Termite Even the mention of a termite can send terror into the heart of a homeowner. Many people know that a termite can cause huge damage to a home and when you take one termite and add it to another termite and then another and another and another, you might find yourself with a home that is not only unsound but extremely difficult to sell and live in. Many people know about the termite, but not many people know specifics about this pesky insect. A termite -- also known as a white ant -- is a member of a group of social insects much like regular ants. They most often feed on dead plant material including wood, leaf litter, and soil. The termite can cause huge damage to structures such as houses, building, crops, and forests. The termite superficially resembles an ant and is called a white ant only because of their social behaviors and similar size. However, the regular termite is softer, whiter, shorter-legged, fatter and generally much slower moving. In actuality, a termite is much more similar to the common cockroach. Some experts feel like the termite belongs in its own classification of insects instead of being clumped together with ants in the Hymemoptra class or a super order which contains all of them called the Dictyoptera class. The common termite has a biting mouthpart and their soft bodies are rarely longer than one centimeter in length. As a colony, they typically inhabit dark nests and tunnels, only venturing out when the winged alates emerge to leave their parent colony, when constructing shelter or, in the case of grass- and leaf-litter-feeders, when harvesting their food. The alate is basically a baby termite growing into a full blown termite and getting ready to venture out into the world to find their own food source to decimate! As with ants, the termite resides in a colony along with other termites. That is why they are referred to as social insects. Termite colonies can number anywhere from hundreds to even millions of inhabitants. They work together to survive and use self-organized swarm intelligence to obtain food sources and sustain the colony. Just as with ants, there is a certain hierarchy within the colony. It is usually "ruled" by a queen and there are workers, soldiers, nymphs, and reproductive termites responsible for re-populating the colony. While a termite is a dreaded insect for most people, they are easily recognized and easily controlled when you know that you have a problem. If you take the time to know about the common termite, see the signs that you may have a termite problem, and then take steps to alleviate the problem, you will have much luck in repairing the damage that these invading insects can do. Effect of Termite Damage You may be surprised at the devastating effect of termite damage on a building. When you have a swarm of termites, they can eat through whole wood beams and cause such problems with the structure of the building that could make it uninhabitable. The effect of termite damage often takes a period of several years to cause serious structural problems which is why you need to really pay attention to what's happening inside your home when it comes to inspecting the building for termite damage and take steps to control that damage before it does become a huge problem. The effect of termite damage will cause the integrity of the wood to become compromised. That means when the termites begin feasting on the wood of your home, they can weaken the wood, cause drywall to crumble, eat away window sills and door frames, and so much more. Even though these small little insects are less than a centimeter in length, the effect of termite damage on a structure can be huge and very expensive. As a property owner, you should know what to look for when doing an inspection of your property to see if you have a termite problem. If you don't take steps right away to inspect for a possible termite infestation, the effect of termite damage on your structure could get out of control before you even know it. Start by looking around the outside of your home near the foundation where the soil meets the base of the home. Termites can enter a home through the smallest opening, so pay special attention to any cracks in the foundation and fill those cracks with an appropriate filling agent to keep the termites from getting in. Another effect of termite damage can be the presence of termites in places where you cannot readily see as in the crawl space or in the walls of a home. This invisible damage can be difficult for the everyday person to see which is why it is a good idea to have a professional termite inspection done on your building for peace of mind. Plus, a licensed professional can point out the obvious effect of termite damage and make suggestions as to how you can take steps to correct the problem. You may also want to look at pictures that show the effect of termite damage on a building. We're willing to bet that once you see how termites can wreak havoc on a structure, you'll want to take care of the problem immediately. The effect of termite damage can be stopped, but only if you take steps to do so as soon as possible. Check it out and then take action! What Does a Termite Look Like? People who own homes, building, or grow crops often ask themselves the question "What does a termite look like?" The reason is simple -- know what a termite looks like can alert the homeowner or farmer to possible property damage that is caused by these tiny little pests. Most people say that a termite looks like a little white ant, but the reality is that because there is a hierarchy within these very social insects, depending on what job the termite does within the colony. So what does a termite look like? The worker termites most closely resemble small white ants. They are responsible for foraging for food that will sustain the colony. They are white and soft bodied and smaller in size -- just like an ant. Soldier termites are responsible for defending the colony against predators, so they will look a lot like the worker termites except they have a larger head with mandibles that are used for defense. Reproductive termites are winged insects that are larger than the workers and soldiers and tend to swarm during certain times of the year. They are also white and soft bodied, but they are easily identified by the presence of wings on their bodies. These termites are responsible for laying eggs and insuring the continuation of the colony. They can lay thousands of eggs at a time so termite colonies can grow quite quickly and take over a small space within a matter of days. When asking what does a termite look like, you need to also know how to identify the king and queen of the colony. They are the ones who "rule" the colony and are responsible for insuring all members are doing their jobs and taking care of the colony itself. The queen termite is the largest termite in the colony. She has an elongated body that is usually lighter in color. The king termite is smaller than the queen and his elongated body is darker in color. Termite colonies live in large mounds some as tall as four feet! That is where they live. The worker termites go out and find food -- usually in the form of damp wood, leaf debris, and loose cellulite matter. The workers then bring food back to the termite mound where members feed on the matter. Asking yourself "What does a termite look like?" is a responsible thing to do when you own property. Identification of termites and termite damage is so important because once you find them, you can begin treating the damaged areas. The sooner you find the damage, the easier it is to control. Plus, now when someone asks you "What does a termite look like?" now you can speak with authority! What Do Termite Mounds Look Like? In some regions, notably arid and tropical savannas, termites will build large and elaborate mounds for the colony to live in which begs the question -- what do termite mounds look like? Believe me, if you see one, you'll know it is a termite mound because the termite mounds have very distinctive forms and are obviously not part of the natural landscape surrounding it. For example, the compass termite builds tall, wedge-shaped mounds with the long axis of the mound orienting from North to South. Some termite mounds can be up to four feet tall, but most commonly are in the area of one to two feet. They house the termite colony and protect it from outside predators and the weather. In all actuality, termite mounds can be quite beautiful and some have even attracted tourists because of how large and elaborate they are. For the entomologist, termite mounds are complex and highly sought out to study. The North to South orientation that many termite mounds take on actually serves a specific purpose. It has been experimentally shown to aid in thermoregulation or maintaining a specific temperature within the mound itself thus allowing the termites to regulate their body temperature as well. The column of hot air rising in the above ground mounds helps drive air circulation currents inside the subterranean network. When considering the question what do termite mounds look like, you must realize that not all species of termites build termite mounds. As we said previously, they most often occur in dry conditions where the air is very dry and the weather tends to be hot. Some of the largest mounds are located in Australia and Africa. Termite mounds are complex structures and are studied by entomologists as well as engineers because of their complexity. Believe it or not, there are even some engineers who are attempting to recreate one of the largest termite mounds located in Australia so that they can study the thermoregulation properties that exist naturally within the mound. They are hoping that this natural technology can help contribute to society in someway as well as conserving our energy resources that we use. Not only is the termite mound used to house colonies of termites and store their food, it has other uses as well. The Ancient African medicine practice called Siddha utilizes some of the material that the termite mound is made of to prepare their medicines. They have found specific properties within the mounds that contribute to their homeopathic medicines that help to heal their people. If you beg the question what do termite mounds look like and take the time to explore these complex structures, we're pretty sure you'll be surprised at what you can find. They are amazing to see and even more amazing to study. Not only that, when someone asks you -- in everyday conversation -- "What do termite mounds look like", you'll know exactly what to say! Termite Understanding If you are a homeowner, you own any type of man-made structure, or you are a farmer, having an understanding of the common termite is essential. The common termite can cause unbelievable damage to both structures made of wood as well as plant material since their main food sources are dead plant material. That includes wood, leaves, fruits, vegetables, and basically anything that has gone "past its prime" and is fodder for their teensy tiny stomachs. When you have an understanding as to how the termite feeds and where they are most commonly found, you will be better able to control them and minimize the damage that they are able to cause. You see, understanding a termite will help arm you with information that can help you know better how to combat these pests and get them away from that which you hold dear whether it be your home, your business, or your fields. If you are trying to get an understanding of the termite, you should realize that termites live in colonies much like ants. These colonies are ruled by queens and they have a specific hierarchy of jobs that each termite does. As far as who determines which termites do which jobs is a mystery to us humans, but they do each have a certain job that they are expected to do within the colony. The queen termite rules the colony and lets all of the other termites what they need to do to keep their society functioning. To have a complete understanding of the termite society, you should also know that there is a king within the colony as well. This is totally unlike the ant colonies as they are ruled simply by a queen. Within the termite colony, the understanding is similar to that of us humans -- their decisions rule. After the king and queen, in the termite colony, you will have workers. These termites are responsible for foraging for food, bringing it back to where the nest is, and storing the food so that the rest of the colony members can use it for nourishment later. The termite colony also has soldiers who are responsible for defending the colony against predators. Even though many people consider termites pests -- which they are -- they are still living creatures dedicated to surviving no matter how devastating they can be to humans and their structures and crops. The soldiers will do what they have to do in order to make sure that the colony survives. In getting an understanding of the termite, you will need to get all kinds of information so that you know how to combat them. Remember that there are soldier termites out there, and they will do what they have to in order to make sure that the colony survives. However, when you have a better understanding of how the termite colony works, you will have more tools to keep them from devastating your home and your life. Can a Termite See Have you been wondering about the age old question, can a termite see? Me either, but it is an interesting question. After all, these small pests can infiltrate a home and cause a huge amount of damage, but how do they find their food source? Do they see a tasty huge old Victorian home and call all their bodies to road trip on into the foundation? The truth is that in most termites, they have no eyes, so the easy answer to the question can a termite see is "No." Some of the reproductive members of a termite colony will have eyes because they also have wings, but in general, termites cannot see. So how do they find their food? That's almost as good a question as can a termite see! Termites are blind, and they really have no method to their madness, so to speak, when it comes to finding a food source. Basically, they wander around moving about until they encounter some type of resistance at which time they switch directions and keep going until they find something they are able to eat. We're not talking about a cross country road trip, but let's just say you have termites in a wood pile behind your home. When they finish up with the wood and decide they want a different kind of wood and head toward your house, the travel across your yard might feel like a cross country journey to them! Some people consider the question can a termite see frivolous, but it really can mean a lot to the person who is interested in getting rid of or preventing a termite problem. If they can't see, all they can really rely on is touch. They like wet places -- especially wet places with damp wood. Take steps to make sure you have no leaks around your home that may attract your blind enemy. Don't let the soil underneath your house get wet in any way, and keep the soil away from the foundation of your house if at all possible. When doing landscaping work, you may want to use a wood mulch to decorate. If you want to do this, keep the mulch away from the foundation of the house and always use black landscaping to keep the termites from emerging from the soil and eating through your mulch. An even better idea is to use stone when landscaping. We hope we've answer your question about can a termite see effectively. For more information, you may also want to consult an encyclopedia or look on the Internet to become fully informed about those pesky termites! Termite Identification Identification of the common termite can be done quite easily even by people who don't know much about termites themselves. Most commonly, people refer to the identification of a termite as