TERMITE EXTERMINATORS IN RICHMOND VA
A house, some people say, is one of the best investments anyone can have. One of the richest men who ever lived, Andrew Carnegie, once said that 90% of millionaires got their riches by investing in real estate.
Not all of us, though, look at a house to be an investment. Some people simply want to have a roof over their heads, a safe haven for their families. A place they can go to at the end of the day to rest and relax.
Regardless of the reason why each person buys a house, one thing is for certain: they will all go to great lengths to protect their property. They make sure that their homes are free of pests like ants, fleas, bed bugs, termites and more.
Which brings us to the subject of termites.
Termites are known as the “silent destroyers”. They turn everything they touch into dust. Well, maybe not into dust, but they can certainly render your house almost useless. Termites cause billions of dollars worth in damages, plus millions of dollars more for repairs. If you are an investor investing in real estate, termites are going to be your worst nightmare.
Go-Forth Pest Control, the best pest control company in Richmond, is here to discuss termites and their adverse effects on your home.
What are Termites?
There are more or less 2,000 identified species of termites all over the world, but of this number, only 40 are in the United States. The damage they have caused is immense here.
Termites are small insects, measuring only about 4 to 15 mm in length. Similar to the ants, termites live in a colony, where they have a queen, males, and the female worker termites. The queens are large measuring 10 cm.
Termites’ bodies have 3 segments namely the prothorax, mesothorax, and the metathorax. They have a pair of legs on each segment, giving them 6 legs. They have antennae attached to their heads, four wings, and are translucent, almost clear to light creamy color. Most worker termites are blind and use only their antennae for detection. Their antennae compensate for their blindness and have plenty of uses; it is a sensor for touch, taste, odor, heat, and vibration. Some species have compound eyes, like the Hodotermes mossambicus.
A queen’s function in life is to ensure the survival of the colony by producing more offspring. The soldier ants protect the nests from the attacks of other insects. Worker termites take care of the young termites, searching for food, and maintaining and repairing their nests. The male’s only purpose for being is to mate with the queen.
Termites are confused with ants because they look alike. To tell which is which, ants have narrow waists, while termites have no narrowing at the waist, and are rectangular in shape.
Common Types of Termites in the United States
Termites can be found in all parts of the world, save for Antarctica, so their damage is widespread. In the United States, only 40 species can be found, yet their damage is still immense. Below is a list of common termites here in the States.
Subterranean termites do the biggest structural damage here. They ruin buildings quicker than any other termites, perhaps matched only by the Formosan termites. They can be described as having mouthparts consisting of sharp teeth and strong jaws which allow them to eat not just wood, but also books, paper, and other cellulose-based material. Their nests usually touch the soil. They like to live in dark places with high humidity, which makes finding them very difficult. They always live underneath the outer casing while feeding on the structural wood, and when homeowners find out, it becomes too late. The outer casing always remains intact, so you would think everything is normal. Subterranean termites live in a network of tubes and small rooms that they also use for storing food and keeping their larvae.
Formosan termites are the most troublesome termites simply because of their numbers. Their nests can contain millions of Formosan termites. They measure about 1/2 inches in length. They destroy structures faster than any other termites because there are many of them. Similar to the subterranean termites, Formosan termites live in a network of tubes and small holes to keep food and larvae safe.
Drywood termites, as their name suggests, infest dry wood like lumber, decks, fences, furniture, utility poles, and dead limbs on trees; unlike other termites that nest in the soil. They prefer to nest mostly above ground. Compared to the colonies of other termites, theirs is smaller. Drywood termites are equipped with large mandibles with teeth. They are 12 mm and two sets of wings. Drywood termites eat wood by cutting across its grain. They normally create a chamber-like pattern on the wood, which would give away their presence. Some of these chambers are filled with fecal pellets which they expel once in a while through small openings. Fecal pellets are one of the signs that they are present under the wood’s casing.
Dampwood termites are different from the dry wood termites in that they prefer to live in places with high moisture; they are attracted to wood that is damaged by water. They are larger in size than the subterranean termites. Controlling moisture in your house keeps them out.
How to Know if you have Termites
It may be hard to find out if you have termites, but it is not impossible. Here are a few signs that you have a termite infestation in your home:
- Because termites eat the middle part of the wood, they tend to leave out the outer case. Knocking on any exposed wood in your house and listening for a hollow sound would let you know if there are termites behind it. Hollow sounds mean that termites have already eaten into the inside part of the wood.
- Presence of discarded wings near doors, windows, and other places that can be entry points. These wings may have come from termites.
- Presence of mud tubes in areas where the ground meets the house.
- Seeing an actual termite in your house. You might also see flying termites once in a while.
What attracts termites into homes?
- Termites are attracted to wood and cellulose materials, like lumber, paper, boxes, firewood, cardboard, and other cellulose materials. These are part of the termites’ diet. Keep these materials as far away from the foundation as possible so that termites would not have easy access to them.
- Termites like to live in warm, dark places where they will be left undisturbed.
- Termites are attracted to moisture, though dry wood termites are an exception. They can find lots of moisture on the soil that your house is built on. Make sure you fix leaking pipes to prevent this
Wood Destroying Insect Report: What is it?
A Wood Destroying Insect Report documents the presence or absence of wood-destroying insects like termites or carpenter ants. It also points out potential issues that may attract wood-destroying insects in the future. This is often a requirement every time a person sells a house. A person who is interested in buying a house can also ask for this from the owner.
This report does not recommend if you should buy the house. It will be up to you to decide based on the findings of the report.
Preventing Termite Infestation
Here are some tips on how to prevent termite infestation.
- Seal wood that is exposed to moisture with a weather sealer.
- Remove standing water and moist soil near your home. Not only will you keep away termites, but also the deadly mosquitoes too. Termites and mosquitoes are attracted to wet areas.
- As much as possible, avoid buying furniture made of wood.
- Use boric acid on furniture. This can kill termites. Spray it on wooden surfaces.
- Clean your house regularly. Just as with any other pests, termites are attracted to dirt. Cleaning the house is one good deterrent.
- Use foundation wall vents to keep the crawl space dry. Make sure to maintain it.
If you already have a termite infestation, then the only thing you can do is to call in the professionals. If you want to be sure, then contact the best pest control experts in Richmond VA, Go-Forth Pest Control.
Why Go-Forth Pest Control?
Go-Forth Pest Control is a family-owned commercial service solutions provider of modern pest control services and techniques, using the latest and most advanced technology in the business, making our service to you more efficient, safer, and more convenient. We have a team of expert professionals who can provide the best pest control services to residents and business establishments all throughout North and South Carolina, and now in Richmond VA. Pests problems will soon disappear.
Go-Forth Pest Control has earned the trust of residents and businesses in North Carolina for more than 50 years. For more information, or to set an appointment, just dial 336-841-6111. Our friendly operators are standing by.