Termite activity is heavier in the southeastern states due to warm and humid temperatures. These are called subterranean termites. During the spring and summer termites swarm. Swarmers are incredibly important to the ongoing cycle of termites. Swarmers leave the termite colony to reproduce new colonies. Swarmers leave the colony and their purpose is to start new colonies. They leave the nest by flying out then they fall to the ground. Their wings fall off and they burrow into the moisture line to form a new colony. The majority of them die before they can get to the moisture line, but it doesn’t take many to form a new colony. Colonies can be anywhere from 250,000 to over a million termites.
Each colony has a king and queen, swarmers, workers and soldiers. Every termite has a specific role. Most of them are workers and they look like white maggots. The workers leave the colony to find food which they consume, bring back to the colony and regurgitate for the rest of the colony. Soldiers protect the colony mainly from ants a fierce predator in the termite world.
The damage is in the eating
Termites don’t eat metal or masonry products. Their diet consists of wood, paper, carpet, drywall, cardboard, leather and anything that contains cellulose. Termites need two things to survive, a food source and water. Crawl spaces, cellars and storage buildings provide both. They are active year round and they build tunnels that look like dirt tubes on the foundational blocks in a crawl space. They use the tunnels to move back and form from the colony to the food or water source. A termite colony can do a lot of damage to your home or building in a relatively short period of time. Termites cause more residential properties in the U.S. than from fires, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes combined, which is why you want to protect and treat the home for termites.
The difference between a termite bond and a termite letter
A termite letter is required by most lending institutions especially in the south. Banks want to make sure they are not making a loan on a residential property that has active termite damage and they want to be assured any previous damage has been treated and repaired to control and discourage future infestations. In South Carolina you need a letter from a licensed and trained termite and pest control company stating if there is active termite damage or previous damage.
A termite bond provides protection against termites and is good for ten years. The termite and pest control company will perform a thorough inspection look for wood destroying insects. For the bond to be active there has to be a treatment. Termites can’t be eternally eradicated, but they can be killed, controlled and treated to prevent recurrences. Most companies inspect and treat the home. The bond requires an annual termite inspection so the issuer can make sure there is no new activity that requires additional treatment. If it occurs the company is standing behind its bond and will retreat the residence. Selling a home with an existing bond is also beneficial for lenders paperwork and home inspections. It establishes that the home has been treated, protected and regularly inspected, plus it is transferable.
Remember termites need food and water sources. Crawl spaces provide both for termites. Your inspection may show a high level of moisture underneath your home or building and the termite and pest control company will make recommendations that will help control the amount of moisture in addition to treatment. 20% or fewer moisture readings are preferred. However, moisture readings can vary between a week in the same area because moisture is constantly seeping into the ground.
The inspection can find signs of termite activity, but they cannot see beyond a visual inspection (for example they cannot see inside the brick/mortar) and look for food and water sources such as boxes, or debris under the house. They will look for wood rot another sign of a moisture problem and an invitation to termites.
At Apex Termite and Pest Control we use the EPA approved product Termidor. It’s safe and there is no odor, you won’t breathe it and it’s safe for your family and pets. A termite comes in contact with Termidor and its active ingredient called, Fipronil, is totally undetected by the insect. They get it on their body and return to the colony. Upon return, they groom themselves and regurgitate their food. The colony feeds on it and the Termidor spreads throughout the colony like a virus or bacteria. It starts to spread and eventually wipes out the entire colony. It isn’t a contact kill, but it is by far the best, long-lasting product to eliminate termite infestations in homes.
Apex Termite & Pest Control has been in business since 1957 and we are up to date with the latest termite and pest control technology. The bottom-line with Apex is that we don’t just want to be the best termite and pest control company, we want to be the best service company. And by providing the best customer service we earn the right to be the best termite and pest control company.
Paul Hamilton, Owner
Greer, SC 29651