Tom Termite Takes Over During Termite Awareness Week!

From March 17th through the 23rd, 2014, the Sentricon® System promoted Termite Awareness Week.   However, at the beginning of the week, “Tom” Termite hacked into the Sentricon Twitter  account and proceeded to take over the tweeting duties. How did Sentricon eventually rid its social media of Tom? By doing what it does best—by utilizing scientific knowledge of termite behavior to eliminate the colony by ending the food supply chain they need for survival. In case you missed it, here is the timeline of Tom’s takeover, social media mischief, and ultimately his discovery of the bait station, which was his—and the colony’s–undoing:

But first, Tom posted this self-portrait:

Worker Head

And this was his first post:

He immediately went to work finding food for the colony…

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 5.44.39 PM

And shared some gossip.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 5.45.05 PM

Eventually, Tom happened upon the Sentricon® System.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 5.45.17 PM

He liked what was in the bait station so much he made a video:

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 5.45.34 PM

Tom complained a bit about his work.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 5.45.44 PM

But overall, he seemed happy.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 5.46.01 PM

Sometimes he shared too much information.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 5.46.16 PM

The other worker termites got in on the good eats, too.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 5.46.28 PM

 

However, it wasn’t too long before Tom felt something wasn’t right. Could it be that Sentricon was doing its job?

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 5.46.42 PM

And eventually, the entire termite colony started feeling the same way. So long, Tom.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 5.46.55 PM

 

While Tom’s story may have been fictional, the effectiveness of the Sentricon® System is for real. Luckily, we were standing guard against Tom and the rest of the colony. Does Sentricon protect your space?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Do the Queens of the Castle Think About the Sentricon® System? (Part 2)

For nearly twenty years, the Sentricon® System has protected homes just like yours. Here is Part 2 of our series of stories from the true “queens” of the castle. Find out what they think about Sentricon and the Certified Sentricon Specialist™ that helps protect their investment!

Laura, Dallas, Texas

laura from Dallas (2)

Laura decided to invest in the Sentricon® System for preventative reasons. “It’s not something that you want to be hit or miss. You want it taken care of. We don’t have to worry about what or how we’re going to afford to be able to repair the damage termites might cause. You don’t have to worry about where the next attack is going to be.”

Laney, Jackson, Mississippi

2013-05-18 06.31.31

Laney suffered through swarm season and then got the Sentricon® System installed. “It was an easy decision,” Laney declares. “The word around town from other people that have used it–I had already heard that they were pleased. “By the time that you find out that you’ve got termites, the damage can already be done before you see the evidence. It’s a must-have.”

Mandy, Virginia Beach, Virginia

2013-06-01 01.42.01

Mandy has been a loyal customer of her Certified Sentricon Specialist™ for over 15 years. When building a new home, she decided to get the Sentricon® System for preventative reasons. “After going through the trouble of building the house, decorating the house, the last thing I wanted was termite damage so there was no question. I like that it’s not just sticking a bunch of chemicals out into the environment, around my house, around my dog, around my children, around myself. It is truly an investment, not only in my house but also an investment with my family, an investment in my peace of mind. So many things can go wrong in a household. If I can eliminate one of them, I’m good.”

Clare, Monroe, North Carolina

2013-06-09 05.49.09

Clare is a busy dog lover that got the Sentricon® System for preventative reasons. “I don’t have to deal with it. It’s in the ground and boom. I don’t want to mess with chemicals or putting stuff all around the house. From my standpoint, not having to mess with it is great. I have two dogs and I don’t want to have to keep them away from wet stuff.”

Do you have a Sentricon success story to share? We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or chat with us on our Facebook or Twitter pages. If you’d like to learn more about the Sentricon® System, visit our website and find a Certified Sentricon Specialist on our Find-A-Pro page.

Liquid or Bait? Watch our 3-D Video and Decide Which Method is Best

Our latest video goes 3-D with a termite colony. By going underground where termites live, you will get a feel for what termites want — to eat 24/7. See how the Sentricon® System works, and then learn about the differences between Sentricon and liquid treatments.

