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Getting Rid of Termites

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Warning! Treating Termites On Your Own Can Be Hazardous To Your House
I recommend that you contact a professional pest control company when dealing with any wood infesting insects such as termites, carpenter ants, and powder post beetles. Only treat your own termites if their is no other recourse. They can do thousands of dollars of damage to your home if not treated correctly.

Find A Pest Control Professional In Your Area

The Best Termite Treatments

Termite Treatments--Subterranean termite treatment has changed dramatically over the last decade. The number products available for termite control has tripled in the last few years. Today, if you experience a subterranean termite swarm infestation, you may call four different pest control companies and receive four completely different recommendations. In most cases the Pest Control Operator is only familiar with the termite exterminating methods used by his or her pest control company. The two most popular methods of treatment that I believe work the best are the barrier treatment and termite baiting.
1. A barrier treatment is done by trenching and rodding around your house foundation and injecting toxic termiticides into the soil. This sets up a protection barrier around your home in which termites are unable to get through. A trench is dug around the exterior of your  foundation and small holes are drilled or rodded down through the bottom of the trench. The depth of the drilled holes and the amount of insecticide to use depends on the depth of your basement or crawl-space. This method should only be used by certified pesticide applicators.
2. Termite bait stations are placed around your house about 10 to 15 feet apart and 3 feet out from your foundation. Bait stations should be checked every 30 to 50 days to see if termites are "hitting" or feeding on them, If so, other stations containing an active poison should replace the monitors that are recieiving hits.Many brands of bait stations contain a slow acting stomach poison in which the workers will carry back to the colony and contaminate others. Termites rarely hit on bait stations during the cold, snowy, months of winter, and stations can be difficult to check. Many firms only use bait station from april until november.
Treating termites is a complex undertaking. With cost running anywhere from $500 to $4000 price. Many pest control firms will set up a payment plan that is affordable to you. Be sure and get estimates and ask about their guarantee
thirsty termite.jpg

ELIMINATE MOISTURE. Sub termites must live in a high humidity environment. By eliminating moisture, you'll prevent future problems. Remove moist soil near the foundation of your home, clean up standing water, fix plumbing leaks, and place polyethylene in crawl spaces and cracks to add a moisture barrier between the soil and your house foundation.

GET RID OF WOOD TO SOIL CONTACT. Most termite infestations are due to wood - soil contact. Termite colonies are located underground. The workers of the colony are constantly tunneling in hopes of finding wood. Once it is found, others in the colony will follow. Earth/wood contact are the stairways into your home for termites. Make sure deckwood, porches, and fences are treated wood. Support beams in your basement or crawlspace should not come in contact with the ground. Metal sheeting or cement should be placed under these beams. Firewood or boards should not be stacked on the ground near your home.

GET RID OF THE MOLD. Termites thrive on moldy wood. You can prevent wood from molding by pruning back plants, trees, and bushes.

SEAL IT OR PAINT IT. Treat woods which will be exposed to moisture. Using an all-weather wood sealer treatment on patios, window frames, door frames, basement floor joists, and at wall edges will control termites. Painting all wood will also help

KEEP THE ANTS? Ants and termite's are natural enemies. By not completely eliminating local ant colonies, you'll keep termites away from your home.

Picture Of Adult Termite Swarmer
termite swarmer.jpg

Picture Of A Flying Ant
flying ant.jpg

Recognizing Termites
Notice how similar a flying ant and a termite swarmer look.
Differences are:
1. The flying ant has curved antenna and the termite has strait.
2. The termites wings are double the length of its body and the flying ant has much shorter wings.
3. The ant has slender body segments and the termite has thick segments.

worker termite.jpg
Worker Termite

The worker is the only member of the colony that will do damage to your wood. It is seldom seen because it travels beneath the ground and inside the wood. The termite swarmer is the colony member that is normally seen by by home owners when they swarm out of the nest in the spring.