a "little white ant". While this is generally true as termites do closely resemble the common ant, there are differences in termites which can make identification a little more in-depth. Termites are social insects and live in a very strict social civilization. Each termite in the colony looks different which makes identification a little more complicated. Their specific job within the colony dictates how they look. Inside the termite colony, there are workers, soldiers, queen, kings, and reproductives. Workers represent the majority of the colony population and are responsible for caring for eggs, constructing and maintaining tunnels, foraging for food and feeding and grooming of other caste members. They are white and soft bodied. Identification of the worker termite is where the "little white ant" comment comes in because the worker termite does look like a lightly colored ant. Soldiers are responsible for defending the colony. They are white, soft bodied with an enlarged, hardened head containing two large jaws, or mandibles, which are used as a weapon against predators. Identification of the soldier termite can be done by looking at the head and noticing it is larger than a worker termite. The Queen termite creates the colony by laying eggs and tending to the colony until enough workers and nymphs are produced to care for the colony. She can live for more than ten years and produce hundreds of eggs each year. Colonies can each have several million termites with the help of secondary queens who also produce eggs. Identification of the queen termite can be done by looking at her body as she will have a longer body that is lightly colored with a small head. The King termite assists the queen in creating and attending to the colony during its initial formation. He will continue to mate throughout his life to help increase the colony size. Identification of the King termite, again, can be done by looking at his body. His body is shorter than the queen's and dark in color, but it is still larger than that of the other colony members. Finally, there are winged reproductives. These termites produce the offspring in the colony and swarm at certain times of the year. King and queen termites are included in the reproductive classification, but they are not winged. Identification of the reproductive termite is not surprisingly done by looking for the wings on the body. Their size is somewhere in between the King and queen. What Does Termite Damage Look Like Many home owners often ask themselves the question "what does termite damage look like?" It's a question you should ask yourself as a responsible property owner. You should be aware of what termite can do to your home or building, so asking "What does termite damage look like" should spur you to educate yourself so you can be prepared for the possibility that termites could be taking over your home. So what does termite damage look like? Signs of termite damage in a home include the presence of mud tubes. The termites live in these mud tubes and they are most likely going to be located near the foundation of the home. Places where wood touch soil is a good place for you to start when looking for termite damage. Termites feed on wood, and they especially like moist wood. That is most likely going to be near the foundation of the home. Termites eat through the wood and will begin with a small hole that gets them inside in the first place. Then they burrow through the wood making small tunnels. If the damage has been around for awhile, many of these tunnels can be very long. What does this type of termite damage look like? It looks like a small animal has been making trails through the wood of your house. Some signs that termites might be feeding on the wood in your home include wood that sound hollow when tapped on with the handle part of a screwdriver, soft wood that is easily probed with a tool, and a thin or gritty material found on the surface of damaged material. You may also see discarded wings, termite droppings, or cracked and bubbling paint. Once you know what to look for -- especially the mud tubes -- that's a sure sign of the presence of termites. You may also want to utilize the Internet to find pictures of termite damage. Just use your favorite search engine and enter the words "what does termite damage look like". If you're using Google, they have a separate "Images" tab that will bring up hundreds of pictures so you have a reference point when you are looking for termite damage in your structure. Asking yourself "what does termite damage look like" is a question that every responsible property owner should be thinking about. You want to protect your investment, so it is very important to look for termite damage and know what you're looking for. Then when someone else asks you "what does termite damage look like", you'll have an answer for them right away! Termite Inspection A termite inspection is a visual inspection of the readily accessible areas of a home for evidence of wood-destroying insects (WDI) and wood-destroying organisms (WDO). The inspector will conduct the termite inspection by visually looking at the entire interior of a home (including accessing and entering any sub-space such as basements and crawlspaces) and exterior of the property. In areas where Drywood termites are prevalent, and in houses where there are no sub-areas, the attic may also be accessed and inspected during a termite inspection. After the termite inspection has been performed, the findings are reported on the applicable/appropriate form. The average termite inspection takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes for a thorough inspection, depending on the size and conditions (e.g. clutter; storage of personal items, etc.) of the home and property. You want your inspector to be thorough during the termite inspection and be able to identify any existing damage as well as check for any possible future damage, so be patient with them and take heed of any findings. Once you have your termite inspection done and the report in hand, you need to consult with a licensed pest control company so they can work with you to formulate a plan to either get rid of existing termites or prevent any from coming in. During your termite inspection, ask the inspector where problem areas might be in and around your house so you can let the pest control company where they should concentrate during application of termite killing chemicals. Depending on your location, a termite inspection will probably cost somewhere in the neighborhood of about a hundred dollars. The pest control that is done after the termite inspection, however, is a whole other story. Depending on the amount of damage and infestation, as well as how much of the home needs to be treated, your price will vary. It's important that you get a price quote before you begin service. After your termite inspection and pest control treatment, you should see results immediately. The pests should disappear directly after chemicals are applied -- now repairing the damage is another story! Every responsible home owner should have a termite inspection done periodically so that no infestation occurs or so that any present infestation can be tackled right away. You've spent money investing in your home -- that last thing you want is for these devastating little attackers to take it away from you!. Any money you spend on a termite inspection will be well worth the money! Termite Inspection Second Opinion Sometimes it is a good idea to cover your tracks and have a termite inspection second opinion on your home. If you've called a licensed, professional termite inspector and he or she has found significant termite infestation, you may want to seek out another inspection just to be sure. If you get serious bad news from your doctor regarding your health, you will probably get a second opinion before taking on serious treatment. The same should for a termite inspection second opinion. Before you seek out a termite inspector to look at your home, you should call around and get cost estimates. After that, you can make your choice as to who you want to do the initial inspection of your home. Now let's say that inspector tells you that your home is infested and treatment is going to be thousands of dollars. Before you faint, know that a termite inspection second opinion is probably in order in this type of a situation. Take another look at your original price list and find your second favorite to come out and do your termite inspection second opinion. When they get there, you have two choices. First, you could present them with the original inspection report, or you could wait and see what the second inspector comes up with and compare the two on your own. If you go with the first choice, you may not get an honest second opinion as that inspector may be trying to undercut his or her competition. If you go with the second choice, you may have unanswered questions after the inspector leaves that will remain unanswered if you don't follow up. Another advantage to a termite inspection second opinion is that you will be taking steps to avoid people who are trying to scam you into getting expensive termite treatments that you really don't need. By exploring other termite inspectors and getting their opinion, you can better gauge the effectiveness of their inspection as well as their assessment of what needs to be done on and in your home. A termite inspection second opinion -- just like having an original termite inspection -- is something a responsible homeowner should do if any signs of infestation and damage are found. You've invested a lot of money in your home and you want it to be pest free and safe to live in. By the same token, you don't want to be "taken for a ride" by unscrupulous people either. So seek out a termite inspection second opinion and have peace of mind. Termite Treatment If you find that you have a termite problem in your house, it is so important to pursue termite treatment as soon as possible after identification of the problem. Termites can cause awful devastation to a wood structure that can sometimes be irreparable. Termite treatment should take place even before the discovery of a problem which is one of the things we will discuss in this article. Let's begin with getting termite treatment to prevent termites. When you buy a home or building, you are making a significant investment and you want to protect it from damage as much as possible. Pest control companies have chemicals that they use to prevent termites from taking over your wood structure that are applied safely and have show to work extremely well. There are also some things you can do yourself to take away the termite's food source and prevent infestation before it happens. These include: * Repair structural and plumbing leaks. * Pull all mulch and landscaping back at least 6 inches from the foundation. * Remove piles of trash and debris from around the home. * Keep firewood stacked away from the structure. * Make sure downspouts are long enough to direct water away from the foundation. * Keep gutters clean. * Avoid direct wood to ground contact when building porches or decks. If you do find that you are facing a termite problem, that's when treatment needs to start -- and as quickly as possible! Usually termites are found during a home inspection when a person goes to buy a new home. Rarely is a termite inspection done with a new construction home. The home inspector will use a variety of techniques to see if the home or structure has a termite problem. If he or she does find evidence of termite damage, he or she will be able to recommend a termite treatment program to rid the pests from the structure. The most common form of termite treatment is done with pesticide sprays usually applied outside the structure around areas where the termites might get into the building. After the initial termite treatment, it's important to continue treatment on a regular basis to prevent re-infestation. If you have had termites once, chances are good that you will get them again, and you want to protect your home or building as much as you can. With regular termite treatment, you can insure that you are keeping your structure sound and strong as well as safe. With the large variety of products available for termite treatment these days, there really is no reason to put it off any longer. Call your local pest control company and ask them about termite treatment for your home or building. Termite Control If you own any type of wood structure or farm crops, termite control should be one of the top things you should be thinking about if you want to keep your crops and your buildings. Termite control is such a huge issue for people who own their own homes whether they live there or not, that termite control companies are making money hand over fist as they struggle to take charge over termites and keep them from destroying structures and crops. Essentially, termite control is most often done with the use of chemicals. The chemical manufacturing companies have developed all sorts of eco-friendly chemicals that can help with termite control. Most of these chemicals are not harmful to humans and are extremely effective when it comes to eradicating a termite problem both before and after it starts. There are lots of ways that you can approach termite control, however. If you are concerned about the effects of chemicals on our environment, then you might want to consider a green approach to termite control. That means you will have to remove any possible food sources for these foraging pests that can take over your home and eradicate the wood before you even know it is happening. Termites lay their eggs in damp, moist soil. That means if you have a crawl space, you should take steps to either spray that crawl space with chemicals to kill off the living termites and prevent the hatchlings from growing to maturity. What happens when you do this type of termite control is that you are killing off the living bugs and when the eggs hatch, there are no worker termites that can help get food to those "children" and so they die from starvation. It might sound cruel, but it is even crueler when you consider what those "babies" can do to your home if they grow to adulthood. You must make sure that you eliminate any type of moisture leakage that can make the wood that holds your house up structurally unsound. Wet wood is a buffet table for the common termite, so eliminating the source of the moisture is the best start toward termite control you can take. Having the expertise of a professionally licensed pest control company is another great step you can take toward termite control. No one wants termites in their home, so taking steps to make sure that they don't come around in the first place is the best thing you can do for yourself and your home. Termite control begins with making sure that you don't get a problem started. A professionally licensed pest control company can help you come up with a termite control plan that works for you and can keep your home safe from infesting termites. When to Do Termite Control If you are the owner of a home or building, you might be wondering when to do termite control on your property in order to minimize damage to the structure. Most termites begin to reproduce and lay their eggs in the spring -- not unlike many other animals. They burrow into moist soil and lay their eggs. The eggs will incubate until they hatch. While waiting for the eggs to hatch, the worker termites are literally going to work on your house so they can provide nourishment to the new babies that are about the join the colony. So if you are asking yourself when to do termite control, our simple answer is to do it right before spring. That's the easy answer, though. In all actuality, when to do termite control should be undertaken throughout the year to prevent those pesky insects from getting into the moist soil underneath your house in the first place. You