 

Subterranean termites that live in the soil are mother’s nature’s way of breaking down things like dead trees, yet they commonly invade homes like yours. Termites can’t tell the difference from the wood in your home from a dead tree. Your home might be your largest investment, but to a termite, it’s food!

Workers can forage for food nearly the length of a football field. Once food is found, they lay down a chemical trail of pheromones for others to follow. But even when a source is found, it’s the worker’s instinct to continue to search. So how do you protect your home and get peace of mind from this relentlessly foraging enemy? You have two options:

 

Liquid…

The objective of a liquid barrier is to create a continuous chemical barrier around the foundation of your home. When an individual termite comes into contact with the barrier, the termite dies. In order to apply an effective liquid barrier, it’s necessary to dig around your home’s foundation and in many cases, drill through concrete and brick to make the barrier continuous. This process takes several hours of preparation to apply potentially hundreds of gallons of termiticide. Even with this intense preparation, many things can obstruct the chemical barrier and limit the effectiveness of the liquid treatment, and a termite only requires 1/32nd of an inch to find their way through. Termites that contact the chemical barrier are killed, but liquid treatments degrade over time and aren’t designed to eliminate the colony, leaving your home vulnerable.

 

Versus Bait…

The Sentricon® System is a revolutionary product that uses the termite’s natural foraging instinct against them to eliminate their entire colony. Sentricon stations are professionally installed by a Certified Sentricon Specialist ™ and are strategically placed to be easily and quickly found by foraging termites. Remember, even when a food source has been found, the workers are constantly searching. And that constant search insures they will find a station. When they do, the workers distribute the bait into the hungry colony’s food supply. The bait is unknowingly passed from termite to termite. The workers die first and without workers, the rest of the colony cannot sustain itself. The entire colony is eliminated, including the queen. Sentricon offers around-the-clock protection from future colonies as well.

The termite colonies’ constant foraging makes liquid treatments vulnerable, but insures the success of the Sentricon® System. No digging, no structural drilling, just smart science. Sentricon is the only choice for true peace of mind and total termite colony elimination. Death to the termite queen, death to her colony, for good!

 

What Do the Queens of the Castle Think About the Sentricon® System?

The queen may be the heart of the termite colony, but a female homeowner puts her heart and soul into her home. If these two lock horns, who’s going to reign supreme? For nearly twenty years, the Sentricon® System has protected homes just like yours. Here are some stories from the true “queens” of the castle—find out what they think about Sentricon and the Certified Sentricon Specialist™ that helps protect their investment!

Laura, Dallas, Texas

Laura from Dallas part 1

Laura and her family kept seeing termites after liquid spot treatments. She says, “Living in Texas, they say you’re always going to have termites. The spot treatments were not working, so I decided to try something else. The reason why I am confident with it is that in the first inspection, there were termites in the station. So to me, that means it is working.”

Lynda, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Laura from Virginia part 1

Lynda is a homeowner that juggles multiple condominium properties. After dealing with termites invading several of the units, she decided to have Sentricon installed. “Mostly with me it’s environmental. It’s the most non-invasive. Termites ended after Sentricon.” Lynda is also satisfied with her Certified Sentricon Specialist. “You wouldn’t continue the contract more and more and more with someone if they didn’t give perfect service.”

Cindy, Southlake, Texas

Cindy from Texas part 1

Cindy is a hardworking homeowner that doesn’t have time for termites. “I work 24 hours a day, seven days a week and he [the Certified Sentricon Specialist] came to me and said that this worked, let’s do it…and that’s the way it went. It’s a system. It’s in there and it works. I trust [the technician] to take care of it and if there’s a problem, he will let me know.”

Natalie, Houma, Louisiana

Natalie from LA part 1

Natalie had Sentricon in her previous house. However, when she and her family moved to a different home, they found over $50,000 worth of damage. They immediately had the Sentricon® System installed on their new home after repairs. “It’s a proven system,” Natalie says. “It’s a sense of security you have knowing that it’s a great product and it’s covered and backed by reputable companies. We felt better the day we got Sentricon.”

