One way to nip a termite infestation in the bud is to perform regular inspection. Among other things, a periodic termite inspection of your property will let you discover an infestation and take effective action before it becomes bigger. There are many Termite inspection methods homeowners can make use of.
While you can do a termite inspection yourself, you should know that pest control companies have the resources and training to do a thorough job for you, especially if you have a big property.
Inspection can be done whether you notice termite activity or not. Termites often operate away from where you can easily notice them. The subterranean termites, for example, live some inches below the ground surface. By the time you become aware of their activities, serious damages may have been done.
DIY Termite Inspection Methods
The primary source of wood for termite is wood – decaying wood, soft wood. So it makes sense to start your inspection from wherever you have wood or wooden frames in the house, especially where these are in contact with the floor. For this task, you will need basic tools like a flashlight, a hammer and a screwdriver. You might also need gloves and a dust mask.
Check the base of the interior walls. Look out for small mounds of dirt near wooden frames and mud tubes on the wall.
When you see something unusual on a wood, hit the particular spot with the hammer if it caves in or sounds hollow, termites may be at work.
Take extra care when you’re inspecting the kitchen, bathroom or any other room where water is used regularly. Termites’ colonies thrive near water sources.
Check around the foundation walls for mud tubes and termite tunnels. Take time to check well woods resting on the ground. Since moisture will naturally draw termite, check out spots near pipes and water leaks. Check firewood stacks and move them far away from the house.
Termite Inspection by Pest Control Companies
If you think the above is too much work, then you can employ the help of pest control companies who make use of a combination of termite inspection methods to help you detect and eliminate termite colonies that are targeting your home. This kind of inspection is always much more thorough since the company takes into cognizance a lot of factors which might not be clear to you.
One common method used by pest control firms is to set up monitoring stations around your property. After termite activity is detected, the monitoring station may give way to a bait station. Or the company may decide to use chemicals to eliminate termites on your property. If you will be taking the pest control company route then be ready to cough out some cash.
A regular inspection now can surely save you thousands of dollars in damages later, and the good thing is you can do this yourself using any of the termite inspection methods
Pest control for termites takes different forms and methods. Termite control companies determine which one to use based on certain factors. For instance, the size of your property will determine treatment method to be utilized to get the most effective result.
The following are some of the most popular pest control for termites methods:
Bait system is effective in situations where there are signs of termite activity as a prevention and control method. It involves setting up monitoring station around the property to confirm termite presence. When termite activity is detected, the monitoring stations are then turned to a bait station. Foraging termites feed on the slow-acting toxin and then transport it back to their colony for other termites.
It is very easy to install, unlike using a liquid termiticide. You can get cheap do-it-yourself bait system kits at your local store.
Bait systems are eco-friendly. They use very small amount of chemicals. In fact, the initial monitoring stations don’t require any chemicals at all. You can also use them in places where the use of a chemical is not allowed.
It takes some time to stop an infestation using the bait system since a slow acting toxin is used. Damage from infestation may continue for a couple of months before seeing result.
It requires constant monitoring to be effective. This is because it has no residual effect. When a new termite activity is detected in another location you need to initiate the treatment again.
Use of Liquid Chemical as Pest Control for Termites
This involves the use of chemicals called termiticides on the soils across the perimeter of your property. Application of liquid termiticide will control an existing termite population and protect against future infestation.
It is reliable. While the baiting system requires a foraging termite to stumble upon it, the application of liquid chemical will create, round your property, a barrier that forces termites to turn away.
Though it uses a large volume of liquid chemicals, it is generally considered as a cheaper alternative to the baiting system.
Not everybody is open to the idea of using chemicals in the home, especially when you have kids and pets. But there are much safer and environmental friendly termiticides in the market today. Treebark Termite and Pest Control offers 100% Organic Pest Control Treatments and 100% Safe and Effective Termite Control Treatments based off the Ryania Tree in South America.
