There are many wrong ways to do termite control, and many Phoenix residents find that they've gone down the wrong path after termite damage is discovered. Finding termite damage isn't a great way to discover a termite problem. Termite damage is hidden and accumulative. That means termites will feed on your property for years, right under your nose, and the longer you fail to realize you have a problem, the more costly and extensive the repair costs will become.

At Overson Pest Control, we employ termite control experts. When it comes to addressing termite problems in Phoenix, they know what works and what doesn't. Join us today as we look at how you can uncover signs of termite damage before you see the damage and how to detect termites in your yard. These tips will help you guard your property against termites if you don't already have an infestation. Then, we'll break down the complexities of DIY termite control and share insights into how certified professionals deal with termites in Phoenix. If that sounds like a plan, let's get started!

How To Identify Signs Of Termite Damage

It is better to see evidence of termite damage than to see the damage itself. Why? It has to do with how termites damage wood. They don't crawl around on wood and consume it from the outside; they eat it from the inside out. Over time, the wood is compromised and exterior signs of interior damage appear. If wood is compromised, it can have a cascading impact on the structure of your home, as load-bearing walls and bearing beams can sag or bend and apply stress to the studs, trusses, and other wood members. Here are some warning signs of termite activity that will help you zero in on hidden damage.

Mud Tubes: The most important warning sign of termite damage is mud. Subterranean termites use mud in a few creative ways. They use it to line their tunnel walls to help retain moisture. They use it to patch any accidental wall breaches that may allow air to enter their tunnels. And, most of all, they build above-ground tunnels called shelter tubes or mud tubes. Here are a few characteristics of shelter tubes:

  • These tubes are often a thin line of mud. Imagine muddy water running over the side of a rock and running down. After it dries, it looks like wiggly mud lines. Now imagine those lines slightly larger than the width of a pencil. Mud tubes often look like this.
  • Worker termites construct tubes from the ground up. As they build, they may create branches in the tunnel. Imagine a river flowing down from the mountains and branching several times before it gets to the ocean. The ground is the mountain, and the wood above your foundation wall is the ocean. Can you see it in your mind? That's how termite mud tubes often look, particularly when constructed on interior foundation walls in a crawlspace.
  • Worker termites sometimes construct tubes on top of each other. As these above-ground tunnels are stacked, they start to look like a column of mud. Termite control technicians have found columns of tunnels wider than three feet. We don't have to tell you how bad it is to find a three-foot mud column underneath your home.

When you perform a termite inspection, keep in mind that you're also looking for mud patches. If you notice that support timber has mud dots on it, tap on the wood. If it sounds hollow, it is an indication that there are termites inside the wood.

Wings: When a termite swarm visits your home and nests are constructed underground on your property, you may see a warning sign above-ground. Termite swarmers are winged termites that shed their wings during the mating process. These wings are rounded at the tips and uniform in length. If you see dozens of wings in your landscaping or on your back deck, it is time to contact a certified termite control professional. Wings are sometimes a sign of a nest that has matured over years of growth. Hopefully, you're seeing an early warning sign and not a sign that a termite nest has matured on your property.

Swarmers: The appearance of termite swarmers in your yard is another warning sign, but a swarm lasts less than an hour. If you see black insects with long white wings grouped together, they are likely termite swarmers. A termite swarmer is about ⅜ of an inch in length with white wings that hang past the end of the abdomen.

Sounds: The sounds of a termite infestation are subtle. If you have good ears, and the infestation is large enough, you may hear clicking, rustling, or even fluttery sounds. The most common noise people hear is the sound of soldier termites banging their heads on tunnel walls. They do this to warn the workers of a potential threat. This sound is often described as clicking or rustling. The fluttery sound you may hear is swarmers moving through tunnels in wood. That is a bad sound. It means the nest is in the ground very close to your home.

These facts will help you catch termite activity early. But you don't have to wait until termites are in your home. You can find warning signs of termites in your yard if you know how a termite infestation starts. Let's take a look.

How A Termite Infestation Starts

Subterranean termites are super secretive. When they enter your yard, they will do so as workers or swarmers. The workers will tunnel into your yard and stay underground. Swarmers will fly into your yard but only show themselves for a short period of time before shedding their wings and tunneling into the ground to create new nests.

Workers: When termite workers enter your yard and find food, they let the queen of the colony know. In response, she may send reproductives to create a satellite nest on your property. The nest is created underground without the need for termites to surface.

Swarmers: When swarmers create nests on your property, all of the nests are not viable. In fact, only a few swarmers will survive the process. That is good news. But having even one nest on your property is bad, so it is essential to keep watch for swarmer wings.

You can use termite identification to help you uncover termite activity, but worker termites hide from light and don't even want to expose themselves to the light reflected off the moon. You'll need to know where to find them as well.

What do termite workers look like? They are pale insects that look a bit like fat ants. A worker is about ⅛ of an inch long and has stubby antennae.

Where can you find termite workers? You can find them under wood that sits on the ground, in the ground near wood-to-soil contact, and under mulch.

When you find signs of termites on your property or in your home, what do you do about them? Let's take a look at the challenges of getting rid of termites yourself.

The Problem With Trying To Get Rid Of Termites By Yourself

It is hard to understand how simple and effective the right way actually is without understanding why the wrong way doesn't work. So, let's start with why DIY termite control fails.

  • Home remedies are not backed by science and often rely on speculative data. In most cases, home remedies make termite problems worse.
  • Topical treatments eliminate termites on contact but do nothing to address the colony in the ground.
  • All termite products are not created equal. Some just don't work.
  • Termite products with a track record of success can fail when installed incorrectly. For this reason, the top manufacturers certify professionals to install their products.
  • When installing a termiticide barrier, property damage may occur, as drilling and trenching are required. It is best to have a skilled and insured termite control professional handle installation.
  • Termite control requires proper inspections and surveillance to ensure efficacy.

It is tricky to apply termite control products, even if you know what to apply and how to effectively apply them. You also need to know how to check your work to make sure your termite control is working. So, not only is termite control hard work, it requires professional termite control skills and specialized knowledge of termite behavior.

Contact Us For Termite Control Done The Right Way

It is our strong recommendation to contact a certified termite control professional to address a termite infestation or to guard your property against termite damage. If you're in need of termite pest control in Pheonix, contact Overson Pest Control for assistance. We apply professional-grade termiticide to address termites. The products we use have a transfer effect. When termites pass through the material, they are unable to detect it. Slowly, the active ingredient is shared with other termites, leading to the elimination of the colony that is producing those termites. Addressing colonies hidden within the ground is the right way to deal with termites because it strikes the problem at the source. We back our service with professional inspections and a two-year warranty you can extend to permanently guard your property. For more information or to speak with us, jump to our contact page or call us. We're here to offer expert advice regarding all your pest concerns.

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