Category Archives: Termites

Liquid or Bait? What’s Best for Me?

 

You want to protect your home from termites, but first you need to answer the important question: bait or liquid?

The Sentricon® System puts science to work to protect your home. A protective ring of Sentricon stations around your home turns termite foraging behavior against them. They find the bait, feed on it and take it back to the colony. The result is proven colony elimination. Alternative liquid treatment are designed to block termite access to the home by killing some or repelling them, but the colony stays in place to resume the attack if the liquid termiticide barrier is disturbed or the chemical protection breaks down naturally. In comparison, the Sentricon System bait remains fully effective thanks to regular inspection and service by a Certified Sentricon Specialist.

sentricon-vs-liquid-chart

With Sentricon, there’s:

  • No digging or trenching – You work so hard to keep your lawn and yard pristine, so don’t ruin it with a liquid termite treatment. Want landscaping tips to prevent termites? We’re here to help.
  • No structural drilling – With a baiting system, there is no drilling through the structural foundation.
  • No chemicals injected in the ground – The original Sentricon System is the only termite product to receive the Presidential Green Chemistry Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That means it’s environmentally responsible, and your family and pets don’t need to worry about it.
  • No trucks with chemical tanks – There’s no dealing with hundreds or even thousands of gallons of chemical solution.
  • No scheduling hassles – At work or have an appointment away from home? No worries. A pest management company can still stop by to install termite baiting systems.

Still unsure which solution is best for you? Watch this video!

  

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Always read and follow label directions.

 

Spring-clean Your Yard to Prevent Termites

 

patio

Spring-cleaning is a fun time to get outside and make your yard more enjoyable for upcoming cookouts, campfires and summer get-togethers. But before you roll up your sleeves and put on some gardening gloves, here are some tips on how to make your place less enjoyable for termites.

  • Avoid piling mulch around your home. Insects, and termites specifically, are drawn to the moist environment. That means the thicker the mulch, the more insects you’re likely to find in that area. Termites can use the mulch area to gain access to your home.
  • Be careful when using old railroad ties in landscaping. They may be what you’re looking for to frame garden areas, but you should inspect railroad ties for live termites or signs of damage. Termites can infest old railroad ties, so you may be transporting termites closer to your home.
  • Cut back thick brush near the home. This will help dry out the soil (remember, termites love moisture!) and stop mold and mildew. By cutting back brush, you also may discover termite mud tubes on the foundation.
  • Avoid stacking firewood directly on the ground or against your house. Your supply of bonfire wood is just what termites are looking for: food, water and shelter. If possible, keep the firewood off the ground in a rack to avoid direct-to-soil contact. Otherwise that makes it easy for termites to move from the soil to the wood — and potentially into your home. Another tip is to keep firewood at least 5 feet away from your home’s foundation.
  • Check for clogged rain gutters. If your gutters are clogged or dripping, they may be contributing to an above-ground termite infestation.
  • Removing trees from your yard? Stumps left behind can become infested with termites, so it’s best to remove the entire tree.
  • Inspect for low spots in the yard. Low spots may be full of standing water or have extra moisture, which can attract termites.
  • Adding a new shed, wooden fence or deck? They need to be protected, too! Take precautions to keep the landscaping areas clean and free of debris. You also could consider a termite treatment around valuable structures such as sheds.

Those are a few ideas to get you thinking about what areas of your yard are conducive for termites. Since termites are the last guest you want at your next cookout this summer, be mindful of what else you have in your yard that could be inviting those damaging pests.

Happy summer entertaining!

®™Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow
Always read and follow label directions.

The Sentricon® System is Ready to Take on the “Super Termites” of Southern Florida!

South Florida is one of only three places in the world where you can find both Formosan and Asian termites—considered to be the two most destructive termite species. It was previously observed that the swarming season of Asian termites occurs before Formosan termites, preventing interaction.1 Recently, perhaps as a result of climate changes, the swarming seasons overlapped, and a new “super termite” was created.2


Rapid Colony Growth
The new hybridization has scientists concerned. Although there haven’t been any documented cases of hybrid colonies existing in the wild, there are colonies being observed at the University of Florida. Researchers have noted that hybrid colonies appear to be quite vigorous, growing at almost twice the rate of either parent species. They have also witnessed that Asian termite males actually prefer to mate with Formosan termite females, not females from their own species, increasing the chance of hybrid colony formation.2


Substantial Threat to Homeowners
While many hybrid species are sterile (e.g., the mule, a horse-donkey hybrid,) it is not yet known if offspring from a Formosan-Asian termite pair are capable of reproducing. It typically takes five to eight years for a colony to produce the winged adults that leave the nest to mate.3

However, even if the resulting offspring can’t start new colonies, the damage done over the 20-year lifespan of a colony is a substantial threat to homeowners, especially in light of the increased colony-growth rate.4 As the study published by the University of Florida researchers summarizes, “a kick from a mule is as good as a kick from a donkey.5


Protect Your Home
Researchers expect the establishment of hybrid termite colonies to dramatically increase the amount of termite damage in the affected areas.4 Matthew Messenger, an entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, reports that hybrid termite colonies should respond to treatment like the parent colonies.3 The Sentricon® System is an effective means of eliminating Formosan and Asian termite colonies6 and is expected to eliminate “super” termite colonies, too.

