• Mighty Prevention! How to Save Money and Your Home from Termites!

    Termite infestations are one household event that is easily preventable. Yet, numerous homeowners fail to take the time to protect their investment and property. Then, when termites invade and infest the home, they are shocked to learn that termite treatment and damage repair costs are not something covered under homeowner’s insurance!

    Continue reading “Mighty Prevention! How to Save Money and Your Home from Termites!”

  • What Is the Government’s Role in Termite Control?

    You might be surprised to learn there are several different government agencies that play an active role in termite control, termite research, and termite extermination. These agencies include:

    • S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    • S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
    • S. Forest Service
    • S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
    • Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
    • California Environmental Protection Agency (CEPA)
    • California Agricultural Commissioners

    Each of the different agencies has its own specific roles and functions, while also working together on efforts to control termites through research and public education.

    Please Note: If you live outside of California, your state will have its own agencies that can be involved with termite control. The agencies can be called the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Quality, Department of Environmental Protection, or some other similar name.

    What is EPA

    What Is the EPA’s Role in Termite Control?

    The EPA’s role is to provide education about termites, including how to identify different species, what termite signs to look for to determine infestations, and how to control them. The EPA also provides information about different types of treatments for termites one might use, from non-chemical to chemical options.

    Additionally, the EPA is responsible for regulating the various pesticides and chemicals used for termite extermination. The EPA verifies the treatments meet the current federal safety standards that protect the environment and health of humans.

    Other responsibilities the EPA has in regards to termites include:1

    • Encouraging termite prevention efforts.
    • Setting standards for the registration and use of termite control products.
    • Serving as a primary source for information about pesticides and non-pesticide treatments for state and local government agencies, news media, and the general public.

    What Is HUD’s Role in Termite Control?

    HUD’s role in termite control has to do with the regulation of termite inspections during the sale of properties. Their primary concern is to help protect homebuyers by requiring a termite inspection prior to the sale of the home. These inspections help identify potential termite infestations and prevent problems when a buyer purchases an infested home from a seller.

    HUD’s role does not stop there. They also publish information in every state about termites, their control, and whether termite control treatments are required. For instance, in California, HUD has assigned the TIP (Termite Infestation Probability) as Zone 1.

    What this means is that homes in California have a very high risk of infestation by termites. As such, termite treatments are required in accordance with housing regulations MLS 99-03 and 01-04.2

    What Is the U.S. Forest Service’s Role in Termite Control?

    The U.S. Forest Service plays a vital role in learning more about various termite species through research studies. Their objective is to study the termites to find out more about how colonies function, grow, and expand in natural and controlled habitats.

    In addition, they monitor which types of wood, such as dry or damp, the termite species will eat. Their research helps determine what treatments will be the best and most effective at getting rid of termites when they invade homes and businesses.

    What Is the USDA’s Role in Termite Control?

    The USDA has a variety of different termite control and research programs. Some of their research is conducted in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service. For instance, the research provided by the U.S. Forest Service helps the USDA conduct research studies on various termite extermination treatments and control option, as well as how new technologies could potentially help.

    The USDA also educates the general public about termites and various control methods by publishing different news or hosting various events. Part of the USDA, the National Invasive Species Information Center (NISIC) publishes information about various termites species, most notably on Formosan subterranean termites. The USDA even helps fund different termite programs and studies at Louisiana State University.1

    In addition, the USDA has a PMD (Pest Management Division). The PMD works with various state and local government agencies in regulating the testing and licensing of termite extermination technicians and termite control companies. The PMD also provides termite data sheets for the general public.

    Protecting Your California Home From Termites

    What Is the CDC’s Role in Termite Control?

    The CDC provides access to a wide range of information and data related to termite control. This information can include:

    • Termite Research Studies
    • Effects of Termites on Human Health
    • Risks of Disease Transfer by Termites
    • Termite Treatment Studies
    • Healthy Housing Reference Manuals
    • Termite Exterminator Health Studies
    • NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) Study Summaries

    What Is the CEPA’s Role in Termite Control?

