As we head toward spring and the warmer weather, it is time to take a quick look at termites and how you can hunt them down in your home. Many homeowners don’t think too much about these hidden pests that seem to be, “out of sight, out of mind.” We are here to warn you that even though you may not see termites, you should at least keep an eye out for any signs that may indicate that you have an issue. Termite problems could impact the structural integrity of your home, or, at the very least, cause damage to the wooden parts of your home. Let’s take a closer look at how you can be on the hunt for termites in your home.
Termites cause billions of dollars in damage each year in the U.S.. Mostly, they feed on wood, the kind that can be found in the woods surrounding your home, the firestack, or even the wooden foundation of your home. They can also damage paper, books, insulation, and even swimming pool liners and filtration systems. The most dangerous thing about these pests is that they often go unseen. They do most of their work inside wood or in mud tubes connecting their colonies.
As a homeowner, you should be alert for some of the following signs. Early detection could help lessen the damage and allow an extermination company to begin treatment early.
- Spring is typically when large numbers of winged termites, known as “swarmers,” emerge inside homes. This dispersal is due to the warmer temperatures and the instinct to start a new colony.
- Winged termites are attracted to light, so you may see wings near windows or doors.
- In order to travel in darkened shelter, termites construct mud tubes. You may see earthen “mud” tubes extending over foundation walls, supports, and floor joists.
- Damaged wood may be one more sign you have an infestation. Using a screwdriver or pole, bang on wooden structures in your home. Hollowed or damaged wood can tell you that termites may have been present.
- Termite droppings or frass may be visible as termites eat the wood and have droppings emerge from the main areas of excavation.
If you have any of these signs of termite infestation, call Pest-End Exterminators now at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.
In our last blog, “Nightmare Pests – What’s Attracting Termites to Your Home?” we discussed the conditions that tend to attract termites to a home or a structure. Today, we are taking a closer look at the signs of a termite infestation. Take a moment to read further to find out the red flags or signs that you should look for in a termite infestation.
Since termites can cause thousands of dollars of damage to a home, it is a good idea to know what to look for in the dark, warm areas of your home that may be indicators of the presence of termites. In addition to the cost of the damage, the repairs can cause chaos in a home for weeks, if not months.
- Mud Tubes or Tunnels – One of the first things that homeowners may notice are these winding tubes that may be forming on your foundation walls or on the wood supports in your basement or crawl spaces. They may even be present outside along your firewood stack on outside structures. These pencil-sized mud tubes can be found wherever the ground meets your home. They are the means of transport for termites from location to location.
- Wings – The discarded wings of termites may also be a sign that you have an infestation. These wings may be visibly collecting around the doors, windows, or other entry points of your home.
- Wood Damage – While this sign may not be as fully visible as the tubes and wings are, all it takes is tapping on the wood in your basement to hear the difference between solid wood and that which has been eaten and hollowed out by termites.
- Frass – Termite droppings are called frass and if you have termites you may notice this as an indicator of an infestation. Frass can appear as small black markings near an opening in the wood.
Do you have any of these signs of a termite infestation? Call Pest-End Exterminators now at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321 with any of your questions or if you would like an inspection.
Homeowners understand the dangers that catastrophes such as hurricanes, blizzards, and tornadoes can cause on a home’s structure. They know steps to take to safeguard their property and home in those circumstances. But many homeowners are either unaware or not fully informed about the steps to take to safeguard against one of the more destructive nightmare pests: termites. Read on to find out some of the conditions that may attract termites to your home and how to avoid this situation.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Americans spend at least $1 billion on Formosan termite control and repairs each year. The average homeowner with termite damage will spend approximately $3,000 to repair the damage. To combat these stats, it is important to understand the behavior and living conditions that can attract these nightmare pests.
In order to fully understand termites, homeowners should know what termites are attracted to. Here are some of the conditions termites thrive in…
- Wood and Cellulose Materials – To a termite, it’s what’s for dinner. Termites feed on lumber, firewood, newspapers, and other cellulose materials. Avoid storing stacks of newspapers in your basement or near the foundation. Also, consider the location of your firewood stack in relation to your foundation. The closer the stack the more likely they will find a way into your home’s structure. Inspect the wood structures in your basement annually to be sure there are no hollow spaces or chewed areas.