Many home owners find out that they have a termite problem when doing remodeling projects such as porch or deck restoration, floor, wall or basement remodeling. They will notice damaged wood with "small white bugs" which are worker termites, crawling in excavated tunnels. These workers will disappear quickly when their tunnels are exposed to the open air.
Here are some signs that might be noticed if you have a termite problem.
1. TERMITE SWARMS - adult reproductives swarm out of the nest in the spring of fall. These reproductives resemble small flying ants but unlike ants, they have straight antenna's, wings that are about double the length of their body, and straight abdomen, unlike an ant with a slender abdomen. They will appear in large amounts. Observation of these adult termites swarming, is how most home-owners find out they may have a problem. If a swarm has occurred in your home you should immediately call an exterminator for a termite inspection.
2. SHED WINGS - you may notice small pieces of shed adult reproductive wings in spider cobwebs or piles of them on the floor.
3. MUD TUBES - If termite mud or shelter tubes are noticed on floor joists, support beams, or concrete walls, you most likely need treatment and should arrange for a termite inspection
termite mud tunnels.jpg
mud tunnel picture

termite shelter tubes.jpg


Spectracide Terminate Termite Detection and Killing Stakes

Spectrum terminate do it yourself bait stations can be used to determine if you have termite activity in the ground around your home where termites enter, and give you peace of mind that your home is termite free. They should not be used to eliminate complete termite colonies, but only as a detection device. An active termite infestation in your home should be treated by a professional termite control company that uses full strength bait stations. If your neighborhood is known for termite problems or your home has had a termite infestation in the past, and you are seeing signs of termites as mentioned below, these bait stations will let you know if you have a problem. Their pop up "hit" indicator makes them easy to check and lets you know when termites are feeding on a particular bait station. The cardboard bait contains a slow acting stomach poison which will kill the workers that are feeding on it. If a pop up indicator shows that termites are feeding on the terminate bait, professional bait stations should be put in that area. A termite control company should probably be called.

spectrum terminate bait stations


Tim-bor Professional Insecticide

Tim-Bor should not be used as a stand alone process to get rid of termites in your home. Use it as a preventative measure or to kill termites and protect wood. TERMITES that have fed on the slow acting insecticide treated wood can accumulate the active ingredient and still move among other individuals in the colony. The transfer of food from workers to nymphs, soldiers and reproductives will also transfer the ingested insecticide.
Read the label on Timbor


Termite control products on this page are endorsed for use by the website author as suggestions only and not sold by getting rid of pests. A termite colony can contain as many as 250,000 termite. Professional strength bait stations should be used to exterminate them.


Termite Problems From Our Readers
Termite Protection
Hello getting rid of pests. Wanted to let you know that I have found your site very informative. Here is my question. Recently my husband inherited his mothers house due to her death. We have moved in and really love it here. Our problem is termites. Our neighbors have informed us that almost every house in the neighborhood has a termite infestation. We have talked to three pest control companies about termite protection, but can not afford their services. Do you know of any home remedies or do it yourself products we can use to keep termites away. Thanks in advance for your response.

Protection against termites
Hi, I really want to stress the importance of using a professional pest control firm to do an inspection. The damage termites can do can be very severe. Read about some preventive measures you can take in the article above. Keep your eye open for termite swarmers in or around your house. Using spectrum terminate bait stations can help to protect your home from termites by warning you if they are in the ground around your home. Their pop-up indicators will let you know if termites are foraging in the ground close to your home but the bait they contain will not destroy the complete colony in my opinion.

Are Termites Attracted To Lights
Dear Sir, I read someplace online that replacing all my outdoor lighting with yellow bug lights will help to keep termites away from my property. I'm am very nervous about attracting them since I live in a southern state where termites are very prevalent. The problem is that I have a lighted walk-way which leads up to my front entrance and it would involve replacing at least fifty light bulbs. Do you have any suggestions other than replacing all my outdoor lighting.

