The Formosan termite is a subterranean species and is the most aggressive and destructive termite to homes and buildings in South Carolina. It’s important to know the type of termite encountered as methods of treatment can vary from species to species.
What do termites look like?
Termites are a small, soft-bodied insect with short antennae with strong mouthparts used to chew wood, seeds, leaves and other cellulose-containing material. Termites are range in color from white to light brown and are typically between 1/4 and 1/2 of an inch long. The main difference in termites and other insects is the antennae and the waist. A termite has a straight beaded, antennae 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 greatest 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 termite soldier and termite worker?
Soldiers are responsible for defending the colony. Their large heads and highly modified, powerful mandibles are used to defend the colony against many predators such as ants, spiders, reptiles and amphibians. The heads and mandibles are so large that termite workers are unable to 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. Workers are the first of the termites to emerge from the eggs and will shake while in the presence of the queens and kings.
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 sole purpose of the king is for mating with the queen.
How to kill and get rid of Formosan termites
Termite treatment and extermination has changed dramatically over the past 20 or 30 years and the number of application techniques and products has tripled in the last 10 years.
Barrier Pest Services uses the best products to control and exterminate termites in your home or business. There are approximately 200 pest control companies in the Charleston area and the warranties(or termite bonds) vary greatly from one company to the next.
Two common forms of termite control and treatment include conventional liquid treatments and termite bait treatments.
Conventional Liquid Treatment
Termiticides have come a long way. In the past,w all termiticides had a strong odor and termites could detect where the product was applied. 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 very effective 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
Termite baiting systems typically use a wood cellulose product with a slow-acting, insect growth regulator which disrupts the normal growth of termites.
For many years, liquid termiticides were the only treatment option for exterminating subterranean termites. Termite bait stations were introduced in 1995 as an alternative to liquid termite control. Baiting systems take advantage of the biology and behavior of the termites and are installed around the exterior perimeter of the home or building structure.
The termite bait is usually 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 feed others. The impact of the termite bait 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 one of the termite bait stations. 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. The termites feed on the bait and take the bait back to the colony. Once the other termites feed on the bait, the colony may be eliminated.
In order to be effective, bait systems must be monitored and maintained regularly. We 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 a complete liquid treatment would not be possible due to construction design.
The Best Termite Bond & Protection Warranty in the Business
The following 3 items make Barrier Pest Services termite control bond the best in the business:
For 99% of the homes that we treat, we can provide a damage repair warranty. Damage repair is one of the most important features of our termite control warranty. If subterranean termites cause new damage to your home, we’ll fix this damage at no charge to you. If termites reinfest the structure, many companies will only cover retreatment of your home and your homeowner’s insurance will not cover subterranean termite damage. If your home has previous termite damage, a moisture problem, or if all areas are not accessible, your home might only qualify for our retreatment warranty.
All of our termite contracts cover against Formosan subterranean termites. Originally from China, the Formosan subterranean termite(Coptotermes formosanus) is a species that first appeared in the Charleston area in the 1950s. This is a subterranean termite can be very destructive to structures. Formosan termites are capable of storing water in carton nests in walls and the colony size are 10 times larger than area native Eastern Subterranean termite species(Reticulitermes flavipes). Many companies have chosen to exclude coverage for Formosan termites or charge additional fees for this protection. By using the best products for all of our treatments, we can include coverage for all subterranean termites.
Our warranties are lifetime and fully transferable. Once we treat your home, we will inspect it annually for termites. Our termite bonds renew annually, but we do not limit the renewal period to 5 or 10 years. Most companies will charge a yearly renewal and then will charge for the retreatment of your home. When you renew your warranty yearly with Barrier Pest Services, we will cover retreatments at any time.
Once we treat your home, we’ll inspect the home once a year. We may be the only inspector at your home annually and will look for not only termites, but also issues that may contribute to moisture and termite problems.
For a slab home, we inspect all areas of the ground floor and the exterior of the home.
For crawlspace homes, we inspect the crawlspace, the interior of any slab areas and the exterior of the home. Inspection of the crawlspace includes identifying any leaking pipes or duct work and other problems. We’ll also check moisture content of the wood members in the crawlspace.
We provide a detailed inspection report on every visit, as well as any recommendations.