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Expert Termite Control by Leaf Pest Control

 
   

Every year termites do more damage than all the floods, fires and hurricanes combined, approaching $1 billion annually. While termites are not as newsworthy as floods, fires and hurricanes, the economic impact is enormous, with an estimated annual cost of treatment at over $2 billion annually in the United States alone. Because termites eat wood, they can cause human injury, worry and grief, in addition to economic loss, when they destroy homes and other wood-containing structures.

In our area, termites live in the ground and invade homes through cracks in the foundation, loose mortar joints, utility line penetrations, and hundreds of other ways. No house can be made “termite-proof” through construction techniques alone. The termites often go undetected for years and are discovered only when mud termite tubes are seen, observable structural damage occurs or when hundreds of winged termites appear in the house.

Termite Anatomy
The reproductive forms of some ants are often mistaken for termites. The differences are:

  • Wings—Both ants and termites have two pair of wings, one on top of the other. Termite wings are equal in length while ant wings are typically of different sizes, shorter on the bottom and longer on the top.
  • Antennae—The antennae on ants are bent or elbowed while the termites’ antennae are straight.
  • Waist—Ants have a narrow or pinched-in waist. The termites’ waist is less defined, thicker and almost not noticeable.

Termite vs Ant

How Do Termites Enter Homes?
Termite tunnelsTermites can enter homes in many ways. They are always foraging for food and do not hibernate. The food they seek is anything with cellulose, the primary component of wood. By following tree roots, pipes or just by “accident” they can gain entry into structures through cracks in the foundation, utility entrance holes, mortar gaps or other common openings as small as 1/32".

The above image shows a typical termite “mud tube” that termites use to enter structures. Although rarely seen on the outside of a house, they are very common inside in basements and crawl spaces. The lack of mud tubes does not mean that termites are not in the structure since termites do not always need to build such tubes when entering. The tubes are used to cross over items such as brick, pipes, treated wood members, etc. and to protect the termite workers from exposure.

How Can You Tell If You Have Termites?

  • The reproductive form of the termite, “swarmers”. are winged. These swarmers can emerge into a house, usually in the spring and after a rain. Since swarmers are attracted to light, their wings and bodies are often found on window sills.
  • Mud tunnels may be visible in the basement or crawlspace. “Mud” may also be visible between floor boards or on floor joists when viewed from the basement, on or around foundation walls, on the sill plate (wood on top of the foundation wall) or around window frames in the basement.
  • Baseboards, door frames or floors may sound hollow when tapped.
  • Damage may be evident when repairs are made, especially around any water leaks such as leaky toilets.
  • Damage to wooden stakes outside, wood fence posts or even wood picnic tables.

Termite swarmers   Termite workers

Termite damageTermite workers eat wood, as can be seen in the above image. This can eventually lead to structural failure. As the termites hollow the wood out, a combination of moisture and fungi continue to “eat” the remaining wood. As a general rule-of-thumb, most homeowners do not see signs of termites until 5-6 years after termites have entered their home. And, in most cases, termite damage is excluded from homeowner insurance policies.

The Leaf Advantage
Leaf Pest Control has been solving termite problems for over 30 years. We are licensed to provide any type of treatment option that exists, from liquid termiticides to baits. Of all the options, baits offer the most effective termite treatment and protection available. Leaf is authorized to use both the Sentricon® and Advance termite baiting systems.

Why is a bait system the ideal choice for the primary protection of your home?

a. The system monitors, detects and eliminates colonies that are currently or may invade your home. Almost like an early warning system.

b. Bait systems are less intrusive than other traditional liquid systems.

c. Bait systems provide long-term protection of your home and are always on guard for new termites foraging around your home.

d. Bait has a low impact on the environment. Children and pets have no contact with the active ingredient because it is secured below the ground in the station housing.

e. Baits utilize the latest in termite research and technology available and lead to actual termite colony elimination rather than simply repelling the termites for a time like most liquid termiticides.

Sentricon Stationf. Baiting systems are visible. Homeowners can see if the stations are properly placed and maintained. With liquid termiticides, you cannot see if the termiticides are properly and thoroughly dispersing in the soil, if the application company is using the required amount of termiticide and whether it is mixed in the correct ratio of termiticide and water.

 

Bait vs. Liquid Comparison

Key Issue Bait Systems Liquid Treatment
Treatment Convenience/ Invasiveness to Home

Bait stations installed on outside of home.

No interior drilling required by label.

Stations are monitored for termite activity and baited as appropriate.

Must drill foundation in most cases and work inside home (treatments take 4-8 hours).

Concrete drilling causes dust and disruption of home owners.

Risk of termiticide spills or leakage into basement.

Area of Application

Bait stations are installed below ground around exterior of structure at regular intervals, with minimal disruption to landscaping.

Stations are flush to the ground and not observable from a distance.

Opened only by special tool, enhancing safety.

Bait cannot contaminate water.
No odors.

Must apply 100-200 gallons of liquid, mixed strictly according to label directions, around home and underneath slab areas inside of home. May need to leave home during treatment.

Applicator has opportunity to use less than required amount of termiticide and/or mixed solution in order to lower applicator’s cost.

Not following label mixing and application directions is illegal and voids any manufacturer’s warranties.

Treatment includes digging six-inch wide trench around foundation.
Potential for contamination of wells/cisterns, streams or ground water.

Colony Elimination Kills the entire termite colony and continues to monitor for new invading colonies, providing long-term protection of your home. Kills termites that enter treated area. Length of protection will vary by product. May need another spot treatment in 5-7 years.

 

How Do Baits Work?
After termites feed on the bait, the workers return to the colony (usually located 3-6 feet underground and within 1 city block of the treated structure) and feed the rest of the colony. By doing this, the workers spread the bait throughout the colony. The bait contains an ingredient that prevents the termites from molting, and if they can’t grow, they die. Eventually, the entire colony is eliminated.

After the colony is eliminated, Leaf’s trained inspectors continue to monitor the stations, detecting the presence of any new termite colony that may try to invade your home.

Although you have a choice of companies offering various bait systems, the system is only as good as the pest control company that provides the service.

  • Leaf has a solid reputation for quality that goes back over 28 years.
  • Leaf has been trusted by thousands of home and business owners to protect their major investment.
  • Leaf’s treatment standards go beyond those required by the system manufacturer and those of other pest control companies.
  • Leaf’s Quality Assurance personnel and procedures insure that you get value and results.

Call Leaf today or click HERE and one of trained inspectors will call you to answer any questions or to set up an appointment to provide a no cost, no obligation inspection of your home.