If you have lived in Oklahoma for any time at all you’ve probably had experience with termites. They are a potential problem for every home owner. If you think you can play the odds and ignore them you do so at your own economic peril. You could go years thinking you don’t have a problem and then suddenly one spring they’re swarming all over your house. When that happens you can be sure there is damage to the hidden parts of your house that you cannot see.
Pestworld.org lists five signs of termites that you should know.
Termite infestations can severely damage the structural stability of a home, without anyone even knowing, until it’s too late. In fact, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year, which is not typically covered by homeowners’ insurance policies. Here are the top ﬁve signs of a termite infestation.
Pro Tip: The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends having a licensed pest control professional perform a thorough termite inspection of the home to keep the property safe.
SIGN 1: SWARMERS
Swarmers are young female and winged termites that often invade homes in the springtime. They especially seek out buildings that have sustained damage from severe winter weather. Once swarmers have determined your home to be a good ﬁt, it’s likely that the rest of the termite colony will follow. Hint: they are often attracted to lights.
SIGN 2: DISCARDED WINGS
The discarded wings of swarmers can often be found near windowsills and doors, and are often the ﬁrst and only outwardly visible sign of a termite problem.
SIGN 3: WOOD DAMAGE
Termites tend to eat wood from the inside out, so wood that sounds hollow when tapped often signiﬁes a termite infestation. Homeowners should also look for rotting wood.
SIGN 4: FRASS
Drywood termites produce wood-colored droppings as they eat through infested wood. If a homeowner ﬁnds a small pile of what looks like pellets inside or outside the home, it could be a sign of drywood termite infestation.
Sign 5: MUD TUBES
Subterranean termites, the most destructive termite species, build mud tubes to provide moisture while they travel between their colony and a food source. Mud tubes are most often found near the home’s foundation.
You have two options when fighting termites: chemicals and bait. Both have positive and negative aspects.
Termidore™ is a chemical that is injected into the ground and underneath the foundation of your home. It’s a one-time application that should last five to ten years. It does not require monitoring and you pay a one-time charge for the application. Ask your pest control company about follow-up visits. Here in Tulsa there are companies that will provide the service and then for roughly $100 each year they will check for new infestation. If they find anything they will retreat the house at no charge. Generally pest control companies say it takes up to 90 days for the application to be completely effective.
The downside would include the fact that it is a chemical. It is federally approved for use to kill termites but some people just don’t like chemicals all that much no matter how safe they are said to be. The other point would be the drill holes left in the concrete sidewalks and lower foundation points around the house. They are usually cement caulked or plugged but they are still a bit ugly.
Sentricon™ bait stations are the other choice. These are the little green discs you’ll see spaced around the house in your friend’s yard. These stations are installed with termite bait that attracts the bug to the station. They eat the bait and return to the colony. Other than the chemical found in the bait, they are a much cleaner choice for many people.
The downside would include that after the initial cost of installation you will pay a recurring fee for bait station inspections as long as you keep the contract active. Also, according to some pest control professionals the time it takes for it to be effective can be from two to eight months. If you already have a nasty infestation, eight months can be a long time.
Do your research and choose one or the other. But don’t do nothing. “Out of sight out of mind” does not work with termites.
If you are currently in the market to buy or sell a home in Tulsa or the surrounding areas, give me a call at 918-809-5199. I have twelve years experience in this market and I can make the process as easy as possible for you. I look forward to meeting you soon!