    The CEPA works with the USDA’s PMD to regulate the issuance of licensing of termite companies, exterminators, and control technicians. There can be different types of licenses required with specific requirements, such as bonding, insurance, or regular renewals.

    What Is the California Agricultural Commissioners Role in Termite Control?

    The California Agricultural Commissioners works with the EPA, CEPA, and other government agencies in regards to various pesticides and chemicals used to for termite control. This agency is responsible for overseeing that termite companies and their technicians are properly licensed for specific pesticides and chemicals, as well as have the proper training for applying them.

    The California Agricultural Commissioners also supply pesticide and chemical data sheets for termite control professionals, as well as the general public. These data sheets contain specific details, like proper application methods, storage methods, risks to human health, and so on.

    How Do These Government Agencies Benefit Me?

    The various government agencies help homeowners by providing specific details about termites. These are a great resource if you have questions about termite species, how to recognize the presence of termites on your property or in your home, and other such information. In addition, specific agencies ensure termite companies are properly licensed and trained in the use of various termite control treatment products.

    How Can I Protect My California Home?

    The most effective way to protect your home from termites is with annual termite inspections from a qualified termite exterminator. Annual inspections help identify potential sources of food for termites and location of colonies. Your exterminator will also provide education and advise on what methods would be the most appropriate to prevent your home from becoming infested.

    Should the home already be infested with termites, your termite control technician will review various treatment options. Each treatment can be for different purposes, such as one to kill existing termites and another to stop new termites from accessing the home.

    If your home has been infested, after the termites have been killed it is essential to make any necessary structural repairs. After the repairs are made, you will want to have all repair areas within the home retreated for termites.

    Fumigating Your Home From Termites

    How Much Damage Can Termites Do to a Home?

    On average, most of the members of a termite colony can live between three and five years. The queen can live as long as 20 years, laying hundreds of eggs every day. As you can imagine, as the colony grows, there can easily be millions of termites in a well-developed colony.

    By the time most homeowners realize they have a termite problem, there is already extensive structural damage to the home. The structural repairs required to keep the home safe could easily cost several thousands of dollars or more.

    For additional information about termites, how to prevent and control them and protect your home, or to schedule a termite inspection or termite treatment, please feel free to contact MightyMite Termite Services at 408.335.7053 today! We offer free estimates and inspections and have a 100% guarantee for two years for homes and businesses in the San Jose area.

    Sources:

    1. https://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol/termites-how-identify-and-control-them
    2. https://archives.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/ref/sfh1-23sa.cfm

  • When Is It Too Late to Treat a Termite Infestation?

    Understanding the signs of a termite infestation early on is crucial. It can save you thousands of dollars in home repairs and keep the overall structure of your home sound. Most people are well aware that termites are drawn to wood. But, experienced termite companies like MightyMite Termite Services know that it’s not just wood you have to worry about with termites. Unfortunately, they can affect everything from the insulation in your walls to the books in your office! The worst part? Many people don’t even realize they have termites until significant damage has been done.

    If a termite infestation is left untreated, it could literally bring your house down. The good news is termite signs can be easy to spot once you know what you’re looking for. Spotting a problem early on will make it easier to get the proper termite extermination your home needs. When you’re able to recognize some of the early signs of these invasive insects, you can end up saving your home and your wallet from serious damage.

    Early Signs of Termites in Your Home

    What Are the Early Signs of a Termite Problem?

    The best thing you can do for your home is to be aware of the earliest signs of an infestation. There are some clear indications you can look for around your home before major damage occurs. Some of the signs to look for in and around your house include:

    • Mud tunnels: Termites create ‘mud tubes’ or tunnels to connect them to their food sources. Try looking on nearby tree trunks, around your porch, or even in attic ceilings for these distinct tubes made of soil or dirt.
    • Tiny holes: Before any extensive damage is done, you might notice smaller issues with the wood around your house. Look for tiny holes in the wood. They may look like someone stuck a nail in and pulled it back out. Sometimes, they can be as small as a pinhole, so having a keen eye helps.
    • Droppings: One surefire way to know you have a termite problem is to look for droppings. Termite droppings often look like wood sawdust. So, if you notice a sawdust-like substance on the ground/floor, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with an infestation.
    • Broken wings: Termites can swarm from one area to the next. For example, a termite infestation coming from a nearby tree to your house will cause them to fly over. Once they safely land and start working on the wood around your home, their wings fall off. You might start to notice wings around the house, especially on windowsills.