should have a solid plan to make sure that they don't get under there in the first place and then you can concentrate on when to do your termite control throughout the year. Once the warm weather hits and the rains begin -- remember April showers bring May flowers -- you should be very cognizant of what might be happening in and around your house. That is the ideal time to know when to do termite control. You may have leaks somewhere that you weren't even aware of. The first places you need to look is in and around the bathroom and kitchen areas where running water is used most often. Look around the pipes that run underneath the house and see if the fit between the pipe and the wood is tight and there is no chance of water leaking through in any way. If you find anyplace where water can get through -- or termites can get in, you need to take serious steps to plug up those places before you have a problem created. After that, you need to make a plan regarding termite control that may or may not involve chemicals. Chemicals are the most effective way to kill existing termites and keep away termites as well. Most modern day chemical treatments are safe to use for humans and won't cause any adverse effects by their presence. If you are wondering when to do termite control, you should plan your chemical applications to coincide with the peak season for termites which would be early spring. Once you are able to gain control, then the likelihood of problems occurring is much less than later on in the year. Eliminate Termite Control When you have termites, it can be devastating to your home, but when you eliminate them with termite control products and chemicals, you will be taking responsible steps towards protecting your property and keeping your home safe and sound. It is possible to eliminate termites with control procedures done by a licensed, professional pest control company. The process of eliminate termite control aims to completely get rid of the termites that are currently infesting the home or structure. The earlier you get to an infestation, the better chance you have to eradicate them and start on a prevention program that will keep them from returning. Eliminate termite control procedures usually involve the use of chemicals that are sprayed around the foundation of the structure as well as into the walls where termites like to live. You can actually take some steps to eliminate termite control and the need for drastic measures that may have to be taken on your home. Take a good look at the foundation of the structure and note any cracks that may have formed. Use a good filler to seal off the cracks as these are where termites like to enter the home. Look for areas where the soil meets the foundation and also note any places where moisture has accumulated near wood. Termites feed on damp, wet wood and drift toward where the wood is made weak and where it is easier for them to tunnel. Use a protective barrier in the form of a chemical treatment and take steps to seal off any places where water can seep underneath the house. Eliminate termite control will take care of getting rid of an existing termite infestation, but the only way you can effectively control any incidence of re-occurrence is with annual preventative treatments by a pest control company. You can do everything possible to eliminate termite control problems, but without preventative treatments, you may find that you will pay more money to get rid of these pests than what you will pay if you just take the time to have annual termite treatments. You will never eliminate the need for termite control. As a responsible home or building owner, you must think about these pests that like to take control of the wood in your structure and devastate it making your building unsound and unsafe to inhabit. Take steps to eliminate termite control problems right now and be sure that your home or building is kept safe. Termite vs. Flying Ant Identification Because the termite bears a certain similarity to the ant, it can be confusing to tell them apart which is why you should know how to perform a simple termite vs. flying ant identification test. If you own a structure or grow crops, it is the responsible thing to do to be able to tell which pest is a termite and which is a flying ant. That's why if you see a pest, use the following advice to do a termite vs. flying ant identification test. The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is to inspect the body parts of the insect, which can be done without the use of a microscope or field glass in most cases. Termites have two visible body parts: a head and a body. All ants have three distinct body parts: head, abdomen and thorax. In other words, the ant's body is separated into two body parts. We have all seen ants in our lifetime. Ants can be found indoors, outdoors, on plants, in our lawns and in flower or vegetable garden. There are many different species of ants in the United States but they all have one thing in common: the classic head, abdomen, thorax sections of their body. If you find winged insects in or around your home and want to make sure that they are not termites, pull back their wings and look closely at the body parts. If the bug you inspect looks like an ant, it is usually an ant. If it does not have three visible body parts but does have a head and a long body, it is probably a termite. Another identifying characteristic that separates winged ants from winged termites is the antennae. All ants have antennae that have a fairly severe bend or "elbow" but termite antennae to not have this sharp bend. A termite's antennae are beaded; an ant's antennae have segments that sometimes end in small club. The different sections of an ant's antennae are often important to those involved in inspection and treatment of homes and lawns for ant infestations. The number of sections, size of club, and even absence of a club are all important factors in the identification of the invading ant or termite pest. The termite swarmer has four wings, as does the swarming ant. The difference lies in the length of the wings. When the wings of either flying insect are folded (in a resting position or when found dead) and appear to be two wings of the same or equal length. Closer inspection reveals the true evidence. When you gently spread out the wings you will find that there are now four wings, instead of two. An ant swarmer and a termite swarmer both have 2 pairs or 2 sets of wings. The wings of a swarming termite are all the same length. The wings of a swarming ant are different. The front wings (those that are visible when the wings are not spread) are longer than the rear wings. When at rest, the front wings are folded over so that the rear set of wings are not visible. One thing you need to remember when doing a termite vs. flying ant identification test is that the purpose of a winged termite is not to eat wood but to propagate the species. They cannot hurt you, but what they can do is lay eggs inside your home that will grow into a colony of its own and cause complete devastation to the structure itself. Sometimes that destruction is so severe that it requires rebuilding, and, in rare cases, razing of the structure itself. Termite Treatment Slab It is possible for you to get termite treatment if your home is built on a slab as opposed to having a crawl space. If your home doesn't have a basement, chances are good that it was built on a concrete slab. Termite treatment for a slab home ideally should be done during construction. Holes should be drilled into the slab itself and a pesticide injected into the holes so that once the house is constructed, there's little chance that termites can get in and start damaging your home. Post-construction termite treatment for a slab home, however, is possible. It is possible to trench around the outside of a slab after it has been poured, but this alone usually will not give satisfactory termite control because the termite colony may be entering the structure from the soil under the slab. You see, slab will crack or shrink away from the foundation wall allowing termites to infest the wood above. In addition, concrete slabs usually have many other points of entry such bath traps, plumping outlets, etc. Termite treatment for slab construction requires a lot of time and labor. Slab construction often will require precise drilling to block all termite entry points. Slabs must be drilled vertically along all cracks and construction joints at 12-inch intervals and no more than 6 inches from the foundation. The soil below the slab must be treated from the bottom of the slab to the top of the footing. This method of drilling and treating is also used for dirt-filled porches and stress cracks sometimes found in slabs. It is also very important to treat the soil underneath your home because termites lay their eggs in the soil. Once the eggs are hatched, they live in the soil and burrow underneath your structure until they are ready to feed and make their way to the top and into the wood. Application of the pesticide -- called termiticide -- can be done in a variety of ways and establishes a barrier that will keep the termites away from the wood that constructs your home or building. Termite treatment for a slab home, as we've said, should ideally be done before the structure is built. However, that doesn't mean that there is nothing that can be done to keep termites away. Contact a pest control professional and let them know that you want to have termite treatment for your slab home. They will not only be happy to come out and inspect your home for damage, but they will be able to develop a pest control treatment program that you can follow to be sure that your structure remains termite free! Termite Tenting Preparation If you have an especially large termite infestation, your pest control company may suggest a termite tenting preparation for your home. Termite tenting preparation is generally used when the entire house, or at least a majority of it, is infested inside the home or structure. The pest control company will erect a giant tent around your house and then they will release a termite killing gas into the home or structure. As with any procedure that involves pesticides, termite tenting preparation is often considered dangerous, unnecessary, and outlandishly expensive, but the truth is that if your home has a bad termite problem, this may be the best option for you. By fumigating the structure with termite killing gas, it's a way to kill off any of the worker termites that are residing inside your home and can allow you to begin gaining control of a damaging situation. What happens when you choose a termite tenting preparation for your structure? First, the structure is covered with a tarp or tent that is sealed and secure. You will have to stay out of the home for at least two to three days and be sure that all food products are inside sealed bags which the pest control company can usually provide for you. They will release the termite killing gas inside the structure and place fans inside to circulate the gas. Warning signs will be placed around your property to keep anyone outside of the structure while the gas is circulating and killing the termites. On the second day of your termite tenting preparation, the tarp will be removed and the gas will be aired out of the home. On the third day, your pest control company will verify that all of the gas is removed from the home by using special instruments to gauge how much, if any gas is left. These instruments will determine if it is safe for you to come back into your home. Many people are apprehensive about termite tenting preparation because of the use of the powerful gas used to kill the termites. While the gas can be lethal when breathed in in large doses, but it is actually safe once the home has been cleared by the pest control company. The gas that is used does not stick to surfaces, so it won't adhere to things like dishes, countertops, and furniture. Some people, however, choose to wipe down all exposed surfaces for piece of mind, and that's alright. When you have a termite tenting preparation done to your home, it will kill all live termites inside the structure. It will not, however, kill the termite eggs that remain. However, when the baby termite eggs hatch, there will be no worker termites to feed them, so they will die off quickly. It is also important to have the area under your house treated as well to kill any subterranean termites that have taken up residence under your home. If you neglect this step of the procedure, you will risk re-infestation. Termite tenting preparation for severe termite infestations can be a good way to get rid of your termites in one fell swoop. However, don't forget to formulate a follow-up plan with your pest control company to prevent those pesky insects from coming back! Termite Resistant Mulsh Many people use mulsh to landscape their property and make it look better, but is there a termite resistant mulsh on the market that can cause these invading pests to stay away from your home? Landscape mulshes are commonly used to provide many benefits including water and soil conservation, weed control, soil temperature buffering, and soil organic matter improvement. These benefits and the increasing interest in utilizing yard waste have resulted in a wide array of mulshes being used for weed and water management and for decorative purposes around houses. Recently, questions have been raised about organic mulches being possible attractants to termites and whether there is a termite resistant mulsh that can be developed. Since mulsh is most often made of wood and compost items, it seems natural that termites will be attracted to them as a food source. However, a specific study was done using various breeds of termites and what mulshes they are attracted to in order to find a termite resistant mulsh. One of the findings of this study -- conducted in 1999 showed that the termites tended to stay away from cypress and redwood mulshes. There were two other woods that proved to be a termite resistant mulsh. The melaleuca wood mulsh was not eated by the termites at all. Cypress heartwood was found to be extremely resistant to termite damage and the termites stayed away from this type of mulsh as well. If you want to have a termite resistant mulsh as part of your landscaping program, look for those made with cypress and redwood. Place a protective piece of black landscaping plastic on the soil before applying the mulch because termites live in the soil and can come up into the mulch without the plastic being laid down. If you are applying the mulsh around your home, choose one like melaleuca to place closest to the house since that's the mulsh termites least prefer. It might be a good idea to consider stone instead of mulsh, however. Even though stone might be more expensive to landscape with, at least that way you won't tempt the termites to come for a visit. Mulsh is a nice addition to a landscaped yard, so look for a termite resistant mulsh made of the woods listed above so that they aren't as tempted to eat through it. Of course, please realize that there is no such thing as a one hundred percent termite resistant mulsh. Just pick one that will keep them away and use the plastic to keep the termites in the soil and out of your house. Termite Queen The common termite is also known as a white ant, and like an ant colony, the termite colony is ruled by a queen termite. As can be expected by her title, the termite queen rules the colony and is responsible for its day to day operations. She is also responsible for proliferating the colony by giving birth to thousands of new termites each and every day. As any pregnant woman can tell you, at least it doesn't take nine months to give birth to a termite baby -- that's way too long! The queen is done with her reproduction responsibilities within a couple of days. A termite queen isn't a faithful mate. She will