Termites are destructive insects that can do a number on your property. If you own real estate, few pests can impact your bottom line in the way termites can, but property owners aren't the only business owners at risk for termite troubles. The good news is that there are many ways to prevent termite damage. Some are much more effective than others. Today, we'll break termite control down for you and discuss each layer. We'll address misconceptions that can put you at risk, steps you can take to prevent an infestation, and why DIY termite control products often fall short. Stick with us to the end because we'll also show you how Bay Pest takes care of termite pest control in The Bay Area using bait and termiticide. We've jammed a lot of helpful information into this article. Enjoy!
Do I Have To Worry About Termites In The Bay Area?
The Bay Area is home to every type of termite in the United States; it isn't a matter of if termites will feed on your property, but when. While you can't see it, the world is filled with termites. These insects outnumber people by a significant margin. It is estimated that there are 1,000 pounds of termites per every person on earth. Yes. Pounds! Long before you see signs of termite damage, you should consider termite prevention. It can save you a lot of money and misery.
The first step in protecting your property against termite damage is to address misconceptions about termites. Here are a few questions you may have about termites and termite control. Our answers should clear up any misunderstandings.
"What if I live in a deforested area?"
Don't termites die in deforested zones? There are many deforested zones in the Bay Area. We can understand why you may have this question. Removing trees removes the primary food source termites feed on, but these insects can feed on many other things. They can remain in a deforested zone if they can find food sources with cellulose. But, even if they can't survive and all the termites die off, new colonies can move in once structures are constructed. We can't tell you how long it will take for termites to find your property, but it will happen eventually. Termites are always encroaching.
"What if the structures I own have pressure-treated wood?"
Pressure-treated wood offers protection from termites, but this protection doesn't last forever—and certain conditions can compromise it. When moisture damages pressure-treated wood, termites can get inside the wood. You need to watch for moisture problems and guard against this damage.
"What if the ground has already had a termite treatment?"
Termiticide doesn't provide protection forever. At some point, the product will break down. Professionals offer yearly inspections and ongoing re-treatments to maintain termite control barriers. Contact a professional to ensure your termite control is still getting the job done.
"Can I just deal with termites when I see them damaging my property?"
We don't recommend doing this. Termites are typically quiet. You can have a million termites in your property and not hear them. They also hide from view, making them difficult to detect. The worst situation is when termites feed on a rental property. When you don't live in a structure you own, secretive pests like this can lead to costly repairs.
Should you be worried about termites in the Bay Area? Only you can answer this question. These insects can strike silently at any time and begin to eat away at your equity. Along with damage, there are other ways termites can cause trouble. Let's take a look at a few of them.
Common Problems Termites Cause In Commercial Spaces
Termites present many problems beyond threatening your equity. We don't know what business you're in, so some of the examples below won't apply to you. But they provide insights that you may be able to extrapolate to your business.
- Termites can damage hardwood furniture in storage. If you provide storage for your customers, termites can create trouble for you.
- Termites are known to damage plants and plant roots. Sometimes, they get into potted plants.
- Termites can eat through cardboard, clothing, and other items. Once again, items stored for customers are the concern.
- Termites are strongly attracted to piles of untreated wood and may damage store materials. If you sell the wood to customers, termites can pose a problem.
- Termite damage can cause floors to sink, walls to bulge, and doors and windows to stick. Employees or customers that live in damaged structures can feel demoralized.
- Termite swarmers that emerge indoors can drive tenants to move out. It can be hard to find a great tenant, and it is frustrating to replace one.
- Termite damage can weaken exterior structures and lead to a lawsuit. We live in a time when lawsuits are a dime a dozen.
These insects are mostly known for their ability to damage the wood in structures, but it isn't the only way that they can harm your business. When stored belongings get damaged, crops get ruined, employees and customers get bugged, or accidents happen, it's bad for business.
Simple Steps You Can Take To Protect Your Business From Termites
You can take many steps to prevent termite infestations in the Bay Area. The best protection is layered protection. Let's break down the different layers.
Prevent Conducive Conditions: While termites can encroach upon any property, they are attracted to certain conditions. It is best to avoid having termite attractants.
- Remove logs, stumps, and other natural wood sources.
- Replace wood fences with vinyl fences.
- Pick up dead branches and store them in a plastic bin to keep them off the ground.
- Remove stacked wood, campfire wood, and other wood sources.
- Address wood-to-soil contact on structures. Examples would be a wood skirt around the base of a structure, wood posts that hold up a deck, or an exterior wooden staircase that touches the soil.
- Clean and repair your gutter system to prevent moisture problems. Doing so will help prevent wood rot on structures and damp soil that can invite a termite problem.
Catch Termites Early: Termites don't damage properties overnight. It takes years. You can stop active termites by catching them early and having your property treated.
- Look for shelter tubes on surfaces. Subterranean termites create these above-ground tunnel structures. They typically look like thin, wiggly mud lines.
- Look for termite swarmer wings. You can find them on the ground, on surfaces, and in spider webs. Termite swarmers shed their wing after mating, and the appearance of wings is a warning sign of a hidden nest.
- Look for termite damage. Drywood termites can damage hardwood. Subterranean and dampwood termites can damage softwood.
- When drywood termites damage wood, they produce frass. You may find frass pouring out of a gap, crack, or hole.
- Look for termite workers on your property. They are about 1/8 of an inch long and pale-colored. You may find them underneath wood sources, such as the dead branches you pick up.
When you find termites, what can you do about them? We wish we could give a helpful list of termite control options, but DIY control often falls short. We recommend getting professional termite treatments. Let's take a look at why.
Why DIY Termite Solutions Should Be Avoided
There are primarily two ways to stop a termite problem. They are bait and termiticides. But there are ways DIY termite treatments can fall short, even when you use the right products. When your termite control fails, how will you know? Pest control professionals perform inspections to track the efficacy of treatments. Without training, you could miss termite activity during your inspections and allow termites to damage your property extensively. It is best to avoid DIY termite solutions. You may wonder, "How hard can it be to put termiticide around a structure or install bait stations?" Here are a few factors to consider:
- Termiticides can fail when applied to areas that make the product vulnerable to sunlight or moisture.
- Termiticides can fail when applied in insufficient amounts.
- Some termiticide products are not as effective as others.
- Installing a termiticide barrier around a structure requires trenching and drilling. Professionals have the training and skills to guard against property damage during the treatment and ensure that the barrier around your property is complete.
- It is hard to install bait stations incorrectly, but some baits just don't work.
- Baits that are scientifically proven to work well must be monitored and maintained. Even Sentricon termite bait stations can fail when not properly maintained.
- For this reason, the manufacturer certifies technicians for the installation of their products.
When you have a certified termite control professional install your protection, you not only get trusted results, but a warranty backs your service. It's like having termite damage insurance.
Are you in the Bay Area? Reach out to Bay Pest for a termite inspection. We can help you find the right termite control solution for your properties.
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