All posts in “termiticide”

Water diverter

One of the home improvements you can do to your house is to add Water diverter to any pvc running from ac units. This diverter takes water away from the treated zone and allows the termiticide to stay where it is put. One of the keys to termite work is putting the termiticide to the place where the termites will go through it. If water is constatly running through it, it will over time diminish the effectiveness.

This device isn’t in the best of places, but is able to divert some water away. The sidewalk somewhat blocks the pipe from extending far enough away. But this device can help and does.

So here is my theory on longevity of termiticides in Arizona. Under concrete I believe Termidor can last up to 15 years and if it is on the outside of home I cut that rate in half to 5 -7 years. Now anything can cause this to break sooner, something under the slab such as rocks, paper or anything left over from construction.

Termites build tubes.

Termites build tubes

Termites tube on block wall.

Termites tube on block wall.

Termites build these tubes for several reasons, to protect them from air and sunlight and to protect them predators. They go in search for wood and when they find it they let the others know where the food is. They work 24/7/365 and even in the case above they might think they are heading for wood, they won’t find any here so eventually they will give up and move along.

They are small about 1/4 inch but it’s their numbers that make the difference, here in Arizona probably between 100,000 and 250,000 all working towards the goal of feeding everyone.

So keep a look out and if you see anything like this please give ProBest Pest Management a call at 480-831-9328

What is a pretreat and why do I see termites in garages more often?

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A pretreat is done just before the pouring of concrete and is designed to prevent termites from coming up penetrations of the slab of concrete. Post construction treatment is done after a home is built.

I often see termites in garages and have been intrigued as to why they occur in those circumstances rather than inside homes. I have watched homes being built and I think I see the garages being worked on last. Sometimes the concrete is poured in the home and the garage is poured last. I also seem to remember that the pretreat originally was done on the home part and wasn’t redone or even done for the garage. Now I may be wrong but I have seen that and I think this is why I see more issues within the garages rather than inside the home.

A word of caution – Don’t stack wood against your foundation.

I know you want to party but these are not the guests you want at your party. Termites will seek every opportunity to gain access into your home or business. Why then would you give them an invitation in?

A few tips:

  1. Don’t stack firewood against the structure, pallets or wood of any kind.
  2. If you must the put on blocks but don’t let it touch the house.
  3. Firewood may attract more than termites, like carpenter bees and ants.
  4. Cover the wood if possible, let it have a chance to dry.
  5. When needing the firewood, bring in only what you need and if you don’t use it take it out. PowerPost beetles and other insects love to overwinter in the logs and if it get warm they think its Spring.

1st picture mud tube on foundation slab, 2nd picture the corner of pallet as it came into contact with foundation slab, 3rd entire pallet has termites.

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How much termite pressure is on your home?

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Photo by FMC

So just how much pressure is on your home, that question is important and many factors play into this equation.

  1. If you live on the East Coast or Gulf of Mexico the pressure will be greater than if you lived up North. Yes you do have termites in the North but because of he extreme cold the pressure will be reduced.
  2. Water plays a big part of the pressure round your home. When people started to settle in Arizona they brought in non-native plants which required more watering. Flood and drip irrigation = humidity level goes up.
  3. We sometimes play right into the termites hand by building structures right where they live in the ground. We also allow wood to touch the ground, this really makes it easier on the termites.
  4. If you add onto your home insist on a pretreat, even if your build a shed pretreat the soil before the concrete slab goes into place.

What is under your concrete?

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One of the problems with doing termite work is what is under the concrete. The picture above isn’t under concrete but in a block wall holding up a RV gate. The problem that I have run into is cups and trash that were just thrown in before the concrete was poured. Cups are a real problem because they are coated with that waxy material and takes a zillion years to decompose.

A number of years ago I had an issue with a set of steps and finally after taking it apart we noticed trash, wood and cups which prevented the termiticide from reaching the dirt in a uniform way. Love to be Superman, but I can’t see through concrete.

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Why is a termite pretreatment important?

 

Before you build that new home, the builder generally works a deal with a Termite Company to treat the soil beneath the slab is poured. There are lots of things that can go wrong and lets talk about a few.

  1. Scheduling conflicts and nobody shows up for pretreatment, you may or may not know this happens but it does.
  2. The builder uses the cheapest termiticide.
  3. After the builder does all the work and just after the termite company shows up and treats the soil, somebody decides that there are several pipes in the wrong place. Nobody calls the termite company with an update.
  4. After the termite technician treats soil, the building folks or plumbers walk over the product. I can’t tell you how many times this happened to me, I go crazy and they look at me like – who cares.
  5. The concrete people don’t remove all the form boards.
  6. The termite technician measures or calculates the square footage incorrectly.
  7. It was raining or rained very soon thereafter.

I run into various slabs or foundations that bewilder me on why there are termites so quickly into the houses life. Hire a reputable company and don’t fall for scams that sell pretreats for 3 or 4 cents per foot. Use or insist on a quality termiticide, if you use a quality product and company a pretreat should last. I was going to give a approximate number of years but I’m hesitant because of factors including soil, location of US and rainfall or water table heights. In Arizona I would think that a well performed with a quality termiticide  under the slab should last 15 years, the outside maybe, maybe 5  – 7 years. (my opinion)

Photo by PPMA

Photo by PPMA

Termites are active now in Arizona

 

Termites are small, white, tan, or black insects depending on their caste that can cause destruction to wooden structures. I always suggest a termite inspection if you are purchasing a home or at least an inspection every few years just to be safe.

 

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After determining the infestation a treatment is necessary to keep them out, this is done by generally placing a termiticide into the soil next to or under the foundation. This is better done by a termite professional because it involves drilling and placing the termiticide under slabs of concrete. I often see termite tubes in garages and specifically in the area of the expansion joint (as noted by the first picture).

Call ProBest Pest Management for a inspection today and prevent damage or further damage. 480-831-9328 or 623-414-0176

Ahhhhh those termites are at it again……

 

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Sometimes termites just pop up in the weirdest places, this is an apartment and I believe that the issue is the firewall – stemwall with a floating slab. I always suggest that if you find a crack in the concrete and your going to put down tile or wood, have a termite company drill it first then put the tile down.

Tricky termite treatments

 

Tricky termite treatments

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Pavers, flagstone and tile always make a termite treatment more difficult. Sometimes it almost impossible, these pavers are in fact put in place with cement or sand.  It is possible to drill but it also is worrisome because you might crack the paver. It is essential to the treatment to get the termiticide to the area where the termites may try to get into the home.

I also run across built in cabinets and they pose another obstacle to getting the termiticide to that expansion joint. What other issues do you think we run across on our daily termite treatments and do you have any unusual obstructions at your home or business?

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