All posts in “termites”

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.

Tree termites

Tree termites

Tree termites or the grass eaters are prevalent in Arizona and can be seen in dry dying grass or on trees. They really are just eating the dead damaged wood not the interior good wood. They are natures cleaner uppers, they redistribute the nutrients back into the soil. Things grow and things die, just like leaves and then back into the soil to help another tree live on.

What we don’t realize is that we build right on top of their homes. We expect them to leave us allow and they are just doing what they were born to do. They work 24/7/365 and it doesn’t matter if its your house or not. If it isn’t protected then it’s your turn. No if but when they decide it’s time. So keep a watch and call ProBest Pest Management if you see dirt tubes or tunnels 480-831-9328 or 623-414-0176

Bath-Trap

Bath-trap

Bath-Trap – “You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop, the Termite Zone!

That was from the Twilight Zone – I loved watching that as a kid, sometimes scaring me.

So you are finally having that special first time house built and you see this when you are walking through one day. Hence my problem, home builders are not termite experts and vice-versa. When we pretreated that soil it was all nice and only dirt. Then we sprayed around it and now the builder will take the dirt and chemical termiticide away. Guess where the first place for termite to break the barrier will be, yep the bath-trap or garage (cause its last to be treated and people will walk all over it.

That’s why we put in bath-trap access into the walls of bathrooms!

Termite weird tubes

Termite weird tubes

Termite weird tubes and how I’m constantly amazed by their handiwork. I’ve seen drop tubes down from the ceiling at least 5 foot. I’ve also seen dead grass castles that are almost artwork. While termites are considered destructive, sometimes they are creative in their overall job out in nature. In nature they start to decompose wood and return nutrients to the soil. The never ending grow and die and return to the earth.

Signs:

  1. Tubes on foundation slab wall.
  2. Drop tubes.
  3. Small little holes with soil or dirt growing over time.
  4. Baseboard looks like its crumbling from inside to outside.
  5. When in doubt call ProBest 480-831-9328.
Contact Us