Guarding your home against wood-eating, destructive termites is vital to your home's structure and its value. The best way to prevent issues with these pests is to learn the answers to some commonly asked questions like, "What attracts termites? Why do termites invade our homes? How do I keep termites away?"
Termites are social insects and divide their colonies into three castes; workers, soldiers, and reproductives. The two most common types of termites in San Mateo are the subterranean termite and the drywood termite. Both consume cellulose found in wood but are two different species with different behaviors and habits. Below we put together a brief description of each species.
- Subterranean termites
Subterranean termites build their nests underground in damp soil and live together in extremely large colonies. They are the most widespread type of termite residing in the country. Subterranean termites have high moisture needs and prefer to feed on wet or decaying wood.
- Drywood termites
Drywood termites live in small colonies. They have lower moisture needs than subterranean termites and prefer to feed on dry or sound pieces of wood. They are efficient feeders and cause serious damage despite their small colony size. Drywood termites nest within the wood they're using as a food source.
Worker termites make up the bulk of any termite colony. Workers have the task of gathering the food necessary to ensure the colony's success. Termites forage for food, eat nonstop, and are active year-round. When protecting your home from termites, don't gamble that they won't find their way to your home; be proactive and partner with an experienced pest control expert.
How To Identify Termites And Their Damage
Winged reproductive termites are often confused with winged reproductive ants, but ants and termites are two completely different creatures. Knowing the difference between the two and how to identify termites is key to avoiding a large-scale termite infestation.
Luckily, some easy-to-identify physical differences between adult ants and adult termites can help you determine which pest has found its way to your house.
First, their body shape is quite different. The termite has a broader waist that gives them a straight body shape; ants have a pinched, defined waist. Second, termites have straight antennae, while ant antennae are bent. And finally, the third difference is their wings. The ant and termite reproductive members have two pairs of wings. Termites have wings that are all the same length, while the ant's front pair is longer than the back pair.
Another big difference between ants and termites is the ease with which we can spot them in our homes. Ants are common household pests and are active during the day. If ants are in your home, it will be easy to tell. You will see the worker ants away from their nest, foraging for food and trailing over the surfaces in your house.
On the other hand, worker termites spend most of their lives well out of our sight, either in the ground or within a piece of wood.
The only termites we usually have the chance of spotting are the winged reproductive termites. Reproductive termites swarm from the colony to find a mate and start a new colony. Seeing winged termites or piles of their discarded wings is a sure sign that a mature nest is near. You will most likely spot a termite swarm in San Mateo from August through October.
In addition to termite swarms, other common signs of a termite infestation include:
- Finding mud tubes running across the ground or up foundation walls that subterranean termites have built to protect themselves from predators and the sun.
- Windows and doors in your home that no longer open or shut properly
- Blistered paint on walls.
- Walls or floors that feel spongy when you walk across them.
- Hearing scratching signs behind your home's walls.
- Finding frass or droppings from drywood termites on the floor. As the termites eat through wood, they digest and push out their saw-dust droppings from the wood they are infesting.
If you are ever concerned about termite activity or possible signs of termites in your San Mateo home, seek help from a professional. When it comes to termites, fast action is always best!
Why And How Termites Infest And Destroy Homes
Termites infest and destroy our homes because they provide a reliable food source. Termites eat our home's structural wood and wooden products we have stored inside. They are one of the very few organisms that can digest cellulose, converting it into a usable food source because of a specialized enzyme and bacteria they have in their gut.
Subterranean termites are attracted to moisture. As the termites move through the damp soil around the perimeter of your home, it is easy for them to move inside through the small cracks they come across in your foundation.
In addition to cracks in the foundation of your house, subterranean termites easily find their way through pieces of wood on your home, making direct contact with the ground. The moist soil damages the wood and makes it easy for termites to move through it and into your home.
Drywood termites can move into our homes through vents, cracks around windows, and damaged roof soffits, but hitchhiking is their primary mode of transportation. They move silently into our homes through infested flooring, beams, trim, furniture, and other wooden items.
Once termites find their way into our homes, they will begin feeding and causing damage. The damage that termites can inflict doesn't occur overnight, but the result can be devastating, especially when a termite infestation goes unnoticed for many months or years.
Across the country, each year, termites are responsible for causing billions in damages, damage that is preventable and therefore not covered by most homeowners' insurance. Never underestimate the problems termites can cause. Protect your home from these wood-eating pests with the help of the professionals at Pacific Pest Management with effective termite control services in San Mateo.
Factors That Attract Termites To Homes And How To Remove Them
Now that you have learned how termites enter your house, it is crucial to understand the sources of food (wood) and water that will likely attract termites to your property.
- Wood mulch
- Landscaping ties
- Wood fencing, decks, and outdoor furniture
- Stumps, fallen trees, or dead trees
- Leaky pipes and fixtures
- Clogged gutters
- Poor drainage
If termites ever find their way into your yard and then your home, the safest, fastest, and most effective way to remove them is with the help of a termite control professional.
Though it may be tempting, never try to take care of the infestation on your own using DIY products. DIY termite treatments tend to be expensive and don't get to the root of the infestation; more often than not, they are a waste of time and money. Without the proper knowledge and tools, you won't be able to treat all the individual termites, nesting sites, and foraging sites. Leaving termites untreated on your property will only extend the infestation and allow for more and more damage to your home.
For quality termite and pest control in San Mateo, reach out to Pacific Pest Management.
The Benefits Of Year-Round Professional Termite Control
Implement a year-round professional termite control plan to keep the termites that call San Mateo home out of your house. Professional termite control will provide you with many benefits, including peace of mind knowing termites are no longer eating you out of house and home!
Termites are pests that stay active year-round and, worse, are active day and night. To win the war against these pests, you have to remain vigilant.
Two of the most popular termite treatment methods are liquid treatments and bait stations.
In general, liquid treatments work when a liquid barrier is applied to the soil around the perimeter of a home. When termites walk across the barrier when moving in and out of the house, they come into contact with the liquid. They bring the termiticide back to the nest, which kills off the entire colony.
Another termite treatment involves bait stations. Bait stations are placed strategically around your property. The bait stations are filled with bait that termites prefer over wood. They take the found "food" back to the nest and, over time, kill off the entire colony. Bait stations work 24/7 and provide continuous protection against wood-eating termites.
At Pacific Pest Management, we offer various subterranean and drywood termite treatment and prevention options to protect your San Mateo home against termites. Termite services we offer San Mateo property owners include the following:
- Termidor HE liquid injections
- Termidor HE foam
- Sentricon bait stations
- Preventative/Pre-Construction Treatments
- Real Estate inspections
Look no further for termite control near you when you are ready to begin protecting your San Mateo home and bank account from the structural damage termites can cause; we are here to help.
Our team is dedicated to effective termite control in San Mateo and ensuring our customers are satisfied; customer service is our number one priority. Our termite treatments are highly effective, and we always use industry-leading technologies to ensure we will completely resolve your infestation.
To learn more about termites and how we can work together to control these destructive pests and keep them away from your home and family, contact us today!
Angel visited my home to inspect a possible rodent issue. He told me exactly what was going on, and gave me great advice to manage it. Great options and no pressure. He was very professional, responsive, on time, and graciously called me to tell me he was on his way just like he promised.
I will call Pacific Pest again if I have any additional issues. I heartily recommend Angel with Pacific Pest. You can't go wrong!