    Signs of a Termite Infestation

    Unfortunately, many people miss the early signs of a termite infestation because they can be subtle. It’s not until noticeable damage starts to occur that termites become a real issue for the home. By the time some of these signs become visible to the naked eye, a lot of damage could already be done.

    Once a termite infestation has taken over your home for a while, you’ll likely start to see more noticeable signs. Often, these include things like:

    • A honeycomb pattern in the wood
    • Blistered/dark wood
    • Doors or windows that are hard to open or close
    • ‘Solid’ wood that breaks or crumbles easily
    • A ‘bubbling’ appearance on the surface of the wood
    • Seeing the actual termites (sometimes referred to as white ants)

    Termites Cause Damage from the Inside Out

    Termites can also be deceiving because a lot of the damage they cause starts from the inside out. Even if the wood around your house looks solid and strong, it could be structurally unsafe. One way to test the health and strength of the wood is to tap on it gently using a hammer or screwdriver. If it sounds hollow, it’s likely been on the menu for an infestation of termites for quite a while.

    Solid wood should make a thud sound when it’s tapped. It will be easy to tell the difference between wood that’s hollow and wood that is solid all the way through. When performing this termite test, don’t forget to check all the wood in your house, not just outside or on your porch. Areas like crawlspaces and attics can be prime targets for a termite buffet.

    Wood in Your Home That's Had Termites

    When to Have Your Home Inspected for Termites

    Maybe the last time you had your home inspected for termites was when you first moved in. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to get a periodic inspection from a professional company in the Bay Area every few years – even if you don’t notice any signs of damage! Termites can actually live in your walls for years (especially drywood termites) before you start to see any issues.

    Whether you think you have termites or you know you have termites, MightyMite Termite Services can provide you peace of mind. We offer a free inspection that will cover the entire area of your home. After our inspection, we’ll be able to give you a full report on whether you have an infestation and what we can do about it. The sooner an infestation is able to be caught, the less damage will be done to your home. That can end up saving you thousands of dollars and will keep your house in one piece.

    What Is the Best Way to Treat a Termite Infestation?

    There are many different ways to eliminate termites from your home. Some exterminators use things like harsh chemicals. While these products can work when it comes to getting rid of termites, they aren’t exactly environmentally-friendly, and they can even be irritating to people who might have breathing issues like asthma, or allergies.

    MightyMite prides ourselves on using pest control products that are strong and powerful, yet safe for the environment. Not only do these solutions work well for getting rid of termites, but they are also less invasive on you as the homeowner.

  • How Do Termites Cause So Much Destruction to Homes?

    Termites cause so much destruction to homes because they are active 24/7. Termite colonies and their inhabitants never sleep. This means workers are constantly gathering food, digesting it, and sharing it with termite soldiers and the queen. On top of this, termite queens constantly lay new eggs that will develop into new termite workers and soldiers.

    In other words, the colony is so active that by the time homeowners discover they have a termite problem and schedule termite treatment, the damages are often significant. In fact, termites cause billions of dollars of damages to homes throughout the United States every single year.

    Wood Falling Apart Due To Termites

    What Type of Wood Do Termites Eat?

    A common misconception many people have is that termites strictly eat the dry wood used to build the internal support structures of homes. However, this is a myth. The type of wood termites eat is largely based on their species.

    For instance, drywood termites prefer dry wood, like the wood used to build your home. On the other hand, dampwood termites won’t eat dry wood. Instead, they seek out sources of moist, damp wood, like found outdoors, such as:

    • Unprotected Firewood Piles
    • Dead Trees
    • Tree Stumps

    Even subterranean termites have their own wood preferences. This species tends to like softwoods and softwood fibers. Common softwoods include pine, redwood, cedar, spruce, and juniper.