Find a Certified Sentricon Specialist™ in your area to learn more about how Sentricon can protect your home from threats posed by termites—even the “super” ones.


References

1T. Chouvenc, E. H.-Y. (2015, 03 25). Hybridization of two termite invaders. Retrieved 04 28, 2015, from YouTube (University of Florida): https://youtu.be/qAsDs0cHX84

2L. Geggel. (2015, 03 31). ‘Super’ termite hybrid may wreak havoc on Florida. Retrieved 04 29, 2015, from Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2015/03/31/super-termite-hybrid-may-wreak-havoc-on-florida/

3Kay, A. P. (2015, 03 25). Researchers find 2 exotic termite species mating in Florida, raising concerns about new hybrid. Retrieved 03 29, 2015, from USNews.com: http://www.usnews.com/news/science/news/articles/2015/03/25/2-exotic-termites-find-love-in-florida-worrying-researchers

4B. Buck, U. o. (2015, 03 25). Two most destructive termite species forming superswarms in South Florida, UF study finds. Retrieved 04/29/2015 from University of Florida: http://news.ufl.edu/archive/2015/03/two-most-destructive-termite-species-forming-superswarms-in-south-florida-uf-study-finds.html

5Chouvenc, T., E. Helmick & N.-Y. Su. (2015, 03 25) b. Hybridization of Two Major Termite Invaders as a Consequence of Human Activity. Retrieved 04 29, 2015, from PLOS ONE: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0120745

6Woods, C. (2005, 04 08). Double Trouble: UF/IFAS Researchers Find Another Termite  In South Florida As Destructive As Formosan “Super Termite”. Retrieved 04/30/2015 from University of Florida: http://news.ifas.ufl.edu/2005/04/double-trouble-ufifas-researchers-find-another-termite-in-south-florida-as-destructive-as-formosan-super-termite/

 

®™Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow

Termites, Ahoy! How the Sentricon® System Eliminated a Floating Colony

In September 2014, Home Paramount Pest Control in Baltimore, Maryland, was approached by a gentleman named Henry with a unique problem: termites had come aboard his houseboat. Unfortunately, the termites took control and Henry had to gut the boat completely. He was contemplating selling the vessel, but first he made a call to Home Paramount. Here’s how they, along with Sentricon® Recruit® AG termite bait, kept Henry and his boat afloat.

First, some backstory:

Henry purchased the boat in April 2010 from a local marina, and had kept it docked for 4 years as he worked on it.

Houseboat

Henry’s houseboat.

Last year, Henry noticed damage along the fiberglass in the main cabin (see the photo, below.) It was unknown when the feeding began, but further inspection turned up significant damage throughout the boat.

First damage spotted

Damage was first found in the main cabin.

Damage report:

There were mud tubes everywhere. Termites had destroyed the floorboards and surfaces on the bottom of the boat. There were visible termites in the carpeting, and they had even started eating through a stack of paperback books.

Damage under and around electronics on the boat.

Damage under and around electronics on the boat.

The most unusual damage:

During inspection, the Certified Sentricon Specialist™ found an unusual situation. Termites were committing tubing into a shallow area filled with water. This was nicknamed the “Suicide Pond,” as termites were found floating, lifeless, in the water.

termite suicide pool

Termites built tubes into this “suicide” pool of water!

 

The Solution:

In September, 2014, Home Paramount Pest Control installed 14-15 Recruit® AG stations in the houseboat. Because of the extensive damage on the houseboat, the stations were monitored throughout the year. In the most recent inspection, the Certified Sentricon Specialist™ concluded that the colony had been eliminated on Henry’s houseboat.

AG 5

Recruit® AG station in the main cabin.

 

termites galley houseboat

Recruit ® AG station in the galley.

 

According to Jeremy Adamson, a sales representative for the Sentricon® System, “this boat had tons of damage. It’s almost impossible to preventively treat a houseboat, which is why in this case there was a significant problem; so much damage in fact that it would likely have caused the boat to sink eventually. Our Recruit® AG termite bait is the only product out there that could solve this issue. Liquid termiticides wouldn’t work in a boat on the water; this was a unique opportunity that only Sentricon was fit to resolve. We knew that once they [the termites] started feeding on one of the stations, we were confident the problem would be solved.”

The good news is that Henry is pleased. He can now resume work on his houseboat after not being in it all summer. He says, “I’m glad they [the termites] are gone. Now I can figure out what to do with this boat.”

The moral of this story? Termites don’t discriminate on the type of dwelling. Even houseboat owners need to be vigilant, and like Henry, trust the Sentricon® System to provide complete termite colony elimination and further protection from damage. Find out more on our website, or visit with us on Facebook or Twitter.