Termite Fumigation Gas
This is especially recommended for drywood termite infestation in the house. It allows treatment to reach difficult area that cannot be reached by other methods.
It penetrates cracks and wall to reach termites
The fumigant is non-flammable.
The kind of gas used evaporates quickly after the tent is removed, leaving no residue
Most of the gases used for termite fumigation can be lethal. All humans and pets must be evacuated.
At high temperature some fumigation gas can disintegrate and form corrosive acid, all heat sources in the house must be turned off.
Recent studies performed by leading colleges within their science labs show that the sulfuryl flouride gas in fumigations stays within the atmosphere for HUNDREDS of years. This powerful greenhouse gas depletes the ozone layer and detrimental to our environment. Futhermore, 60% percent of all Sulfuryl Flouride gas in America is used in California alone. Scary thought when you think about our local climate.
There are many methods of pest control for termites but the ones outlined here are some of the most common.
Most people agree that organic pest control is the safest way to get rid of unwanted insects both in our homes and gardens. However, a lot of these people admit to still buying chemical pesticides despite knowing their side effects. The reason for this is that they either doubt their effectiveness or simply do not know which organic pest control solution is ideal for them. Today we are going to share a list of the most effective organic pest control methods together with the pests they tackle best.
The Best Organic Pest Control Techniques
1. Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT)
BT is a bacterium that naturally occurs in the soil. Once it is inside the insect it produces a protein that causes it to die.BT is usually specific to particular groups of insects so you should find the type of Bacillus Thuringiensis that will work for your pests.
It can be bought in liquid, powder or dust form. It is dusted or sprayed on affected crops. BT is however only effective in the non-adult stages of the insect. A popular variety of BT IS BT var Kurstaki which kills nearly 100 types of pests including imported cabbage worms, tomato horn-worms, squash vine borers and corn ear-worms.
2. Horticultural Oil Sprays.
This is a very simple pest control technique. By spraying the oils on the insects you block their airways and hence they suffocate. Some people use regular oil but these can often be too dense having adverse effects on the plants. Horticultural oils are lightweight and have do not clog the plant’s pores. It is advisable not to use oil sprays on moisture deficient plants as this may worsen their situation further.
Oils sprays work best on aphids, beetles, caterpillars, leafhoppers, white flies and thrips.
3. Insecticidal soaps.
This is one of the most effective organic pest control techniques. Insecticidal soaps are composed of unsaturated fatty acids found in animal fats. They are made commercially. They are sold in liquid form and are sprayed directly on to the pests. They work by dissolving the insect’s outer cuticle which may also be referred to as its skin.
Insecticidal soaps are only effective in liquid form so it is important to hit as many insects as possible as once it dries up it has no effect. They could also burn plant leaves. To prevent this it is important to test them by spraying the on some leaves and observing them for at least 48 hours. Insecticidal soaps work on almost all types of insects.
There are two types of traps. Pheromone traps and Sticky traps. Pheromones traps replicate the scents of the particular insects they wish to trap. These however attract mostly male insects hence are not very effective in eradicating pests. Their real value is that of early detection. Once one male is trapped you are warned of impending infestation and hence you come up with a strategy to deal with the insects before they become a problem.
Sticky traps are where rigid material is covered with adhesive substances so as to trap insects that come into contact with it. These come in different colors depending on the insect you want to trap. Here is a list of colors and some of the insects they attract; Yellow traps-white flies, fungus gnats, fruit flies; White traps-cucumber beetles, white flies; Red spheres- ideal for apple maggot flies.
5. Row covers
These act as physical barriers between the plants and the pests. They are made of translucent polyester material. The let both moisture and light pass through easily. There come in light weight and heavy weight varieties. It is advisable to use lightweights in summer so as not to scotch the plants. These should be used temporarily e.g. when pests are most active or when the plants are still seedlings. They are ideal for aphids, imported cabbage worms, squash bugs, tomato pin worms and corn ear worms.