become impregnated by any male who wants to give his seed to her. However, you will often find that there will be one specific male who wants to be the queen's king. Once her king has taken his "throne", you will find them together often. Sort of like my daughter with whichever guy she met at the bar last night. But I digress. The amazing thing about the termite queen is that she is able to lay thousands of eggs every single day. That explains why if you see on termite, you will see hundreds more. It sure doesn't take long for them to accumulate. When the queen termite is impregnated, she can grow to almost ten times her regular size. As you can imagine, that makes it difficult to get around the colony. That is when the worker termites come into play. If the termite queen needs to move about, she employs the strength of her worker termites. It takes a lot of the worker termites just to move the termite queen a few inches, but they are actually rewarded in the end. The queen bee secretes a juice from her posterior end which the worker bees then feed on so they can replenish themselves after their massive job. The queen termite is the only one in the colony with wings, so she can move about easily -- of course, assuming she isn't carrying a load of eggs! Unlike with ant colonies, a termite colony can have several king and queen termites. While that might seem contradictory to some, but actually, the queens and kings are bred to fly away from the colony and establish yet another one. That's why when you have one termite; you've probably got hundreds and even thousands. The main job of the termite queen is to reproduce other termites so that they can spread and form their own colonies. While that's not exactly a welcome thought for those of us who fight termites, for the colonies, it is nirvana. Termite Pictures Having termite pictures at your disposal when you think you have a termite infestation can be a great tool in identifying these horribly devastating little creatures. You can find termite pictures in many places, but a great place to start is on the Internet. If you do a quick Google search for "termite pictures" and then click on the "Images" tab above the search bar, you will have hundreds and hundreds of termite pictures at your disposal. Once you have the termite pictures, you can then set about deciding whether or not you have a termite problem. If you suspect you have termites, look for burrow holes in damp wood areas and try to see if you can locate insects that look like ants but are white in color. If they look like small white ants, then they are worker termites and they will cause the most amount of damage. If you have one, you have hundreds and eradicating them as quickly as possible is necessary to minimize any damage to your structure or crops. There are also winged termites that swarm during certain times of the year. These termites are called reproductives and are responsible for laying eggs that will insure the continuation of the colony. They look like small ants but with wings. Getting rid of these types of termites is important as winged reproductives can lay thousands of eggs at one time and hatch time is quick, so you can have an infestation grow within a matter of days. The king and queen termites are also responsible for the continuation of the colony. The queen also lays her own eggs and can live for over ten years producing hundreds of eggs each year. The king is responsible for mating with both the queen as well as the reproductives and he will do so during his entire life span. They are larger than the other termites -- the queen has a lighter colored body and the king has a darker colored body. They most often stay in the colony mound, but then can be found outside the mound as well. Killing the king and queen won't destroy the colony since other female termites lay eggs as well and there are other queens ready to take her place. Look on the Internet or in your local library for termite pictures so that you can easily identify the various types of termites. Once you know what the termite looks like, then you can take measures to get rid of them. Termite pictures will show you the specific qualities of each type of termite and allow you to take action quickly before they can do a lot of damage. Termite Mounds In some regions -- notably arid and tropical savannas, the single termite along with their colony member will construct extremely large and elaborate mounds which will house their colonies. These mounds can have very distinctive forms and are often tall wedge-shaped termite mounds with the long axis oriented approximately north to south. Actually, this formation has a purpose in their lives as they show to help in thermoregulation -- or the temperature control that will allow the termites to live comfortably in a conducive environment to help them grow and thrive. There is a column of hot air rising in these above ground termite mounds that will help drive circulation currents inside the network of the mound thus keeping it cool enough inside that they can thrive and repopulate. Who doesn't love a cool environment -- especially when you are trying to live in a place that is typically warm and humid? That's why termite mounds are so important to the termite colonies. Some mounds can reach heights of six feet, but most of them will build their mounds somewhere around two feet or so. The structure of the termite mounds can be quite complex. Temperature control is essential for those species that cultivate fungal gardens. Even for those who don't, much effort and energy is spent maintaining the colony within a narrow temperature range with a specific range of a degree or two which makes the living environment comfortable and wonderful living conditions. One of the reasons that termite mounds are able to regulate temperature so consistently is because of the complex system of ducts and holes that they build within the structure of the structure. What is perhaps one of the more fascinating facts of the insect world is that there is no other species of insect that is capable of constructing such an effective structure as the termite mound. With literally millions of inhabitants in a single mound, located in a nest buried approximately a meter beneath the ground, they face a formidable challenge to ventilate the colony and maintain both temperature and moisture constants whilst protecting the colony from the harsh environment outside in which they would perish. These termites are like aliens on our own planet. So specialized have they become in their method of survival, that they must construct their habitats with the same due diligence as we would in placing a human colony on another planet. Where we struggle to derive enough energy to thrive with our current technologies, termites have evolved construction methods which only utilize renewable energy sources. To us, it is currently inconceivable that renewable energy resources alone can supply enough energy for our race to thrive in the face of the growing decline of our non-renewable energy supplies. So how successful is their race at thriving? There is estimated to be some 500 kilograms of termites for every human alive, which shows they must be doing something right. Termite Inspector A termite inspector is someone who is professionally trained to go into a structure and look for evidence of termite infestation and damage. Becoming a termite inspector consists of a certain amount of in-class training as well as on-the-job experience. Often, the amount of time it takes to get certification is somewhere in the area of a few weeks. If you are interested in becoming a termite inspector, you should look for a training program that is certified with the American Association of Pest Control Services and pick a program that is within your budget. There are many advantages to becoming a termite inspector not the least of which is the income potential. There are homes and buildings everywhere. At some point, they will all need to have a termite inspection. You can usually set your own hours and -- depending on where you live -- expect income in the area of $800 to $1,400 per week depending on how often you work. Many termite inspectors are also home inspectors which is a great advantage in the real estate business. All homes that are being sold through a realtor will probably have a home inspection as well as a termite inspection. If you take the extra time to become a home inspector as well, your chances of being used by a realtor are doubled and the more money you will make! Once you've gotten the appropriate training, you will want to become certified and join various associations to add to your credibility as a termite inspector. That way people who are thinking of hiring you will have confidence in your abilities and they will trust that you are a professional who will do a good job for them. From the home owner's point of view, when you want to find a termite inspector, start with the Yellow Pages. Call several companies and obtain price quotes as well as what the price includes. Compare the rates you have been given and choose a company based on the best price with the most reliable credentials. Once your termite inspector is done with the actual inspection, he or she will present you with a complete report that will indicate any problem areas or possible infestations. Don't be afraid to go over anything you don't understand with your termite inspector. It is important to know what it is on the report and where you have to concentrate on to make sure that termites don't take over your home! Termite Inspection Fraud Just as with many other construction scams, termite inspection fraud occurs much more often than it should. That is why you -- as a consumer -- should take steps to be sure that you don't become a victim of termite inspection fraud. There are many, many unscrupulous people out there who are just waiting for someone to fall for their scams. Termite inspection fraud is on the rise which is why you need to be prepared if, and when, it occurs with you! One very common termite inspection fraud that happens on an alarmingly regular basis is when the "inspector" brings in "evidence" of termite infestation such as waste pellets or shed wings from the reproductive flying termite. It is similar to the "plant the evidence" scam that some dirty cops use to bust someone they've been trying to bust for awhile. The purpose of this scam is to "prove" to you that there are termites in your home. We're willing to bet that the termite inspector also provides termite eradication services as well. Another common ruse in termite inspection fraud is for the inspector to point out damage that they allege was made by termites when in all actuality, it wasn't. For the common person, seeing and recognizing true termite damage can be difficult. When you have a scam artist who is pulling a termite inspection fraud on you, they are usually very good at convincing you that you have a problem when no problem exists. That can cost you hundreds of dollars that is spent unnecessarily. A situation like this requires a second opinion. Termite inspection fraud can also occur when a termite inspector also provide fumigation services to a homeowner after making their evaluation and determination that a problem does exist. They will offer you their services and promise that they will use a specific chemical designed to get rid of termites, but what they are really using is a cheap knock-off of the real chemical. What you will get is the removal of some of the termites, but not all of them. That means re-infestation is going to happen. Ask to see the chemicals that are being used and be sure that they are in a labeled container. If you think that you are a victim of termite inspection fraud, you should take steps to make sure that other people aren't made a victim like you. Call your Better Business Bureau and even call the police. Your local newspaper can also be a great tool to help alert the public about termite inspection fraud. If you have found yourself a victim of termite inspection fraud, take steps to make sure no one else becomes a victim. And, by all means, be an advocate for your fellow man! Termite Inspection Exterior A termite inspection of the exterior of a building is, of course, a visual inspection requiring a little knowledge of where the termites might be able to enter the home and where they are able to live. A termite inspection on the exterior starts by looking around the foundation of the house and taking note of any wood on the home that is close the ground. The reason for this is because termites (and other bugs) love to eat wood. Termites do not eat concrete or brick, so a house that is solid brick or one that has the foundation rising at least 36 inches above the ground has a lower risk of being invaded. By contrast a house that has a wooden frame and wooden siding is higher risk if the wood is near the ground. Now that doesn't mean that termites cannot be found in brick houses or ones with concrete foundations. Termites can be very resourceful at finding their way through cracks if they believe there might be wood on the other side. Termites love moisture combined with wood, so a home with water damage anywhere is more at risk than one without. While it is important to do a visual termite inspection exterior, you should always also look for signs of termites while inside the home. The termite inspection exterior is very convenient for the home owner because they don't have to home when the inspector is there. The inspector can come out to your home, perform the inspection and then leave his report in your mailbox for you to look at when you get home! No scheduling means no hassles for your termite inspection exterior. Of course, if there is some evidence of termites, you will probably want to make contact with your inspector to see what he or she suggests as far as treatment of your home. You can even do your own termite inspection on the exterior of your home. Of course, it will be a casual inspection, but as a responsible home owner, you will want to be very cognizant of what is happening around your home. You, of course, will need to know what to look for. As said above, look for places where wood is close to the ground and where there is any moisture that could attract termites. Note any cracks in the foundation and, most of all, when doing your exterior termite inspection, look for damage already done such as small holes or tracks that look like little burrow holes. Termite Illustrations If you suspect you may have a termite problem, having termite illustrations on hand as a reference point can be a very valuable tool. You can find them in many places including your local library. Simply find a book on termites and then look at the illustrations that are provided. Most libraries have copy machines that allow you to make copies for a small fee. More importantly, and probably much more easily found are the termite illustrations that you can find on the Internet. I did a Google search and was able to come across hundreds and hundreds of websites that feature termite illustrations that show fine detail of termites and what each specific termite looks like. You see, within a termite colony, there are five different classifications of termites and each of them have a unique appearance. Worker termites resemble ants only they are white instead of black. They have soft bodies and are less than a centimeter in length. Soldier termites resemble the workers except they have a larger head with pincers that extend out. Soldier termites are responsible for protecting the colony. Winged reproductive termites are even larger than the soldier termite. They are distinguished by their larger, elongated body and their wings. Winged termites are known to swarm during certain times of the year and are responsible for producing and laying eggs that will sustain the colony and replenish its members. The king and queen termites are close in resemblance and are the largest in the colony. The king is smaller than the queen and has a darker color, elongated body. The queen is the largest of the termites and has a very large, elongated body that is whitish in color. Both the king and queen make sure the colony is working smoothly along with reproductive responsibilities. When artists do termite illustrations, they try and include as much detail in them as possible so that the everyday person will be able to distinguish not only the termite in general, but the different termites within the colony as well. Being able to identify specific characteristics of the various members of a termite colony can help you realize how far your problem has gotten. Once you compare your insects to the termite illustrations you have accumulated, you can tell the exterminator how serious the problem is and they can formulate a plan to get rid of the infestation. Look for termite illustrations where you can and keep them on hand for easy reference. It's a good idea if you own any structures or crops because termites can wreak devastation before you even know it.