Do you have a Sentricon success story to share? We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or chat with us on our Facebook or Twitter pages. If you’d like to learn more about Sentricon, visit our website and find a Certified Sentricon Specialist™ on our Find-A-Pro page.

The Five Senses of Termites

Subterranean

They may look disorganized, but subterranean termites have traits that help them stay on their destructive foraging, feeding, and reproduction paths.

The well-organized underground colony system can be home to several hundred to millions of subterranean termite members. To find cellulose food sources and grow the colony, termites use social cooperation to survive and thrive. But do they use the five senses—sight, hearing, taste, touch and feel—the way other animals do? We asked Dr. Neil Spomer, a Global Urban Pest Management Lab Leader and Field Scientist for Dow AgroSciences, to shed some light on exactly how subterranean termites use their own peculiar anatomy to find other termites and the decaying wood in your backyard.

Can subterranean termites see?

Only the king and the queen termites have eyes. The workers and soldiers are blind. According to Spomer, “As far as how well they can see, we’re not sure. Once they go subterranean into the soil, we could speculate that their ability to see declines.”

What can subterranean termites hear?

Termites don’t really have ears. However, they can sense vibrations. One of the behaviors they exhibit when they experience a vibration is head-pounding, which is a communication method for the termite colony. The range and perception of their sensitivity to these vibrations is not well known.

Do subterranean termites have a sense of smell?

Termites navigate using their sense of smell. When a termite finds a food source, it leaves a pheromone scent trail to recruit other termites from the colony to come find the cellulose food source, too. The scent trail is an effective part of the colony’s communication system, helping to keep the whole colony fed. Spomer adds, “A pheromone is a chemical not as we would define a smell. Termites use their antennae to detect a chemical trail—more of a chemical response, not a traditional ‘sense’ that we would understand, but a chemical signal they receive.” Besides pheromones, termites also respond to colony odors and hydrocarbons on the cuticles of other termites. They also detect and respond to carbon dioxide, although they don’t recognize it as such. “Because of the microbes on wood breaking down, there’s a carbon dioxide byproduct that’s given off as the wood decays,” Spomer says. Termites can also detect the Queen’s pheromones, which help regulate caste differentiations.

PHEROMONE ART

Pheromone trails help termites find food and their way to the Queen termite’s area.

Are subterranean termites able to taste?

Termites don’t have true taste buds, but they do have a cellulose-degrading organism in their stomach that helps them digest wood. They can discern between different types of wood, and some are more palatable to them than others. According to Spomer, “Softer wood that is partially decayed is easier for them to consume because it speeds the digestion process along.” This is why it’s important for homeowners to be aware of any leaks, standing water or drips inside their home or on the exterior foundation. (You can read more about other mistakes homeowners make that attract termites here.)

Termites will feed on all types of wood. This University of Florida video of a termite taste test demonstrates how they prefer the Recruit® HD termite bait in the Sentricon® System:

This video documents a termite trail leading straight to the Recruit HD bait. 

Do subterranean termites have a sense of touch?

They know what they like! Subterranean termites love a moist, temperature-stable environment (and the soil just below your lawn is ideal.) Termites do exhibit some thigmotactic (from the Greek word thigma, or “touch”) behaviors. According to Spomer, we should “think of it as how they like to get into crevices or cracks, something that touches on multiple sides of their bodies. “ If exposed to open air, the termites will construct mud tubes from packed earth, saliva and bits of chewed cellulose. And while these tubes are primarily meant to protect them from dehydration and ant attacks, some subterranean termites will also use this material to seal themselves inside edible lumber, and sometimes to create an entire, above-ground colony. This is why it’s so important for homeowners to seal the cracks in their home’s foundations and walls. Termites can forage along concrete and find a crack, which is the path of least resistance, and they will use it to find food.

The subterranean termite has a unique body that helps them adapt to their environment—be it a decaying, tree-filled wood or a freshly-constructed home. How can a homeowner make their home less palatable to these pests? By keeping up with simple home maintenance, being aware of warning signs, and calling a professional, such as a Certified Sentricon Specialist , to make sure that their home is protected. It’s the best way for homeowners to get peace of mind—and give their own senses a rest!

