||June 5th, 2008|
"WHAT'S BUGGING YOU"
TERMITES, part 2
By Frank Lorey,
Corky's Pest Control
As mentioned last issue-you are either living in a house with termites, or in one that is going to have termites. The discovery of pellets, eaten wood areas, or mud tubes can cause a great deal of worry and expense for homeowners. There are two main types of termites causing the problems in our area-the Subterranean termite, and the Drywood termite.
As their name implies, Subterranean termites live underground. These are the termites that probably cause the most overall damage to structures. The workers and soldiers are about 1/4th inch in size, while the reproductive males and females are about 3/8ths inch. Soldiers have a larger head with long mandibles. The reproductives are dark brown, while the workers are a colorless gray.
Subterranean termite workers will eat any damp wood, and even damp carpets, to feed the other members of the colony. The nymphs will also chew on wood. A single colony can have hundreds of thousands of workers. They have a high humidity requirement, and form tubes extending from the ground to travel in search of wood. The tubes are formed from saliva, soil, and bits of chewed wood. Tubes may also be used as shelter, migratory paths, and an exit for the winged swarmers as they head out to form new colonies.
Extreme damage can develop fairly quickly--the interior portion of wood is eaten leaving behind only the outer shell, along with any harder wood portions the termites didn't particularly want to finish. Often the homeowner will notice the mud tubes, or an area of shed wings on the ground, which are common signs of a Subterranean termite infestation. Sometimes the infestation will go unnoticed, however.
The Drywood termite looks just like the Subterranean termite, except that it is larger (about a half inch), and it is more of a reddish brown color. Infestations of Drywood termites are just about as common as Subterranean termites. Drywood termites will excavate large pockets in the wood that they attack. They require no soil contact, and they can even infest dead limbs on trees. They are usually noticed from the piles of hard fecal pellets that they leave behind.
During the hot fall months, Drywood termites are seen swarming around our area, looking for bare wood to enter and create a chamber, starting a new colony. There can be thousands of termites in each colony, and your home could actually host more than one colony at a time.
There are vastly different ways to treat the two main types of termite infestations. Corky's can prevent Subterranean termites from inhabiting your house by trenching around the foundation and applying Termidor into the trenches. Termidor is the #1 treatment used nation-wide to combat the Subterranean termite. Once they get in, the treatment situation becomes much worse-often requiring ripping up carpet, drilling holes in the foundation, and injecting chemicals underneath.
Drywood termites often infest attic spaces, and the rafter tails outside of the house. While fumigation used to be the only method to deal with Drywoods, now Corky's can offer the ThermaPureHeat treatment, and you don't even have to leave your house. The termites are killed using 130-degree air, so no chemicals are involved.
If you see wings on the ground, or mud tubes, or even the pellets, call Corky's immediately at 1-800-325-7805.