- Warmth, Darkness, and Moisture – Warm, dark, and moist places are a favorite of termites. Places in your home that may meet these requirements include your basement, crawl spaces, or under sheds or adjoining structures. These are ordinary places where homeowners do not regularly visit, so termites can chew away undisturbed for months, sometimes even years at a time. To avoid this, inspect your creepy places annually to see if you notice any termite tubes or hollowed wood. In addition, you may want to install a moisture barrier so that termites are not attracted to the moisture in the soil under your foundation. Keep things in your basement as dry and clean as possible.
If you suspect you have a termite problem, call Pest-End Exterminators now at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.
Finding termites is pretty much every homeowner’s worst nightmare. The damage and expense can be horrific. Considering that termites can devalue a home by 25%, homeowners are right to panic. These pests are not only property destroyers, but are difficult to detect as they are great at hiding in tubes and dark locations.
Amazingly, these pests are also fairly interesting when their behavior and lifestyle is taken into account. Check out these interesting facts about termites.
- Termites have been around since dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
- Cellulose, especially that found in wood, is a termite’s primary and most available food source.
- A termite has a voracious appetite. They consume wood, flooring, and even wallpaper non-stop, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Termites work as a colony. So, envision thousands of termites working toward the same goal – eating your wood structure.
- Termite “scouts” mark a trail to food so the entire colony knows where to travel to find wood!
- Termites are a valuable part of the ecosystem, believe it or not! Termites are the decomposers or recyclers who help break down waste. Unfortunately, sometimes they see that waste as your home instead of the wood and tree stumps in your backyard.
- Whatever termites cannot digest gets passed through their system and emerges in the form of tiny, hexagonal, wood-like pellets. If you find frass in or around your home, it may be a sign of a drywood or dampwood infestation.
- Typically, subterranean termite colonies contain 60,000 to 1 million soldiers, workers, and reproductives, but only one queen.
- Most termites are blind. Soldier and worker termites perform their tasks in the dark. Therefore, it is not necessary for them to have sight. The only termites with sight are kings and queens in search of mates.
If you have termites or just suspect that you might, call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321 to have your home or property inspected.
Termite damage can be well hidden, but also extremely costly. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that every year termites cause billions of dollars in structural damage, and property owners spend over two billion dollars to treat for these pests. The first step in avoiding becoming one of these devastating statistics is to prevent termites from becoming a problem in your home. Short of that, homeowners should at least have the knowledge of how to spot termite damage in order to treat as soon as possible, thus cutting back on potential damage. Here is a quick guide to help you stop termite damage in its tracks.
Know What to Look for… Most homeowners are not even aware that they have termites until they see a swarm or notice warping floorboards or weakened joists during construction. Here are just a few of the red flags that may alert homeowners that they have a termite problem.
- Termite shelter tubes – These tubes are used for transport and to shelter food. You may notice them on the walls and foundation of your home.
- Subterranean tunnels – These tunnels are usually 20 centimeters deep and allow the termites to carry food to the other members of the colony.
- Blowholes in trees – Homeowners may notice slits or openings in the trunk of trees where termites are nesting.
- Earthen packing – Termites that are hollowing out wood often produce a mud packing at the surface.
- Termite noises and wood excavation – Audible tapping may be heard in large infestations.
- Piles of termite frass (droppings) in or around the home.
- Presence of wings – These wings may be in piles on your basement floor or around wooden structures.
- Sagging floors and hollow wood – During repairs, renovations, or construction, homeowners many times come across floors that are damaged or wood that is hollowed out due to termites.
Take Action – Many homeowners are not sure where to go or what to do about termites. They question how much damage was done, or whether the pests are still active, It is always best to get a professional to evaluate the extent of damage and treat for termites. Take action as soon as you suspect you have a termite infestation.
Call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321 to have your home or property inspected and treated for these small but damaging pests!
