Sometimes, you might think you don’t have to worry about termites. Maybe you just bought a house and the previous owner claims to have had termite treatment performed. Maybe the inspector even verified that there are no termites in the house. Maybe you’ve been in the house a while and you know for a fact that you had termite treatment performed at some point. You let down your guard and think you can relax, but suddenly you see a tell tale mud tube or discarded wings in your windowsill. What is going on? Have the previous owner, the inspector, and the termite control company all deceived you? Or is it that termites can come back, even after your house has been treated?
The good news is that all of those people probably are not lying to you. The bad news is that in some cases, termites come back after treatment. In fact, they’re some of the toughest pests to eliminate from a property. Why? Let’s look at the realities of a home termite infestation and discuss how you can reduce the likelihood of termites returning to your home.
First of all, different types of termites require different types of treatment. If you’ve got drywood termites, a whole house treatment will eliminate them. However, you might have noticed that some termites have wings. Young reproductive termites known as alates or swarmers leave their original colonies in search of new ones, in great termite swarms. Even if you’ve had your house treated, termites could decide to build a new colony there when they’re out swarming.
Then, too, if you have whole house treatment done and the termites you have are not drywood termites, it probably won’t even eliminate them in the first place. Dampwood and subterranean termites can hide out in the soil, untroubled by the fumigation inside your house. Even if you kill the termites in your house by fumigating, the ones hiding in the soil will just come back into the house. The best way to treat these kinds of termites is with a combination of localized and soil treatment.
You might wonder, what if the majority of the termites were in the house when it was tented? Do we really need to worry about the few hiding out in some underground tunnels? The answer is yes, you absolutely do. Termites reproduce unbelievably quickly. In fact, a single queen can lay millions of eggs each year, which means millions of termites ready to head into your house and start eating it. If you don’t eliminate all of the termites, the chances of them returning and rebuilding their colony are very strong.
If you really want to eradicate subterranean termites, use a combination of direct and indirect killing methods. Direct methods involve putting poison into the places where you know the termites are living, so that’s pretty straightforward. However, because it’s very difficult to know where each termite is at any given moment, indirect methods are also necessary. A termite company might treat the soil around your house or put out termite baits, but the strategy is the same. Termites carry the poisons, either by tracking it or picking it up and carrying it, back into their colonies. Eventually, this termiticide reaches all the termites in the colony, ridding your home of these hungry little invaders.
It’s wise to hire termite professionals instead of trying to get rid of termites on your own. This is because professionals are trained to know what type of termites are causing the problem and how to get rid of them. What’s more, they have access to much more effective products and tools than you do as a consumer. When you have termite treatment done, you’ll probably be encouraged to sign up for a maintenance plan. Is this a scam? Absolutely not. Because termites can and do return, you should sign on for proactive treatments and annual inspections, to make sure no further damage is done to your home.
In the meantime, take some steps on your own to keep them from coming back. Repair any damaged or rotting wood, as well as any leaks or other sources of excess moisture. Remember, termites need moisture to survive, so eliminating excess water on your property can help prevent an infestation. Seal cracks and crevices so that you’re not inadvertently providing easy access to your home. Keep mulch and shrubbery from touching your home, and make sure there is no direct contact between soil and wood. Mulch and dirt should only come into contact with your concrete foundation. Keep firewood away from your house too, and store it off of the ground. Get rid of any fallen wood or stumps on your property, to discourage termites from making outdoor nests. You should also avoid storing any paper or cardboard in or around your house, since the cellulose in those items is a food source for termites. Recycle paper products and keep important papers safely on an upper floor of your home. If you are careful to take these precautions, it’s likely that your termite inspector won’t find anything to treat during your next annual maintenance call.
At MightyMite Termite Services, we’ve earned a reputation as experts in California termite control. We perform termite inspections to ensure that your home is free of termites and work hard to help you keep it that way, using treatments that are naturally derived and have a low impact on the environment. We diagnose and treat infestations with the most effective methods and unmatched warranties, solving your termite problems the first time, with an industry best “no call-back rate.” That, combined with our experience, technology, and highly trained professional staff, makes us the leading extermination company in the Bay Area. We understand that your home is your most important investment, so we work hard to provide excellent service, utilizing best practices to solve our customers’ termite problems in Northern California. For more information, call us today at 408.335.7053, email Info@mightymitetermite.com, or contact us through our website.