Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How to get rid of termites

One of the most widely spread questions among people who have their houses is “How to get rid of termites”. The problem of termite infestation is common for owners all over the world. It is possible to find different types of termite treatment. Actually all the answers to the question “How to get rid of termites” may be divided into two parts. The first one will include do-it-yourself treatment. It is rather easy to find a guide and try to kill pests without anybody’s help. The second group of answers is connected with the help of the specialist. To my modest point of view it is better to leave getting rid of termites for professional worker. They are able to inspect the insects, they have necessary equipment, knowledge and experience. Of course in this case you will have to spend some amount of money which is possible to save (at least partly) if you decide to use do-it-yourself products. But how often you refuse from a consultation of a good specialist (for example, doctor) with the aim to save a bit of money but with the risk not to cope with the problem, especially if it is connected with your life and health? The same is with your home, it also requires a proper investigation and further treatment. But if you feel as you are the greatest termite killer and decide to do everything only by yourself you should find and learn all possible information about this problem. First of all you have to find out what type of termites you have. Actually the greatest part (almost 90%) of accidents is connected with subterranean termites. The other cases (about 10%) of invading the house by insects are connected with drywood termites, also may be called dampwood termites. The next step you should be ready for is leaning how to kill termites with the help of insecticides and special foams. Here you will find some tips how to get rid of termites if you have a strong desire to do it yourself. After the theoretical base of knowledge you should move to practical part. First of all is it necessary to find the source of infestation. For this purpose you have to investigate your home very thoroughly, taking into the consideration the smallest cracks and holes. It is very important to find the nest of these insects. Destroying the nest – main home of pests – leads to the killing of the whole family which lives next to you. The next step in your battle with pests is using termite insecticides for reducing infestations. You should identify the type of termites which live next to you and cause damages to your house. After this it is necessary to choose the most appropriate product and be sure that you know how to use it correctly. The third and the last step is making certain decisions how to protect your home in the future.
If you see that the infestation is very bad and you do not know how to get rid of termites the best way out is to ask for a help of a specialist. A professional termite exterminator will kill all the termites for sure. Of course it is more expensive but the result speaks for itself.
Among other termite killers it is possible to list the next items: liquid pesticides, tenting and fumigation.

Termite prevention

It is very easy for the termites to gain access to your home, these insects are very proficient and therefore it is important to take steps of termite prevention in order to reduce the risk of them feeding on your home.
Such things as small holes in the wood, crumbling drywall, sagging doors or floor, wings of the termites, and small shelter tubes are the most obvious and common signs of the termite infestation. However, even if these signs are not evident and you have no reason to believe that your home is infested, it doesn’t mean it’s not.
The first step of termite prevention is to have a licensed pest manager, or a termite exterminator perform regular inspections.  This is the best way to make sure that your home is pest free and is also reliable way of termite protection. Professionals that are qualified in termite extermination are trained to identify, prevent and treat termite infestations. They are knowledgeable of the termite biology and behavior. A pest management professional performs a thorough and proficient inspection of your home in order to determine whether there is any evidence to suggest the presence of the termites.
A termite exterminator may also consult you about making your home less suitable for termites but fixing any termite-attracting conditions.
There are a number of tips for termite prevention:
1.      Affixing wooden trellises to exterior walls may attract termite, so this should be avoided;
2.      You should keep any mulch, wood debris, scraps of lumber, sawdust and firewood as far away from your home as possible. If, however, you do keep wood, for example, for fire next to your house, you should keep it raised off the ground;
3.      Don’t store, stack, or bury any wood debris or scrap adjacent to your house;
4.      Make sure that bushes and tree branches are trimmed away from your home. Don’t let shrubs and other dense greenery, as well as mulch, be close to your house or its foundation;
5.      Don’t forget to remove trees and stumps if they have been infested;
6.      Make sure to fix any leaking faucets and water lines indoors and outdoors;
7.      Don’t leave roofs and gutters leaking;
8.      Don’t let leaves get into gutters and drains;
9.      Make sure that water runs away from the foundation;
10.   Make sure to ventilate crawl spaces and attics in order to reduce humidity;
11.   Remove any wood that may contact the soil;
12.   Make sure to cover not any less than 90% of the ground in crawl spaces with plastic sheets;
13.   Wood siding, stucco, and foam board needs to be at least six inches off the ground;
14.   Make sure there are no cracks and holes in the foundation of your house.
If the termite have been spotted, the termite extermination is necessary. Your pest management professional can help you to get rid of the termites and also provide termite protection to make sure they don’t come back.
Even if after the examination of your home it turns out to be free of insects, the termite prevention measures still should be taken if you want to ensure for your house to stay that way.
The number one termite defense product in the USA is Termidor. Most likely you will be advised to use this treatment to help fight termites.

Termite tenting

Termite tenting or how it is also called the termite fumigation is the process that includes a complete coverage of a structure such as the house with a sealed, nylon tent, and after that filled with poisonous gas to get rid of drywood termites. The termites are dangerous because they feed on the wooden structure of the house, and if left as it is, the damage done weakens the structure. Termite tenting is one of the possible ways of dealing with termite infestation.
The process of termite tenting is expensive and required one to two days. However it is a known method of getting rid of the insects. During the time of the tenting the house is completely sealed off, therefore you need to make arrangements to stay at your friends’ place, with your family, or in the hotel. The fumigant agent, typically Vikane, or in other words sulfuryl fluoride is used. This termite spray is colorless, odorless, and it leaves no residue behind. If left for a long enough period of time, fumigant absorbs into the pours of the wood and kills termites.
As a part of preparation for the termite tenting any pets, fish tanks and bowls, as well as living plants need to be removed prior to the procedure. The fumigator service may sometimes provide bags to seal all the foods and medications, if the bags are not provided you still need to make sure that the items are tightly sealed. Such items as mattresses or pillows with waterproof covers may require special instruction. It may also be recommended to remove them from their covers or remove them from the house altogether.
Any plants and shrubs need to be cleared along the house perimeter to make sure the workers have a pathway and also to allow the tenting to reach the soil. The ground next to the house needs to be soaked in order to keep the damage of the gas away from the plants. Rooftop antennas, weather vanes and some chimney caps need to be taken down.
When the house is sealed shut, the lethal fumigant is pumped inside. Special fans inside the structure make sure that the gas spreads evenly and reached the affected area. The gas kills all the termites, including those that are hidden inside the walls. After some time, the tenting service removes the seal, airs out the structure and tests the air with special sensing instruments. When concluded that it is safe, the owners may return back.
However there are also drawbacks of the termite tenting, for instance, it does not prevent from new infestations. Once the house is safe for people to move back in, it is also sage for the termites. The tenting also does not get rid of the subterranean termites that may live in the foundation of the house, in the soil, or in lower extremities of the structure.
The effective way of dealing with the subterranean termites is using termite bait. The bait consists of the food for termites that is poisoned, and so when the termites feed on it they begin to slowly die.
Because the tenting includes the usage of poisonous gas, it should only be the last resort in dealing with the problem. In fact, environmentalists are not working on other non-hazardous methods of getting rid of termite infestation, such as freezing termites with liquid nitrogen or blast infected wood with radio waves.