How to kill and get rid of Formosan termites
Termite treatment and extermination have changed dramatically over the past 20 or 30 years, and the number of application techniques and products has tripled in the last ten years.
Barrier Pest Services uses the best products for termite control and extermination services for your home or business. There are approximately 200 pest control companies in the Charleston, South Carolina area, and the warranties (or termite bonds) vary significantly from one company to the next.
Two common forms of control and treatment include conventional liquid treatments and bait treatments.
Conventional Liquid Treatment
Termiticides have come a long way. In the past, all termiticides had a strong odor, and termites could detect the product. They would often enter through gaps in the chemical barrier to infest the home. We are proud to offer Termidor termiticide to treat and exterminate termites in existing homes.
Termidor is remarkable in its composition that is odorless and undetectable to termites. It is useful for preventative and remedial treatments. Termidor is a long-lasting product that has proven its capabilities against Formosan termites. Termidor also has a reduced application label that allows less product to be applied.
Termite Bait System
Baiting systems typically use a wood cellulose product with a slow-acting, insect growth regulator, which disrupts termites’ normal growth.
For many years, liquid termiticides were the only treatment option for exterminating subterranean termites. Released in 1995 by Dow AgroSciences, termite bait stations were introduced as an alternative to liquid termite control. Baiting systems take advantage of the termites’ biology and behavior and are installed around the home’s exterior perimeter or building structure.
The bait is most often made of paper, cardboard, or a sawdust-like material that contains the ingredients to kills termites. As the termite feeds on the bait, they will go back to the colony and infect other termites as they provide food to others. The termite bait’s impact is not immediate as the insecticide is designed to be slow-acting and contains “insect growth regulators” so that the bait can be spread to other colony members, including the king and queen.
However, as termites forage for food, there is no guarantee that they will come across a termite bait station. The termite baiting system doesn’t lure or attract the termites, but instead, the termites must stumble on the bait station as they are searching and gathering food.
Bait systems must be monitored and maintained regularly to be most effective. Barrier Pest Services offer Advance Bait Systems in conjunction with an exterior Termidor treatment. We usually recommend this two-fold treatment if the home or structure has an inaccessible crawlspace or slab foundation as a complete liquid treatment would not be possible due to construction design.
How Can You Tell If You Have Termites? What Are Some Signs?
Termites typically eat wood from the inside to the outside; therefore, months can pass before being noticed. However, if you don’t know the early signs of a termite infestation, you may only realize you have a termite problem once it’s too late.
Look for these signs of termite activity to lessen the chances of severe damage to your home:
- Discarded wings. Young termites fly in swarms when they leave their nests and drop their wings before moving into their new home. If you find discarded wings, you more than likely have termites.
- Hollow-sounding walls or floors. If you tap on your home’s walls, floorboards, and other wooden structures and hear a hollow sound, this could be a sign of termite damage.
- Termite mud tubes. Subterranean termites create small tunnels while traveling from their home to yours. Mud tubes can frequently be found around termite nests, wood structures, and your home’s foundation.
Can you control termites yourself?
While it is possible for the do-it-yourselfer to prevent and get rid of termites , the best way to exterminate termites is to contact a professional pest control company. A trained technician’s experience, knowledge, and commercial-grade products and equipment are vital to determining the type of termites and the most efficient way to exterminate.
If you suspect you have termites in your home, it’s important to take action quickly. Hollow-sounding wood and mud tubes can provide clues to an active termite infestation. Because termites burrow within wood, it is possible that they would not be noticeable from outside the wood leading to extreme damage.
What do they look like?
Termites are a small, soft-bodied insect with short antennae with strong mouth parts used to chew wood, seeds, leaves and other cellulose-containing material. Termites range in color from white to light brown and are typically between 1/4 and 1/2 of an inch long. The main difference between termites and other insects is the antennae and the waist. A termite has a straight, beaded antenna and has no waist.
Scientists have identified approximately 2,800 termites species around the world, including about 45 in the United States. Termites are widely distributed throughout the tropical and sub-tropical regions, close to the equator, while other species live at higher altitudes.
Are termites social animals?
Termites, like bees and ants, are flying, highly social insects. However, unlike bees and ants, termites can be more than just a pest – they can cause significant damage to your home or other structures. Subterranean termites are the single most significant economic pest in the United States.
Termites live in organized colonies developed around a nest system where labor is divided between reproductives (kings, queens and nymphs), soldiers and workers. Within a colony, hundreds, thousands and even millions of termites work and live together. Termites will share with each other food, water, and even droplets of fluid to help keep themselves supplied with tiny organisms for digesting wood. In addition to wood, termites can eat papers, dead tree roots and mulch.
What’s the difference between a soldier and a worker?
Soldiers are responsible for defending the colony. Their large heads and highly modified, powerful mandibles are used to protect the colony against many predators such as ants, spiders, reptiles and amphibians. The heads and mandibles are so large that termite workers cannot feed themselves and are fed by the worker termites.
Worker termites take on the most labor and are the main caste(or group) of the termite colony. They are responsible for searching and gathering for the termite colony, maintaining the colony’s pheromones, tending to the eggs and nymphs, taking care of the queens and kings. They are also responsible for building or repairing the nest, tunnels, and feeding tunnels. Termite workers are the first to emerge from the eggs and shake while in the queens and kings presence.
The termite queen is responsible for producing eggs for the colony and unlike ants, the king will mate with the queen for the entire time of the queen’s life.
The termite king is the second most important member of the termite colony. While the termite king will spend his entire life underground, the king’s sole purpose is for mating with the queen.