All posts in “termites”

Termite or???

Termite or???

Termite or???

Lookalikes similar to termites or earwigs in appearance – are they Termite or??? Nope they are web-spinners, small eyes, thread-like antenna and longish bodies. You often find them under rocks and stones in warmer climates. The females have no wings, and some males may have no wings either. The female feeds on plant material, and the males probably don’t eat and die soon after they mate when they might get eaten by the female.

They really do look like termites, so you really have to take a second look to identify correctly. Without a proper identification, you won’t know how to treat properly.

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.

 

Rain run off

Rain run off

Rain run off

You paid to have termite treatment done, how can you protect your investment? All chemical whether pesticides or termiticides ultimately loose the ability to protect. Rain run off and many things can degrade the chemical and today we will discuss them.

  • Water or rain – the more you can divert the water the better.
  • Animals digging up the soil – stopping the Ground Squirrels and/or rodents will stop the termiticide from moving.
  • Plants – should not be planted within the extended area of the eaves of the house. The roots will move chemical and soil and the plants block sunlight from reaching the house walls helping them to stay dry.
  • If you dig up the soil next to the house, contact your Pest Company to redo the barrier. If you are placing pavers don’t let touch the stucco you need a little room to see the foundation.
  • Planters are nice but not if they block your walls, no access to see the foundation and termite tunnels.
  • No wood should touch the soil, including trellises and vines. Blocks the ability to see foundations.
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.

Termite work

Termite Work

Termite work

Termite work should be left to the Professionals, we have the tools, equipment and the knowledge to do the job correctly. There are some things that we do that not everyone abides with. We clean the tubes off the stem wall or foundation. We will try to remove the evidence on the drywall, needing painting or a touch-up.

Subterranean termites are creatures of habit, they generally go up in straight lines, always with the grain unlike drywood termites which cut against the grain. Lots of work and research has been done on termites, but the judge is still out on rather they random forage or just head off after heading on roots or concrete structures.

So let’s think about a dead tree on your property next to the house. You cut it down and the roots remain for years. I heard that in orange groves, the roots can stay 20 years. That is a very long time, but its food for termites and other pests.

Quality work with integrity and trustworthiness. The standard of an Honest Company.

  1. Check your home monthly for pests.
  2. Look inside and outside.
  3. Check sheds and out buildings.
  4. Check up and down.
  5. Call ProBest if you have any questions. 480-831-9328 or 623-414-0176
Termite season

Termite season

Termite season

Its termite season, as soon as monsoon hits and rain begins to fall. Those mud tubes seen in the picture are a sure sign. Now if they are inside and more noticeable its time to call ProBest Pest Management. If your home was built before they started raising the stucco, it is good to have an inspection yearly but at least every other year. Termite are crafty and often not visible, so a termite inspection by a Pro is often the best medicine again these little girls. 24/7/365 they are lurking for a way into your home and all they want is food = your home.

So what do you look for?

  • Those telltale tubes up the outside wall.
  • Those same type mud tubes inside, either at baseboard or the ceiling, these can be drop tubes or damage on walls. Subterranean termites always go with with the grain of the wood and always have dirt with those galleries.
  • Any damage that you are concerned about.
  • Any painting that is damage from behind.
  • Anything that you are concerned with call our office or send us a picture service@callprobest.com
  • Termite Season is here, are you prepared – call ProBest today 480-831-9328 or 623-414-9176

Termites can cause significant problems, so watching you single biggest investment is worth it. If you watch a home for someone else it is equally important. Along with a 401K, it is an asset to you or a loved one. Pest control is also handy to have, as the technician is there on a consistent basis and can catch many issues.

 

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

Thank you for your business past and future.

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