Facts

Subterranean Termites

These termites need moisture to survive, so they reside in the soil to retain the moisture they need. They build mud tunnels to travel from the soil to the wood of your home. read more…

These termites digest wood for food. A well established colony could have more than 10,000 termites munching away on your home. Over a long period of time, these termites can cause major damage.To control these termites, we recommend treatment to the soil and exterior perimeter of the infested area. One of the best chemicals now available is called TERMIDOR. As the subterranean termites feed and groom each other, the Termidor is passed on to each individual termite with a lethal dose. This treatment is highly effective.

A licensed termite control company can inspect your home for mud tunnels. The infestation can be detected on the slab area soil, entering the garage between the concrete slab and foundation, and the substructure adjacent to the concrete porches and steps. If you wanted, you could take a flashlight and go in the garage and look where the concrete slab meets the foundation. If you had subterranean termites, a 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch wide mud or dirt tunnel could be seen. If you knock down the tunnels you can see white termite workers. They are wandering around looking for food to feed the queen termite. The workers are white or beige in color and are not harmful. These termites are about 1/2 inch in length. If it is the rainy season, you might spot black winged termites inside the tunnel. These are called swarmers. They are 1/4 inch in length with two equal pairs of wings. The waists of subterranean termites are elongated (not pinched like ants). This is the best way to distinguish ants from termites. If you see swarmers, your infestation is at least four to five years old.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites get their required moisture from the wood. They burrow channels in the wood and kick out small six-sided oval shaped pellets. They clean their home by ruining yours. read more…

The pellets are small wood-colored sand sized droppings. The drywood termites swarm from an outside source and can attack anywhere in your home. A complete inspection can locate them in the attic, substructure, garage, window sills and exterior walls.

Hot summer days are when you are most likely to see drywood termites swarming your home. You might also see them swarming fences or your neighbor’s home. They can swarm anytime between June and October. They seem to be particularly fond of hot September days. They are attracted to light, so you may notice their reddish brown heads on windowsills or around light fixtures.

There are many ways to eliminate drywood termite infestations, but the most reliable and complete treatment is through fumigation. The gas fumigant will travel wherever there is air, even into the small channels in the wood. Wherever the dry-wood termites are hiding, the fumigant, VIKANE, will enter the infested area and zap their energy. After two-three days, all the adult dry-wood termites are eliminated.

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites are seldom found in the home. These termites need a constant moisture source such as a leaky toilet, leaky roofs, and the moisture that gathers behind tiles in the bathroom. read more…

They are commonly found in the mountains where trees have fallen. The rain, fog and soil can maintain the constant moisture source that is so important for these termite’s survival. To eradicate the dampwood termite, the moisture source must be stopped and the damaged wood must be cut out and replace with new dry wood.Since I only find dampwood termites about twice a year, I get really excited when I see them. They have a menacing look about them. Dampwood termites are about 3/4 inches long. The swarmers are brown with transparent wings. The pellets are larger than the dry-wood termites and, due to moisture in the wood, clump together in the channels of wood.

If you do not live in the rainy mountains, or the soil underneath your home is typically dry, I would not worry about having these termites as guests.

Dryrot/Fungus

Fungus is a plant growth that decays wood. It needs food (wood), air and moisture to survive and grow. In a house, this could mean a leaky shower, a broken toilet seal, a kitchen sink leak and even moisture on the bathroom floor as you step out of the shower. read more…

Constant moisture source is essential for the fungus spores to flourish. In our termite inspection reports, we look out for all these potential moisture sources. To fix the fungus/dryrot we recommend cutting out the damaged wood or to treat the wood with a proper fungicide. But most importantly, we stop or repair the moisture source. To treat or repair the infected wood or area and not stop the moisture source, we will be seeing you again soon. And frankly, we would not being doing our job.

Reports

Section 1 and Section 2

If you are selling/buying a house, the lender involved may require a breakdown of the inspection of the property into two categories, Section 1 and Section 2. Section 1 are findings in a standard termite report that is termites, fungus/dryrot or moisture problems
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that exist in the structure. These findings could be extensive enough that could lower the value of the structure.Section 2 is conditions of the structure that could lead to fungus/dryrot and termites. No caulking around the tiles at the tub in a bathroom could allow moisture to penetrate into the wall and cause damage or moisture problems. Wood scraps on the subarea soil could be potential food for termites even there are no termites now. This division of section 1 and section 2 could help in the buyer/seller negotiations.

SAMPLE REPORT

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