All posts in “termites”

Construction

Construction is a trying mess from time to time with me. Sometimes I wonder what they were thinking, or not thinking. This photo is a prime example of the problems that Termite companies experience. Where are those termites coming from and sometimes in construction you may find the prime cause of the issues.

Once in Florida I ran across a wood floor with sleepers, which kept the wood from sitting on the concrete and possible affected by water or condensation. But it turned out to be saw palmetto roots coming up through the slab after it was buried and not removed.

If you’re building a home check the soil before they pour the cement and request stuff to be looked over. It’s your house.

Termite Awareness Month

Termite Awareness Month, ok you’re going to mention that he dates are wrong. Well you’re right, but NPMA is looking at the East Coast where most of the action occurs with termites. Here in Arizona we wait for the monsoon, yea if it ever happens. When it rains, it takes about a month to get the termites going and then we see activity. On the East Coast they are more active beginning in February and then depending on rain and time of day they swarm. Here is AZ really have I seen a swarm, I was sitting on I-17 waiting for an accident to be cleared when a swarm happened and I could see them landing on the car. Termite Awareness Month in my book is whenever you have termites.

So watch for signs:

  1. Termite mud tunnels on foundation
  2. Down tubes or dirt on ceiling
  3. Baseboards crumbled inside to outside

Foundation termite tube

Foundation termite tube on the house can be the surest signs of termites. I can spot those things from the road while driving (safely). So besides this obvious sign what else do you look for:

Baseboard – I hold up my first 3 fingers like the Boy Scout sign, now mush them together. The wood being eaten from the inside buckles, after the termites are gone the wood will dry out and actually get worse. Yes it’s time to replace baseboard. If you find damage here check outside as there is probably a Foundation termite tube.

Down tubes – can appear anywhere and drop from any ceiling. Typically on a one story house – the ceiling. 2 story home again usually the ceiling first floor, why you ask. When Subterranean termites hit the ceiling wood beams there is generally a header and they follow the grain of the wood. Usually I find termites on the 1st floor ceiling rather the 2nd floor ceiling.

Wood damage

Wood damage

Wood damage can occur when termites get into the picture. There is a joke in here somewhere. Your house is just sitting there waiting to be attacked by these wood eating machines. There is an old saying “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when”, most homes in the South are vulnerable to these attacks.

If your home is over 15 years of age, the original pretreat may be gone. I believe if the termiticide is under the slab it last longer, so checking the outside of the home is important. If your home is stucco, and it goes into the dirt – maybe check it more often than yearly. Wood damage often will go unnoticed until someone notices a tube on the ceiling or wall. My personal belief is that you should have an inspection yearly.

Water spots or termites

Water spots

Water spots, have you ever noticed in your shower or bath that the water condensates on the ceiling. The steam build up and a water droplet forms much like a wet cave. These marks can be misidentified as termites, but they are just water which has dried leaving behind minerals. You might have to enlarge the picture to see what I’m talking about. I guess the take away is you need venting in the bathroom, that steam can cause a lot of issues. Water, steam etc can make drywall get moldy and damage the integrity of the product and even cause interior issues. Then if the water runs down the 2×4, termites may come up through the weakened termite barrier. Big problems, all caused by water – so think of those water spots as a alarm to open a window or turn that fan on.

Termite sign

Termite sign

Termite sign – Look no tubes at the bottom, but they are on the top of the shelving. This is a post tension home, so how did they do that? A little investigative work and what did I spy. No tubes outside, but there is a set of pipes at the washer/dryer. So it must be that, this one was a little easier than some.

You have to think about it, and make the best educated guess as to how they are getting in. Not always easy but the work must be done to stop them from getting in. Termites cause approximately $5 – 8 billion in damage each year so doing a monthly check for termite sign is important in keeping your home in tip top shape.

New tech

New Tech

New Tech and/or technology is and can be a great assistance in the battle against termites. Termites have been around 250 millions year or more and they will continue to find novel ways into our home. I see from time to time, new devices that help in the struggle or pest versus us. They have FLIR machine which can pinpoint termites, honeybees but I like the good old method of seeing it with my own eyes. By the way I’m not gloating but I’m pretty good at finding those gals.

Typically termites tend to follow lines, they go up a 2×4, get to a header and follow with the grain. If they are in the center of the home there is a crack or pipe letting them in. Since our termites don’t build nest in walls, that FLIR machine is nothing more that a lot of money. Now I’m not saying they don’t work, but your only able to see temperature differences and you are following tubes. Is does work on bee colonies, because they congratulate together. Call ProBest Pest Management today to check out your most valuable asset your home 480-831-9328.

Generic versus Termidor

Generic versus Termidor, so lets imagine if you will. BASF the original maker of Termidor bought the fipronil from their source and manufactured the original with inert ingredients. Then came at least 10 years of testing, we did 16 homes with none having issues in Arizona.

Now when the patent comes off companies come out of the woodwork to make something just as good. So they can’t get their hands on the inert ingredient list from BASF so they concoct their own – see the problem? So is there an issue with Generics versus Termidor, I believe there is. Choose the original.

  1. Not the same ingredients.
  2. No testing has to be done. They piggyback off the data from BASF, not fair but legal.
  3. Not all generics are the same, formulations are not the same. Stick with the real product from BASF fipronil Termidor.
Tree termites

Tree termites

Tree termites or the grass eaters are prevalent in Arizona and can be seen in dry dying grass or on trees. They really are just eating the dead damaged wood not the interior good wood. They are natures cleaner uppers, they redistribute the nutrients back into the soil. Things grow and things die, just like leaves and then back into the soil to help another tree live on.

What we don’t realize is that we build right on top of their homes. We expect them to leave us allow and they are just doing what they were born to do. They work 24/7/365 and it doesn’t matter if its your house or not. If it isn’t protected then it’s your turn. No if but when they decide it’s time. So keep a watch and call ProBest Pest Management if you see dirt tubes or tunnels 480-831-9328 or 623-414-0176

Bath-Trap

Bath-trap

Bath-Trap – “You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop, the Termite Zone!

That was from the Twilight Zone – I loved watching that as a kid, sometimes scaring me.

So you are finally having that special first time house built and you see this when you are walking through one day. Hence my problem, home builders are not termite experts and vice-versa. When we pretreated that soil it was all nice and only dirt. Then we sprayed around it and now the builder will take the dirt and chemical termiticide away. Guess where the first place for termite to break the barrier will be, yep the bath-trap or garage (cause its last to be treated and people will walk all over it.

That’s why we put in bath-trap access into the walls of bathrooms!