    What Do Termites Eat Besides Wood?

    Another common myth people have is that termites will only eat wood. This is not true at all. Rather, all species of termites require cellulose, an abundant organic compound found in wood and a wide range of plants and vegetation. Cellulose is the primary food source all termites need in order to survive.

    Cellulose can be found in:

    • Trees
    • Lumber
    • Drywall
    • Hardwood/Laminate Flooring
    • Cabinetry
    • Countertops
    • Cardboard
    • Paper
    • Books
    • Leaves
    • Cotton Clothing

    This is why termite infestations inside homes can extend beyond the wooden structures that support the house. Termites can destroy kitchen and bathroom cabinets. The will also eat and destroy hardwood and laminate flooring. In extreme infestations, termites have been found tunneling through books.

    Are Termites Beneficial in Any Way?

    While termites can be a headache for homeowners, they do provide a valuable service in nature. In these types of environments, termites aid in the breakdown and decomposition of dead, dry, or damp wood. They help ensure dead trees, shrubs, and other such vegetation is broken down. Essentially, they are assisting in making nutrient-rich soil.

    Old Wood That Was Eaten By Termites

    How Can I Protect My Home?

    There are several things you can do around your home to help reduce the risks of termite infestations, including:

    • Do not use wood mulch around the exterior of the home.
    • Do not store firewood on the ground or next to the home.
    • Do not store cardboard boxes, old newspapers and other paper-based products in your garage or storage shed.
    • Have your home inspected annually for
    • Use the appropriate treatments to keep termites in nature, where they belong, but not inside your home.

    To help protect your home against termite infestations, you need to have a detailed inspection completed, along with the right termite treatment services. Please feel free to contact MightyMite Termite Services at 408.335.7053 now to schedule an appointment!

  • My Neighbor Has Termites – What Should I Do?

    Termite Fumigation TentingYou are driving home from work, and you notice your neighbor’s house has a huge tent over it and is being treated for termites. Initially, you start to panic, thinking that their termite infestation is going to now become your problem since they are driving away termites. However, before you start to panic, let’s review some basic termite information and how infestations occur to put your mind at ease.

    • The fact that your neighbors have a tent over their home is an indication that termites are active in your neighborhood. It may not necessarily mean termite colonies are present on your property or in your home—yet.
    • Termites are part of nature, and it is not a matter of if but when your home will become infested. Termites can be controlled and kept out of your home with the right termite treatment. Here in California, termites will eventually overrun any subdivision if they are not kept in check.
    • Depending on when your subdivision was built, the wood used in the homes may have been pretreated for termites, although this treatment does wear off with age and is no longer effective. For instance, your subdivision is ten years old and your neighbors are having their home treated. This lets you know you probably should have your home treated, too, as a safeguard from a potential termite infestation.
    • If your neighbor is using a reputable termite extermination company, then they will be skilled at killing your neighbor’s termites with no risk to your home. Yet, if your neighbor is using termite-repellant products, it may be worthwhile to also have these installed around your home. Repellants create an “invisible” barrier that termites will not cross.
    • Termite colonies are limited in the area they cover. There can be hundreds of termite colonies in a relatively small area of about an acre or less. This is because termite colony expansion is a slow process, in regards to how far termites migrate from the initial colony.

    Do I Need to Have My Home Treated for Termites, Too?

    Your home may be termite-free and not need to be treated at all. At the very least, you should schedule a detailed home inspection with a reputable and experienced termite control and extermination company. The inspection will help determine:

    • If there are termites on your property.
    • Where termite colonies are located.
    • If there are signs of termite activity inside your home.
    • What treatments—both extermination and preventative—you can use to protect your home.

    It is also a good idea to have your home inspected once it is ten years old or older and if a detailed inspection has not been done within the past two to three years.

    Termites Eating Wood

    After your home has been inspected, if it is termite-free, then it is up to you as to what preventative treatments you want to use to keep termites out. Just remember, even if your neighbor has termites, it does not always mean your home has been infested, too.