We love to talk termites! We’re happy to answer questions about termite anatomy, or how to recognize these pesky critters. Even if you just want to learn more about Sentricon, you can leave a comment here, or visit our Facebook and Twitter pages. That’s where the termite conversation goes on 24/7!

When it Comes to Protecting Your Home, Do-It-Yourself Termite Control May Not Be the Best Way to Go

Slide7

Once you become a homeowner, you find yourself doing things you’ve never done before. You might fix a leaky faucet, paint your living room or take on some landscaping. If it turns out less than perfect, what’s the worst that could happen? You call a plumber, or you repaint or replant. But if you have a termite problem, do-it-yourself may not be a good idea.

According to the  National Pest Management Association, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year. Because termites are constantly looking for their next food source, they can inflict serious damage on your home. Destructive pests like termites require action. If you fail to do it right, your home pays the price.

Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover termite damage. In fact, most insurance providers consider pest infestation and the destruction they cause a maintenance issue, so you would be liable for any repairs caused by termite damage.

“Homeowner attempts to treat pest problems often just reach the ‘tip of the iceberg,’ not the root cause of the problem,” says Missy Henriksen, from the NPMA. “The pests you see might be eliminated, but a larger infestation can continue to grow out of sight.”

Pest professionals are trained to identify the problem and apply the best solution using specialized equipment. Termite control products found at the local hardware store are often not as effective as the products used by the pros.

For example, a termite baiting system such as the Sentricon® System with Always Active™ technology is scientifically designed and proven to eliminate subterranean termites. It uses in-ground stations that are always baited, so the continuously foraging termites will find it, eat it and share it with the rest of the colony, eliminating all the termites, including the termite queen.   And Sentricon stands guard against termite attacks 365 days a year, so you’ll have time to tackle other home improvement projects. Leave the termite control to your local Certified Sentricon Specialist.

ao and lady

A Certified Sentricon  Specialist is trained to give your home a thorough inspection,  then report findings to you and recommend a course of treatment.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of the Sentricon System, you can ask us questions on our Facebook page, or you can tweet us a query on Twitter!

Big Trivia for Little Termites

Here are some fun facts about termites!

The small but mighty termite provides a useful service to the world by eating dead, decaying wood out in the forest. However, if they start chewing on your basement support beams, that’s a different story. Their body chemistry and eating habits are complex and varied, and their destructive force is legendary. It’s no wonder that termites are high on the trivia chain. We enjoy sharing our termite trivia with you on our Facebook, Google+ and Twitter pages every week, so here are some of the most interesting fun facts we’ve ever run across. How many of them do you know?

 

Termite_Map_lg

Termites are found in every state except Alaska.  What risk zone do you live in?

• In the United States alone, an estimated $5 billion in termite-related property damage occurs annually¹

• More than 5 million homes in the United States have some type of termite problem each year²

• Termite damage is more costly than damage caused by fires, storms and earthquakes¹

• Termite damage is rarely covered by homeowners insurance

• Worker termites work and eat around the clock

• Termites live in underground colonies and tunnel to trees, buildings or any source of cellulose

• A termite colony can number from the thousands to millions

• The hard, saw-toothed jaws of termites work like shears to bite bits of wood continuously

• Worker termites feed on wood and then feed the rest of the colony by regurgitating

• Protozoa in the termite gut actually digest the cellulose

• Worker termites forage randomly and continuously for food, sometimes traveling up to 350 feet from the colony, and can thoroughly cover a territory up to a half acre in size³

• Termites have survived since the days of the dinosaurs

• Termites are the second-largest natural source of methane, a greenhouse gas4

• Besides being the biggest termite in the colony, the Termite Queen can live as long as 25 years5

SENTDAPM3057_SocialMediaInfographic_1

The Queen rules when it comes to reproduction–and termite trivia.

Don’t be caught unawares about termites! Find out what your risk is at Sentricon.com .

1National Pest Management Association
2Ipsos-Insight 2005
3Sentricon.com
4thinkglobalgreen.org
5University of Rhode Island