All posts in “foundation”

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.

Corner checks for termites

Foundation corner may contain surprises

Corner and indents may hide termite activity and the jtrim may also have huge openings. It is important to check your slab and house at least monthly for unwanted pests activity. This may help to avert any potential long lasting problems. If you don’t check often you might allow a bee colony to take over. That can bee a sticky problem down the road.

I find that most people stack stuff against garage walls and this allows a termite issue to go on a very long time. For some reason I think the garage is the most overlooked and usually the last to be treated by termite companies. Don’t place wood or cellulose items on the garage expansion joint. I’ve found books, posters and antiques full of termite activity and ruined forever.

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Tiny Termite House project

Tiny Termite House – coming soon March 2018

Tiny Termite House – The Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA) commissioned a third-party group.  Their plan is to research and build a real tiny version of a typical house. They hope to see how termites deal with structures and hopefully see it in real life.

The group is set to dump 500,000 Formosan termites into a custom, built-to-scale, miniature dream home and capture them at work utilizing a mix of high-definition video footage and photography. “This project is a really exciting one for our industry because we will be using sophisticated equipment to obtain never-before-seen footage of termites and glean more insight into the important roles that termite castes play in eating their way through homes,” said Cindy Mannes, executive director of PPMA. “The consumer education aspect of this project is huge. Our goal is to physically demonstrate the hidden dangers that these wood-destroying insects pose to consumers’ biggest investments, and hit home the importance of regular prevention and professional inspection.”

Stay tuned for Termite Awareness Week – March 11-17, 2018

Tiny Termite House

 

 

 

Tubes, tubes more tubes

Tubes, yes Termite activity.

Tubes – those amazing termites in Arizona can build some unique are artful looking down tubes. OK maybe not your cup of tea but isn’t artistic, that is without all the damage they do. I have seen them in a garage that was over 5 feet in length, been there for some time. These little gals work 24/7/365, looking for wood and ready to chomp through the house.

Look for these telltale clues, tunnels on the foundation slab, marks that look like dirt tubes on the wall and those that hang down from the ceiling. Don’t Panic and yes it is time to call a Pest Management Professional. Most houses will eventually get them and if you see drill mark or previous treatment signs it usually doesn’t means that it’s a bad thing. I personally think it’s a good thing, the  issue was found and handled. I would worry more about the house that was never treated and continued to be eaten away by termites.

By the way, in my opinion not a DIY (Do It Yourself) job. You need a true Professional, remember it’s not always about the equipment it’s about the KNOWLEDGE. You need an expert who has the knowledge, equipment and expertise to do a Professional job.

I suggest a monthly check of your home especially if you live in the southern U.S. Never hurts to check for termites, honeybees or anything that might later cause problems or issues.

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Monsoon and Termites

Monsoon brings out the bugs

Well the monsoon has arrived and with all that rain comes the bugs. I usually say the bugs come in for 2 reasons, #1 not enough rain or #2 too much rain. Just like us the bugs need water, food and shelter and guess what that may be our home of business. Termites become more active this time of year mainly due to the increase of water, on the East Coast water is more abundant and they just seem to be active all year long. Termites create a tube in which to enter a home but that tube can often be hidden and that is the main reason to hire a Pest Management Professional to do that yearly inspection. If you live in the South I recommend a yearly inspection especially for your peace of mind.

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All that water.

So when the ground becomes saturated the other bugs make for dryer land and sometimes that just happens to be your home or business. This picture below was from last week and you can see our parking lot is flooded. If this was your home this might be right up against your foundation. The more water and over time this may diminish your active termiticide.

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Termites AZ?

Consider checking for termites in obscure places?

Well it’s that time of year again, monsoon and we know what that brings? Yep, its the termites and the bugs and they’re back. This was found in a bath-trap area under a bathtub. You really have to think about and I often say you have to think like a termite. All they want is food, a good place to hang-out and water – hey that sounds like me. In this case we found them in a door frame and it didn’t look like they were coming in from the outside foundation. With just a little investigation we located them under the bath-tub in the bath-trap and as I mentioned you have to really think like them.

 

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Below, another tube coming from an interior door way – probably a crack under carpet.

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Happy Labor Day

Termites and your toilet – Ohhh what a crappy problem

Any toilet or pipe penetration in the slab will do

Toilet pipes lead the way in. Pardon the pun. Any penetration in your concrete slab allows that tiny chance that the termites may make their way into your home. Typically not usual but it does happen. This goes for any crack in the slab, have you noticed tile or carpet buckling, it may be a crack. If you replace carpet or linoleum and you see a crack have it treated before putting down new tile. I hate to see drill holes when it was preventable. So if you see something like this, give ProBest Pest Management a call at 480-831-9328.

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Active Arizona Termites

Active Arizona Termites

Our Active Arizona Termites like water and there generally isn’t a lot of it for them.  So after it starts raining they get a little more active. So keep a sharp look out for them. Arizona termites are sneaky. They often follow lines such as this metal bracket or they will follow concrete lines and or pipes. So what should you look for?

  1. Wood to ground, this gives termites a free pass into your home.
  2. Excessive moisture, don’t water to near the foundation of the house. Check drip irrigation and only water was is necessary for the plant if possible. In Arizona we often use flood irrigation, so be careful you are not interfering with the termiticide along the foundation of the home.
  3. Don’t store firewood or wood on the ground.
  4. Look for visible signs of termites, mud tubes, tunnels and/or drop tubes and damage.
  5. Garages are a noted area, so keep a watch for termite tubes coming up the foundation or in the expansion joint.
  6. Sometimes  you might see little spots of dirt, check it and if it continues to grow get a pest professional to take a look. Our Arizona termites make some funky little drop tubes, it’s their way of trying to get back to the ground.

 

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Termites and their search for food

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Workers are the main caste in the termite colony for the digestion of cellulose in the food and are the most likely to be found in the infested wood. Workers are out and about 24/7/365 and constantly searching for wood.

One of the key areas in homes in my opinion is the garage, so keep an eye for the the expansion joint. I also recommend not placing wood, boxes or anything cellulose on the expansion joint.

Access granted, into your home.

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Your home is your castle

Access into your home is your decision and seems to be in your court, right? Every home has penetrations from either the slab or flooring, I can’t think of a single exception. So if you have an example let me know about it. Every time a pipe comes through your slab or flooring there is a chance that termites might exploit the opportunity.

On top of this, there are often issues at the time of the pretreat. Construction proceeds and after we do that pretreat we never know what happens to that hole where the pipe comes up. Often times there is soil piled up and sometimes it is removed and guess where the termiticide is? Gone and there is no protection. So those are the areas where we all need to be vigilant and pay attention to walls and other fixtures.