In our last two blogs we have discussed the potential damage caused by carpenter ants and how to prevent these pests from making an appearance at your home in the first place. We also discussed that many homeowners often confuse termites and ants in that the flying ant looks much like a termite and the damage can sometimes look similar. Here is a quick side-by-side comparison so that you know what kind of pest you are dealing with in your home whether it is an ant or termite.
Appearance – To begin our comparison, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the differences in appearance between a winged ant and a termite. For more images, check out our website for images of other types of termites and ants.
Behavior – Termites and ants also behave differently. While both pests live in colonies, they tend to live in separate areas.
- Termites love to nest in rotting trees, wooden structures, tree stumps, and firewood stacks. Carpenter ants also frequent wooden locations, but they can be found in other areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and backyards where water is easily accessible.
- Carpenter ants do not consume wood but rather just hollow out the wood for nesting galleries. A small pile of sawdust will be located just outside carpenter ant tunnels, which can be easily missed unless you’re on the lookout.
- Termites create pencil-sized mud tubes to travel in and around your property to get to their food source and back to their nest.
Dietary Choices –
- Carpenter ants eat nectar, seeds, other insects, and food debris found around and inside homes. They do not eat the wood that they are hollowing out.
- Termites consume mainly wood, paper, and other cellulose-based products.
If you are concerned about ants or termites infesting your home, call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321. We can thoroughly inspect and determine whether your uninvited house guests are ants or termites, and then schedule an appropriate treatment plan.
Termites cause damage to approximately 600,000 homes in the U.S. every year which translates into an estimated $5 billion annually to control termites and repair termite damage. Given these startling statistics it is no doubt that homeowners do not want to attract termites. But could your property be unintentionally attracting termites? Let’s take a closer look at what activities and actions could be drawing termites to your property.
- Clogged Gutters – No one likes to clean out their gutters but, unfortunately, the moisture and debris can attract termites. Be sure to divert water away from your house and clean those gutters every year.
- Firewood/Wood – For many New Englanders, cold winters and cool springs mean warming the house with a fireplace or a wood burning stove. Unfortunately, a stack of firewood placed close to the structure of your home can be an attraction to termites. Be sure to stack your wood at least 20 feet from your home and give each piece a few hits before bringing it inside to jar loose any pests hiding inside. In addition to the firewood stack, be sure to clear your yard of dead wood including dead tree stumps and rotten branches.
- Mulch – So many homeowners use mulch as a way to line their gardens and walkways. While the mulch may have a positive aesthetic impact, it can serve as a source of food for termites and also retains moisture, which attracts these destructive pests. Minimize the use of mulch around the foundation of your home if at all possible and lay as little as necessary to get the “look” you desire.
- Bushes and Trees – Plantings such as bushes and trees that are placed near your home can serve as a bridge to the structure. Keep these trees and bushes trimmed back from your home.
Need more ideas on how to keep termites away from your home? Call Pest-End at Toll-Free: 800-287-4321 Phone: 603-382-9644 Phone: 978-794-4321.
We often encounter clients and homeowners who are looking for information about termites after hearing horror stories of friends, family, or neighbors who have discovered that they have a termite infestation. While having an inspection by one of our professional team members is best, here are some of the most common questions and stats on termites and termite damage.
- 600,000 – According to field research, termites damage a minimum of 600,000 residential structures in the United States each year.
- $5 billion – The residents of the United States spend, approximately, $5 billion each year in order to try to control termites and to repair the damage that termites cause.
- $30 billion – When it comes to man-made structures such as buildings and even crops, termites have been estimated to cause approximately $30 billion in damages.
- $3,000 – If you discover that termites have damaged your home, you will likely have to spend – at LEAST – $3,000 in order to repair the damage.
Common Questions on Termites
- How do I know if my house has termites? An inspection by a professional pest inspection team can determine if you have an active termite colony. As homeowners, you should be aware of the red flags such as: frass (termite droppings), discarded wings, weakened or hollowed-out wood and mud tubes. Read last week’s blog on the Red Flags of Termites.
