Do I have a termite infestation?
If you’re asking yourself that question, you need a professional inspection. Termites cause serious damage. They eat away at the structural integrity of your home. Unlike some other pests that confine themselves to one area, termites will inhabit walls, ceilings, and floors. If it’s made of wood, they will eat it. That includes support beams. Your best option is a home inspection from one of the certified pest technicians at Anteater Exterminating Inc..
What kind of termites do I have?
The way we treat your property depends on what type of termite you have. In Arizona, there are 4 species responsible for the most damage. They all look and act a little differently, so you may be able to identify the species yourself. Look for the following tell-tale signs to help you narrow it down.
What are subterranean termites?
Subterranean termites in Arizona come in two different species. The desert subterranean termite is only active in a small area, but the arid-land subterranean termite inhabits a much larger portion of the country and is responsible for the most damage. Both have unique features that make them identifiable.
- Subterranean desert termite features: Swarmers measure roughly 3/8th inches long. They are pale yellow to brown. Their wings each have two veins running through the front. Soldiers have thin and long mandibles.
- Swarming habits: Swarming occurs at night between July and September. This typically occurs after it rains.
- Travel methods: Because they need to stay moist, these termites construct and travel in mud tubes. You may find these indoors on any surface, even the ceiling.
- Damage patterns: Damaged wood will be “honeycombed”. They prefer springwood and will consume dry or moist woods. You can tap on suspect areas and listen for a hollow reverberation. Infestations typically start from the ground up. That makes the basement one of the most likely entry points.
- Arid-land subterranean termite differences: Swarmers are roughly 1/3 of an inch long. They have white wings with brown veins throughout. Bodies colors range from brown to black. Soldiers have thicker jaws than their desert cousins.
- Swarming habits: Swarming typically occurs between the months of January and March in Arizona.
What are dry wood termites?
Western drywood termites typically sneak into a home in furniture and timber. They grow their colonies slowly. That means that damage to a home typically becomes noticeable and problematic when multiple colonies inhabit the same space. One of the best prevention methods is to remove dead and dry wood and stumps from around a property. Always inspect wood furniture, especially antiques, before you bring it into the home.
- Western dry wood termites features: Swarmers are typically 1/2″ inches in length. They have brown abdomens and orange/brown heads and pronotum. There are 3 dark veins in the front wing. Soldiers are most easily identified by their antennae. These will have large endings that look like clubs.
- Swarming habits: Swarming happens on warm sunny days. A colony will swarm after roughly 4 years. Flying dry wood termites typically enter adjacent structures through areas of poor workmanship. This makes home upkeep important.
- Travel methods: Because drywood termites will inhabit nearby drywood it makes clearing this out important. Be vigilant and prevent drywood termites from entering your home in the first place. Remove nesting sites from around the home. Check wood joints and furniture pieces for signs of damage.
- Damage patterns: Look for 6-sided, concave waste pellets. This waste shape is unique to drywood termites. The surface of infested furniture may be blistered. You’ll also want to look for holes that have been sealed behind themselves by termites.
Though less common, we do occasionally encounter desert dampwood termites. These typically infest wood below ground level like grapevines and citrus trees. Infested manmade structures are likely to be moist and untreated. This includes fencing, posts, and poles.
Why are there termites in my house?
The most common reason for termites is construction related. Termites can fit through an area only 1/32 of an inch. That means even hairline cracks in your foundation are entry points. Moisture damage is also very desirable. Subterranean termites must stay moist, so these areas are particularly inviting.
Some of the other ways a property can become more appealing to termites include:
- Dead stumps and wood piles.
- Wood contacting damp soil.
- Form boards left behind after construciton.
- Buried wood refuse beneath slabs.
- Mulch around the outside of a property.
- Poor drainage and below grade stucco.
Why do I need professional termite control?
Have you read over your homeowner’s insurance lately? Does it cover the cost of termite damage? The answer is almost always “No.” That means it’s up to you to stop a termite infestation. Termite colonies continue to grow until mating season when they split off. That’s the time when new colonies are established. This often occurs in the same structure.
[highlight]Failing to eliminate an infestation before swarming season can result in multiple infestations in a single home or commercial building.[/highlight]
We treat the existing colony and provide preventative treatments.
Our technicians identify how large the problem is, where it has spread, and what species caused it. Every treatment is customized around this information. We treat every property a little differently. Treatment methods depend on the termite species. Once the initial infestation is treated, we take steps to make sure it won’t come back.
We provide ongoing treatment. This is designed to prevent termites from re-infesting your home. Treatment schedules are unique to each property. It really is the best way to keep your home termite free. Don’t let your investment suffer. A house isn’t a home when it’s overrun by termites. Get help now. Call or contact us today if you suspect a termite infestation.