    To schedule an appointment for a detailed termite inspection and what treatments your home could require, please feel free to contact MightyMite Termite Services at 408.335.7053 now!

  • How Can I Identify Signs Of Termites And Termite Damage?

    Finding signs of termites around your home is not always that easy for most homeowners. Termites like to remain hidden away where they cannot be found. However, the spring and summer months are when several species of termites swarm, and this could alert you to a termite problem in or around your home.

    When termites swarm, you will notice termites with wings flying around. Normally, there will be a large number of swarmers in a small area. They will be relatively small flying “bugs,” and you need to make sure to not confuse termites with flying ants. Ants also will have wings when they swarm in the spring and summer.

    If possible, try to catch a few of the flying “bugs” and put them in a clear container with a lid. You want to look very closely at their body. Termites have two main body parts—their heads and their lower abdomen. Ants, on the other hand, will have three main body parts—their heads, a middle abdomen, and a rear abdomen.

    Even if you do not notice swarms around your home, it does not mean termites are not present. There are other signs you should look for around your home, which include:

    • Small sets of discarded wings. The wings are very tiny and tend to look like fish scales.
    • Sections of mud-like tubes that extend from the ground. Subterranean termites live underground and will build protective tunnels to travel to the wood they eat. Check along the foundation of the home and garage, as well as your shed. If you have a wooden deck, look underneath it to see if you see any of these tubes.

    Pinholes-in-wood

    • Pinholes in wood . When termites enter and exit wood, they will leave small pin-like holes. An infested piece of wood will have multiple holes in it.
    • Soft, hollow, and “squishy” wood. Press and knock on the wood. If it feels soft, hollow, or “squishy,” it could indicate the presence of termites. Remember to check hardwood flooring, wood paneling, and other wood around the home.
    • Bubbling paint,wallpaper , or raised sections in wood. If you notice the paint or wallpaper is bubbling, or even peeling, or a part of the drywall or wood is raised, it could indicate termite activity.
    • Small piles of “sawdust” in different areas of the home. Look inside cabinets, along baseboards, and on window sills. This “sawdust” is termite feces and indicates they are present in the home.
    • Parts of the ceiling are “sagging.” Get a ladder and check these areas to see if they are soft and hollow. If so, this could be from termites.
    • Damage to wooden counters and cabinets. If you discover damage to your counters and cabinets and notice any of the signs mentioned, you could have termites.

    If you notice any these signs or discover what looks like termite damages in or around your home, or if you want to find out if termites are destroying your home, please call MightyMite Termite Services at 408.335.7053 today to schedule a detailed termite inspection!

    termite-inspection

  • Your Probability Of Experiencing A Termite Infestation In The Bay Area

    The probability of an event occurring is something many of us learned in a mathematics or statistics course. “Probability” is a measure of the likelihood that an event will occur.1 Probability results are numbers, normally written as percentages.

    If the result is zero or a very low percentage, then there is a low risk of the possibility of the event occurring. On the other hand, if the result is one or a very high percentage, then there is a high risk of the possibility of the event occurring.

    termite infestation probability map

    When it comes to termites in Northern California and the Bay Area, there is a high probability of experiencing a termite infestation without any termite control measures. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the states of California and Hawaii have been assigned termite infestation probability (TIP) Zone 1.2 This means the risks of a home becoming infested with termites is very high.

    In fact, California is one of eight states that has a very high risk of termite infestations. Based on the termite infestation probability map published in the council of American Building Officials and shared by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, you can clearly see most of California has a very high probability, while only a small section of the upper part of the state has a moderate to heavy risk of termite infestations.3

    What Makes California a High-Risk Termite State?

    Part of the reason California is ranked as a high-risk state for termite infestations has to do with the weather. California has very mild to moderate temperatures that remain fairly consistent year-round. In addition, the climate in California is ideal for many termite species, including drywood, subterranean, dampwood, and Formosan species.

