All posts in “termites”

Real Estate

Real Estate

So have you bought a home recently or planning on selling one, now is probably the time? Market is up and things are moving and that’s a great thing. Real Estate continues to be a winner for building equity. So in that light let’s discuss the Pro’s and Con’s of inspections.

Pro:

  1. Hiring a professional – starting with a Professional Experienced Real Estate Agent, Home Inspector and a Termite Inspector. All 3 are important on purchasing or selling your home.
    1. I can’t even imagine just settling for good with a Real Estate Agent, I want one that has been around awhile – knows the in and outs of what neighborhoods are good, etc. Look on the internet for reviews and ask friends. Agent:
    2. Home Inspectors – Again look for qualifications and experience, again ask friends and neighbors, how many do they do each day or weekly? The latest trend is to bypass the Termite Inspection and have the home inspector do that, check credentials and make sure he is certified with the Office of Pest Management (OPM) Department of Agriculture?
      1. This  is a true story, just a month or so ago. A realtor called me to say that her neighbor sold the house, buyer sent a home inspector (he missed the termites) now what? Well as I understood the story he was licensed but just missed it. It happens so you must be careful. Why not hire a Professsional that has 30+ years at this?
    3. ¬†This is my line – You want a Professional Termite Inspector, I personally have over 30 years of looking for and at bugs. I’ve been around the World looking at bugs and regularly investigate and check out the new stuff that is happening around Arizona and the USA. ProBest goes back 40 years to 1981, we started doing just termite inspections and treatments. Then 2007 happened, thank goodness we were already selling and doing pest treatments, weeds and bird work.

Do your homework, challenge the conventional – HIRE A PRO and leave it to them to do the hard work but choose wisely.

Tubes

Tubes are an easy way to see the evidence of subterranean termites. They live in the ground and work their way up into your home. They use dirt, mud soil to protect themselves and as a way of regulating their body temperatures and well being. The only way to keep them out is a soil treatment, don’t treat inside the walls as it only affects one or two tubes. We use only Termidor, in my opinion the best product to keep them out. There are generics but I only promote the original formulation.

I suggest a yearly or every few year inspection, as it is just a matter of time before you get them. Over 8 billion dollars of damage in the US every year blamed on these little bugs. Florida ranks up higher on the list of real problem mainly due to excess moisture.

Put the onus on us, rather then you – call ProBest Pest Management for an inspection today at 480-831-9328 or 623-414-1076

Water diverter

One of the home improvements you can do to your house is to add Water diverter to any pvc running from ac units. This diverter takes water away from the treated zone and allows the termiticide to stay where it is put. One of the keys to termite work is putting the termiticide to the place where the termites will go through it. If water is constatly running through it, it will over time diminish the effectiveness.

This device isn’t in the best of places, but is able to divert some water away. The sidewalk somewhat blocks the pipe from extending far enough away. But this device can help and does.

So here is my theory on longevity of termiticides in Arizona. Under concrete I believe Termidor can last up to 15 years and if it is on the outside of home I cut that rate in half to 5 -7 years. Now anything can cause this to break sooner, something under the slab such as rocks, paper or anything left over from construction.

Termite/Pest Inspections

For the life of me, I don’t understand this. You buy a home, no matter the price and you don’t get an Termite/Pest Inspections. The most money you will probably spend and you don’t get an opinion from a termite company. Don’t take a chance, call ProBest Pest Management 480-831-9328 or 623-414-0176.

Don’t let a Realtor or Home inspector give their opinion on Termite/Pest Inspections, first off it’s not legal. They can’t make that decision because they must be licensed in Arizona. If there is a problem let it be the Pest Company that deals with it. One day someone will sue a Realtor or Home Inspector for missing something, let it be on me – that’s what we do?

This would be like asking your car mechanic his opinion of the stock market, or your landscaper on the law. Seek out an opinion from a reputable Termite Pest Company www.pestworld.org

Shower Pan

The Shower pan is technically that device which keeps the water from going everywhere. The bathtrap area is the area in the picture with the pipes letting the water go to the plumbing and out of the house.

Now visualize the termite people coming out to spray under the slab before its poured. That show box size area is higher with dirt and when the plumbers come in to finish they take away dirt. They also take away any trace of liquid termiticide and therefore = termites.

See the termite tube in the right side of the hole, that is how all the damage occurred. Inspect, investigate and then solve the problem. In this case impossible to see the shower pan so a surprise happens. Call ProBest for an inspection today 480-831-9328 or 623-414-0176

Grass Eaters

Grass Eaters termites are a little different in that they prefer desery landscapes versus eating your home. Gnathamitermes – tube building desert termites because they attack dead grass, weeds, and the outer portion of cactus and trees. Again remember they only eat dead cellulose or wood.

Often times we are consulted to termites on trees etc, generally you can leave them alone as they typically don’t damage the tree. On the other note, more termiticide on a property may prove valuable. Grass eaters can get inside and damage books and paintings but generally don’t do structural damage. So from a termite point of view its good to take action and get them away from your property and stuff.

Carpet & termites

You return home from vacation and there it is Carpet & termites. Now what do you do, call ProBest Pest Management of course 480-831-9328. This is a result of a crack in the foundation and the termites found their way into the home and through the carpet.

Easy fix for a termite company, take up the carpet and treat the crack in the slab. Termiticide does fail and once that crack begins to expand it moves the barrier treatment. So don’t just look around the foundation edge of the house or the ceiling, if you spot something like this connect immediately so we can assess the root cause.

If you ever decide to take up carpet and replace with tile or wood and you find cracks in the slab, call us. It is easier to fix the problem before the time is in place, never looks the same.

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.

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