Termites cost Americans more than 5 billion dollars in damages each year. These pesky critters are actually the biggest threat to wood structures. They rank even higher than fire, flood, and wind.
Dealing with termites is no small matter. If you suspect you have termites, consider all your extermination options. Read on to figure out if tentless termite treatments are right for you.
What are Termites?
People sometimes confused termites with ants. From a distance, they do look similar. Learn to tell the difference to make sure you deal with infestations properly.
Termites are white or pale in color. They have straight antennae and thick bodies. Ants can be brown or black and have indented waists. Their antennae are bent.
Once you properly identify termites, you should learn how to tell if your house has termites so you can begin fumigating a house or other termite eradication processes.
Read about the different types of termites.
Signs that You Have Termites
There is a common misconception that termites are only active in springtime. In fact, these nasty bugs are causing problems all year long.
Here are some telltale signs to look out for that are big hints that you have termites.
1. You find little piles of wood-colored droppings in corners around your home. This is a sign that drywood termites have been eating in this area.
2. You may see groups of swarmers hanging around lights. Swarmers are reproducers and are a sure sign that you are hosting an active colony of termites. If you find a pile of wings (that look a bit like fish scales) this means that the swarmers have shed their wings.
3. If you find tubes about the thickness of a pencil on wooden beams, your outside walls or in basements.
4. Tap the wood in your home. A hollow sound is a sign of termite damage. The more hollow it sounds, the more it has been eaten by termites.
5. Bubbling paint or sunken areas. These distortions are signs that termites have been tunneling in those areas.
Once you are fairly certain that you have termites, it’s time to consider house tenting or tent alternatives to get rid of those pesky bugs.
House tenting (also called fumigation) is a surefire way to get rid of termites, eggs and colonies. The process involves setting up a large tent and spraying gas to eradicate termites.
The downside of tenting for termites is that it is inconvenient. All people, pets, plants, food, medicine, and makeup must be taken out of the house. Gas lines must be disconnected and pilot lights must be turned off.
It’s a lot of work to get a house ready. Not to mention having to be elsewhere for 72 hours. House tenting is often the most expensive method of extermination.
There are tent alternatives that might be suitable for you.
Tentless Termite Treatment
This method of extermination is much more convenient than house tenting. You won’t have to remove pets and plants or leave your home for 3 days. This method lets you get back into your routine as soon as possible.
With a tentless termite treatment, foam, dust or liquid termiticide is applied to attics and affected areas.
The disadvantage of no tent termite methods is that you might miss areas that are infested. As a result, termites could multiply and spread to other areas of your home.
Look for an extermination company that will guarantee their work to avoid the hassle of paying for the same job over and over.
Spot Termite Treatment
If you have a large commercial space, barn or other big structures, it’s more budget-friendly to treat just the areas that are infected.
Exterminators can give you a good idea of how wide the infestation has spread. A technician will drill small holes and push termiticide treatments into the holes to
In larger buildings, it’s typically more cost effective to treat only the affected areas. Your extermination technician will drill small holes into the affected area and then pump the termiticide treatment into the wood.
This method protects against future swarms which is great if you have had repeat problems with termites.
The cons to spot treatment methods is that you may need more than one treatment. Also, your treatment area is limited to about 2 square feet. If you have an infestation in areas that are not accessible, spot treatment may not be the right option.
Bait and Barrier Termite Treatment
Another house tenting alternative uses both bait and barriers to kill termites.
Bait and barriers are placed in key area. These spots are strategically placed to lure termites into one area. Barriers force them to follow a specific route to get them where you want them to go.
Then, termiticide is pumped into those key stations up to 4 feet underground.
Non-Fumigation Heating Treatments
Another alternative to fumigating a house is heat.
Heat-based treatments are an effective way to combat termite infestations. Heating requires the use of a tent, however, you do not have to evacuate your home for 72 hours.
In this method, the exterminator will heat the wood in a home as high as 130 degrees. The technician will maintain this temperature for up to an hour.
The advantage of this method is that it requires no chemicals or fumes whatsoever. It works best when you know the exact location of termite colonies.
The cons to this method are that it can be expensive to heat the house to this temperature. Also, there can be damage to belongings that heat sensitive such as furniture, electronics and vinyl.
Now that you understand how to spot termites and the various methods of extermination, you can make an educated plan of attack.
Talk to a trusted exterminator to discuss if tentless termite treatment is right for your needs. Schedule an appointment and get 5% off your first service.