Subterranean Termites: What’s Fact And Fiction
July 12, 2021
Living in the Southwest has a good share of creeping critters. Most are harmless with the few that cause obvious fears. No one wants to get crawled on, stung, or bitten. When it comes to subterranean termites, there are plenty of facts and fictions as to why we should and should not worry about these nearly invisible insects.
Fiction: If I find termites in my home, my roof is going to collapse!
Fact: Yes, subterranean termites do cause damage. The species here in Arizona is also one of the most aggressive species in the North American continent. Every year these ferocious and persistent insects cause 6 billion dollars in damage. However, that damage is very slow over much time. If you find termites in your home, don’t panic, give us a call and we can determine the best course of action.
We do recommend a simple solution; have a termite inspection done annually by a licensed professional. It’s a low cost way to prevent damage when you do get termites (and you will). However, if you knowingly neglect the presence of termites, eventually you will see some very preventable damage.
Fiction: If I just put some poison down to kill the termite queen, I’ll kill the entire subterranean colony.
Fact: It is true that each colony does only have one queen. However, the idea that sending poison with one trail of termites to the nest that exposes the queen will defeat the entire colony has been thoroughly debunked. Subterranean termites are very resilient. You can take one queen down, another will take its place and sometimes colonies will even merge.
TIP: Termites will remember food sources. If you see termite tunnels heading into your home and they do not return after you’ve removed them, they haven’t started feeding yet. If the tunnel quickly reappears, that means they have found food and started feeding.
Fiction: If I see Termite Tunnels, that means I already have Wood Damage.
Fact: Having termites does not necessarily mean you have damage. If you’re having annual termite inspections and do find evidence of termites with some tunnels appearing on the side of your home, even inside your home, do not to worry. We can quickly find the source and spot treat for a quick solution. Some pest control specialists, like us here at Conquistador Pest & Termite Inc., offer an annual protection plan. If we do find an incursion, you’re covered.
The fact here in the southwest is, It’s only a matter of time to get them. If you do see them, don’t fear them. They can easily be addressed if you are proactive.
Fiction: Presence of Termites always means Trenching and Drilling with an Expensive Full Home Treatment.
Fact: The business man in me would love to treat your entire property with what we call a full treatment. However, with regular annual inspections, once termites have been discovered, we can typically do a partial or spot treatment for a lot less expense. The days of always needing to drill into your foundation are relatively a thing of the past. There are some amazing alternatives and bait systems that can easily handle a new termite presence. If you do have a large incursion that does require a full treatment, we guarantee our work with a 5 year warranty.
One thing to keep in mind, subterranean termite colonies are very persistent and large, sometimes spanning a mile away for one colony. As effective as these partial treatment systems are, that does not mean that an entire colony will be destroyed. Most likely they will return. While a full home treatment would be ideal for the long term, a spot treatment will keep termites under control just fine.
Fiction: I have a Block Home and No Termite Tunnels, so I can’t have Termites.
Fact: Termites can come up through cracks in the foundation, even under tile. In fact, the most common place for them to come in unnoticed is fully tiled bathrooms. Another entry point for termites to infiltrate undetected is wooden posts that have been stuccoed and the ground is touching the stucco.
Almost every home has wood, even block homes. And where wood exists, termites will exist. We had one customer who actually had a block home and the homeowner knew they had termites for 30 years! Well, as we’ve said before, damage does occur and it does take time, and time they had. Sadly, the termites ate away at the roof joists and during a storm, her roof caved in!
Do not Fear Termites, however do not Ignore them either.
Be proactive and keep termites at bay! Our team of pest control experts are ready to help you with any pest problems you face. We recommend before-and-after inspections around monsoon season and winter rains as those are the optimal times for subterranean termites to search for food. Contact us today to schedule an inspection by an experienced specialist. You will have peace of mind and can enjoy the all that the southwest has to offer!