The great thing about these organic pest control techniques is that they are both cheap to buy and easy to use. If you are still using dangerous chemicals after this then you’ve got a problem!
If you have been having a running battle with termites and have been checking out termite control companies in your neighborhood. Then you can put your mind at rest. In this article, I’m going to help you choose the best pest control firm for your termite problem.
Termite infestation is a huge problem for many families. Damages caused by termites runs to billions of dollars yearly.
With termite control companies springing up here and there, finding the best one for your situation can turn to a herculean task overnight. Below, I outline steps you can take to make sure you end with a good termite control business:
Termite Control Companies: Steps to get the best
Ask for Guarantee
A good termite control company will have in place a guarantee, which might be up to a year. A guarantee is a sign that the company knows what they’re doing when it comes to pest control and also shows that the company is reputable. You will want to make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of the guarantee.
Look for Reviews
With so many businesses, big and small, embracing online presences nowadays, there has never been a better time to review a service or product. Check out the customer reviews of your potential termite control firm. This can be as simple as using a business directory like Yelp or merely entering the business name into Google and adding keywords like “complaints” or “reviews” and you’re good to go. You will be able to determine the reputation of the pest control company in no time without leaving the comfort of your room.
Ask for Plan of Work
There are many termite control procedures out there. While many termite control companies can use different methods to solve your termite problem, some specialize in one or two methods.
Before contracting any pest control business ask for their plan of work. This should be a written document and should include treatment procedures, chemical and insecticide labels, bait placement, among other things.
To make sure you’re getting the best offer, ask for proposals from 3 to 4 companies. The advantage of doing this is that it will allow you to compare services, charges and modes of operation.
One way to get a good termite control company is to ask among family and friends. Termite infestation is a common problem. A relative or friend of yours might have passed through an attack and would be in a perfect position to recommend one or two services to you.
You will still need to ask relevant questions bordering on fees and treatment procedures. This is important since infestation can take different forms. Your termite problem can be bigger which may make the information given to you not enough.
Termite treatments can run up to several thousand in dollars in a year. This is the reason many homeowners seek out affordable termite treatments.
Here, you will learn how you can get low-cost termite control treatment for your home.
If you will be hiring a pest control company for your termite problem, then be ready to cough out fees starting from around $700. And that depends on the level of infestation and the type of treatment your home required. Overhead charges from termite control firms can surely add up.
If you notice termite activity early enough, you can try a DIY treatment. This can save you hundreds of dollars. I should let you know here that the termite activity you detected could be a sign of a bigger infestation which will require the expertise of a pest control firm.
The following are DIY termite treatments you can try out on your own:
DIY Termite Baiting
This method is one of the most affordable termite treatments you will come across. You can buy a DIY termite baiting kits over the counter in your local store. All you need is to set up baiting stations around your home where you have noticed termite activity. For this method to be effective, you need to set up a considerable number of stations around the structure you want to protect. This is the best option for a lot of people who hate using chemical around their home for pest control.
A termite baiting station contains bait that has been treated with a slow acting ingredient that kills termite. The foraging termites eat the bait and transport it back to their colony for other termites. This is so effective that it can wipe out entire termite colonies.
DIY Termite Treatment with Chemicals
If you’re fine with using chemicals around your home then you can try a DIY chemical treatment. A good sprayer is essential for this method. For outdoor treatment, you will also need shovels and buckets. You will need to be extra careful here and make sure you comply with all necessary health and safety standards.
2. Affordable Termite treatments from Pest Control companies
If you don’t want to deal with termites directly yourself, or if the termite infestation in your home is extensive, you will need the services of a termite control company. This is usually costlier than DIY treatments but you can still get affordable charges by taking the following steps:
Regular Home Inspection:
Undertaking regular inspection for termites in your home will save you money in the long run. Look for signs of termite in the home and around your property. Mud tubes on the wall, hollow sounding wooden frames and tiny cracks in the wall may be signs that termites have found a way to your home. When you notice these, contact a termite control business immediately. Your early action can be the difference between paying $500 or $3000 in treatment cost.
