TERMITE CONTROL LONG ISLAND
The eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes nests in the soil and feeds on wood buried in or near the soil. This termite species prefers moist wood and is the common termite of New York. Worker termites are small white insects that avoid light and build mud tubes to reach wood above ground. The mud tubes are made of soil and saliva and are about the diameter of a pencil. Large termite swarms occur in the spring when black, winged reproductive males and females leave the nest to mate and disperse. The size of the underground colony can reach millions of workers and several buildings can be attacked by a single large colony.
Workers are pale white, small, soft bodied insects less than ľ inches in length. The soldiers are fewer in number, larger and with a large head and mandibles. Soldier termites are white with a dark yellow head. The male and female reproductives are black with four pairs of equal size clear wings. The wings drop off immediately after mating and they may pile up near windows and other sources of light.
Termite damage to wood can be recognized because there are small fecal pellets of digested wood along with soil particles within the galleries. Galleries are typically located in wood close to or touching the ground or wood wet with excessive moisture from a leak or other water source.
Where are some of the places you should look if you believe you have termites?
On Long Island most termite infestations occur in the basement or cellar areas and in the structural timbers immediately above the cellar walls, such as a mudsill, the studs, joists, subflooring, and the floors. Wood such as posts, steps, door frames, and trim embedded in an earth or concrete floor is especially susceptible to termite infestation. Wood siding, window frames, steps, and similar materials covered by earth or resting on the ground may also be attacked by termites. Where the termite infestation is extensive, the flooring and framework in the walls can be damaged by termites: this is often the case where houses are built on concrete slabs. Termites especially favor areas around furnaces, chimneys, hot water heaters, and hot water pipes that provide warmth during cold months.
The extent of damage to structural timbers and woodwork can be determined by a careful inspection of the building. Although you may choose to make the inspection yourself, we recommend you have a professional pest control operator (PCO) or a qualified consulting engineer inspect the building. These individuals have the experience in detecting termite infestations that many people would otherwise overlook.
All woodwork in suspect areas should be probed for soundness and visually inspected for any sign of mud tunnels. An awl, ice pick, screwdriver, or similar instrument is commonly used to probe the wood. After the area and extent of infestation are determined, control measures can be planned.
There are 2 general methods of treating termites.
First is the baiting system:
Bait stations are placed strategically around the perimeter of the house. An Authorized Operator routinely examines the stations for signs of termite activity. When termites are discovered, termite bait is placed in the stations. Termites then feed on it and spread it to their nestmates. The active ingredient in the termite bait affects termites by stopping the molting process they need to grow. As the worker termites die off, the colony declines to the point it can no longer sustain itself, ultimately leading to itís elimination. First and foremost, this technique is very costly and not very efficient. Even when it does work, it takes up to 1 year to eradicate the problem. There is absolutely no reason for the termite to leave your sill plate to go to a little bait station in the ground. The average cost for a system like this is anywhere from $2,000-$3000 dollars. The yearly maintenance is between $400 and $600 dollars.
The second treatment method is the barrier method:
This method has been in use for more than 50 years. Think of your home as your castle. What was put around the castle to keep intruders out? You are right! They put a moat around the castle and inside the moat they put crocodiles (in case someone tried to swim across). Well this method uses that same principle. While the termite probably wonít go to a bait station (they are deaf, dumb and almost blind), they still have to leave the house and go into the ground every 24 hours to get moisture. Like all animals, they need food and water. When they arrive in the ground they are going to hit the termiticide and die. This method is very efficient and cost effective and begins to eliminate the problem virtually instantly. The maintenance on this type of system is very simple. We will give you a very reasonable contract in which you can renew the original contract from year to year with an annual fee. As long as you pay this fee the house will be covered if re-infestation occurs.
Swarmers (winged reproductives)