There are ways you can successfully protect your home and avoid termite damage, but it is possible to think that you've taken steps to guard your property when you actually haven't. Our goal today is to look at both sides of this. We'll explain why termite control is a challenge, how to effectively prevent termite damage, and how professional termite pest control in West Chester offers the highest level of protection. Only you can decide how much termite control you want. Our job is to give you the facts to help you make an informed decision. If you'd rather speak with someone in person regarding your termite control questions, reach out to us. The Masters Touch Pest Solutions team provides industry-leading answers to tough termite questions and we are committed to providing exceptional service to residents of West Chester. With that said, let's examine the challenges of termite control and why quality termite control is important.
You're Likely Never To See A Termite
The termites in our area are subterranean termites. A subterranean termite worker spends its life underground or inside aboveground wood sources. It does not come out in the open unless there is utter darkness and moist conditions. Why utter darkness? Workers have an aversion to light. They don't even like to come out in the moonlight. Why moist conditions? Because the skin of a termite worker is thin and requires constant hydration. These two factors cause workers to hide themselves (and their activities) from view. You'll likely never see termites unless you uncover them. How do you uncover termites? We're glad you asked.
- You may find termites under sticks.
- You can cut into a stump or dying tree and find termites.
- You can dig soil away from fence or deck posts to find termites.
- You can find termites hiding under leaf piles.
- You can rake mulch and find termites.
Termite workers in West Chester stay hidden from view, which makes it hard to detect them. The warning signs they provide are also hidden from view. You'll find them in secret places on your property. Here are some examples:
- Termites make mud tubes, but they are rarely created in open areas. You need to look in your crawlspace, under your deck, and behind your landscaping.
- Termites cause damage that is sometimes visible. You need to look for evidence of termite damage in locations that are close to damp ground or in dark spaces.
- You may hear termites clicking inside wood members. Sometimes soldier termites make a subtle rustling noise when banging their heads on tunnel walls. Inspect your basement or first-floor wood to hear this sound. You may also tap on wood to see if it sounds hollow.
Termite workers are hard to detect but what about termite swarmers? Don't they come out in the light? Yes. But they don't appear for long. A termite swarm last less than an hour. When the swarm dissipates, the swarmers shed their wings and disappear into the ground. If a queen and king enter your yard alone, they can start a nest without providing a noticeable warning sign.
Why Termites Infest And Destroy Wooden Structures
Termites eat wood because it has cellulose. The enzymes in the gut of a termite break down cellulose as food. All homes have wood in them, so it only makes sense that termites present a problem to homeowners. But, of course, you know this. What you may not know is that you can deter termites from targeting your home by controlling termite food in your yard. When termite workers find wood (or another food source with cellulose), the queen of the colony knows it. In response, the queen makes more workers, or reproductives, and the colony gets to work creating a satellite colony. This is bad news for your home. Since termites are hard to detect, it is critical to know how to remove the conditions that attract them. Doing so can give you protection from termites without ever seeing termites.
- Remove stumps and dying trees. Termites don't prefer to eat sources of living wood.
- Pick up dead branches and store the branches above ground level. We recommend putting branches in a storage bin or on a rubber mat.
- Remove wood borders around flower beds, gardens, and landscaping. Consider using a material that termites won't eat.
- Refrain from leaving piles of cardboard on the ground. Termites love cardboard. They'll also eat other materials found in a junk pile, such as clothing and books. Keep junk stored in a receptacle.
- Replace wood structures. Many fences are made of old wood. While that old wood can provide curb appeal, it is a delectable food source for termites. Consider getting vinyl fencing. There are many vinyl options that have an "old wood" appearance.
- Store firewood on an elevated platform to get the wood off the ground and prevent workers from finding this delicious food source.
- Refrain from burying any wood in your yard. Any wood source put into the ground eventually becomes food for subterranean termites. While they don't prefer hardwood, the hardest of wood becomes soft wood over time. While termites don't feed on pressure-treated wood, the protective coating of treated wood is compromised by moisture damage. At some point, any wood you bury will become a buffet for termites.
- Use mulch that is protected by a termite control material. There are many mulches that are perfect food sources for termites.
- Moisture is another condition that can attract termites. One of the best ways to reduce moisture near your home is to keep your gutters in good working condition. Make sure there are no breaks or clogs. Make sure your downspouts can channel water away from your perimeter. If necessary, put soil next to your home to allow run-off.
- Another moisture source to consider is your landscaping. Consider how densely packed your vegetation is. Dense vegetation traps moisture, increases humidity, and prevents the soil from drying. Your plants need water, but oversaturation is not required for strong plants.
When you address food and moisture sources in your yard, you significantly deter termites from eating your home because you prevent them from finding a staging area in your yard. Worker termites travel quite a distance to find food and when they find it, they may create a satellite colony near the food. If they create a satellite colony in your yard, your home is in greater danger of termite damage.
Effective Quality Prevention Is Key To Successful Termite Control
It is critical to know how to find signs of termites in your yard and to remove food sources that attract termites, but performing inspections and keeping watch for active termites, along with addressing conducive conditions, will not provide complete protection for termites. Termite control products are required for effective quality prevention. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet. We can't tell you what to buy and how to install it. There is more to termite prevention than most realize. It requires specialized knowledge in termite control. The top manufacturers of termite control solutions know this and require licensed professionals to gain certification. A certified professional knows what pitfalls to avoid and how to monitor the success of termite control solutions.
The worst outcome of termite control is to spend money on a product and invest the time and energy installing the product, only to discover, years later, that something went wrong. Not only will a professional properly install and maintain your termite control, it is on us to make sure everything goes according to plan. We also provide manufacturer warranties to give you peace of mind.
Professional Termite Control Offers Lasting Protection For Your Home
Another way termite control fails is that property owners give up. Life gets busy. It is hard to keep on top of termite inspections and addressing termite attractants. It is also hard to keep track of termite control products and to apply new treatments as needed. Professionals take care of everything for you. You don't have to think about termites.
Your termite professional can give you termite protection from the start. If you're building a new home, it pays to have a pre-construction treatment. The ground under your home can get the protection needed to give you ten or more years of exceptional termite control.
If you have questions about pre-construction or post-construction termite control in West Chester, we have the answers. Masters Touch Pest Solutions uses industry-leading, professional-grade products to provide the greatest level of protection. We offer termiticide treatments to arrest infestation and guard against termite damage. We provide bait solutions for colony elimination and foolproof termite detection. Our services are backed by warranties that meet and exceed industry standards. When you want quality termite control for your West Chester home, we deliver. Contact us today to learn more about our options and see how you can get your home the ongoing protection it needs. We're here to help.