Yakima Termite Control

Termites can almost completely destroy a wooden structure before their presence is even detected. In fact, more homes are destroyed in this country on an annual basis by termites than by flooding and fire combines. For this reason, property owners need to be proactive about termites and regularly inspect their homes for any sign of these wood-eating insects. Some simple things to look for are small tunnels made of mud near the foundation of your home and surfaces inside that appear to have suffered from water damage. Subterranean termites build mud tunnels outdoors to access their colonies, and indoor surfaces like ceilings and floors will sag as if they have been damaged by water if termites have infested the area.

However, many signs of termite infestations are not detected by homeowners, so it's important to have structures tested regularly if you want them to remain termite-free. Here at Prosite, our trained professionals can spot the presence of termite colonies before they cause severe damage to your residential or commercial property as well as advise you on effective preventative measures that can keep your property from becoming consumed by these insects.

Because we realize that it's important to home and business owners to leave a light carbon footprint by minimizing their use of harsh chemicals, one of our specialties at Prosite is green termite prevention. Physical controls are the most effective way of preventing termites from setting up shop and dining on your building. For instance, physical shields such as sand and metal barriers can help to keep termites at bay. Borates applied directly to the wood can prevent termite infestations of termite colonies before they can get a firm foothold by making it impossible for them to digest the wood. Because borates occur naturally in the environment as mineral salts, they do not cause ecological damage. Repellent liquid termiticides are another way that these insects can be discouraged from snacking on your home.

Don't wait until it's too late to check for termites -- protect your property by giving us a call today at Prosite for a free quote.

Termite Identification

Western Subterranean Termites

Western Subterranean Termites

The Western subterranean termite is a serious economic timber pest causing millions of dollars of damage throughout the areas where it is located. It is estimated that more than 1 in 5 homes in the high activity areas have been or will be attacked at sometime by these voracious little insects.

Identification

Western subterranean worker termites are small in size, about half the size of match-head or 1/8" long and are soft bodied insects. They have no wings, are sterile, blind and work 24 hours a day for their entire 2 year life span.

The workers are by far the largest caste in the western subterranean termite colony and worker-termites the one that does the damage; they are a creamy translucent colour, soft bodied and carry out all work in the nest, including gathering food (timber and other cellulose); constructing tunnels; repairing and enlarging the colony nest; grooming each other and feeding the soldiers, the king, queen and also caring for the young nymphs until mature.

The soldiers have an orange coloured rectangular armoured head with mandibulate pinchers which they use to crush the ants. On their forehead is a fontanelle (frontal gland pore) used to emit a sticky latex to ensnare the ants.

The swarmers (reproductives) are called "alates" and are commonly seen when they swarm during daylight; they have eyes; are poor fliers but are swept along by the wind; they land, drop their wings, find a mate to become king and queen of a new termite colony.

The western subteranean termite swarmers are about 3/8" long (including wings) with a dark brown body and a small fontanelle (frontal gland pore) on its head. Their wings are brownish grey with two dark solid veins along the forefront of the front wings. The front wing is distinctly larger than hind wing.

When Do They Swarm?

In the southern part of their range, swarming takes place in the spring, but without rain. In the southern areas, swarming usually follows rain. The swarmers are emitted in their thousands when a mature termite nest is large and well established. Western subterranean termites swarm in large numbers over a wide area to find a mate from another colony nest to start up a new colony. A suitable location for nesting should provide moisture and a readily available timber food source close by.

Colony nest development is slow in the first few months, with the egg-laying capacity of the new queen termite peaking after a few years.The swarmers are emitted in their thousands when a mature termite nest is large and well established. Swarmers are usually produced after this period and are an indication a large termite nest is in the vicinity, a sure danger sign and a warning that professional protection is required. The colony nests of Western subterranean termites are usually located in the ground below the frost line, but above the water table. Mud galleries or "shelter tubes" are constructed across hard objects in order to gain access to timber food sources.

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Pacific Dampwood Termites

Pacific Dampwood Termites

The Pacific dampwood termite is the largest and most significant dampwood termite in the United States. They have been found up to 6,000 feet above sea level, but more commonly in the cool and humid coastal areas.

Identification

Soldiers have a large head armed with long black toothed mandibles. The anterior portion is black generally shading to a dark reddish-brown in the posterior position. The abdomen and thorax are a light caramel color, the abdomen varying according to the stomach contents at the time. The largest termites in the United States, soldiers may be very large, reaching 5/8 to 3/4". Swarmers are up to 1" in length and are light to medium brown with dark brown wings.

Identification of Timber Damage

The tunnels vary greatly in size and shape and in sound timber may favour the softer springwood. Faecal pellets are found throughout the tunnels, and are hard small, oval and about 1/25 “ long. The color of the pellets may vary according to the type of wood being consumed.

Biology and Habits

This species will attack wood of all types throughout its range. Timbers in contact with the soil or structures built near or over water are common targets. This species is known to be very tolerant of moist conditions, even being found in pilings subject to tidal flooding. Colony size varies but may contain as many as 4,000 individuals. Colony growth is aided by the production of secondary reproductives. Like other termites this species aid in the spreading of wood decay fungi, the spores of which are carried in the gut and on their bodies. A well established colony will produce winged reproductives which may infest nearby timber.

The life history of the Pacific dampwood can be summarized as follows. Both male and female swarmers excavate a chamber, they enter, and the chamber is sealed. They mate and within about 2 weeks, eggs are laid and the colony is founded. The queen lays about 12 eggs. The second batch is laid the next spring.

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