4 Part Series
Four Costly Misconceptions About Termites
With over 2000 species of termites, we’ve learned that termite control can be very confusing for many homeowners. In fact, there are so many misconceptions about these wood devouring insects that we decided to write this post to help you better understand them and how they can affect your property.
Misconception Number Four:
No. Over the counter liquid pesticides, called termiticides bought at retail stores or over the Internet rarely do the job sufficiently. To ensure a proper barrier, termiticides need to be applied carefully by a skilled, licensed professional.
The most important factor in treating your home isn’t which pesticide you use. The success of any treatment ultimately depends on 4 important factors:
- How the termiticide is applied
- Where the termiticide is applied
- The amount of termiticide used
- And, the “strength” or dilution rate of the termiticide.
Professional termite treatment requires a wide range of skills and knowledge. A trained termite technician must be familiar with the way homes are constructed, so he or she can identify the most critical points of infestation. Often, these areas are hidden and/or difficult to access.
In effort to provide a continuous insecticide barrier between the termite nest in the soil and the wood in your home, hundreds of gallons of termiticide, must be injected into the ground alongside the foundation, beneath concrete slabs, within foundation walls, hollow block walls, as well as under basement and garage floor slab. To completely saturate the soil, special equipment such as masonry drills, pumps, large-capacity tanks, and soil treatment rods are needed.
Proper spacing of all holes drilled into any slab is also critical. Inside the home, carpet may need to be pulled away from walls before application and other flooring requires special attention to avoid damage.
In addition, any holes drilled into a slab must be sealed after drilling to avoid exposure to chemicals by your family or pets.
Termite treatment is not a “do it yourself” home project. If a proper barrier isn’t applied, termites can construct a “bypass” around treated areas and find new points of entry, causing unseen damage that can potentially cost more in repairs than you would have paid for professional treatment.
If you do discover that you have termites, don’t put off the treatment. Do it now. Call ValuePest and have a free home inspection performed so we can answer any specific questions about your situation.
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While nothing is 100% effective, these three recommendations will help prevent termites from attacking your home. Termites need three things to survive: food, moisture and shelter. So…
1) Eliminate food sources.
Never store any wood products on the ground in, on or under your home. Keep your gutters clean. Wet leaves provide moisture and food for the pests, and since the gutters are attached to your home, it’s an easy point of entry. Clogged gutters can also contribute to moisture problems. Cardboard around or under your house, construction debris, wooden fences, firewood and wooden decks or stucco facades extending near or into the soil surface all offer food for termites and allow them to enter your home undetected.
2) Deny them easy access to moisture.
Termites require high moisture. This means that keeping water away from your foundation is key to solving their attack. Make sure the air conditioner condenser is well away from your home and doesn’t leak near the foundation. Check for leaky faucets. Flat roofs harbor moisture and invite infestation. Insulation around pipes should not touch the soil.
3) Don’t give them a place to hide and thrive.
A quick walk around of your home will help you see if you should perform some easy maintenance. Make sure any wood siding is off of the ground and make sure that you can visibly see the brick or concrete foundation all of the way around the structure. Keep vines, flower gardens and landscaping plants trimmed and away from your house. Shrubs, flowers, and other plants give termites the shade and moisture they need to survive and their roots also feed termites.
Finally, the best way to solve a termite problem is before they attack you home.
If your home has not been inspected in a while, or shows evidence of an active infestation then you should call ValuePest. Our inspector will check your home, give you some friendly advise and provide you with a written report, detailing whether or not an active infestation is present and where any infestation and/or damage is located. It’s a free service that can save you thousands of dollars in damage repair later.
If you have any further questions about termites, we invite you to give us a call toll-free at 1-866-366-8683. We will be happy to answer any additional questions or schedule an inspection.