have termites.

Heaps of Wings

After flying termites have mated they shed their wings before forming new colonies. Because termites are social insects this tends to happen in large quantities. Swamps of these wood-eating pests can contain anywhere from 60,000 to 1 million termites. Termite wings are thin and resemble fish scales or tiny feathers.

Flying termites are often confused with carpenter ants so it’s important to remember that Carpenter ants do not shed their wings the way termites do. If you notice discarded wings assume they are from termites and call a professional pest control company.

Mud Tubes

Mud tubes are tunnels construction of soil and wood created by termites for travel. Termites build mud tubes to protect themselves as they travel to and from their nest to their food source.  They are normally found on the outside of homes. To test to see if a tunnel is still being used you can destroy a section of the tube in the center. If the tube is repaired, then the colony is still active and living there. 

Being aware of these small but powerful signs can help you stop a termite infestation earlier than if you only depended on visible wood damage. If you notice any of these symptoms give Dustin Pest Control a call to schedule your termite inspection.

How to Prevent Termites from Entering Your Home

Finding termites around your home is never a good thing. However, if you take some carefully calculated precautions, you can take some preventative measures to ensure they never have a chance from entering your home in the first place. Take a look at these 8 extremely helpful termite prevention tips to keep your home protected from this inconvenient pest!

8 Termite Prevention Tips for Your Home

1.) Inspect Your Home’s Foundation

When trying to prevent termites from entering your home, one very important tip is to keep an eye out for the foundation of your home. In particular, keep an eye out for mud tubes. Mud Tubes are created by termites as a way for them to gain access to their food. If you see cracked and/or bubbling paint, tap on it. If it sounds hollow, there’s a pretty good chance you may have caught the beginnings of a termite infiltration to your home.

2.) Stay on Top of Home Repairs

If you have old roof shingles, rotted fascias, and damaged soffits, you’re practically inviting termites to commingle with you at your home. Rotten wood is a prime location for termites to live and thrive. Repair any damages to your house as soon as they are made to prevent not only termites, but other pesky creatures from reaching the interior of your home and making a nest.  After all, the last thing that you want is to deal with an ant infestation, rodents behind the walls, or wasps in the fascia.

3.) Monitor Your Home’s Wood Exterior

When you’re making your home repairs, remember to pay extra special attention to all of the exterior areas that are made of wood. This would include door frames, skirting, windows, fascia, and anywhere else that could be made of wood for noticeable changes. Also, try your best to keep minimally an 18-20 inch gap between the ground and any of the wood portions of your home. Doing so, you will help reduce the risk of termite infestation around your home.

4.) Store Firewood Away from Your Home

If you have a fireplace in your home, chances are there is firewood near your home. When storing firewood, keep it at least 20-30 feet away from your home (or more if possible). This will give you a good distance where, if termites decide to infest your collection of firewood, they will remain a safe distance away from your home.

5.) Reduce Moisture

Termites tend to thrive in humid environments, so it seems only natural to reduce the moisture/humidity levels around your home to help create a not-so-welcoming environment for them to live in. Try using a dehumidifier around your home and keep the house at cooler temperatures. Creating a more effective ventilation system in your home as well as cracking windows and using fans can help tremendously, too.

6.) Redirect Water Away from the House

By redirecting water away from your house, you not only reduce the risk of flood damage, you protect your home’s foundation, and reduce the risk of creating an environment termites love to live in. Install gutters, splash blocks, and functioning downspouts not only add protectants for your home, they increase your home’s value which could (if you decide to resell later down the road) create the foundations for a bidding war on your home.

7.) Repair Home Leaks

Take the time to invest in your home and make repairs to any leaking faucets, exterior air conditioning units, and water pipes. Doing so, you will not only protect your home and keep property values high, but you will help prevent the creation of a humid environment where termites (amongst other creepy crawlers) like to thrive in.

8.) Get Your Home Inspected Annually

Sometimes it can be difficult to inspect your home by yourself. If you want to make sure the job is done correctly, you may want to consider having an annual inspection scheduled by a professional. As I’m sure you’re aware, most homeowners insurance policies do not cover wooding eating insect damage. What do you do to prevent termites from entering your home?
Having problems with an ant control issue? Contact Dustin Pest Control today to get started on a solution that works!
Scroll to top