All posts in “termites”

Termite Damage Drywall

Termite Damage Drywall

Termite Damage Drywall

Out here in the Wild West, termite damage drywall go hand in hand with the mess they cause. If you’re lucky enough to see evidence on the foundation slab, but here in Arizona the stucco sometimes goes below the rock.

I don’t know how they do it, but they will pop out on a picture frame and just start to eat away. In this case some type of cardboard behind a shelving unit. I’ve seen books eaten and completely ruined, the little termite aren’t big but there are many.

Termite Pressure

Termite Pressure

Termite Pressure

 

Termite pressure around the Valley is a speculative issue, some areas are of course worse than others. This map was done by FMC some 20 years ago and I wonder how close it remains to being accurate to today. I would say it still applies, once termites are in an area I’m sure they won’t leave and probably continue to be a pain to homeowners.

What to do?

  • Monitor your home, walk around look up and down.
  • Hire a Pest Professional to take a look, not a Home Inspector but a real life Termite Expert.
  • Check out buildings, garages, sheds inside and out.
  • Take pics and send them to my office if unsure 480-577-2003.
  • I’ll tell you now, ProBest isn’t the cheapest but you can count on Quality of Service. Call us today 480-831-9328
  • We have a lot of species of termites, some cause problems. Let us tell you about them.
  • We don’t look for just termites, our eyes are on the look out for anything that can cause problems. We will even tell you about leaks and weird stuff going on at your place.

Maybe we should do an update to our map, if you have had any issues in the low zones let us know? Thanks

Termite Entry

Termite entry

Termite entry

Termites will make termite entry into homes and businesses by any crack or crevice. Let me assure you it doesn’t take much room at all; the thickness of a credit card is all it takes.  So, any penetration through the concrete gives them the chance. Pipes, wires, plants, form boards or even nails.

When I do an inspection of the house, I always start at the front door and go to my right. A lot of times people want to show me the termites and I’ll usually check and then go back to the front door. Then I determine how many tubes are present, how close is it to an outside wall. If isn’t close to an outside wall, I then check for bathrooms, sinks or laundry rooms. If I determine it’s not an outside wall, I begin to think interior plumbing pipes or bath-traps.

After I determine the possibilities, we open up a small hole on the opposite side of the tub or sinks = termite entry. I usually find the tubes coming up and it can be treated, and the hole covered. The hole cover is white and can be painted any color.

If you see a termite tube or down tube, it’s time for a phone call to ProBest Pest Management at 480-831-9328 or 623-414-0176 and of course I would follow my blog to keep up-to-date on the weirdness of bugs and critters.

Slab Issues

Slab Issues

Slab Issues

Slab issues can affect the home in many ways, crack and penetrations allow termites access.  This picture is the start of the problems, after the pouring of the concrete. A plumber will disrupt the soil and the termiticide and this of course allows termites into the home. From my point of view I would like the plumber to leave the dirt alone and keep the termiticide in place.

 

Hidden Tubes

Hidden Tubes

Hidden Tubes

Hidden tubes from termites are a major concern and what you can’t see can hurt you. Termites build tubes up from the ground and they often can be hidden away from eyes. Termites like hidden dark areas, it keeps away the heat and predators. They find their way in via holes, cracks etc in the foundation slab. The picture is the result of a pipe coming up through the slab. When the house is built these penetrations are cleared off and the termiticide is often removed as well. In Arizona look for these signs of termites:

  • Unusual marking on the wall, appears to be mud/soil tubes.
  • Down tubes from the ceiling.
  • Baseboards look damaged, termites eat from inside out – paint buckles.
  • Outside mud tubes at foundation slabs.
  • Bathtraps allow termites access into the home, always check areas of plumbing penetrations.
  • Areas inside garages are susceptible to infestations.

When in doubt call a Professional, ProBest Pest Management is here to serve. Thanks

Wood Floor Damage

Wood Floor Damage

Wood Floor Damage

 

Wood floor damage isn’t normal but it does happen. OK so I’ve been around awhile, I have seen lots of termite damage over the years. Remember I came from Florida, now with 30 years of experience and with all the water and a different set of termites, damage is ever present. Not so much here in Arizona, but let’s talk about how they get in?