All photos courtesy of Jeremy Adamson

®™ Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow

What Homeowners Need to Know About Termite Inspections

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Every year in the United States, more than 5 million homes1 have some sort of termite problem, amounting to approximately $5 billion2 in damage. That’s more damage than is caused by tornadoes, fires, and earthquakes combined. And termite damage is rarely covered by homeowner’s insurance policies. If you’re buying a home, here’s what you need to know when it comes to termite inspections.

Real estate contracts dictate whether or not a termite inspection is required before the purchase of a home. VA home loans in most states require a termite inspection. Few states require a termite inspection, but many lenders or banks won’t make a loan without one. It’s a good idea to talk to your realtor and find out exactly what is needed before you close on a house. And before you think that your home inspector will be able to determine the presence of termites, think again; most home inspectors are not trained to look for termites.

The termite inspection, also known as a Wood-Destroying Organisms (WDO) report, is prepared by a licensed pest control company and addresses the presence of any termite damage or evidence of treatment for termites. By law, pest inspectors are required to report only on what they visually encounter–be it actual termites, wood damage, or a mud tube trail. It is NOT a guarantee that termites are not present. Multiple termite colonies can live near the home, all of them in constant search for food. Find out if the company backs up their inspections with a limited time warranty, which may cover minor repair from damage.

Pay close attention to your seller’s disclosure documents. The home’s termite history and damage should be on the disclosure, with receipts for treatment copied if possible. This full disclosure protects the seller, especially in the Southeast, where it’s more common for older homes to have termite damage. Many times, a termite “bond” transfers service from the seller to the buyer; ask your realtor if this is the case in your home purchase.

Make sure you are present during the inspection. That is the best way to insure that an inspection is completed. If there is damage present, ask the inspector to show you what he or she has found, so you can be an informed homeowner.

What if you’re already a homeowner, but you discover some damage to your wood or find a “mystery insect” in your walls or floors during a renovation? It’s not a good time to try to diagnose or remedy the problem by yourself. The best person to assess wood damage is a pest management professional with specific training in termite detection.

A Certified Sentricon Specialist™ receives specialized training in termite detection and treatment through the use of the Sentricon® System. Bait stations are strategically installed around the house containing a lethal food source that the termites eat and take back to the colony, destroying the reproducing queen termite in the process, and eliminating the colony. With the colony—or multiple colonies—eliminated, the home is protected from termite destruction.

It pays to be proactive when it comes to protecting your home from termites. If you’re purchasing a home that’s not protected by a termite specialist, find out more about Sentricon here, or visit our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages.

®™ Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow

1Ipsos-Insight 2005

2 National Pest Management Association

The 5 W’s of Termite Swarm Season, Part 1

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This is a photo taken by a Certified Sentricon Specialist® of an actual termite swarm inside an office building in Louisiana in Spring 2014.

March may come roaring in like a lion and bleating out like a gentle lamb, but it also may bring another animal with it—hordes of ever-hungry, wood-chomping termites. While termites are actually necessary to accelerate the degeneration of wood debris in the forest, they’re not welcome inside your home. Why do they swarm in the spring, and who is at risk? Here’s the who, what, when, where and why of swarm season:

WHO—It’s native subterranean termites that cause most of the ruckus in spring. In the Southern US, Formosan subterranean termites (exports that have gained a foothold in the warmer climate) will swarm, too.

WHAT—Swarm season occurs when winged male and female termites, called “swarmers,” leave the colonies where they were hatched to start new colonies. They shed their wings during the swarm, pair up with a mate and look for a suitable location to start a new colony as queen and king.

WHEN—Swarmer termites emerge from the colony when daytime temperatures begin to warm up and rain becomes more frequent—termites love damp weather. This is usually around the first day of Spring.

WHERE—Swarm season can begin as early as late February in coastal Louisiana, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. As the weather warms and rains increase, swarm sightings begin to spread throughout the South and gradually work their way east into Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and west into Texas and Arkansas. By late March, swarm season is usually at its peak in the South and is spreading throughout the rest of the country as it gradually thaws from winter’s cold.

WHY—It’s new colony initiation time for termites. Unfortunately for most homeowners, termite swarmers usually appear only when a colony is mature and under way. And more than one termite colony can be present at a single property! The event may last just a few minutes, so chances are better that you’ll see the wings they leave behind. Look for shed wings around windowsills, doors, heating vents, even bathtubs and sinks.

Next month, we’ll tell you how to take steps to defend your home from termite swarm season. In the meantime, if you see any flying insects in your home, contact the Certified Sentricon Specialist® nearest you to take advantage of 20 year’s worth of experience in providing the latest, most effective termite protection for over 2 million homes in the US. Help us track swarm season on our Facebook pages, or send us a tweet on Twitter using the hashtag #swarmseason!

A Q&A With Field Scientists for the Sentricon® System: Part 1

Scientist Profile

 

A compilations of interviews with Sentricon field scientists (past and present:) Michelle Smith, Dr. Joe DeMark, Dr. Joe Eger and Dr. Barb Nead-Nylander.

One of the primary factors in the success of the Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System is the amount of real scientific research that is represented in every bait station installed.  We recently had the opportunity to speak with some of our field scientists, and they answered some questions about our product, termites, and how the Sentricon System utilizes science to be more environmentally friendly. Continue reading