Ask for different quotes
Taking proposals from different companies and comparing prices can also help you pay less for a termite treatment. Companies take into consideration certain factors before determining what to charge you. Some of the factors are the extent of damage, type of termite, size of your property and the type of treatment they will employ. You will be surprised at the difference in their price quotations.
4 Subterranean Termite Wood Repair Alternatives
Subterranean Termites | How to Repair Termite Damage
If you are having trouble with subterranean termites or are cleaning up after exterminating a subterranean termite infestation, that means there is also a chance of wood rot in the problem areas of your home. With weaker jaws than their Drywood termite relatives, subterranean termites prefer soft, broken-down wood to eat, meaning there may be a moisture problem as well as a termite problem. This does not mean that cheap wood repair is off the menu. What is does mean is that the repairs should be handled with care and it may take certain techniques to make sure the problem is completely resolved. Here are a few possibilities in a range of prices and results to take a look at before making a decision.
1. Replace Affected Wood with PVC
Why use materials that are only going to be destroyed again? One cheap option is to keep the same wood pieces from being broken down again by replacing them with something that cannot be eaten by termites. Families may choose from a variety of PVC wood designs. The more realistic-looking pieces will be more expensive, but these pricier PVC pieces do not carry any other special benefit. Placentia Termite Damage Repair
2. Replace Affected Wood with Cedar
There is no need to install more of the same cheap, weak wood that the house came with. Instead, a firmer and more rot-resistant wood such as cedar is recommended. It will look and smell much more beautiful than a PVC installation, though it will be far from free.
3. Layer with Epoxy
When there are no signs of wood rot and the affected wood is not hollow, a coating such as epoxy can be used to cover the wood and help prevent other problems in the future. Please bear in mind that termite damage is almost always worse on the inside, and the affected wood may be hollowed out. More than once, a house has started to collapse or have structural problems because there was an unknown issue with the integrity of the wood. Seek a wood replacement expert to make sure your affected wood is safe to keep or if it should be replaced.
If wood is kept after an infestation, it should only be because that wood is solid and fully capable of doing its job. With epoxy in particular, it is important to look out for heat because hot air may dry out the catalyst prematurely. The benefit of epoxy over polyester is that it can be made smooth without a knife or chisel.
4. Layer with Polyester
For a large area, painting a polyester layer is actually cheaper than using epoxy. It must be applied in two layers, and each time the unwanted parts must be shaved off and sanded rather than simply being smoothed out. Both epoxy and polyester should be covered with primer and then painted over in order to make the wood safer and more pleasant to look at. Termite Damage Repair is never fun but a must to keep your home healthy.
The good news is there are a number of options when wood must be repaired or replaced. The bad news is that options are limited depending on how much damage the wood sustained. Nothing is free, but depending on the condition of the wood, there might just be a cheap deal to fix the problem.
1. Cats Find Rodents Before You Do
With their keen sense of smell, ears built to pick up higher frequencies, and their urge to hunt only the tiniest and fuzziest of creatures, cats are the natural enemy of rodents. Cats are attracted to areas where rodents have been, and will often come to these places to sniff and investigate. If there is an unidentified rodent problem in your house, or even if there are no signs of rodents yet, pay attention to the places that your feline frequents. They may have already have tracked down the nest.
2. Felines Offer Free Round-the-Clock Pest Control
Mouse traps must be purchased, exterminators must be paid, rat poison must be placed carefully and guarded, and tenting is a logistical nightmare. House cats, on the other hand, are happy to track down any rodents they can reach, and you never have to ask them twice. A single house cat will never be enough to fend off an entire infestation, but they might just prevent an infestation from taking root.
