All posts in “termites”

Kitchen tubes

Kitchen tubes termites

Kitchen tubes and termites, always a freaky thing to discover. This was of course unusual and of course there was a shower bathtub on the other side. This makes it difficult to treat, almost making it impossible to get to the bath-trap. Maybe the possibility of angle drilling, but whoa pipes in the way.

Checking your home monthly for signs of termite tubes is helpful in determining an active infestation. Check for signs outside at the foundation and check inside for any signs of soil/dirt tubes and stains. In Arizona termites become more active after monsoon and the rains. This year we have had a lot of rain, so keep an eye out for signs.

 

Grass eating termites

Grass and termites

Grass, termites and what they may eat. Here is Arizona we have a grass eating termite. Typically they eat desert cellulose cleaning up the desert. In the picture they are just eating the old dead tree bark. Sometimes you will see them building little castles in the yard. They usually don’t do any harm but it does freak out some people and from time to time we can treat around trees to stop them from doing any perceived damage.

You will occasionally see them in areas that are dry and they will build little tunnels over the lawn. This buildup looks like little castles and often look kind of unique in the yard or litter areas. They will buildup over leaves, small pieces of wood or twigs, manure, cactus and plant structures. They also are known as agricultural termites.

Grass

Termite failures

Termite failures on structures

What kind of issues cause failures?

Failures include:

  1. Planters next to the foundation.
  2. Stucco below grade of slab.
  3. Any wood to soil.
  4. Tree roots or stumps within the area of foundation.
  5. Improper pretreat to slab.
  6. Buried construction material below slab.
  7. To much water against the slab, drip irrigation and flood irrigation.
  8. After the slab is poured, the bath-trap is disturbed.
  9. People walking on pretreat material before the slab is poured.
  10. Digging up the post treatment, and then forgetting to notify the Termite company.

failures

There are many items that can cause problems when thinking about a structure break and thinking outside the box is helpful. So let’s imagine that you are having issues near a kitchen in the ceiling – the first step is checking outside. See if there are any mud tubes. Then examine inside, blocked by cabinets – its probably coming up within the inside of the foundation. Angle drilling may be necessary. I think it is like detective work, examining the clues and coming up with the treatment options. So good luck and keep at it and you will figure it out.

Old wood

Old wood

Old wood or really just any wood can be an issue for termites and other wood boring insects. Termites can be the bane of every homeowner unless they are savvy to their ways. That is why I believe most homes especially those in the South maintain a termite guarantee against these pests. They are extremely small but can be fierce, 24/7/365 in their work schedule. At the very least if you live in the South get a Pest Management Professional to look at your property every few years or more. You’ve spent a lot of money on that home, protect it and give yourself peace of mind.

Monsoons have given us the rain and now the termites will be working harder than ever in search of food. Will that be your HOME?

Termite video

Termite video

Termites are small and white, and are termed social insects like ants. Colonies have males and females in the colony at all times. In Africa and Australia mounds are often built and can be 20 or more feet high. In nature termite take wood, break it down and redistribute back into the ground. Termites look for wood/food 24/7/365, constantly looking for a food source. Here is the Southwest or Arizona a termite infestation is not a cause for immediate panic. The infestation needs attention, but due I think to the lack of water the damage isn’t going to happen overnight. So you have some time, contact a Pest Management Professional like ProBest Pest Management 480-831-9328 to discuss options. So as I said it takes time, compare options – use Termidor and look at the reputation and reviews of the company.

Termite video

Clutter

Clutter in and around your home

Clutter in and around your home is an open ended invitation to come hang out if your a pests. Don’t allow cluttered areas because they are ideal in hiding pests including, scorpions, rodents and cockroaches. The ideal yard is free from trash, trees and bushes are away from structure and block walls and water is only on plants and not excessive. Wood is OK as long as it is on some type of raised platform and I would prefer it to not be against a block wall. The wood needs to breath and not hold moisture.

