There are two kinds of termites we see most in Ventura County homes. They are subterranean termites and drywood termites. These insects attack homes differently and leave different warning signs. Today, we'll break down the information and help you identify the signs, evaluate the threat, and get rid of an infestation. Stick with us to the end, and we'll tell you how to identify and remove factors that attract termites and what works to keep termites in Ventura County from damaging your property in the first place. Before we begin, we want to make sure you know that Ventura Pest Control provides termite inspections and effective termite pest control in Ventura County. If you need immediate assistance with a termite problem, we can help.
How To Identify Signs Of Termites
When termites are in your yard, it is easier to detect them. While you can chop into a termite-infested tree and find termite workers crawling around by the thousands, you're not likely to chop into the walls, floors, and ceilings of your home to go looking for them. If you want to find active termites inside your home, you need to know what signs to look for and how to find them.
Swarmers: The easiest way to tell that you have a termite problem is to find winged termites in your home. These insects have wings that are rounded at the tips and stacked on top of each other. The wings hang past the abdomens of these termites and are quite noticeable when you see swarmers gathered together in a swarm. Unfortunately, finding swarmers in your home is evidence of a severe infestation and a warning that termites have had years to damage your property.
Wings: When termite swarmers mate, they shed their wings. You may find these wings littered about inside your home. We hope you don't sweep them up and call it a day. Those wings are letting you know that a swarm occurred and you missed it.
Frass: Drywood termites create a material called frass. It is made up of termite droppings. But you may not realize it. Frass is hard, like wood. It is also the same color as the wood the termites are consuming. So you may see frass and think it is sawdust. But bear this in mind: even if it is sawdust, your home doesn't produce sawdust on its own. You have some kind of wood-destroying insect in your home.
Shelter Tubes: Subterranean termites create these structures. They typically look like thin, wiggly, mud lines running up walls. As they run up a wall, they may split into branches. When several single tubes are stacked on top of each other, they begin to look like a column.
Holes: It is rare to see subterranean termite damage. You may see drywood termite damage, but this is also rare. The holes you want to look for are tiny. They're called kickout holes. Drywood termites use them to push the frass out of the tunnels they've made.
Sounds: You may hear termites in your walls if the termites get excited. Soldier termites bang their heads on tunnel walls to alert the workers of an invading predator. To you, it will sound like a subtle rustling or clicking noise.
Check Wood: When you tap on wood and it sounds hollow, that is an indication that something is creating tunnels inside the wood.
When you check your home for termites and find warning signs, is it cause for alarm? Let's look at how termite damage impacts the structural integrity of your home over time.
Termites Can Undermine The Structural Integrity Of Your Home
There are no easy answers when it comes to the question of how much damage termites in Ventura County can do to homes. Many factors determine how much damage is done. The best we can do is explain what termites do inside the wood of your home and how it impacts the structure.
- Termites eat wood. But they don't eat all the wood. They carve out tunnels.
- As tunnels are made, wood weakens.
- As wood weakens, it puts stress on other timbers.
- Wood warps over time. Doors stick. Windows stick or open and close without resistance. Floors sink. Walls bulge. Ceilings dip down.
- Termites cost U.S. property owners over $5 billion each and every year.
- Termites thrive in Ventura County where temperatures are ideal.
- A termite colony can have a workforce in the hundreds of thousands.
- Termite workers may travel a hundred yards to find food, so more than one colony can feed on your home at the same time.
- Termites are incredibly sneaky. You can have a million workers in the walls of your home and not know it.
We can't tell you how much damage termites will do to your property. All we know for sure is that you can avoid termite damage if you have a certified termite control professional install a barrier around your home. The most trusted name in subterranean termite control is Termidor. Their advanced termiticide solutions are undetectable to these termites. When workers pass through the material, they are unaware of it. The workers then share the active ingredient with each other and it leads to colony elimination. The folks at Termidor call this the Transfer Effect™. There is no better way to prevent termite damage.
The Best Way To Get Rid Of A Termite Infestation
When you find termites in your home, do you have to call a termite expert near you? It is the best option. A professional has certifications in the application of products offered by Termidor and other professional-grade termite control products. When you need termite removal, a certified professional will get the results you want.
A termite control professional is even more critical when you have a drywood termite infestation. These termites do not require any contact with the ground outside, so you can't apply treatment products in the soil to deal with these pests. They're also not going to come out of your walls like ants and other pests. They live entirely inside the wood of your home, which supplies them with the food they need for survival as well as protection from the elements and drying effects of the sun. A professional can use tent fumigation to solve this complex problem. When your entire home is tented, the gases are contained and allowed to work their way into every pore. There is no place drywood termites can hide. When your treatment is done, your problem is solved. It is as simple as that. But tent fumigation requires professional service because there are safety regulations, equipment costs, and procedural requirements.
Once the termites are gone, a professional can continue to help you guard your property from termite damage. There are ways to deter drywood termites and completely stop subterranean termites in their tracks. If you'd like to learn about them, contact us. We're here to help you find solutions to all of your pest control needs.
Identify And Remove Factors That Attract Termites
If you don't get professional termite control for your exterior, we don't want you to go without protection. There are ways to make your property less of a target for these wood-destroying pests. Here are some termite prevention tips to help you guard your investment.
- When you clean your yard up and remove dead branches, store them in a container. Doing so will keep them off the ground and prevent the wood from providing an ideal food source for termites.
- If you have stumps, logs, and wood debris in your yard, consider removing them. These not only invite termites but also inspire population growth.
- Remove any junk piles and get cardboard, paper, clothing, and other materials off the ground. Termites eat anything that contains cellulose.
- Consider replacing wood borders around your landscaping with stone or brick.
- Nurse unhealthy trees back to life. Termites don't prefer to eat healthy trees. They are looking for dead and decaying wood.
- Do you have cookouts in your backyard? Do you use wood? Store the wood on a raised platform to keep it off the soil.
- Replace wood fencing with vinyl or some other material that is not a food source for worker termites.
- If you have wood-to-soil contact on structures, do your best to address the issue. If subterranean termites can access your home without making shelter tubes, they can do far more damage than drywood termites.
- Use a caulking gun to seal gaps around doors and windows. Repair screens. Fill in gaps around pipes. Exclusion work helps keep drywood termites out.
- Address gutter obstructions and breaks in the gutters on your home. Gutter issues can lead to perimeter dampness, which attracts worker termites because they require moisture to stay hydrated.
When you think about termites now, you may not have to think about termites later. Proactive termite prevention is the best way to deal with termites. When you're ready to get professional termite control, keep Ventura Pest Control in mind. We offer smart solutions and competitive pricing, and you can count on our certified service technicians to do this tough job right.