3. They Scare Away Invaders
Rats and mice alike are naturally afraid of cats. Just the smell of a cat’s urine is enough to send a mouse running, and no rat in their right might would choose to make a home within swatting distance of a cat. Even if a rat misses the cat’s scent and wanders into the house, the sight of a cat pouncing will send them the other direction.
4. But Sometimes Rodents Come to Them
Rodents may be naturally afraid of cats, but something can be done to waive this fear. This something is called toxoplasma, and it is a parasite that has been called downright mind control and zombieism. Cats carry the parasite which is then picked up by rats and mice, which permanently lose their fear response to cats. So long as the cat is not openly showing aggression to the rodent, that rodent will wander near and maybe even approach the cat, making the hunt that much easier.
With sharp ears, sharp noses, and mind control, your house cat is ready to guard against the woes of rodent infestation. Remember that your cat should never have to work alone, and that Kilter Termite and Pest Control is here to help. Find out how Treebark Termite and Pest Control Can rid your home of unwanted guests including termites.
Southern California and the Los Angeles area is home to many different species of spider, and unfortunately, sometimes they find homes on our own property. From common house spiders to the deadly and poisonous black widows, homes in Orange County and nearby areas are full of unwelcome visitors. It is up to homeowners whether to rid their homes of spiders or to rub elbows with their eight-legged, hairy friends, but before making such a decision, it may be useful to look at the risks involved. This is the Treebark Termite and Pest Control guide to the 5 most common spiders found in the Southern California home, and the risk of keeping them around. Here are the 5 Most Common Spiders:
1. Brown recluse
Most brown recluse spiders are light brown with little or no markings. Others may have an orange tint or violin-shaped markings down their backs. The best way to identify a brown recluse spider is the number of eyes. Most spiders have eight eyes, just like they have eight legs, but brown recluses only have six eyes.
While it is very rare for a brown recluse to bite a human, the consequences are very serious. As the name implies, brown recluses mostly keep to themselves, only known to bite people in self-defense. In the case that they do occur, brown recluse bites require immediate medical attention. Brown recluses are best removed from the house in order to avoid danger.
2. Hobo spider
A hobo spider is brown or orange with black shapes down its back and pedipalps shaped like boxing gloves. A hobo spider is best identified by its funnel-shaped web, found in quiet parts of the house such as unused cabinets and storage rooms.
Bites from hobo spiders are rare but may be serious. While red and swollen at first, a hobo spider bite will appear healed after a few hours. The problems, if they appear, will be more subtle: nausea, fatigue, vision problems, and other less noticeable symptoms. As diagnosis may be difficult carried out at home, it is better to keep the home hobo spider-free.
3. Southern house spider
Male southern house spiders are light brown, while females are black. Males are frequently larger than females. While they do not have a very distinctive appearance, southern house spiders can be told apart due to their hairy bodies.
Southern house spiders are not dangerous, and only need to be removed if they are considered a nuisance.
4. Brown widow
A brown widow has a light brown abdomen decorated with colorful eye-shaped markings. It has brown-gel-like legs with black stripes. Like the black widow, it has a distinctive hourglass shape at the base of its abdomen.
While painful, a brown widow spider bite is not very dangerous, with only one verified case that required hospitalization. At the same time, their choice of hiding places leaves them mostly in the open and more likely to interact with people than more reclusive spiders. Homeowners with brown recluse infestations may see the spiders throughout the day, creating an uneasy feeling that they may choose to remove. Learn more about brown widow spiders here.
5. Black widow
Female black widows are black with a distinctive red hourglass shape on their abdomen. Males are slightly lighter, either brown or gray, and may or may not have a light-colored hourglass shape on their own abdomens.
A bite from a female black widow is very serious. Black widows stay in warm, dark, dry, and undisturbed areas, and have little risk of interacting with people, but may do so in self-defense or if the human disturbs their home. Due to the dangers of a potential bite, it is advisable to remove the threat.