Termite Home Treatment If you own a home, it is so important to pay attention to termite home treatment so that you can protect not only your investment in that home, but in your safety inside that home as well. Termites eat wood -- the wood that most likely constructs the beams that hold up your roof and secure your walls. When that wood becomes compromised with the damage that termites can wreak by the holes and tunnels that they dig, your home could literally fall down around you. That's why termite home treatment is so very important to not only consider but pursue as well. It's a good idea to have your home checked for termites at least on a yearly basis by a licensed pest control professional. They will perform a variety of tests to determine if your home currently has termites and then they can recommend a termite home treatment system that will help you get rid of those termites and minimize the damage they can do. A licensed pest control company can also make suggestions as to how you can prevent termites from infesting your home in the first place. When you go about making the choice for a termite home treatment program, you need to decide whether or not you want to go for chemical or non-chemical treatments. If maintaining the environment is a big issue in your personal agenda, you may want to opt for non-chemicals ways to keep termites away from your property. A lot of the non-chemical treatments involve using natural materials to keep termites away and taking steps to make sure that the termites don't have any food sources. That means keeping areas that might become moist dry and minimizing the access points for termites to get into your home and begin feasting on your wood. If your home is already infested with termites, your only really effective option is to go with a chemical treatment. Extensive research by this writer has shown that the only way you can get rid of termites once and for all -- when they have already set up house in YOUR home is with chemicals. Termite home treatment chemicals aren't as toxic as they once were and often termite home treatment can be done with a minimum of invasion into your life and little damage to your health. What the chemicals can -- and will -- do is get rid of wood eating termites that can devastate your home. Termite Fumigation Concerns If you have found yourself with a termite problem and are facing the reality that you have to get rid of it with chemicals which brings to mind termite fumigation concerns. After all, you are using strong chemicals which will be placed in and around places where you and your family live, eat, and breathe. Having termite fumigation concerns is natural and often, there's really no need to worry. One of the most common chemicals used in termite treatment is Vikane which is a gas that is usually used in conjunction with tenting a home. That means that the whole home is sealed under a tent-like structure and then the Vikane gas is pumped into the home and circulated with fans. The tent is then sealed and left to sit for a day. On the second day, the tent is removed and the house is allowed to air out. By the third day, you can expect to be able to be let back into your house. Many people have a lot of termite fumigation concerns when using this treatment, but the truth is that Vikane gas doesn't stick to objects like furniture or countertops, and once the gas is aired out, there is only a small amount of gas that will remain in your home that has been proven safe for humans to breathe in. If you are having your home treated with termite control chemicals, your termite fumigation concerns may be even larger because the chemicals will be sprayed around you and you will still be inside the home. It's alright to be concerned, but don't become overly so. Almost all of the chemicals used in termite fumigation these days are safe for humans to be around. The chemicals will be injected into the walls of your home and in the crawl space, so you probably won't have to have direct contact with them and they are OK to breathe in without suffering any damage to your body. Some other termite fumigation concerns might include thoughts about the fumigation itself. In fact, one of the most common questions asked is whether or not the treatment is effective and will it kill other pests such as spiders and ants. In answer to the first part of that question, the treatment will be effective and will often be guaranteed by your pest control company. Fumigation is a whole house treatment and will get rid of your termite infestation problem. As long as you continue with annual treatments, your house should remain pest free. The second part is also easy to answer. The gas used for the fumigation treatment is meant directly for termites, so, no, it won't get rid of other pests in the home. You are perfectly justified to have termite fumigation concerns when it comes to you and your family. Rest assured that the only ones being hurt in a termite fumigation are the termites! Termite Eggs Just like many other insects, the termite is reproduced through the laying and hatching of eggs. Unlike the typical male/female dynamic that we, as humans, know, the queen of the termite colony can become impregnated with eggs from multiple colony members just so that the society is kept going. In other words, termites aren't monogamous. At maturity, a queen termite can lay several thousands of eggs each and every day. In some species of termites, the queen will actually be able to add an extra set of ovaries that will produce even more eggs resulting in an enlarged abdomen along with increased fecundity which is the ability to make more eggs and produce more offspring. Just as with humans, queen termites will increase in size to almost one hundred the times of her regular size. During the time of pregnancy when the female termite is full of eggs, she is effectively immobilized -- as is to be expected. What is slightly humorous about the pregnant queen termite is that while she is immobilized, she has to utilize the "manpower" of the worker termites to move her. In fact, if she wishes to move from one place to another, it can take hundreds of worker termites just to move her a few inches. The good news for those worker termites is that their reward is a juice that is secreted from the queen's posterior. That's right, they are rewarded with a juice that the queen termite gives them to drink which revitalizes them and gives them something to look forward to. When termite eggs first hatch, they take the form of nymphs, which eventually turn into different members of the termite colony. The largest part of the termite colony is made up of worker termites. The wingless worker termites are blind and most likely to be found in termite infested wood. Soldier termites are sterile, wingless, blind termites whose sole purpose is to defend the termite colony. Termite colonies also contain winged reproductives and supplementary reproductives all of which produce termite eggs. Winged reproductives use their swarm intelligence to swarm to a new location during swarm season, where they shed their wings and pair up to start a new termite colony. Supplementary reproductives serve as replacements for the termite king or termite queen should one of them die. Unfortunately, termite eggs are produced at an alarming rate and one or two termites can reproduce into hundreds and hundreds within a few days of time. At that point, those termite eggs start to grow and then begin their destruction on your structures and/or crops. Termite Deterrents Owning a home or a building requires a certain amount of dedication to the maintenance of that structure which means that you will want to find termite deterrents that will help keep these foraging insects away from your valued structure. Termite deterrents are objects, smells, and/or chemicals that will keep termites from coming into your home and devastating the wood that is the basis of your structure and can seriously compromise its integrity. The best termite deterrents come in chemical form. These chemicals are created specifically to keep termites away from structures and they are extremely effective when sprayed in typical spaces where termites are known to burrow. That means that chemical termite deterrents should be applied around the foundation of a house, underneath the structure in the crawl space, and around areas where termites would be able to crawl into the structure and begin feeding. This can be tricky since the worker termite is less than a centimeter in length and is able to crawl through a miniscule opening to start gathering food for the colony. One study done in 2005 has shown some promise that the sap of the sugar pine tree could be one of the great termite deterrents that you can use. This study showed that the typical termite was disgusted by the sap of the sugar pine making it an advancement in natural termite deterrents like no one has been able to find as of yet. The sad reality is that termites are amazingly resilient creatures. They look for a source of food and then are relentless in their pursuit of a feast for not only themselves but for the rest of their colony as well. They aren't especially picky in what they eat as long as it is damp, dank, wet, and stinky. Oh, yes, and it should be made of wood or a wood product as well. What is frustrating to pest control experts is the lack of effective termite deterrents that aren't chemical in nature. As a society, we are tending toward "green" products in order to combat global warming and saving the ozone layer thus preserving the Earth from all of the man-made damaging agents we are introducing into the atmosphere. Termite deterrents that are not chemical are few and far between, however, which is frustrating for entomologists and scientists alike. For now, if you are looking for termite deterrents, your best bet is to go to your local home improvement store and try to find termite bait that you can place strategically around your home that will, hopefully detract the attention of the termites away from the wood of your home and into the bait traps you have set. Other than that, termite deterrents are going to be chemical in nature and most effective coming from a professional pest control company. Termite Damage As a home or building owner, you need to know that termite damage to your structure can be quite devastating and make that structure dangerous and weakened. Termite damage can be small and subtle, but when you look around your property, it can be a little more obvious especially when you know what to look for. It is a good idea to periodically inspect your property yourself to see if you can find any termite damage. Even better, you may want to employ the use of a professional pest control company to do a termite inspection at least once a year. To be a responsible property owner means that you need to pay special attention to what is happening with your building. So, look for termite damage yourself on a periodic basis and see if you can find any evidence that you may have a termite problem. The key is that you need to know what to look for first and where to look. Termites eat wood, and they especially love damp wood that is close to the ground, so you need to start looking around the foundation of the structure. Look for swarms of small flying insects since termites tend to swarm at certain times of the year. Also look for a small white insect that slightly resembles an ant. These are worker termites, and they do the most damage to the wood as they are responsible for gathering the food source for the colony. Unlike ants, termites do not roam around out in the open. They will either tunnel through wood (or other material) or else travel inside pencil-size (or larger) mud tubes that they build from soil, wood particles and other materials. You will find these tubes on foundation walls, floor joists or other parts of the house. Tubes may also hang from the floor system or may be found protruding from cracks between boards and beams and even through holes termites may chew through sheet rock on walls and ceilings. If you find evidence of mud tubes, there may be termite damage that is occurring deep inside your home. You should break open the tubes to see if termites are still active. An empty tube doesn't necessarily mean that termites are gone; they may have simply abandoned this particular tunnel. Termites often rebuild damaged tubes, which is another indication of current activity. 