Termite Inspection Orange County Termite Terry Pest Control

Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, South Orange County, Long Beach Area

How To Keep Subterranean Termites Out Of Your Home

It is common to see swarming subterranean termites in Orange County during the months of February, March and April. You may see swarms of these termites flying around the exterior of your home. Or, you may come home from work one day and see hundreds of them flying around the inside of your house.

Termite swarms are part of their mating ritual. On a sunny day in the spring, particularly after a rain, the young kings and queens will take off on their “honeymoon” flight.

The first thing you’ll notice about these termites is that they look like “flying ants. Their bodies are almost black and about ¼ inch long. There are two easy ways you can tell the difference between termites and ants:

  1. Termites only have two body parts – a head and an abdomen. Ants have three body parts and a distinctive constricted waist between their thorax and abdomen.
  2. Termites have two large pairs of wings that are almost twice the length of their body. Ants have two pairs of wings that are not equal in length and the wings are much shorter than their body length.

Another thing you’ll notice about these kings and queens is they are radically different than the whitish worker termites that almost look like six legged maggots. Worker termites are blind – all they do is eat wood 24/7.

When the conditions are right, the young kings and queens burst out of their nest and begin their short flight.

They are very poor fliers and often follow the prevailing breeze. They break off their wings while still in flight and spiral down to the earth or sometimes they land and then remove their wings. Kings and queens are not attracted to one another until the wings have been clipped off. They have a very high mortality rate and only about 3% survive.

Once a king finds a queen to pair off with, he follows her around until she finds a place to call home. Perhaps they will do this by excavating a small cell in moist ground, under wood. About a week later, they will mate and the male will stay with her for the rest of his life. The queen may survive up to 25 years and lay as many as 60,000 eggs.

Many homeowners are completely unaware they have a subterranean termite problem until they see these swarmers in their home. While most homeowners won’t appreciate finding swarmers, it can actually be a blessing in disguise. Otherwise, the subterranean termites could potentially destroy a structure and no one would ever know until it was too late.

Don’t Let Them Do This To Your Home!

    I’ll never forget the story of a guy named Bob. One day, Bob decided to change the carpet in his home. Once he lifted the carpet, he noticed the carpet tack strip and baseboards were badly damaged. He didn’t think it was anything to worry about and proceeded to replace the damaged parts. Once he started trying to nail on the new ones, he noticed the whole wall started to wobble. He removed some of the drywall and found the wall studs and sill plate were wiped out. By the time we got there later that afternoon, he had hired a contractor. The entire living room wall and ceiling had been opened up and the whole backside of the house had to be supported with temporary post. Almost all of the walls and ceiling in that area were completely destroyed. You can only imagine how expensive a big repair job like this would be. It was also very messy and inconvenient.

He Could Have Prevented This From Happening!

 After talking with Bob, he admitted he had seen subterranean termite swarmers in this same room for several years in a row. Had Bob taken care of this problem when he first saw the swarmers, he may have been able to avoid this big mess and huge expense.

What was our fee for treating the termites you ask? It was only $450.00! If you ever see termite swarmers in your home, don’t ignore it. Call us at (949) 631-7348, we’ll perform a thorough inspection and customize a treatment program for your home.


Subterranean Termite Damage

 10 Things You Can Do To Prevent Subterranean Termites

  1. In new construction, use termite shields on foundations, piers and between wooden steps or porches and the main structure to prevent termite access from the soil. We strongly recommend that soil treatments be performed prior to pouring of the foundation to prevent subterranean termites. Treatment of new wood members with borate solutions can also be very effective in preventing both drywood and subterranean termite infestations.

Eliminate wood contact with the ground (e.g. by replacing wooden posts and piers with concrete ones and by supporting wooden steps

  1. on a concrete base at least 6 inches above the ground).
  2. Regrade soil around the perimeter to ensure drainage away from the building and maintain at least 6 inches clearance between wood siding or shingles and the ground.
  3. Ensure there is at least 18 inches clearance in crawl spaces between all horizontal timbers and the ground.
  4. Reduce humidity in crawl spaces by ensuring adequate cross-ventilation. Covering the ground with a plastic moisture barrier will reduce humidity under buildings by reducing evaporation from the soil.
  5. Remove any wooden debris which might become a source of infestation beneath the building, including scrap wood, form boards, old tree roots, and even sawdust.
  6. Fill any crevices or voids where they might help subterranean termites move from the ground to wood in buildings, including foundation cracks, hollow blocks, gaps between stucco and the wall and crevices around pipework.
  7. Remove infested stumps and trees near buildings.
  8. Eliminate sources of excess moisture such as plumbing and roof leaks. Make sure sprinklers are adjusted and stay away from the house.
  9. Have your home inspected on an annual basis and if a problem is spotted, take care of it quickly.

Have a termite problem and need an inspection? Call our office at (949) 631-7348 to schedule an appointment at your convenience.