All posts in “termites”

Concrete walls

Concrete walls

Concrete walls

 

Concrete walls, can be a termite walkway right into the house. Termites are amazing and they can show up in places I can only imagine. How they find holes in concrete and then pop up is just a amazing fact of these little girls? We service a set of building at Frank Lloyd Wright and the walls are made of Coquina rock and there are spaces throughout. The termites are very crafty and they will find any crack in the rock or concrete. Typically when homes are built these days, there is a gap as to where the stucco is so that helps a lot. Not so long ago the stucco went right into the dirt and you might not see the termites until they were in the house. So what do you look for with termites or even water damage:

  1. Mud tubes.
  2. Any signs of baseboard cracking, it looks like your fingers are bunched together.
  3. Signs of tunes hanging down from ceiling or mud tubes on the wall.
  4. Any wood damage – check for the presence of mud/dirt = sure sign of termites.
  5. In Arizona we have grass eating termites.
  6. Sheds should be on concrete or raised and sometimes that isn’t enough. So check those out buildings as well.
  7. And if there is any questions – call ProBest 480-831-9328 or 623-414-0176

If you have pictures you can send them to us, just call and we will give you the number. or send them to service@callprobest.com

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Termites tunneling

Termites tunneling

Termites tunneling in the soil around your home is inevitable. Stopping them before they get into your home must be absolute.  Termiticides have come a long way since the 1950’s  – some good and some maybe not so good. But all in all this all depends on how you stand on repellent, non-repellent and baiting?

 

In the 50’s Chlordanes usage was curtailed and replaced with shorter life termiticides. Chlordane lasted or had half life of approximately 50 years. OK I know some will argue but in plain language, EPA didn’t want it to last that long in the soil. Soon came shorter life in soil termiticides and newer type classes like Premise which is a non-repellent. Then came Termidor oh and I forgot some new baits like active ingredients Hexaflumuron and noviflumuron. These are baits that are placed into the soil and eaten by termites which then affects molting. My personal opinion especially in Arizona is that it is extremely hot and this in turn heats up the bait station. So I think putting a pesticide in place permanently is the way to prevent Termites tunneling. Termidor stays where you put while Premise can move up and down depending on water activity. We also perform WDIIR or Wood Destroying Infestation Inspection Reports. No matter where you live in the South termite are active usually year round. Depending on your location some moderate to heavy infestations can occur. Florida for instance is greater than Arizona due to moisture. Where you have more water and building codes that lean towards conducive conditions you will find termites.

Storage Units

Storage Units

Storage Units are for all our storage needs. People use them to store all sorts of stuff from furniture to stuffed animals. There can also be issues related with pests. These storage unit can be used by anyone to store anything. So by chance the next door person could bring in all types of bugs. From cockroaches to silverfish and anything in between. The ideal fix for this problem is to remind people that bugs travel. In my line of business I see a lot of bugs and I prepare for local bugs but I keep up with all the bugs in US.

A perfect example is Brown Recluse Spiders, from Texas north in a bell curve, not frequently seen in Arizona. We do have a Brown spider in Arizona related but not the same. Every time someone is bit, they claim it was a spider. Probably not, spiders prefer to leave you alone and only bite in response to being messed with.

The time to address pest needs is before they happen, there should be a rodent plan in place at your Storage Units. Rodents bring in snakes, the more rodent activity, the greater the chance of snakes. We do have rattlesnakes and they can do some damage if you are bitten. So being proactive is the key to keeping the rodent population in check. The newer the facility, may not have issues yet but keeping an eye out for your unit is beneficial. I’ve seen termites pop up in just a month, if some one brings in German Cockroaches they could soon be everywhere.

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

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.

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.

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