  • #1 from the outside up the foundation slab.
  • Garages are notorious, I believe the garage is finished last and people walk over the finished termiticide and breaks occur there more often.
  • Any breaks within the concrete – like water pipes, bath-traps, plumbing etc.
  • CRACKS – over time every house moves, even a little bit can crack the concrete. When that concrete moves, it might move the termiticide.

EVERYTHING STARTS AT THE BOTTOM – I don’t care what any termite professional may say, if you don’t stop it there – you haven’t stopped the termites. Some people will use foam, that’s OK to stop any further damage but not good enough to fix the problem.  If the termites are at the ceiling, you must fine them at ground level, not easy buy required. Let me say it again – EVERYTHING STARTS AT THE BOTTOM!

What to expect after treatment?

  • Any damage, may become more obvious. Wood may dry out and become more brittle.
  • I would insist that the Professional remove any tubes or evidence. You might have to repaint or use drywall spakle. The evidence must be removed for a few reasons, no need to fail the next termite inspection and cleaning it up looks better.
  • The holes they drilled should be filled in with cement, we scuff the area with a boot and then use a sanding block. The holes can also be somewhat matched with the surrounding concrete. Not perfectly but as close as you can.
Down tube

Down tube

Down tube

Termites in AZ are generally shy and often will move along if disturbed. That being said I don’t think they move to far and will often attack the same home. I have seen them in a tube that was scratched and they don’t come back and on the other hand I’ve seen them rebuild a tube the next day. Finicky yes, persistent yes, 24/7/365 yes and you get the picture.

The pictures is a down tube usually the first signs of termites in a home. Subs always move with the grain of the wood, then hitting another 2×4, continue with the grain. Rather than go back the same way they try to take a short cut and try coming down. I’ve seen mud drop down tubes over 6 feet in length. Awesome to say the least.

In the woods or nature they do the recycling and rebuild the land with fertilizer, and we build right on top. They are just doing what’s in their nature. Its a system that encompasses scavengers and builders. From earthworms to termites, they do their part in our ecosystem.

Its when they get into our houses that we take action. There are many avenues to take for control and Termidor is at the top of my list.

 

Bath Trap

Bath Trap

Bath Trap

So imagine if you will, the construction company is building your dream house. Sounds like the Twilight Zone, everyone has different skill sets, mine is bugs and entomology. We or a pretreat company sprays the ground to treat the soil for termites before they pour the concrete. When the plumber comes along later, how do they deal with that mess from the bath trap. Generally they remove it away and don’t worry about it. Now I wonder where are the termites going to come into the house. Either on the outside of the home or where there is a hole.

Water run off

Water run off

Water run off

Generally speaking water run off is not a good thing especially when it involves pesticides. But this is an excellent procedure to stop water run off in the termiticide barrier of your home. The more water that goes through the barrier reduces the effectiveness of the termiticide. So really anything you can do to stop the water is a great idea. I thought this was a great idea, flexible tubing (inexpensive and won’t technically get in your way).

Most of us have a few pipes that condensate – so this quick fix shouldn’t take much time to implement. The cost is right up there with next to nothing and I think almost anyone could do this. You could almost redirect the water to plants or flowers and hey look everyone benefits.

Add this to my new list of things to do to prevent termites and other bugs from getting into your home.

 

Termite down - tubes

Termite down – tubes

Termite down – tubes

Do you see the shadow of the Termite down – tubes? Our termites here is Arizona are a little strange. they will build tubes rather than take the original way back down. But I suppose if they didn’t do that we might not know they were in the home.

Just think of those girls, working 24/7/365 never taking it easy work, work and work. All in search of the wood cellulose in your home. It never hurts to hire a Professional Pest Company to explore your home inside and out for pests. We look everyday so we know what to look out for. It is often the single biggest asset you have, so protect it. If you notice something strange give us a call, better safe than sorry. Our termites in Arizona don’t usually do a lot of damage but why encourage them to be in your home. Bugs are out there everywhere, but you shouldn’t allow them access into your place.

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