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Termite Season is Here!

Termite season is here in the DFW area

Did you know that your untreated home is a food source for the wood destroying insect, the termite?

Once the spring rains begin and temperatures start to stay above 70 degrees, termites start their migration up from the soil to invade your home. Your plumbing/water lines and drain areas in showers, tubs, sinks and toilets or any internal plumbing areas with a water source or drain is an area termites are attracted too. If these areas have even slight water leaks or simply have condensation/sweating of the pipes due to dramatic temperature fluctuations, these factors will attract termites to those areas even faster. Eastern Subterranean and Formosan Termites love this opportunity that your home has presented for them to infest your home, whereas Drywood Termites prefer higher humidity areas above the soil line.

Damaged Wood Detectors

Once wood has started to decay from age/weather/or water damage it will also begin to start attracting termites. Termites are biologically designed to be able to detect damaged/decaying wood. They love soft wood/dead wood/ or any wood with easy access that is touching the ground. Most of the termite problems we encounter is caused from soil or mulch being even or above the slab line of the structure being infested which hold excess moisture against the house and it eventually works it way to the bottom sill (2×4 framing) of your walls. That moisture can then become trapped there and start to develop mold/mildew and wood rot…all the key menu items those hungry little termites search for 24 hours a day! It is key to keep your soil/mulch at a minimum of 2″ below the slab line (4″-6″ is ideal).

We are in the early stages of Termite season in the state of Texas. Did you know we have roughly 13 different species of termites in our state? Depending on what part of the state you live in you could very well see 2 or 3 different species each year. There are four species in the North Texas area with the Eastern Subterranean Termite being most common.

Termite Species in the Dallas/Fort Worth

  1. Eastern Subterranean
  2. Formosan
  3. Drywood
  4. Desert

Each species has it’s own characteristics in the way they go about thier daily routine. All species have a distinct way of consuming the wood of your home. They are so unique the species can be detected without even seeing a live termite. We can determine the species from the damage we see during our inspection. Identifying the correct species is key to the proper treatment that would need to be applied.

Eastern Subterranean termites: are the most common in our area. They come up from the ground when climatic and food source conditions are just right. This species is usually moisture driven, and if your house is a food source candidate (high soil line/moisture issues) they will be active year round and peak in the wet months. We deal with this species the most. They usually have colonies around 150,000 up to 250,000 and attack the softest cellulose material on the structure 1st as they will most likely have easiest access to it. This would include areas such as the backing on your drywall/sheet rock, areas of wood rot, studs, framing, floors, piers, floor joists, beams, any wood touching the ground, etc. Signs of infestation of this species are clusters of tiny pin holes in the walls around plumbing areas or exterior walls where termites could gain access from the exterior soil line. You may also see dirt tubes on the foundation wall before the brick line begins or below where the wood siding begins. Bubbles in the wallpaper or paint of walls is another sign of possible infestation. The most obvious signs of this species infesting your home will be clusters of dirt residue (usually a mixture of dirt and drywall dust) that look like a corral reef coming out of your walls. This is a sign of an eminent swarm where the male and female winged mating pairs will fly out of those “corral reefs” by the hundreds in an effort to grow and spread the colony. The traditional soil treatment is the most successful solution for this species.

Formosan termites: are the most destructive because they are a more aggressive termite and their colonies are usually very large, numbering up to the millions. This species can also attack green trees…they are not picky eaters! They can start from the ground as the Eastern Subterranean do – but can also survive in a wall void without having to go back into the soil on a daily basis as the Eastern Subterranean do. If they have a moisture source in a wall void from a water leak, pipe leak, etc. they will simply build a carton nest in the wall void without ever going back into the soil. Therefore a traditional soil treatment may not be very effective. Generally a fumigant will have to be introduced to the wall voids to successfully rid your home of this species.

Drywood termites: are more common in the arid areas of DFW. This species will travel from house to house doing damage in the attics, rafters, wall voids, soffits, eaves overhangs and siding. They are not a ground dweller as the other species are. Soil treatment for this species is useless. There are other methods that are needed to control these guys including fumigants. This species has a key identifier…they will leave fecal pellets in their damage tunnels…no other species will do this. If you looked at these fecal pellets under a microscope they will have a barrel or pickle shape.

Desert termites: these are popping up more and more each year in the rural areas. No worries as far as your home goes…they are not interested in the cellulose material in your walls. They are grass eaters and their mandibles will only allow for the mastication of grasses, but they will do lawn hrm to your lawn. Turf, weeds and hay fields are the primary food sources for this species. They can be identified by the “dirt straws” they create along the blades of grass/weeds in your lawn.

Going into our 16th year as a serving the pest control needs of the DFW area, Castle has the knowledge, expertise and experience to handle your termite issue quickly and effectively. While some people loathe the thought of treating for termites, we take pride in our ability to make your experience smooth and care free. Our finished treatments look as if we never have been there, but you will have the peace of mind knowing your problem was handled and backed by the strongest warranty in the area.

We go the extra mile to “Protect Your Castle” and specialize in termite treatments using the best applications and methods for each species and back all those treatments with one of the strongest warranties in the industry.

If you see something suspicious in any area of your home and suspect you may have termites, don’t hesitate to call Castle Termite & Pest Control Inc. at 817-485-4712 and we will schedule one of our state certified and licensed technicians to trouble shoot and provide you with all of your options.

 

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