If you have concerns that your home may be infested by spiders or wish for their removal, consider calling , with locations throughout the Orange County and Los Angeles area. Our friendly staff will gladly help to answer all of your questions.
Subterranean termites may be small, but they are capable of a terrible amount of home damage. You may have subterranean termites if they come from underground, track dirt, eat in the direction of the wood grains, and favor soft, rotting wood. They are found most often in the south, especially along the California coast and throughout the southeast. Physically, these termites are easily mistaken for drywood termites, but many of the treatment practices are the same. Subterranean Termites swarm every March/April. If you are seeing flying black bugs that look like fat ants, chances are you have subterranean termites. Subterranean Termite Treatment Options:
1. Poisonous Bait
A trap uniquely designed for subterranean termites, this baiting system is designed for harvesting termites to bring home poisonous bait instead of wood from the structure of the house. A colony of termites can essentially be trained to use the poisonous bait as their primary source of food and ignore the wood above. Traps are buried around the foundation of the home and bait inserted whenever termites appear. The advantage of these traps is they mean less exposure to chemicals for the residents of your house. The downside is these traps must be investigated once a month and maintained constantly in order for their effect to work.
When things get bad, many people turn to tenting their house. This means moving out of the house for three days, taking the pets and the plants along. Though fumigation is highly effective, it is not a permanent solution. It does a thorough job of killing the termites present in the house, but does nothing to prevent a future colony from moving in. Clearly this is not the final solution. This particular treatment is only good for Drywood Termites and not for subterranean termites and doesn’t apply.
3. Treebark Final
Of course, it’s only natural to save the best for last. This all-in-one termite treatment kills the both types of termites and keeps them away. There is no need to take the pets, children, and plants out of the house for the treatment, either. An annual inspection is enough to make sure everything is working like it should, and this inspection is part of the package. Treebark Final is simply good at what it does.
Everyone has their favorite forms of pest control, but there is only one in this list that is efficient, environmentally friendly, and effective. Sometimes it just makes sense to pick favorites.
What do termite-free houses have in common? There is no secret about it. Orange County homeowners are already taking these five precautions.
1. There is good drainage.
Smart home-owners know that a wet foundation is a magnet for subterranean termites. A termite free house is a healthy yard that slopes down toward a drain or sewage system, letting any excess water recycle itself rather than gathering at the base of the house. Poor drainage not only puts homes at risk of termite damage but also encourages the growth of mushrooms and the natural degradation of wood.
2. The foundation is off the ground.
If you are looking for a new house, pay special attention to the homes which have an open crawlspace. Air must be able to flow freely beneath a house in order to keep the wood dry and healthy. Keeping the foundation off the ground helps against subterranean termites but does not make infestation impossible. Even if there is a gap of a foot or so, they are still capable of building their own tunnels out of mud in order to reach the foundation.
3. The yard is free of debris.
Termites do not just infest houses. They also take down smaller wood sources like logs and branches on the ground as well as dead and dying plants. Debris that is left along the side of the house as well as under the foundation also has the effect of sealing the gap between the ground and the floor, allowing termites easy entry into the house. A healthy, well-maintained garden does its part to keep termites off the property.
4. The wood is treated.
All termites have one thing in common: their jaws are weak. Dampwood termites rely on wood that is already partially rotten while other termites can only burrow along the grain lines of the wood. Applying a layer of termite treatment, paint, or polish to the outside of wood will help to keep it safe. Paint and polish not only guard against termites but protect wood from the elements as well.
5. They treat for termites whether there are signs or not.
Termite treatment is not just for when a problem has already started. Long-term treatment solutions are also a great way to prevent an infestation without any worries of any termite damage taking place. In this case, there is no need for fumigation or invasive chemicals. Treebark Final is a pet-safe, environmentally friendly treatment that only needs to be renewed every two year. With this treatment in place, there is no need to worry about a termite infestation even for a moment. It’s your way to a termite free house!