When you walk into a room and find hundreds of winged termites, you know you're in trouble. But this is rarely how Plano business owners find out about termite problems, and this is not a great way to discover them. A termite colony takes years to produce winged termites. We don't recommend giving termites years to damage your property. So, what signs do termites provide and how do you know when it is time to contact a professional for termite extermination? We're going to tackle these two questions head-on. They are, perhaps, the most important questions you could ask about termites. Here's what every Plano property owner should know about termites in our area as well as what time is the right time to get termite pest control in Plano, Texas.
Why Do They Call Termites Silent Destroyers?
Termites are sneaky. The most destructive termites in the United States are subterranean termites. Why? Because they're the sneakiest. The longer termites are allowed to damage your property, the more damage they'll do. It is just that simple. But, what makes subterranean termites so sneaky?
- Termite workers avoid light. When termites damage the wood of your home, they do it in utter darkness. They do not like the light, a fact that is somewhat mysterious if you know that termite workers are blind. You'll have to ask an entomologist about that one.
- A termite worker has a thin skin that can easily dry out. It must stay hydrated. They only come out of hiding for short periods of time and only in locations that are damp or humid.
- The sound a termite worker makes when it feeds on wood is not easily heard by the human ear. Dogs have the ability to hear termites but they hear lots of insects and simply ignore them unless they are trained to do otherwise.
- While flying termites around your property is a clear sign of a problem, swarms last for less than thirty minutes. After swarming, the termites break away in couples in search of viable sites to create nests.
- During the mating processing, swarmers shed their wings. These wings can be a warning sign of active termites, but they are light and are often blown away by the wind.
These are just some of the many reasons why termites silently destroy properties in Plano, Texas. As you can see, you need to look closely if you want to catch warning signs of a termite problem.
Four Termite Warning Signs Every Business Owner Ought To Know
When termites come onto your property and begin to damage the wood inside structures, you're going to have a hard time detecting them. But, as we pointed out above, there are some warning signs that can be obvious.
- Swarmers. You can search for termite swarmers inside or outside. These winged termites might be hidden under mulch or some other protective covering, just above their nest. You may also find them in crawl spaces and other concealed locations. Swarmers are black or dark orange and they have long wings that hang past the end of the abdomen. The wings stack on top of each other and are rounded at the tips. You can also look for shed wings. A great place to look for shed wings is in spider webs. The webs created by spiders work like sticky traps and are incredibly helpful.
- Workers. It is not easy to see a termite worker, but it isn't impossible. A worker termite is only about ⅛ of an inch long and looks like a fat, pale-colored ant. When you or your staff perform routine property maintenance, keep watch for termite workers clinging to the bottom side of dead branches or crawling on the soil beneath wood or cardboard. You may also see termite workers if you cut into a stump, log, or dying tree. When you look for termite workers, don't be afraid to get a little dirty. Climb into dark, damp, and sheltered locations on the property with a flashlight to find workers in areas where there is wood-to-soil contact.
- Shelter tubes. Subterranean termites create these structures out of soil and saliva. Because of this, they are often referred to as mud tubes. You'll find them on above-ground surfaces. Shelter tubes run from the ground up into the wood of a structure. One tube will look like a wiggly mud line. Several tubes in one location can begin to look like a lightning pattern, or you might describe it as looking like a river that flows up from the ground and splits as it goes up. When tubes are stacked on top of each other they can begin to take the shape of a pillar. Some shelter tube structures found by technicians have been recorded to be as much as four feet in diameter. Yikes!
- Frass. Drywood termites create this material. It is the droppings of drywood termites. The waste of termites is the same color as the wood the termites are eating, making it look like sawdust at first glance. Upon closer inspection, you'll see that it is shaped more like pepper than sawdust. But, don't worry if you mistake it for sawdust. You know that there is no natural reason for your property to have sawdust pouring out of the cracks. Something has to create sawdust. So, you know you have a pest problem. Frass can be an obvious sign when it is pushed out into common areas. Unfortunately, it can be pushed out into wall, floor, and ceiling voids, concealing it from view.
You may have noticed we didn't mention looking for signs of termite damage as one of the ways to detect termite activity. The reason is that it is rare to see termite damage unless it is either too late, or the damage is exposed. How might you expose termite damage? It can happen during a remodeling project. When you pull wood members out that are brittle and have trenches, you don't need to know termite identification to know that you have a termite problem. Termite damage is quite unique. Only one other pest makes galleries in wood that look like termite tunnels. Carpenter ants. But, carpenter ant tunnels are smooth, not gritty like termite tunnels. Finding tunnels in wood isn't the best way to uncover a termite problem.
I Found Termite Warning Signs; now What?
When you find termites, it is wise to have a certified termite control professional perform an inspection. A professional uses specialized knowledge and years of experience to find the subtle signs of termite infestation. Your termite professional can also offer effective termite control solutions backed by warranties.
At All-Safe Pest & Termite, we use Termidor SC for active infestations. It is a product that not only exterminates termites that come in contact with it, but it spreads from termite to termite during the grooming process. Termites can't detect the product and therefore can't avoid it. When they acquire the active ingredient, they don't realize it. One by one the termites become infected and the product moves through the colony, leading to colony elimination.
For ongoing termite control and monitoring, we trust the award-winning Sentricon® System with Always Active™. As a professional-grade product that has had extensive testing and real-world success, the Sentricon® System gets the job done. It also comes with some impressive benefits:
- There is no trenching or drilling required for installation.
- The bait in the Sentricon® System is scientifically proven to be more interesting to termite workers than wood.
- While termiticides wear out, the bait in the Sentricon® System becomes even more effective as it ages.
- When termites are stopped by a liquid termiticide barrier, you won't know it. When your Sentricon® System stops termites, your technician will let you know. Finding out that your termite control purchase is paying for itself is priceless.
Are your properties in Plano, Texas? If so, you're in our service area. Contact All-Safe Pest & Termite to schedule a service visit.
Do I Really Need Professional Termite Control?
When DIY pest control fails, sneaky termites are allowed to continue to damage your property. They can do this for years, nibbling away at your equity. Your property is an asset that must be protected. The reason business property owners choose professional termite control is that the service is backed by a warranty. It is almost like getting termite insurance. If anything goes wrong, it isn't on you, it is on us. That is a sound business decision.
Do you have properties in Plano, Texas, that need termite protection? When is the best time to contact All-Safe Pest & Termite for termite control? Right now. Why leave your property unprotected for even one more day? Navigate to our contact page and schedule a termite control evaluation for your business. We'll help you select the right program and products to get the protection you need at a price that won't break your budget.