Termites and Insects

Termites, fungus, carpenter ants and other wood destroying insects can damage your home and greatly reduce its value, or even destroy it completely. Click this link to visit the website http://www.summitdeckdoctor.com/mountaindeckdestroyers.pdf and learn more about wood destroying fungus, termites and beetles. Three groups of wood-boring beetles (powder post, deathwatch and false powder post – see Table 1) invade and damage wood furniture as well as structural and decorative wood inside the buildings. The beetle larvae feed on and do most of the damage to the wood, and when they reach the adult stage they emerge through round exit holes they cut through the wood. Adults of some species also bore exit holes through plaster, plastic and even soft metals that might cover the underlying wood. To learn more about wood destroying insects click http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7418.html.

Termites are a big problem in humid areas, and it’s not unusual to find homes that have been virtually hollowed out or their wood siding turning to dust at a touch. Termites constantly burrow underground, searching for dead wood to devour. When they find your home foundation they follow the foundation cracks looking for a way to enter the wood frame on top of the slab. They also enter through any space where underground plumbing pipes or conduits penetrate the slab, places where exterior wood on you home contacts the soil, mud tunnels left on the exterior foundation wall which connect the soil with the wood frame on top of the slab, and any leftover wood including old studs or firewood which may be stacked against you home.

Termites are ground insects looking for habitats that provide food, moisture and shelter near the ground. Anywhere the wood meets ground qualifies, especially if the soil in that area stays moist. Correcting this problem may require re-grading to separate the soil from any wood around your home. Since mulch and many other landscaping materials help the soil to remain moist, you always minimize mulching around your foundation. Experts recommend mulching no closer than a foot from your home’s foundation. You should always stack firewood away from your home, preferably several feet. Make sure gutters and downspouts are in good condition to keep moisture from accumulating. You should also eliminate any moisture problems in and around your home, especially in basements and crawlspaces.

Find out more about termites and their digestive system at: http://large.stanford.edu/publications/coal/references/docs/radek.pdf

A 250,000 termite colony can devour over 20 feet of 2×4 lumbers in less than a year! Obvious signs of termites sharing you home with you include:

  • Discovery of live or winged termites
  • Mud tunnels described above
  • Piles of termite droppings
  • Piles of termite wings
  • Live or dead termite (and you know she has family and friends)

If you know what termites look for you can do many things to prevent infestation which make your home less attractive to them. Her are some steps to avoid creating an environment conducive to termites:

  • Piles of termite droppings
  • Piles of termite wings
  • Live keep shrubbery trimmed away from house (don’t let bushes touch the home)
  • Piles of termite droppings
  • Store firewood away from building
  • Watch for bubbling paint or mud tunnels
  • Keep gutters and downspouts clean and un-clogged
  • Fix any faulty or leaky plumbing

How can you tell if your home has termites? Unless you find termites or their droppings, it takes an expert to detect hidden termite damage. General home inspections do not typically include a termite inspection. It is highly recommended that you get a termite inspection in addition to your general home inspection.

If you suspect your home may have termites or if you would just like the peace of mind a professional inspection can offer, please contact us. Our office performs thorough inspections for termites and other wood destroying organisms. If you hire professional termite exterminators to apply chemical treatments to protect your home be sure to find out how long the treatments last. Most chemicals on the market protect your home for up to 5 years.

To learn more about termites visit http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef604.asp

Industrial grade strength products to control termites are available only to licensed professionals. Over the years we used the following products with great success:

Boracare is a borate-based termiticide, insecticide, and fungicide concentrate applied directly to wood framing after all framing and MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) roughs are completed. Boracare penetrates the wood on contact and renders the wood inedible to termites.
Read more about Boracare here: www.nisuscorp.com
Premise is a non-repellent termite system which creates a treated zone between the soil (underneath you home where termites live) and your home. This treated zone is created by spraying a Premise liquid solution which bonds to the compacted soil under your home prior to pouring the concrete slab. Upon attempting to enter your home, termites enter the zone, ingest or contact the Premise and then die after spreading the Premise to other termites. Read more about Premise here: www.nobugs.com
Termidor protects your home in a manner similar to Premise. Read more about Termidor here:www.termidorhome.com


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