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
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.
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.
How Do Termites Enter Homes?
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
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
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
b. Bait systems are less intrusive than other traditional liquid
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.
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
Bait vs. Liquid Comparison
|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
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
Stations are flush to the ground and not observable from
Opened only by special tool, enhancing safety.
Bait cannot contaminate water.
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
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
||Kills the entire termite colony and continues to monitor for
new invading colonies, providing long-term protection of your
||Kills termites that enter treated area. Length of protection
will vary by product. May need another spot treatment in 5-7
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
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
- Leaf has a solid reputation for quality that goes back over
- 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.