Termite Inspection Orange County Termite Terry Pest Control

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

Subterranean Termites Attack Orange County!

    Orange County home owners are coming home after a hard day at work, only to find thousands of flying termites attacking their home. Many of these homeowners are so frightened by the experience of seeing termites flying around on the inside of their house that they are afraid to even go inside!

    February, March and April are when subterranean termites swarm. This is 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 are about ¼ inch long. There are two easy ways to tell the difference between a termite and an ant:

  1. A termite has only two body parts – a head and an abdomen. An ant has three body parts and a distinctive constricted waist between its thorax and abdomen.
  2. A termite has two large pairs of wings that are almost twice the length of its body. An ant has two pairs of wings that are not equal in length and the wings are much shorter than the length of its body.

    These swarming termites are young kings and queens. Look close and you’ll notice they are radically different than the “whitish” worker termites which almost look like “six legged maggots”. Worker termites are blind and all they do is eat wood 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

    When the conditions are right, the young kings and queens burst out of their nest and begin their short flight. They often follow the prevailing breeze because they are poor fliers. Some break off their wings while still in flight and spiral down to the earth. Others may land and then remove their wings. These kings and queens are not attracted to one another until their wings have been clipped off. They have a very high mortality rate of 97% and only about 3% survive.

    Once a king finds a queen to mate 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 don’t know they have a subterranean termite problem until they see these swarmers in their home. Most homeowners won’t appreciate finding these swarmers in their house but it can actually be a very good thing. Otherwise, they may never know they have a problem until the subterranean termites have done significant damage to the structure 

A Homeowner’s Nightmare!

    “Termite”Terry will never forget one home we treated in our area. The homeowner decided it was time to install new carpet in his house. When he pulled out the old carpet, he noticed the carpet tack strip and baseboards were badly damaged. He didn’t think it was a big deal and proceeded to replace them. But, once he started trying to nail on the new baseboards, he noticed that whole wall started moving. He removed a portion of the drywall and found that the wall studs and sill plate were completely destroyed by the termites.

    He called us to see if we could solve his termite problem. By the time we got there later that day, his contractor had the entire living room wall and ceiling opened up. The whole backside of the house had to be supported with temporary post because it was ready to collapse! Almost all of the wooden wall and ceiling members were wiped out.

    Can you guess how expensive this kind of a repair job would be? Can you imagine how inconvenient and messy this was for the owner?

“You Can Pay Me Now,  Or
You Can Pay A Lot More Later”

    “Termite” Terry talked to this owner and he admitted he had seen subterranean termite swarmers in this very room, several years in a row. Had he taken care of this problem when he first saw the swarmers, he may have been able to avoid this big mess and huge expense. That’s right! This homeowner may have been able to solve his problem for less than $500! But now, he was going to have to pay many times that amount for repairs.

    If you ever see termite swarmers in your home, don’t ignore it. Call us at (949) 631-7348 or use our online order form to perform a thorough inspection and we’ll customize a treatment program for your home.

10 Ways You Can Help To Prevent Subterranean Termites

  1. In new construction, use termite shields on foundations, piers and between wooden steps or porches and the main structure. Soil treatments should 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 bothdrywood and subterranean termite infestations.
  2. Eliminate wood contact with the ground (e.g. by replacing wooden posts and piers with concrete ones and by supporting wooden steps on a concrete base at least 6 inches above the ground).
  3. Regrade soil around the perimeter to ensure drainage away from the building and to maintain at least 6 inches clearance between wood siding or shingles and the ground.
  4. Ensure there is at least 18 inches clearance in crawl spaces between all horizontal timbers and the ground.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Fill any crevices or voids where they might help subterranean termites move from the ground to the wood in buildings, including foundation cracks, hollow blocks, gaps between stucco and the wall and crevices around pipework.
  8. Remove infested stumps and trees near buildings.
  9. Eliminate sources of excess moisture such as plumbing and roof leaks. Make sure sprinklers are adjusted so they don’t spray on the house.
  10. 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 or use our online order form to schedule an appointment at your convenience.