Helpful Information

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TERMITES:

Termites are very small social insects that live in colonies and feed on cellulose (any wood-base product including wood, paper, books, and furniture). Termites are able to digest cellulose with the aid of a protozoan organism that lives in their gut. Termites are essentially one of nature's disposers of cellulose the problem is when that cellulose is our home or building. A termite colony can consist of a few hundred to millions of termites depending on specie.

 

A typical termite colony is comprised of a king and queen, the primary reproductives. The king and queen usually pair up for life which can be upward of 10 years. Soldiers are responsible for the protection of the colony against any intruder especially ants their number one enemy. Worker termites, the most numerous (subterranean) members of the colony are responsible for feeding and grooming the king and queen and soldiers and general upkeep of the colony.

 

TYPES OF TERMITES:

Termites are classified based on biology and habits, they are grouped as either subterranean, drywood or dampwood termites. Subterranean termites typically live in the soil and tunnel and or make mud tubes in search of wood and moisture. Eastern subterranean is the most common subterranean termite in Florida, while Formosan subterranean has the largest colonies, could number in the millions. Subterranean termites generally eat along the grain of the wood and have messy galleries. Drywood termites feed on dry, sound wood and live in the wood they attack. They do not go to the soil as the get all the moisture they need from the wood they consume. They produce six-sided elongated pellets that they expel through kick-out holes. For this reason, we call them good house keepers and the presence of pellets is usually the first sign on infestation of drywood termites. They eat along and across the grains of wood. Dampwood termites are usually found in wood with high moisture content or decaying wood. They too will eat along and across the grains of wood and they produce moist elongated pellets.

 

TERMITE ACCESS POINTS:

Termites are like us humans needing food, water and shelter to survive and our homes afford them these. Given their small size and constant search for food and moisture termites can and will get into your home or structure through various points:

 

  • Small cracks (as big as a credit card) in foundations.
  • The expansion joints between the slab and foundation footers.
  • Wood in direct contact with soil.
  • Hollow block voids.
  • Wood debris left in crawl space.
  • Untreated wood used in additions and wooden decks.
  • Holes in walls around plumbing fixtures, cable and telephone lines.
  • Cracks caused by tree roots of plants planted too close to structure.

 

VISUAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TERMITES AND ANTS:

  • Termites have two equal size pairs of wings versus the ants where the fore wings are bigger than the back wings.
  • Termites have a broad waistline versus ants with a constricted waistline.
  • Termites have straight beaded antennae versus ants with elbowed antennae.

 

SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES:

Termites are attracted to moisture and feed on cellulose, which is any plant-based product, including wood, mulch, paper, and yes your furniture. Here are some helpful tips for preventing termite infestations.

 

  1. Eliminate any wood-to-soil contact around foundation and crawl spaces.
  2. Remove all wood debris and do not install landscape timber near the house.
  3. Repair plumbing leaks promptly and do not irrigate foundation wall.
  4. Store firewood away from house and discard or burn any excess.
  5. Remove any foam insulation in contact with soil.
  6. Make sure wood used for decks and patios are pressure treated.
  7. Plant trees at least 10 ft. away from house, plant roots can crack foundation of house.
  8. Do not put flower beds around foundation of house.
  9. Use guttering to channel water away from foundation of house.
  10. Do not allow pets to remove soil away from foundation.
  11. Do not put mulch in direct contact to foundation of house.

 

INSECTS, SPIDERS, AND RODENTS:

Household pests seek out places that support their needs of food, water and shelter. Our homes and businesses provide these basic needs for us as well as for these pests. Not only can they destroy our property, they do transmit a wide range of diseases to humans. Once these pests have become established in our homes and businesses it can be very difficult to eradicate them. Here are some helpful tips for controlling interior pests.

 

  1. Thoroughly clean kitchen and all food service areas daily and discard all kitchen scraps.
  2. Keep trash bins securely fastened and take out trash daily.
  3. Seal and secure all food packages.
  4. Pest Control tip images
  5. Store pet food in tightly sealed containers and do not keep food in bowl overnight.
  6. Fix any leaking faucets promptly.
  7. Empty all water in sinks.
  8. Do not water plants at nights.
  9. Do not keep any standing water around house.
  10. Do not store wood or wood debris around house.
  11. Remove any old tires, or containers from the around house.
  12. Seal and caulk all cracks and crevices.
  13. Trim tree branches and bushes away from house.
  14. Overnight keep toilet cover down when not in use.
  15. Install door sweep or repair existing door sweep to keep crawling insects out.
  16. Get professional help from a reputable pest control company.
  17. Ensure that all foundation and attic vents are equipped with tight fitting sleeves.
  18. Ensure the attic and crawl-space has sufficient ventilation.
  19. Keep pets and children away from areas where pesticides have been applied.

 

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