If your not using the wood its better to throw it out. Throw away trash, my theory is if you haven’t touched it in a year throw is out. Watch for cockroaches under garbage cans and don’t allow water to accumulate in containers which might promote mosquitoes. Mow the grass and keep the weeds down – We do weed treatments. 480-831-9328.

Clutter

Rock walls

Rock walls

Rock walls and foundations. 24/7/365 that’s how termites work, always in search of food for the colony. They never sleep and if your home is in their path, that will = food time for termites. I suggest an annual inspection by a Qualified Pest Professional and if you are purchasing a home the same applies. Don’t just have a Home Inspector or a Realtor take a guess. You have a right to a professional opinion especially when making  purchase of that magnitude. Termite inspections are worth every penny you pay and I even had one by another company when I purchased my home.

Rock walls

What do you look for?

  1. Tubes and stains.
  2. Paint that looks like it is cracking.
  3. Wood with dirt in it.
  4. Down tubes in ceiling.

Termite signs

Termite signs

What are the Termites signs? Have you ever seen paint that looks like it’s peeling and then you investigate and there is dirt within. Yep, termites. This is what I look for at baseboard levels and or the ceiling area. The paint looks like it is warping and then you pick and it gets worse.

The key factor in determining termites is the presence of dirt within the wood, lack of dirt may be Drywood Termites or even fungus growth. I suggest calling a termite inspector and have them give you an expert opinion. That is why they are paid to do what they do, training and knowledge. They also carry some tools that may help with the inspection, they can also get into attics or crawlspaces that may be difficult for you.

Termite signs

Windows to termites

Windows to termites, what up with this?

Windows aren’t usually an issue for termites.  Termites can show up in some strange places, this is a bathroom window. Obviously they are coming down above the window or maybe they just wanted a better view. But we know we definitely know we have termites. So now what to do and where are they coming from, floating slab – probably, we did check outside but no evidence. Showers can be extremely tricky especially drilling close to pipes and ceramic floors.

Window

Fake News

Fake News

Boy oh boy, nobody can win these days especially with all that FAKE NEWS out there. So I wanted to clear the air about pest control or termite control.

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! Pest Control

Let’s start with Pest Control. Do you know what my biggest liability is, its not the pesticide its driving to the appointment. Everyone is complaining about the low wages, so what did we do? We raised the minimum wage to $10.50 – Let’s think about this for a minute – that means that the business must make more than that per hour to make money. The business must also take into account all those things that they must pay for (insurance, workman’s comp, vehicle if needed and then auto insurance, chemical, additional employees like schedulers etc and according to a NPMA survey that is about 32.8%) I recently saw a poster on a pole out in Surprise for pest control for $25 – NOBODY MAKES MONEY ON THIS!

How long do you think a person can spend at this account? How long will they be in business. Are they even using chemical/pesticide? Are they insured, (liability, workman’s comp and auto insurance) probably not? If you hire an unlicensed person and they mess up, who will pay for their mistake?

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! Termite Control

Termite control – I recently saw an advertisement for $275 – I also remember an article from Florida that suggested termite treatments should be the range of $1000 to $1500 based on the cost in 1930 something. What do you really get for $275?

Termidor HE Label – “Structural termite protection is achieved by establishing a continuous treated zone along the exterior foundation of the structure.” When I read this and interpret it, to me it says there must be a complete barrier around the structure. So either the garage must be drilled or across the garage door must be drilled  and what about patio’s?  In my book either the patio is drilled or the outside of the patio is trenched. Now to achieve the label how can you sell it for $275? YOU CAN’T! Again you get what you pay for….

So why is this FAKE NEWS – because I don’t think you are getting the right deal for what you pay. Someone isn’t giving you the right pesticide, all the pesticide you are supposed to get and all the areas the label requires. Now I used the Termidor HE label, but check out the offer and see what they are supposed to give you and then compare the options.

Trivia fact – Termites have been reclassified into the same order as cockroaches, they are more closely to roaches than ants. Did you know that?

Fake News

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