Have you heard the phrase "hidden in plain sight"? Perhaps you have played games where the answer is in the picture, but you cannot find it. Have you been at a party playing a guessing game, and the person gives clues, but you can't connect the dots? You know the answer is in front of you, but you cannot see it. It is frustrating when you sense the solution to a problem is before you, but it seems concealed. 

It is almost terrifying knowing something is wrong in your home, but you can't figure out the problem. What you may be sensing in your home is the presence of termites. These tiny insects are hidden beneath your feet or inside the walls. Something tells you they are in your home, but you don't know the signs. 

If your gut tells you something is going on out of sight in your home, you need the best pest control in West Chester from Masters Touch Pest Solutions. As one of the largest locally owned and operated companies in the West Chester area, we take pride in delivering professional pest control with a personal touch for over 30 years. Our pest service professionals use the latest treatment innovations to eliminate termites safely and effectively. Because we understand the elusive termite, we share the following information to help you in your battle against them. 

termites in a dirt tube
termites on a dark log

How To Identify Termite Damage

Subterranean termites affect West Chester homes and are the most destructive insects in the United States. The adjective "subterranean" means "under the earth's surface" and gives us a hint of the habits of this elusive insect. Unlike drywood termites, subterranean termites live in moisture-rich soil near dead trees in poorly draining areas, water-soaked posts, and underneath wood scrapes and landscaping timbers in heavily shaded areas of the yard. Inside homes, they live in poorly ventilated porches, decks, and crawlspaces with high moisture levels. 

Because these insects live in the soil in non-liveable dark places of the house, they are rarely visible except when swarming. A subterranean termite infestation begins outdoors when a pair of flying reproducing termites (Alates) locate a dead tree, rotting fence posts, or landscaping timbers. The two (a king and queen) will land, lose their wings, create a small nest, and mate. 

The queen deposits a few hundred eggs the first year, but as she matures, she lays more eggs each successive year. At her peak production, the queen produces 5,000 to 10,000 eggs annually. A mature colony of 60,000 to one million workers and soldiers will take about five to ten years. When a nest is at full strength, can you imagine the damages tens of thousands of termites chewing away 24 hours a day can cause? 

When a nest reaches capacity, the queen and king begin producing flying termites capable of reproduction. Although they have wings, they are weak fliers that rely on wind currents to carry them to potential locations, often a nearby house or lawn. Houses with damp crawl spaces, basements, or exterior wood provide suitable nesting areas for the flying reproductives to start a new home. The cycle starts over in a new location — this time, a West Chester home.

We have discussed how subterranean termites enter homes, now let's determine if they are in your home. Most people do not want to crawl under the house looking for subterranean termites, but you can still determine if they are harming your home. The following is evidence of termite damage:

  • Sagging floors: If you see gaps between baseboards and the floor, especially in the corners of the room, subterranean termites may be at work. 
  • Crumbling wood: If wood disintegrates when you poke it, subterranean termites are at work.
  • Warping frames: Weakening support beams can cause windows and doors to shut incorrectly.
  • Hollow-sounding wood: If wood sounds hollow when you tap it, subterranean termites may be the culprit.
  • Darkening wood: The discoloration of timber is often evidence of termites. 
  • Collapsing structures: Although it takes years, support beams and other structural supports give way because of subterranean termites.
  • Blistering wallpaper or paint: Subterranean termites eat wood from the inside and leave a thin outside layer. Since they infest moist wood, the exterior layer will bubble. 

If you see these signs of termites inside your house, you need a pest control professional from Masters Touch Pest Solutions to inspect your location immediately. 

The Extent Of Property Damage Termites Can Create

Although the creamy-white subterranean termites are only 1/8 inch long, they can wreak havoc on a home. These tiny insects work constantly using their saw-toothed hard jaws to shear off small chunks of wood. Subterranean termites don't tear away wood to build nests, like carpenter ants, because they live in the soil. Instead, subterranean termites eat wood to get nutrition (they also eat paper, burlap, cotton other plant materials containing cellulose); they use digested cellulose to feed growing larvae in the colony. 

