Identifying Termite Infestation
No one wants to think about what might be living in their crawlspace, but the cost is too high to ignore the possibility of a termite infestation. If you and your family live in Orange County, Los Angeles, or Southern California, your home is at risk of termite infestation. Treebark Termite and Pest Control advises you to familiarize yourself with these common termite signs.
1. Mud Tunnels
Termites create tunnels out of mud and fecal matter in order to travel between the nest and sources of wood. These tunnels can be most easily seen climbing up concrete blocks on the side of the house. Tunnels are also very common in the crawlspace. Some tunnels start at the ground and travel upward, not always connecting with the floor above. Others start at the floor and travel downward through the crawlspace, not always reaching the ground. Tunnels are most frequently brown or light brown, varying in tone. A mud tunnel is a clear sign of a termite infestation, though they are not always present or easy to find.
Sometimes, termites appear in large swarms, frequently near a light source. Reproductive termites are found in swarms when a nest becomes overcrowded and it is time to build a new nest. A swarm not only means that there is a nest in the area but that a new one will be developed soon unless someone takes action. After the swarming phase, the termites will leave behind a pile of wings, indicating that reproduction has already taken place. Swarming happens the most often in the spring between February-March through June but also occurs in September and October for drywood termite season (red head black body termites with wings).
3. Wood Damage
As termites eat, they create holes in the wood and weaken the structure. Termites create patterns like watermarks in wood as they slowly wear it down. Termite-damaged wood may appear rotten or degraded over time, and give into pressure from above. Knocking on termite-damaged wood results in a dull, hollow sound. Termite problems are best dealt with before they cause this level of
damage, but Treebark Termite and Pest Control offers solutions to termite damage.
Treebark Termite and Pest Control
Instead of waiting for termites to become a problem, it is cheaper, easier, and safer to prevent infestation. Treebark Final™ is a Treebark-exclusive treatment which is not toxic for people, household pets, or plants. Use of Treebark Final™ does not require disposal of food or leaving the home. This ground-breaking treatment not only kills termites but prevents them from returning.
Check out the Treebark Termite and Pest Control hours and locations.
Subterranean termites are actually multiple species of termite, just like there is more than one kind of drywood or dampwood termite. “Subterranean” refers to any type of termite that builds its colonies underground. Regardless of the species, any signs of termites around the premises of a home or business mean bad news. Anaheim is known for having a subterranean termite problem from the old tree roots.
Each Anaheim termite colony is divided into three castes: workers, soldiers, and alates.
Workers: 6mm long and cream-colored with no wings, these termites are responsible for most of the tunneling and household damage.
Soldiers: Cream-colored but with a brown head and large mandibles (jaws), this caste keeps the colony and territory safe from predators and competing colonies.
Alates: Dark brown and almost twice as large as worker termites with two pairs of wings, these termites breed while swarming in the air. As they grow older, alates (swarmers) lose their wings and move back into the colony where they continue to breed.
When to Look
Worker termites tunnel and eat 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Alates are mostly active at dusk but can be seen year-round. Solder termites are hard to find as they are frequently close to the nest. Termite eggs, nymphs, queens, and older alates will only be found in the colony.
When termites work their way through the foundation of a house, they leave signs behind. The wood may look fine from the outside but produce a hollow sound when knocked against. There may be hollowed-out tracks leading in the same direction of the wood grain. (If the tracks are leading against the grain, you may have dampwood termites.) Lastly, there may be tracks of dirt or tubes made of mudleading upward into the building. These tunnels may run along the wall or be suspended like a ladder between the ground or the building’s foundation.
Native and Invasive Termites
Most termites found in Southern California are Subterranean termites, an invasive species which have been present for centuries. Subterranean termite colonies are roughly ten times the size or larger than Drywood colonies, some of which branch out to smaller colonies inside the house. Subterranean soldier termites are also more aggressive and make up 10 to 20% of the entire colony, compared to the 2% within a colony of Drywood termites. The invasive termites are more likely to take down live trees and even build mud nests inside them. Subterranean termites also spread more quickly, meaning they create more nests and infest more houses undetected .
Termite Prevention and Treatment
If you suspect termites may be on the premises of your home, the first step is to call Treebark Termite and Pest Control for a free inspection. The second step is to follow through with Ryania Treebark Termite Treatment, a pet-safe and environmentally friendly treatment which kills termites and prevents them from returning. The service comes with a two-year warranty that can be renewed indefinitely. Lastly, our specialists will perform wood replacement on-site. Please feel free to contact us with any questions so you can get started right away