    To illustrate how probability works, let’s look at your Bay Area home. Outside in your yard, you have termite colonies on one side of the property, yet none elsewhere in the yard. For example, let’s assume the probability of infestation is 50% since there are colonies in just one area.

    Smiling Woman Signing Invoice From Exterminator Worker

    Now, a year later, there are colonies in the side yard and your front yard. Let’s assume the probability goes up to 75%. Another year later, there are now termite colonies in your yard all around your home. At this point, the probability of an infestation would be very close to 100%.

    Granted, these are just rough examples of how probabilities work and do not get into every type of scenario. However, the purpose is to demonstrate that if there are termite colonies on your property, in all likelihood your home is at risk of infestation. In other words, it is not a matter of if but when termites will move into your home.

    If you also take into account the different species of termites found in the Bay Area, the location of the home, and other such factors, the probability of termites infesting your home is very high. Don’t fool yourself into thinking your home is safe—because it is not.

    To protect your home from termite infestations, you need to have it inspected regularly and implement the proper preventative termite treatments. Schedule an inspection of your home by calling MightyMite Termite Services at 408.335.7053 today!

    Sources:

    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probability
    2. https://archives.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/ref/sfh1-23sa.cfm.
    3. https://www.benefits.va.gov/stpaul/images/rlc_memo_05_06.pdf

  • Summer Is Here: Why Bay Area Termites Might Choose To Move In With You NOW!

    The San Francisco Bay Area is well known for its cool summers and Mediterranean-like weather. In the summertime, the Bay Area is naturally cooled by cold fronts and often creates fog because of the warmer water temperatures. While this can be great for your energy bills, there could be a silent intruder that is also benefiting from the cooler summers both inside and outside your home: termites.

    It is important to understand that the seasonal weather in the Bay Area helps termites thrive and their colonies to expand. Termites do not discriminate when it comes to food. All they want is wood or any other type of cellulose-based material like paper, drywall, cardboard, and so on.

    As a result, termites swarm at different times throughout the year, with the summer months typically being the most active. Since many species are more active in the summertime, not to mention we tend to spend more time outdoors, it makes finding termite locations and infestations easier.

    Let’s take a look at the different termite species that call the Bay Area home and when these species normally swarm.

    • Western Subterranean Termites

    Western subterranean termites will swarm after the rainy season tapers off in April. These swarmers are easy to spot because they like to swarm in the daylight hours. You might notice thick black “clouds” of insects flying around and think they are flying ants. Ants also swarm in the springtime after the rainy season.

    swarming brown tree ants

    • Desert Subterranean Termites

    The desert subterranean species will swarm anytime from July through September. They typically swarm in the evening hours after a rainy summer day. You might notice them flying around outdoor lights or, if they are in the house, flying into the TV screen or overhead lights.

    • Arid-Land Subterranean Termites

    The arid-land species is another subterranean termite you need to worry about. This species can swarm in the fall before the start of the rainy season in November. Yet, this species will also swarm in the late winter and early spring after the rainy season ends. You can spot these swarmers during daylight hours, and they could be intermixed with the western subterranean swarms.

    • Desert Drywood Termites

    Desert drywood termites like to swarm during the warmer months. However, they dislike swarming in direct sunlight and swarm at night. Swarms can start as early as June and go through September. Just like the desert subterranean cousins, they are drawn to lights.

    • Western Drywood Termites

    Western drywood termites tend to swarm in late summer and into the fall months from July through September. Prior to swarming, there has to be a period of rain, so, if it is dry all summer long, they might not swarm until after a good shower in the fall.

    • Nevada Dampwood Termites

    The Nevada dampwood termite species has migrated into California. This species can survive at the higher elevations as well as coastal areas like the Bay Area. This species will swarm in the springtime at higher elevations and in the summer to early fall along the coast. You can spot swarmers at dusk as the sun is setting.

    • Pacific Dampwood Termites

    The Pacific dampwood termite species prefers coastal areas but has been found at higher elevations. They also prefer to swarm at dusk as the sun is setting. They normally swarm anytime from August through October.