Subterranean termites don't indiscriminately attack wood in West Chester homes but strike moisture-ridden wood infested with wood-decaying fungi. In addition to the nutrition the subterranean termites receive from cellulose, the fungi provide them with nitrogen. Moisture from the soil, often from a nearby leaking pipe, or poor drainage, hydrates the termites. 

As a colony grows, more termites are working to consume wood near their nests. A nest of 60,000 termites may consume up to five grams of wood daily; subterranean termites can destroy 2.3 feet of a 2x4 foot wood board in a year! Can you imagine how much more damage a colony of one million can cause? 

Termite damage costs homeowners an estimated $5 billion in the United States annually. Unfortunately, most homeowners insurance policies do not cover termite damage leaving the property owner to pay the repairs bills. Because subterranean termites usually destroy structural support beams underneath the home, repairing or replacing the beams usually requires hiring a licensed contractor. 

Masters Touch Pest Solutions provides termite pest control in West Chester to protect homeowners from termite damage and expensive repair bills. 

The Best Way To Get Rid Of A Termite Infestation

The best way to get rid of termites in West Chester is to use Masters Touch Pest Solutions. Throughout our three decades of operation, we have seen the devastating effects a termite infestation can have on homeowners. Because we understand the urgency of addressing a possible termite infestation, we offer free termite inspections. When you call, we dispatch a certified professional to your house to visually inspect the foundation, basement, cellars, slab, exterior perimeter, and garage.  

If we see signs of termites, we will create a custom strategic plan using Termidor® liquid treatment injections in the soil to kill subterranean termites and to create a perimeter around the home. Our service professional will strategically install stations in the landscape and outside the treatment perimeter to monitor the area. 

Based on the extent of the infestation, our service professional may use the Trelona® Advance Termite Bait System. These traps lure termites, and while they feed, the product attaches to their body; when they return to the colony, the termite-killing product spreads and destroys the nest.

Masters Touch Pest Solutions is not a new West Chester termite and pest control company. We bring decades of termite control experience and provide warranties for our work. 

Simple Tips To Prevent Future Termite Infestations In Your Home

The best way to avoid termite damage is to take preventative steps to keep termites away. These are easy, practical steps you can take to deter eastern subterranean termite swarmers from infesting your home: 

  • Remove debris from the yard: Eliminate wood scrapes, tree stumps, and dead wood from the property.
  • Replace rotting wood: Fix decaying fence posts, landscape timbers, and exterior wood siding on the home. Use pressure-treated lumber or non-cellulose materials when replacing rotten wood. 
  • Elevate firewood: Place firewood stacks several inches off the ground to allow airflow and moisture reduction. 
  • Move firewood: Relocate firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.
  • Provide drainage: Install splash blocks and gutter extensions to drain rainwater away from the foundation. Provide drainage to ditches and low-lying areas in the yard. 
  • Furnish ventilation: Have an electrician install a dehumidifier or use a contractor to provide additional vents to remove moisture from the crawl space. Check existing vents to ensure they are working and are free from obstruction.
  • Prune shrubs: Trimming shrubs away from the house will maximize airflow and sunshine. Sunlight and heat quickly dehydrate subterranean termites, so the more exposure the foundation can have, the better. Also, the increased airflow will keep the area around the foundation drier reducing the chances of wood rot. 
  • Create barriers: Provide barriers around the wood contacting the soil by installing metal flashing or using a sealant on the wood. If possible, keep wood at least 18 inches from the dirt. 
  • Seal foundation cracks with caulk or concrete: Pay attention to gaps around incoming pipes, wires, and ground-level utility boxes. 

In summary, establishing a dry, debris-free environment around your West Chester home will discourage swarmers from invading your home. 

Applying these preventative tips with the best termite control company for your West Chester home, Masters Touch Pest Solutions, will ensure a termite-free home. Contact us today to learn more and schedule your free termite inspection.


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