'Old' tubes are dry and crumble easily, leaving behind "etching" on the surface that may be visible for years (an indication that a house had termite activity at some time). Without knowing the inspection history of the house, it is impossible to tell or guess at the age of tunnels or etching. When looking for termite damage, you should also look for small holes and burrow tunnels that are odd in shape and extend along the wood. Termite damage is easy to recognize when you know what to look for. Be aware that termite damage can be devastating to your building and the problem needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. Termite Apprentice If you are interested in becoming a termite inspector, a good way to break into the field is to find a place as a termite apprentice. There are many termite apprentice programs that are offered by accredited schools and even universities that only take a couple of days to take. These termite apprentice programs are in the form of intense classes that will teach you all sorts of information including termite biology, practical field identification of wood-destroying organisms, their damage, and the safe use of tools, chemicals, and other equipment used to rid the home of these devastating insects. Because these courses are short, they can be quite intense and require a lot of work. But when you want to become a termite inspector, the termite apprentice program is a great way to get into the field and know what you're doing right off the bat. These courses are often not very expensive, but when you consider the experience that you are able to pick up, you will soon realize that they are well worth the money. Once you have taken a termite apprentice course, you will probably want to hook up with a licensed professional termite inspector and ask if you can be their termite apprentice so you can gain experience in the field. Many termite inspectors are happy to take on a termite apprentice -- especially if you are willing to work with them in the field to help alleviate their work load. Often, your termite apprentice course will be able to find someone who is willing to work with you and teach you the business. Sometimes these will be paid positions and sometimes they won't. What you have to do is weigh the experience you are getting with the necessity of a paycheck. Some people just can't sign on to be a termite apprentice because they need the money, so find someone you trust and talk honestly with them about your expectations as well as theirs. Often, when you are trying to get into a new field of work, the best thing you can do for yourself is get some on-the-job training. Plus, for a termite inspector, it is a welcome advantage having some help in the field as well. So if you are interested in the lucrative field of termite inspection, you may want to seriously check out becoming a termite apprentice. Not only with the experience be invaluable, but you will learn so much more than you could ever hope to find from a textbook. Termite Appearance and Morphology Knowing termite appearance and morphology is essential in identification of these pests and eventual eradication of the colony. Most people think of termites as little white ants, but termite appearance and morphology is so much more than thinking they are little white ants. In fact, the common termite only superficially resembles an ant. The reason people think of the termite as white ants is because of their similar size and social habits. Like ants, termites live in colonies with very specific structure. Each termite has a specific job to do in order to make the colony work. Worker termites bring food back to the mound that is home to colony and they do the most damage to structures and crops. Soldier termites defend the colony from predators. They have very strong mandibles and can cause damage to anyone trying to destroy the colony. Reproductive termites are winged and lay eggs so that the colony is always growing. The king and queen "rule" the colony and are responsible for making sure that the colony continues and that all members are doing their jobs. As far as termite appearance and morphology is concerned, the termite is softer, whiter, shorter-legged, fatter and generally much slower moving. In all actuality, they are not even closely related to ants. Ants, along with bees and wasps, belong to the Order Hymenoptera. Termites are much closer to cockroaches and mantids, and all three are sometimes clumped into a super order called Dictyoptera. Some scientists have concluded that termites should be classified as a family Termitidae within the cockroaches' order Blattodea. Termites have biting mouthparts, and their soft bodies are small, rarely over one centimeter in length. Typically, they will occupy dark nests and tunnels only venturing out when the winged alates emerge to leave the parent colony, when constructing shelter or when harvesting their food. The bodies of flying termites are darker while the termites that remain in the nest or mound are generally white in color with only their heads having color. The wings of termites are long and slender in pairs that are similarly sized and shaped. The name of the Order they belong to is derived from their having equal wings. Isopteron (iso=equal, pteron=wing). The wings are quickly shed after a flight with a simple body flick when the swarming termites find a new nest site, pair up, and dig in. The remnant of a termite wing is a distinct triangle, but they are small, so don't try looking for one too hard! Knowing about termite appearance and morphology can help you identify termites around structures and in crops. Once you are able to determine you have a termite problem, you can take steps to eradicate them before they cause too much damage. Termidor Termite Treatment vs. Sentricon There is a current debate right now in the pest control industry as to whether or not Termidor termite treatment vs. Sentricon termite treatment is better. These are two very popular termite control chemicals and Termidor termite treatment vs. Sentricon can bring about some heated debates in the bug control business. So what do you think? I suppose we should give you a little background information first. The Sentricon System consists of a series of bait stations surrounding the perimeter of your house. The pest control company periodically monitors these stations and, once they detect termite activity, they replace the wood bait with a poison that is supposed to wipe out the colony. Sentricon is probably the most 'green' solution out there, but its effectiveness has also been brought into question by a number of so-called experts. That's the first part of the Termidor termite treatment vs. Sentricon debate. So what is the Termidor system? Termidor is a chemical termiticide that provides a soil barrier surrounding your house. Published reviews of Termidor say that it is far more effective than Sentricon, and not particularly dangerous to people. Termidor costs about $50 more than Sentricon up front, but the annual contract, which covers monitoring, periodic reapplication, if necessary, and repair of any termite damage is about $150 less for Termidor as compared to Sentricon. It is obvious that Sentricon is the more eco-friendly solution to the problem of termites. However, it might not be as effective as other chemicals out there. Termidor, on the other hand, introduces chemicals into your yard as well as into the soil that surrounds your structure. Some people feel that any chemicals that are exposed to people are horrible not only for the environment so they oppose the use of Termidor. So when we consider the Termidor termite treatment vs. Sentricon termite treatment debate, the choice really isn't clear. Our job isn't to sway you towards one or the other. It depends on your point of view and what you feel is the best choice for you. If you are committed toward living a clean, green lifestyle, then you will want to choose Sentricon. If you're more interested in making sure that termites don't infest your home, then you might want to consider Termidor for its effectiveness. As new chemicals begin to emerge onto the pest control scene, there is likely to be debate. That's why it's no surprise that the Termidor termite treatment vs. Sentricon debate rages on. It's likely to keep raging as well. Choose your side and argue to your heart's content. St.Pete termite If you live in the great state of Florida and find that you have a termite problem, you are very lucky since you have easy access to one of the premier termite eradication companies in the state -- St. Pete Termite. This amazing company is located in St. Petersburg, Florida and is a member of the Fumigation Advisory Council of Florida. St. Pete Termite has also received numerous awards including the prestigious Commitment to Excellence Certification in tent fumigation by Dow Agrosciences. St. Pete termite has been in business since 1946 and has committed themselves to providing termite fumigation services to the people of Florida on a large scale. They have state of the art technology for termite and general pest control and keep up-to-date with any new technologies that might come about from research and testing in the field of pest control. Their employees are highly trained and they offer up guarantees that assure you will be getting the best service and rid you of your pest problems. When St. Pete Termite was founded, their owners wanted to fill a gap in the pest control industry. What they wanted to do was give Floridians a choice in who they wanted to take care of their termite problem -- a company who could do the job effectively versus a company who could come into your home and do the best they could without any type of promise or guarantee that the job would be done correctly and efficiently. One of the great things about St. Pete Termite is that they specialize in tent fumigation. What that means is that if you have a termite infestation, they will come in and spray your home with the most effective chemicals on the market. They will then erect a tent around the area that has been treated and allow those chemicals to go to work and get rid of your termite problem. This company is one of the premiere termite and pest control companies in the greater Tampa Bay area. They have successfully fumigated all sorts of structure like high-rise towers, commercial buildings, boats, condominiums, and even mobile homes. St. Pete Termite is a company that takes pride in their work and does every single thing that they can do to eradicate a termite problem and save your structure. Something to keep in mind about St. Pete Termite is that they are fully licensed and sanctioned in the state of Florida. That means that the Florida government deems them able to provide the services that they advertise and that they do so with an amazing sense of accuracy. If you are in Florida and want to contact St. Pete Termite, go to their website at www.stpetepest.com. Pictures of Termite Damage If you think you might have a problem with termites, it can be advantageous to have pictures of termite damage that you can refer to when you are looking around your home for evidence. Having pictures of termite damage to refer to can help you look for the same types of damage in your own home and that can be extremely helpful so that you know exactly what to look for. Termites can cause an alarming amount of damage to the wood of a structure. They can decimate the foundation and the wood that holds the home together making it unsafe to live in and leading to possible hundreds of dollars of damage in repairs. Pictures of termite damage can be found in many places, but your best bet is to look on the Internet. Use your favorite search engine and type in the words "pictures of termite damage". You will find hundreds of pictures out there on the World Wide Web and you may be shocked at what you find in those images. What might be even more disturbing when looking at pictures of termite damage is realizing that the same type of damage could be happening in your home and you may not even know it! Termites can be devastating to homes and buildings made of wood. They can infest in seconds and where there is one, there are hundreds. The worker termites burrow through the wood gathering food for the rest of the colony that will sustain them and help the colony grow. Another advantage to having pictures of termite damage is so that you have a reference point when doing a self-check of your home to see if you might have a termite problem. The termites leave very specific trails and evidence when they have been someplace. Referring to pictures of termite damage that you have found can make identification easier. Once you've identified a possible problem, then you can take steps toward getting a professional inspection and start treatment right away. Pay special attention to pictures of termite damage and realize that the devastation that these insects can cause is almost unimaginable. The key to locating and eradicating termites is to educate yourself about these wood boring pests. That's why you should find pictures of termite damage and realize that without knowing what to look for, you may be clueless and be unable to identify a possible problem. Then you can take steps to make sure that your home doesn't end up as one of the pictures of termite damage on the Internet. Photos Termite Damage Infestation If you suspect that you may have a termite problem, it can be helpful to find some photos of termite damage infestation to help you realize not only what could happen to your home, but also what to look for when you are inspecting your home. There are many places you can find photos of termite damage infestation, but the best place to start with is on the Internet. Many pest control companies are committed to educating the home owner on termites and termite damage, so they publish photos of termite damage infestation on their websites so the average person knows what termites can do to a structure. Use your favorite search engine and enter "photos termite damage infestation". If you use Google, they have a separate section above the search box that says "Image". Click on that and you will find hundreds of photos of termite damage infestation. It can help if you print out these pictures so that you can have a reference point when you start looking in your home for evidence of termites. Any responsible home or building owner needs to periodically look around the structure to try and find any evidence of termite damage. If your home or building has termites, you absolutely must take steps to eradicate the problem before they take over your home and cause irreparable damage. Photos of termite damage infestation can be quite shocking when you see them. When the termites eat through the wood of a structure and are left untreated to do their work, they can literally eat through an amazing amount of wood that can structurally damage the building and make it unsafe to live in. Then the repairs that must be made can be extremely expensive and often extensive. That's why you should take steps to look at photos of termite damage infestation to spur you towards not only having your home inspected for termites, but also to pursue treatment of the home so that you don't find yourself with the same damage shown in the photos. The last thing you want to have happen is to have your home taken over by these damaging insects. They are a fact of life in the world of nature, and while they serve no useful purpose, they're not going away. Find photos of termite damage infestation and remember what is shown in those photos. Then take steps to make sure that your home doesn't show up in the photos of termite damage infestation on the Internet as well. Phantom Termite Treatment One of the most effective products on the market today in the field of pest control is Phantom termite treatment used for the extermination and prevention of termite infestation. Phantom termiticide-insecticide is a remarkable termite control product, employing the world's most advanced termite pest control technology. It is also the most vital component of an effective termite treatment plan. In some of the most extensive testing a pest control product has ever been subjected to, Phantom has consistently proven to provide superior termite control under almost any condition. And, Phantom is proving to be highly impressive at keeping termites from coming back. Long-term field trials by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service showed no signs of re-infestation at over 98% of study sites seven years after treatment by Phantom. Phantom termite treatment is highly flexible, utilizing effective non-repellent technology. In fact, nearly 500 Experimental Use Permit trials on actual real-world structures have proven Phantom effective against every key subterranean termite species- even in structures where other leading termiticides have failed. Phantom termite treatment came onto the market in 2001, and since then, it has had consistently proven to be overly effective in the treatment and eradication of termites. As most homeowners know, termites can cause huge, devastating damage to a wood structure. Often, that damage can cost hundreds to repair if it is even repairable. That's why it is so important to have a termite treatment plan for your structure that you stick to faithfully. Once termites get into the wood of your structure and take over, it's not all that difficult to get rid of them and prevent them from coming back. Pest control companies all over the country agree that Phantom termite treatment is one of the best termiticides on the market and should always be included in all termite treatment programs that they develop. Phantom termite treatment has even been called revolutionary because of its effectiveness in preventing and getting rid of termites. You should not try to get rid of termites on your own. This is a complex project that requires certain skills that the everyday person doesn't have. Working with pesticides such as Phantom termite treatment requires special training which is why you really need to have the services of a professional pest control company treat your home. And when you call the pest control company, be sure to let them know you want them to treat your home with Phantom termite treatment. Let them know