Thanks for your question.
Don't worry about changing all your light bulbs. Subterranean termites live beneath the ground and never see the light of day (except springtime swarmers). Yellow bug lights will make no difference what so ever.Over the last few years many web sites have popped up online and have been written by folks who know nothing about pest control. Much of the info you get off these sites is old and incorrect.

Termites In Rotting  Wood
I just recently bought a home that was built in 1967. We had the home inspected for termites. The test came back that there was no sign of them. Last week, I was in my yard and there was some rotten wood used for landscaping around the side of the house. There were numerous termites crawling all over the place and probably hundreds of eggs.
Is it possible that they are just there feeding off the wood in the yard or could there be thousands more?...possibly trying to eventually come into the house. By the way, our home is on a concrete slab.
Please advise.Thanks so much

Question about termites in rotting wood.
It really sounds like an ant problem. If you are sure they were termites you saw I would recommend either having an exterminator check them out or placing some bait stakes in the soil where you saw them, and also around the outside perimeter of your home. If termites hit on the stations be sure and call an exterminator. I have treated many homes that have been on concrete slabs. Termites are sometimes able to find their way up to the wood beams in a house through tiny cracks in the slab.The termites you saw feeding on the rotten wood would look like the one in the above picture (termite worker). Adult termites look like small winged ants and dont feed on wood.

Termite Trap
Hi. I just read online that placing wet cardboard on top of each other and place it on the ground will trap termites and possibly get rid of an infestation. Once the termites crawl in between the cardboard you should burn it in the trash. Is this true. Do you think it would work?

Absolutely not. If anything, it would probably attract termites to your property.

Termites In Bathroom Floor
We recently had our bathroom remodeled. When the carpenter removed the floor he found that a lot of damage had been done to the wood and also found numerous small white bugs. He said not to worry about the bugs he had found, and that they were called powder post bugs. He said they would not get into the new floor boards that he had put down. My husband wanted to call an exterminator right away to have a look but the carpenter said it was not necessary and continued doing his work. 
Since then my husband looked up a picture of termites on the Internet and found there was several different kinds, but some resembled the white bugs we saw in the bathroom floor. What is your opinion? Do you think they were powder post bugs or termites. Should we not worry about these insects. We have not seen any since, are they gone? Please respond. Thankyou.
Answer to termites in bathroom floor
Hi, Thanks for your question. The bugs you saw in your bathroom floor most likely were termite workers. Powder post beetles are rarely seen and are brown, not white and are very hard to see with the naked eye. I highly recommend having a termite inspection. They're not very expensive and some pest control companies do them free of charge. An inspection will probably save you thousands of dollars in damage repair in the future if you really have termites. The ones you saw, disappeared because they cannot survive when exposed to the open air.

Termites In My Kitchen
Last April I had what I thought was a swarm of flying ants coming out of some small holes and cracks in my kitchen floor. I grabbed a can of ant spray that I had in the house and sprayed them as they came out. My house was full of thousands of dead bugs. The ants seemed to disappear as quickly as they came. About two weeks later my sister had come over to have coffee with me. When she sat down in the kitchen chair the legs of the chair went straight through the floor. She apologize for doing the damage and even offered to get it fixed. She took all the blame and we figured the cause was her 300 pound weight. I called a carpenter friend of mine the next day and asked him if he could take a look at the crawlspace below the kitchen. I thought there might be some dry rot in some of the beams. He came over right away and did his inspection. When he finished he told me that every support beam and floor board in the crawlspace was loaded with termites. He also told me that the little flying ants I saw a couple weeks earlier were actually adult termite swarmers. I immediately called an exterminating company to treat my home and am in the process of getting estimates to repair the major damage that has been done to my kitchen. 
Please let your readers know that if they have swarms of what looks like flying ants in their house they should have them checked out right away by a professional. They may be termites.