    • Formosan Termites

    Swarms can occur anytime from May through September, but they can also occur at other times of the year. Swarmers are normally spotted in the early evening right after the sun sets.

    As evident, many species of termites are very active during the summer months, which threatens your home. Swarms are how termites expand their colonies and establish new ones. It is not uncommon for a primary colony to support one or more sub-colonies until they are sufficiently populated.

    What Is the Difference Between Termite Species?

    There are few differences between the various termite species that determine how colonies are established and maintained. Knowing these differences can help you look for signs of termite activity around your home and why it is important to call in a termite inspector for further help.

    • Subterranean Termites: All species live and build their colonies in the ground. They go out and forage for sources of wood for food. In order to protect and shield themselves from direct sunlight, the workers will build mud-like tubes. If you notice these on the sides of your home, garage, or other areas around the home, you probably have an infestation.
    • Drywood Termites: These species of termites do not have to live underground in order to thrive. Rather, they build their colonies directly inside the wood they are eating. They build tunnels from the central location where the queen is located. Since they can survive above ground, they can be a major headache for homeowners if they get into their Bay Area homes.
    • Dampwood Termites: As the species name suggests, these termites prefer damp wood. In most cases, they remain outdoors. However, if your home has a water leak or roof leak that is causing wood to become damp and retain moisture, they can get inside the home.
    • Formosan Termites: This is an invasive species that is more destructive than other termite species. They typically have larger colony sizes. They were first discovered in California in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas and have spread throughout the state. The concern with Formosan termites is they are adaptable and build colonies anywhere conditions are favorable, both above and below ground.

    Why Termite “Seasons” Are a Myth

    You may have heard there are specific “seasons” for termites, but this is a myth. This myth started because termites are easy to find and discover when they swarm—although, as we mentioned, termite species swarm at various times throughout the year, so there is no set “season.”

    Furthermore, termites can swarm indoors at any time of the year, as long as the conditions are right. There have been cases where subterranean termites have swarmed in the middle of winter!

    Another reason there are no set “seasons” is that all species of termites are active 24/7. They constantly work at eating away and destroying any wood they have found as a food source, including your home.

    How Much of a Risk Are Termites in the Bay Area?

    Contrary to what you may think or what others have told you because the weather in the Bay Area tends to be milder than other parts of the state, termites are a major threat to your home. California is among the eight termite high-risk states, along with Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and South Carolina.

    If you do you not have a termite exterminator perform regular inspections and use preventative treatments, it is only a matter of time before you are faced with an infestation. Keep in mind, damage to your home caused by termite infestations is NOT covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy.

    DIY Tips Before Calling a Termite Company

    If you notice any of the following around your home, you have a termite emergency:

    • Swarmers
    • Discarded Pairs of Wings
    • Small Piles of Sawdust Around Baseboards and Window Ledges
    • Mud-Like Tubes on Your Home
    • Pin-Like Holes in Drywall and Wood

    Prior to calling a termite company to schedule a home inspection, there are a few things you should and should not do.

    • Do schedule an inspection ASAP. The key to controlling the extent of damages caused by termites is to get an inspection performed. There are various treatments like an orange oil termite treatment, although what treatments you require will depend on where the termites are located, the extent of the infestation, and the species.
    • Do keep pets and children out of the infested area. It is a good idea to prevent children and pets from going near termites. While the workers do not bite, if they feel threatened they can use their pincers to defend themselves and pinch.

    Signs of Termites in Your Home

    • Do make note of where you noticed termite activity. For example, you may have noticed swarmers in a particular area of your yard.
    • Do not remove the source of the wood. Removing the source of the termites’ food is not a good idea. This will not get rid of the termites but only force them to find a new source of food. For instance, if you discover termites outside in wooden mulch and remove it, they could decide to move into your home instead.
    • Do not disturb termite colonies. One mistake homeowners make is to start digging up their yards looking for subterranean termite colonies. Disturbing colonies can cause termites to burrow deeper into the ground or cause them to move.

