It’s always unnerving when we find signs of termites in our homes or other wooden structures. Termite infestations can cause massive amounts of damage, so the first impulse may be panic as we rush to the home store and buy some DIY product to get rid of termites.
But termite control can be complicated, and sometimes home remedies will end up costing you more in damages than you will have saved by consulting specialists to get rid of termites. For one thing, it’s important to know which type of termite is infesting your home so that the right treatment can be prescribed. What’s more, without specialized knowledge and equipment, you may not wipe out the entire colony.
Let’s take a look at the two types of termites we deal with in Arizona, and the signs they leave.
Drywood Termite. These termites infest dry wood not in contact with the ground. Approximately 1/2 inch in length, they build colonies inside the wood they are eating. They are hard to spot, but look for these signs:
- hard, dry fecal pellets in piles; a dark, powdery substance
- flying termites and wings
- clicking sounds in walls
- white, ant-like bodies
Subterranean Termite. These termites do the most damage in Arizona. They live in the soil, and move into a source of wood above ground, constructing tubes made of soil, wood chips and soft fecal matter. The signs are:
- Presence of swarmers, which are winged termites that emerge either indoors or outside from swarming tubes next to the structure. Attracted to light, they may be seen by windows, light fixtures, or vents. Discarded wings on a window sill are a sign.
- Dark areas in wood flooring, although termites may leave the grain and surface intact.
- When tapping wood every few inches with a screwdriver handle, you can hear a hollow sound. The screwdriver may break through where damage occurs.
While you may find some DIY articles online showing you how to get rid of termites on your own, these methods are generally ineffective at solving the problem.
Liquid termite barrier
A liquid termiticide is sprayed around the home’s perimeter and inside concrete foundations. Although liquid barriers are a common means of controlling subterranean termites, the process is complex, time-consuming, work-intensive and takes many gallons of the liquid barrier to get rid of termites. Further, handling pesticides carries some risks for the untrained.
Direct termiticide treatment
Dry termiticide involves spraying a dry, expanding foam. The foam evaporates and leaves behind an invisible residue that kills termites on contact. Although considered effective against drywood and subterranean termites, this method, when employed by non-professionals without the right equipment, is unlikely to clear out the entire colony. At Budget Brothers, we have the expertise to treat all active infestations to ensure the most effective termite elimination.
Beneficial nematodes, diatomaceous earth, and boric acid are all nontoxic methods of termite control. Nematodes are microscopic roundworms that invade termite bodies and feed on them, releasing gut bacteria that kill the host. Diatomaceous earth is composed of the fossilized remains of marine creatures called diatoms. The sharp edges of the silica skeletons cut the exoskeletons of the insects so that they dehydrate and die. Some homeowners apply boric acid around the home where termites are suspected. While all three methods might kill some of the termites, none will kill an entire colony.
The Pros at Budget Brothers Termite
At Budget Brothers Termite and Pest Elimination, we apply termiticide around the perimeter of your home, treating all garage walls and plumbing lines. We’ve found this method to be the most effective way to get rid of termites
To learn more about how to get rid of termites, contact us. We have the expertise you need to get rid of termites safely and completely.