you want nothing but the best for your home and Phantom termite treatment is just that -- the best! Npma-33 Termite Inspection Form The National Pest Management Association is the association that licensed and professional termite inspectors belong to, and they will provide to each pest control agent the NPMA-33 Termite Inspection Form that must be completed at the end of each termite inspection that they do. Completion of the form will give both the NPMA information about the inspection and it will allow the homeowner as well as the termite inspector have a record of the inspection as it was done and what was found during the inspection. The Npma-33 Termite Inspection Form can be found in a variety of places including certain pest control software that many termite inspectors use to keep track of their business. The Npma-33 Termite Inspection Form is most often used during real estate transactions to provide evidence either of a termite infestation or evidence that the home is clean. It can be request by the buyer, the seller, or the real estate agent. The Npma-33 Termite Inspection Form is easy to use and easy to understand, but here are some of the finer points you should know about. The first section of the Npma-33 termite inspection form gives general information about the location of the property being inspected and the specific areas being inspected. The name of the inspection company, address, and phone number will also be displayed as well as their business license number. The license number is the number given to the inspection company by the state they are registered in that gives them the permission to conduct pest control services according to your state's guidelines. After this section of the NPMA-33 termite inspection form, there should be some general information about the property being inspected including the address, the seller's name, the buyer's name, and the date of the inspection. Included in this section of the NPMA-33 termite inspection form is the name of the inspector, his or her signature, license number, and credentials as issued by the state the inspection is taking place in. Finally, we get to the "meat" of the NPMA-33 termite inspection form. This is where the findings are listed specifically. This section can include diagrams -- and actually, it should. These diagrams will show any infestations and any potential problem areas that should be concentrated on. This part of the NPMA-33 termite inspection form should also list what types of pests are -- or could be a problem -- and any suggestions as to how to eradicate any existing or possible problems. The NPMA-33 termite inspection form should be completed in its entirety and presented to any interested parties upon completion of the inspection. The NPMA-33 termite inspection form should be completely filled out and have no spaces left blank. After that, preventative treatment can commence or repair work can begin. Natural Termite Treatment Many people are very cognizant about the chemicals that we use to control pests which is why there is a new trend toward natural termite treatment to rid our structures of these pesky and damaging insects. While the use of chemicals is the most effective way to get rid of termites, you can still take measure with natural termite treatment to minimize the damage and keep termites out of your home or building. Natural termite treatment is the use of termite prevention and control without chemical use. Instead, physical controls are installed during construction such as sand barriers or metal termite shields. If termite infestation does occur, least toxic methods of treatment are used. What that means is that natural termite treatment is geared toward keeping those pests out instead of killing those who have already gotten in. What you really need to do is use natural termite treatment to prevent termites from coming into your structure in the first place. That means you won't use chemicals to keep those pesky termites away, but you will use certain strategies to make sure that they have no food sources that will attract them to your place. One of the first things you can do in natural termite treatment is to remove any source of chronic moisture since termites are attracted to damp wood for their food source. Moist soil is necessary for termites to survive. Termites travel back and forth between soil and food sources because they must obtain moisture from the soil. In addition, capillary action and water vapor buildup can result in excessive dampness which can actually wick through a concrete slab or masonry foundation to the wood framing above it, thus attracting termites. In above-ground foundations, moisture barrier films such as 6 mil polyethylene can be used to cover the area under the structure. This will help decrease moisture buildup in sub-flooring. Foundation wall vents should be placed to provide cross ventilation for homes with crawl spaces. If re-grading or remodeling covers vents, additional vents may be needed. Some experts recommend the use of moisture barriers under slab foundations as well in natural termite treatment programs. Areas subject to moisture build-up, such as bathrooms, should be given special attention since they are likely to be attack areas. Areas under tubs and drains leading to the exterior (such as air conditioner drains) should be considered vulnerable spots. This is a very important part of natural termite treatment since elimination of moisture will take away the termite's food source and they won't come for a visit! Natural termite treatment is a great way to keep our environment healthy and ecologically sound. We should do what we can to make sure that our Earth survives despite our use of chemicals -- and natural termite treatment is a great place to start! Infrared Technology and Termite Inspection One of the most exciting innovations in the pest control industry is the use of infrared technology and termite inspection. Infrared technology is used to detect heat in small spaces and is perfect for use in the termite inspection because it can detect colonies that are massed together and make it easier for the pest control operator to pinpoint the location of the infestation and effectively get rid of the problem in one fell swoop. Finding termites can be difficult, yet knowing where they are located is important when deciding on the correct eradication program. The traditional method is to simply tap on the wood with the back of a screwdriver, or to poke holes in walls or even pull them apart. Infrared technology and termite inspect now offers a new, high technological detection system that is quick, effective and does not require any damage to houses. Infrared technology and termite inspection is being used with an increased frequency because it can easily detect the presence of termites by simply inserting a small camera at the end of a thin rod and then manipulating the camera around to find the termite swarms. Because termites mass together to work on the wood, where there is one, there is always more. That's why infrared technology and termite inspection go hand in hand. Thermal imaging technology detects heat patterns. When termites invade buildings, the normal heat patterns of the walls, floors and roof are changed due to the presence of termites. The thermal camera records this change in heat patterns and indicates the exact location of any termite infestation. A color image shows hot spots as red or yellow and cold spots as blue or purple and these heat patterns indicate termite infestations. That means that infrared technology and termite inspection can be much more effective than the normal ways of doing a termite inspection. However, termites are considered cold blooded insects, so how can they generate heat? Termites are hosts to bacteria, which live in their gut, and these bacteria help break down and digest cellulose, the main component of wood. It is this digestion and chemical reaction that generates the heat. That's why infrared technology and termite inspection makes the location of termites much easier thus allowing the pest control company to target the specific areas where termites are located and make the treatment effective. The pest control company that pairs infrared technology and termite inspection together is one that is highly effective and employing the latest tools in pest control so that they can do a great job for you -- the consumer. Infrared Cameras and Termite Identification There is an exciting new technology that has come about in the world of termite infestation that involves infrared cameras and termite identification. The invention currently has a patent pending, but it is causing a real buzz in the world of pest control. It's amazing that a connection was not made earlier between using infrared cameras and termite identification. Infrared cameras have been around for quite some time, so when this new invention was brought onto the market, many pest control companies began embracing the technology as a legitimate way to find termite infestation and combat the problem before it gets out of control. Termites are extremely destructive to wood material. Termites attack and destroy wood almost everywhere in the world, with the exception of climate zones that experience hard freezing. There are close to fifty species of termites in the United States, the majority of losses to wood material being caused by subterranean species. It is difficult to put a dollar amount estimate on termite damage. However, renowned termite scientist Dr. Nan Yao Su at the University of Florida has estimated that the total annual cost of termite control and damage repair for the United States alone was $11 billion in 1999. When trying to determine if there is a termite infestation in a structure, it can be a bit difficult. Only about thirty percent of wood in a structure is visible. Since termites like dark, damp places, they are likely lurking is parts of the structure that are not easily seen. Therefore, there needs to be another method of detection which involves tapping the surface of the wood while listening for a characteristic sound indicative of an underlying gallery void. When a suspected area is located, the inspector applies a sharp probe, such as a screwdriver, to break the wood surface and locate wood galleries and live termites. This method has significant disadvantages. The confirmation of an active infestation requires some localized damage to the wood. Also, when termites are exposed in this manner, the destruction induces termites to retreat from the disturbed area and may reduce the effectiveness of a subsequent localized treatment. For quite some time now, pest control experts have been longing for a less invasive way to find termites in a structure which is why it only makes sense to connect infrared cameras and termite identification. Infrared cameras seek out areas of heat to identify the presence of various objects making termite identification easier and more effective. Since termites are living, breathing organisms, they do have a certain amount of heat within their bodies. You will never have just one termite in one area; you will have hundreds, so the heat they generate as a group is easily visible with an infrared camera. The inspector simply inserts a small tube with a camera on the end of it into any small area to see if they can detect excessive areas of heat thus indicating a termite infestation. Infrared cameras and termite identification have taken the pest control field to new heights and have opened up all sorts of new doors in the field of termite treatments. Homemade Termite Killer For those people who are ecologically conscious, finding a way to make a homemade termite killer might become a priority if termites are around your house or you think you might be susceptible to termite infestation. The most effective way to get rid of termites is with chemicals, but some people just aren't comfortable with using chemicals which has prompted them to try and find a homemade termite killer that will be effective and easy to use. Unfortunately, there is no easy homemade termite killer that has proven to be as effective as chemicals. But that doesn't mean there isn't a way to get rid of termites without the use of chemicals. Termites are resilient creatures who simply look for a food source and "go to work". The best homemade termite killer you can employ is to remove their food source. That means getting wet wood dry, cleaning up damp leaves around the base of your home, and making sure that there are no miniscule entryways for termites to enter your home and begin their damage. Unlike other pests, you can't sprinkle some hot pepper sauce on them or spray them with a vinegar and water mixture to kill them. They'll live through it and continue to breed despite your best efforts. Don't try these methods as they will only cause you frustration and make you angry that you can't use a homemade termite killer to get rid of these unwelcome guests. One web page that we found suggests that you take a cardboard box and wet it down. Then you place it around your home and monitor it. Termites like soft food and the weakened cardboard -- that is made of wood -- makes it a great buffet for invading termites. Once you find termites in the damp cardboard, take it somewhere and burn it and then continue the process. It takes diligence, but eventually, you'll gain control -- at least somewhat. Another poster on this web page went to a local home improvement store and bought some termite bait for $18.88. She placed it around the foundation of her home and changed it as the box said. Since she monitored it faithfully and changed the bait according to directions, she found that she didn't get a termite problem at all. What is funny about her story is that a pest control company came out to assess her home and give her an estimate on how she could control termites. Their estimate was over $1,300! In her quest for a homemade termite killer, she found a commercial product that worked just as well as a pest control company's but for much, much, much less the cost. Use common sense when trying to come up with a homemade termite killer and be diligent about your efforts. If you take the time to pay attention to your home, you will eventually be able to come up with a homemade termite killer that will meet all of your needs and keep your home safe. Do It Yourself Termite Treatment In general, it is not recommended that you undertake a do it yourself termite treatment program for termite infestation. Getting rid of termites requires the use of powerful chemicals and it can be dangerous for anyone to try and manipulate these chemicals without the special training that goes along with them. A do it yourself termite treatment program also requires that you know what areas around your structure to target so that you can be most effective in getting rid of these pesky insects. However, if you are an avid fan of doing things on your own, you can try a do it yourself termite treatment, but do so with the most information you can get first. You must know where the termites are (if you already have them) and where to target to get rid of them. If you are just doing a preventative do it yourself termite treatment, you'll have to know what areas to spray so the termites won't come in and start infesting your structure. If you miss even one small space, you will risk a termite invasion, so you must be well prepared and thorough. First, you will need to find some type of pesticide product. There is a very helpful website online at www.doityourselftermitecontrol.com that offers up not only advice for a do it yourself termite treatment program, but they also offer the appropriate chemicals you will need to get the job done. Their latest recommendation is a chemical called Termidor which has been proven to be one hundred percent effective in tests and trials at environmental test sites. That's one heck of a guarantee, isn't it? Many do