    Even if you have not noticed any signs of termite activity or swarms around your Bay Area home, it does not mean they are not present. The only way to be 100% sure your home is not infested and to keep termite colonies outdoors under control is with regular termites inspections from the termite exterminator experts at MightyMite Termite Services.

    For further questions and information about termites, or to schedule an inspection of your Bay Area home, call us at 408.335.7053 now!

  • What to Expect When You Hire an Exterminator

    There are specific processes and steps that an experienced exterminator will perform when visiting your home. Their objective is to determine whether your home has already been infested with termites, what risks of infestation there are, and what will be the most effective treatments for preventing and resolving any termite issues you currently have.

    The first step in this process is to perform a detailed assessment of your home. Exterminators will draw out a diagram of homes and exterior property areas. They will make notations on their drawings to indicate where termites are present.

    Your exterminator will review what treatments your home requires while basing them on the assessment that was performed. The exterminator will also discuss what each type of treatment will do. Once your home is treated, it does require periodic follow-up visits to ensure treatments are effective and your home remains termite-free.

    For additional information about what to expect when you hire an exterminator, please continue reading and reviewing the following infographic. Afterward, to have your home inspected and assessed for termites, do not hesitate to contact MightyMite Termite Services directly to schedule an appointment.

    What to Expect When Hiring a Termite Exterminator Infographic

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  • Five Summer Termite Control Tips To Stop Summertime Termite Infestations

    With warmer weather and longer days, you are probably thinking about fun things to do outdoors, extended weekend trips, and planning a vacation with your kids. However, before you head off to enjoy your favorite summertime activities and destinations, don’t forget to protect your home against termites.

    With warmer weather and longer days, you are probably thinking about fun things to do outdoors, extended weekend trips, and planning a vacation with your kids. However, before you head off to enjoy your favorite summertime activities and destinations, don’t forget to protect your home against termites.

    little boy palying in a swimming pool in summer

    If you noticed what appeared to be flying ants around your home this spring, and even recently, these could indicate the presence of subterranean and drywood termites. Subterranean termites live in the ground and will build mud-like tubes on the sides of your home to remain hidden.
    Drywood termites, on the other hand, can live above ground. They build their colonies inside wood that provides a steady supply of food, like wood inside of the home, such as furniture. To ensure your home does not get infested with termites this summer, here are five great tips!

    1. Inspect your wooden furniture, deck, and swing set.

    Termites will make small pin-like holes in the wood they are destroying. If you notice these in any outdoor wooden items or areas you and your family use, then you will want to call a termite company for further inspection and treatment. If the wood is not infested, you should make sure it is sealed with a quality outdoor paint and/or sealant.

    1. Create a barrier to block entry into your home.

    There are indoor and outdoor termite treatments that can help create a barrier to stop termites. You should also verify there are no gaps, cracks, or other areas around the base of the home that need to be sealed.

    1. Store firewood away from the home and off the ground.

    Firewood stacked next to your home, garage, or shed is just inviting termites to move in. Make sure you keep firewood several feet away. It should also be elevated off the ground on metal or concrete racks.

    1. Perform regular yard landscaping and maintenance.

    Keep bushes and trees trimmed back so they are not overhanging or touching the home. If you have dead or dying trees or shrubs, remove them from the property right away. However, if they are already infested with termites, leave them alone and call a termite exterminator. Taking away the food source will not get rid of the termites. It will just cause them to look for another source—like your house.

    Around the exterior of the home do not use wooden mulch, as this is a source of wood for termites. You can use recycled rubber mulch, instead, to help landscape around the home.

    Pest Control Termite Inspection

    1. Have your home inspected every 3-5 years for termites.

    Termites never sleep, so, even if you do not have them right now, it does not mean they cannot become your worst nightmare in the future. Regular home inspections will help identify current colony locations and allow you to take preventative measures to control populations and keep your home safe.

    The things to remember are that termites are a problem in the Bay Area, and no home is 100% safe without the proper protection and termite treatments. For more information about termites or to schedule an inspection of your home, please feel free to contact MightyMite Termite Services at 408.335.7053 today