- Will termites damage my foundation? In short yes, they can and do cause structural damage that will need to be assessed and repaired after the colony has been exterminated.
- How often should I get a termite inspection? Homeowners should always be aware of changes in their home’s foundation, but we suggest regular inspection by experts in the termite field at least every 1-3 years.
- Do termites really eat the wood? Yes, they really eat the wood. In our ecosystem termites play a vital role as decomposers to help in the bringing of nutrients to the soil and organic plantings. Unfortunately, in our homes the damage can be all-too-real.
If you notice any red flags or would like a termite inspection contact a professional pest control company like Pest-End Exterminators for fast and comprehensive treatment. Call Pest-End Exterminators Toll-Free: 800-287-4321 Phone: 603-382-9644 Phone: 978-794-4321.
If you are a homeowner, you know that one of your most precious possessions (outside of the lives of your loved ones) is probably your home. Depending on the number of years you have lived there, you probably have spent quite a bit of time and money caring and maintaining it. Most likely you also have an emotional attachment to the memories you have made there. That is why it is in a homeowner’s best interest to be able to quickly identify the presence of termites so that treatment can occur before extensive damage does. Here are four of the biggest red flags that you should be aware of when it comes to finding termites in your home.
- Frass – When termites eat the wood of a home they produce frass. These wood-colored droppings are usually found in a small pile of what looks like pellets inside or outside the home.
- Mud Tubes – A home that has termites will most likely have mud tubes along the foundation of the home or on exterior walls. These mud tubes are where termites live and reproduce where they will have access to the moisture they need to survive. Mud tubes often connect in a line from a nest to the food source – wood.
- Discarded Wings – Another sure sign that your home either has (or had) termites is the presence of wings that have been discarded after a swarm has matured and begun a new colony. If you notice piles of wings in/around your home or around the property, it is typically a red flag that termites are present.
- Vulnerable Wood – If, while inspecting your home regularly, you notice that the wood around the foundation seems hollow or soft, or if floors have begun to sag, you could potentially have a termite problem.
If you notice any of these red flags contact a professional pest control company like Pest-End Exterminators for fast and comprehensive treatment. Call Pest-End Exterminators Toll-Free: 800-287-4321 Phone: 603-382-9644 Phone: 978-794-4321
Termites are destructive creatures that can lay waste to homes, businesses, and wood structures across our region. According to the website Termite.com, the Eastern subterranean termite is the most common and widely distributed termite in the country, commonly found from southern Ontario, in all eastern states of the USA, including Texas. Termites damage approximately 600,000 homes in the U.S. each year, causing Americans to spend an estimated $5 billion annually to control termites and repair termite damage. Knowing this, let’s look at some common questions we get regarding termites in our region.
- What are the areas of high risk in our local area? According to Termite.com, the highest risks are in the following cities: Agawam, Attleboro , Barnstable Town, Beverly, Boston, Brockton, Cambridge-MA, Chelsea, Chicopee, Easthampton, Everett-MA, Fall River, Fitchburg-MA, Franklin-MA, Gardner-MA, Gloucester-MA, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence-MA, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Marlborough, Medford-MA, Melrose, Methuen, New Bedford, Newburyport, Newton-MA, North Adams, Northampton, Peabody, Pittsfield, Quincy-MA, Revere, Salem-MA, Somerville-MA, Springfield-MA, Taunton, Waltham, Watertown-MA, Westfield-MA, Woburn, and Worcester.
- How likely is it that my home has termites? The current statistics include the fear that termites occupy 1-in-every-5 homes. That means you should have regular inspections so that your home does not become a statistic.
- Can I wait to treat my home? While no one wants to deal with these voracious little pests, it is best to deal with them as quickly as possible. Scientists believe that most termite species eat 2 or 3 percent of their body weight each day. That means for every day you wait they have a longer chance to do permanent damage to your home.
- How can I tell if I have termites? Like other pests in residential homes, they usually leave signs of their presence in your home. Look for mud tubes, discarded wings from swarmers, frass (wood colored droppings), and hollowed out sounding wood. A professional exterminator can inspect and evaluate your home for termites.