it yourself termite treatments call for the use of termite baits. Instead of injecting chemicals into the soil which will only last a few years, you can now place termite bait directly into the ground around the outside of a structure which the termites will find, feed on and die. The technology of termite bait systems are constantly changing and improving. Baiting colonies of termites is simple and can also be used as a monitoring tool to detect termites where they are not yet a problem. Termite baits eliminate and control in conditions where the structure is untreatable with soil termiticides (near a body of water for example), or there is a concern about pesticide use, and even in structures where soil treatments have failed. Just take caution when you are undertaking a do it yourself termite treatment. Often, it is best left up to professionals, but you can do it yourself as long as you do your research first and take caution with the chemicals you must use. Building Structural Repair for Termite Damage in NJ Just as in all parts of the country, finding a company that can do building structural repair for termite damage in NJ isn't a difficult thing to do. There are many pest control companies that will assess your home as well as the damage that has been done. Then it is up to you to find a contractor that specializes in building structural repair for termite damage in NJ. A general contractor will do, but it is best to find a company that has experience in this specific type of construction. Termites can do some pretty devastating damage to a structure that can result in thousands of dollars of damage. They eat through the wood that frames the home or building making the structure un-solid and thus dangerous to inhabit. That is why it is so important to have that damage fixed as soon as you find it and have it assessed. The first step you should make when looking for a place that will do building structural repair for termite damage in NJ is to look in the Yellow Pages or online and call them for estimates. Most companies will do a free estimate and give you a ballpark idea of how much it will cost to repair the damage done by the termites. You should get several estimates first and then look into the company's credentials. Are they members of any professional associations? Are they licensed, bonded, and insured? Will they offer any type of guarantee for their work? Ask questions about what specifically is going to be done to repair the damage. You don't want any surprises when they show up to work. They will be able to tell you if you will be able to remain in the building or if you have to vacate it during the repair process. We were able to find many places that offer building structural repair for termite damage in NJ just by doing a quick Google search. Check out these company's websites and see what they have to offer. You may also want to ask your pest control company who they recommend. They work with these types of contractors all the time, and will probably be able to point you toward a reputable company. Finding a good, reliable company for building structural repair for termite damage in NJ really is not a difficult proposition. Use all the resources you have at your fingertips and choose a company based on reputation, guarantee of service, and your comfort level in working with them. You'll be able to have a few choices in those who specialize in building structural repair for termite damage in NJ, so look around and take your time -- but not too much time! If you have termites present in your building, they will continue to do damage until they are removed! Bayer Termite Control One of the most well-known pest control chemical companies in the pest control business is Bayer Termite Control. The Bayer Termite Control Company produces one of the most trusted and most effective chemicals in the termite eradication business -- Premise. This chemical has been proven to get rid of termites effectively with just one application and then with annual applications, it can keep termites away for good. The Bayer Termite Control Company has worked hard to develop the Premise chemical for termite control and they have come up with a product that is trusted by pest control companies all over the country. Bayer termite control conducted extensive studies on the Premise product before they released it for sale over seven years ago. What they found was that Premise performed much better than comparable chemicals on the market which was very exciting for them. After releasing Premise for commercial use, Bayer termite control almost instantly became one of the most trusted and respected termite chemical company in the business. They pride themselves on their products and even offer an iron-clad guarantee to companies who use their product. Part of the Bayer termite control guarantee has terms and conditions of the guarantee that states in effect if Premise fails to stop termites at any time within seven years of initial treatment, Bayer termite control will reimburse up to one hundred percent of product and labor costs involved in re-treatment to a maximum of $1000 for residential accounts and $5000 for commercial accounts. Bayer termite control will also guarantee to pay the termite controller's damage claim insurance deductible up to $500 per structure". It is a condition of this guarantee that annual inspections are carried out by the same company installing the Premise termiticide soil treatment. There are very few companies who are that confident of their product that they will offer up a guarantee that is as good as this one! When you use the Premise chemicals produced by Bayer termite control, you can be assured that you are getting effective treatment of your termite problem and that the problem will not be coming back! Not only is that peace of mind, that is unfailingly knowing that your home will be protected from termite damage because you were smart enough to trust a company like Bayer termite control. You've made an investment in your home, so you owe it to yourself and your home to use the best products to keep it safe and sound. Using Bayer termite control is a good choice! Amount of Damage a Termite Can Do As a homeowner, you may be surprised at the amount of damage a termite can do. Even though these pesky insects are less than a centimeter in length, the amount of damage a termite can do far outweighs its small size. There is never just one termite inside a home -- there are hundreds and hundreds. The worker termites are the ones who eat through the wood to provide nourishment to the rest of the colony, and they can really wreak havoc on a wood structure. Termites eat wood and cellulose materials. They are especially attracted to wet or damp wood in dark places. They burrow into the wood by gnawing through the material and making trails through the wood that can weaken the wood itself causing problem with the integrity of the wood. The amount of damage a termite can do is multiplied by the fact that there is more than one termite working on the wood. They work together to get food for the colony and thus cause a huge amount of damage to your structure. Most places that are targeted by termites within a structure are the wood beams and frames, window sills, sub floors, and door frames. When you look for the damage and know what to look for, you'll be able to realize the amount of damage a termite can do to a home. It can be very surprising and even shocking. The first step toward saving your home or building is education. Know what to look for and how it can work against your home when you have a termite infestation. One woman tells us that she had no idea about the amount of damage a termite can do. She never even thought about it until she felt a floorboard that was loose. She went outside and saw a swarm of bugs around the foundation of her house, and she began to do some research. A pest control company was called in and she found out that she did, indeed, have a termite infestation. What surprised her the most was when the termite inspector showed her the amount of damage that a termite could do as she looked into the hole the inspector had cut into her wall. She was amazed and shocked. Don't let yourself wonder about the amount of damage a termite can do. Do your research either in the library or online. Realize that if you have termites, they can really wreak havoc on your home or building and cause damage that could cost hundreds of dollars to repair. The amount of damage a termite can do is overwhelming, but you can stop the problem in its tracks if you act fast. So get busy! Allstate Indemnity Coverage and Termite Damage There are many questions that have arisen in our courts regarding Allstate indemnity coverage and termite damage that have caused policy holders some real headaches. Basically, an indemnity policy is a protection again future loss for a property owner that may be filed by another person. Most of the time, a problem comes into play during a real estate transaction in the case of termite damage. In fact, there was a case involving Allstate Indemnity Coverage and Termite Damage that was filed by a buyer against a seller several years ago. Essentially what happened in that case is that the buyer of a piece of property found out that there was termite damage to a home. They sued the sellers for not disclosing the problem at which time, the seller tried to fall back on their Allstate indemnity coverage and termite damage clause in the policy. Allstate denied the claim thus making the seller responsible for fixing the damage and compensating the buyers. The buyers also had Allstate insurance and tried to file again their own homeowner's policy which was also subsequently denied. At that point, the buyers and sellers teams up to file their own suit against Allstate for breach of conditions in the policy that they believed covered them against structural damage due to termites. Allstate, of course fought back and argued that a homeowner's policy generally doesn't cover termite damage to a structure and will pay only if another party is harmed. The Allstate indemnity coverage and termite damage clause did not, they argued, cover pre-existing termite damage and no one was physically injured so the lawsuit should be dismissed. After a lot of legal wrangling, a settlement was reached, but that lawsuit caused a lot of insurance companies to more specifically spell out the exact terms of their indemnity coverage when it comes to termite damage. The Allstate indemnity coverage and termite damage case made a lot of home owner's policies change quite a bit and now most indemnity policies don't offer much coverage at all unless there is physical injury directly caused by termite damage on a property. Allstate indemnity coverage and termite damage actually did many homeowners a favor by spelling out specifically what is covered and what is not. The lawsuit may have been an eye-opener for the insurance industry that ended up working out to the advantage of the home owner as opposed to the big business of the insurance industry. Advance Termite System One of the most popular termite control products that is on the market today is the Advance termite system. The Advance termite system is a bait control product that is placed in certain places around the perimeter of your home and is non-invasive to the home itself. With some termite control products, the landscaping must be disturbed or holes must be drilled into your home's slab base. The Advance termite system doesn't require any of this. The bait that is used in the Advance termite system is placed and locked into secure stations that don't allow access by unwanted guests. That means that this bait is safe to have around children and pets. The bait is specifically tailored to catch termites before they get into your home and start to devastate the wood that your structure is built with. The Advance termite system will kill the entire colony or colonies that are attacking or could attack your home. This is advantageous because chemical treatments only address parts of the colony -- not the entire colony. If you ignore part of the colony, you will risk the continuation of termite damage and infestation, so it is best to eliminate them entirely and have peace of mind that you won't have future problems. The Advance termite system provides home and building owners with the latest advancement in termite bait technology by utilizing a dual-stage process. This process features and ultra low disturbance design to pattern the termite's natural feeding behaviors. That alone will lead to enhanced colony elimination. The Advance termite system also has a unique second food source that has been shown to be preferred by termites over the wood used in most home along with other baiting systems. With a baiting system used to eliminate termites, you need to provide the termites with a maximum amount of food to detract them from the wood in your structure. The Advance termite system uses a very large containerized bait load which allows for maximum bait to be fed to the colony in a shorter time frame. This allows for elimination of the colony faster and gives you a peace of mind that other baiting systems can't provide. The baiting stations provided by the Advance termite system are very sturdy. This is advantageous because it minimizes the possibility of tampering or damage from lawn mowers, children, and pets. The Advance termite system is definitely one of the more non-invasive options you can consider for termite control and one you should consider because of its proven ability to eliminate entire colonies of termites and protect your valuable home. Termite Poems Believe it or not, the termite has actually had poems written for it. Poetry can be written about any subject -- as any good writer knows. But when you think about writing poems for a termite, that just seems a little too strange even for the most seasoned writer. In reality, there are some termite poems that exist. Most are humorous and we'll share just a few we've found. Famed humorist Ogden Nash is well known for his hilarious short poetry and sharp witticisms on human life. While he hasn't written many poems to the termite, he did write one that has been studied by students in many grades and evaluated for its social relevance as well as humorous quality. His poem "The Termite" is as follows: Some primal termite knocked on wood And tasted it, and found it good! And that is why your Cousin May Fell through the parlor floor today. This is considered one of the great poems of its time and for it to be about a termite makes it humorous in and of itself. It is a simple four line poem that rhymes yet says a lot about the way a termite works. The poem brings a sense of humor to the actual destruction that a termite can wreak on a home. Mr. Nash has been known to write poems about obscure subjects which is why it really is no surprise to fans of his that he would write "The Termite". He has a unique way of looking at a seemingly mundane topic and putting a spin on it so that it becomes interesting. When you dissect "The Termite", you will realize that this is one of Mr. Nash's most prolific poems simply because it is simple, funny, and so, so true. He is telling us that a termite found a piece of wood and thought it looked like a good piece of food. Of course, termites eat wood so when they chew through it, the wood becomes unstable and then poor Cousin May fell through the floor because that doggone termite decided to have dinner! Of all poems written in the world over the years, there are precious few that have been written about the common termite. But Ogden Nash decided that there needed to be at least one. So, as this writer imagines, he sat down at his desk with a small notepad and jotted down 26 little words and made one of his poems about a little termite one of the most studied ones around. Bravo, Mr. Nash, bravo!
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