Termite Control In Kittitas County: A Complete Guide

How bad are termites in Kittitas County? It depends on the property. All we can say is that it is far better to do something about termites now than to pay money for a subterranean termite treatment in Kittitas County later. Termite treatments are costly, particularly if repairs are needed. We hope to help you avoid dealing with termite damage. Join us today as we look at how sneaky termites are and what is needed to detect sneaky termites. We'll also look at termite identification and what works to remove conditions that attract termites. When you're done, you'll have the tools you need to deter and detect termites. If you'd like to speak to someone about professional termite pest control in Kittitas County, we can help with that as well. Navigate to our contact page and reach out to us. We're here to help you find answers to all your pest concerns.

A Termite Infestation Can Go Unnoticed For A Long Time

The first and arguably most important fact you should know about termites is that workers hide from view. The workers not only hide, but all of the activity they do in your yard is also hidden from view. Therefore, a termite infestation in Kittitas County can go unnoticed for a long time, which is why they can do so much damage. You can guard your property and avoid termite damage by learning how to detect active termites.

Termite Detection: You will have to do some work to find termite workers, termite damage, and the shelter tubes termites create. You need to check underneath structures, inside your crawlspace if you have one, and between landscaping and exterior walls. Here are some examples:

  • You may find termite workers underneath sources of wood in your yard. Some sources, such as dead branches, are temporary. Some are permanent. We recommend removing permanent sources to reduce termite food in your yard. But check under temporary sources to detect worker termites. These insects look like fat, pale-colored ants. They are about ⅛ of an inch long and will quickly hide from view, so watch intently for them when you uncover potential hiding places.
  • You may find shelter tubes in sheltered locations. These tubes will likely resemble thin, wiggly mud lines attached to surfaces. The mud lines may split like a river as they go from one mud line near the soil to multiple mud lines at the source of aboveground wood.
  • You may notice damage to wood timbers that enter the soil. Fence posts, deck posts, or sole plates are good places to check. Termite damage has a trench appearance. You'll also detect soil grit when you touch the trenches. Termite workers bring soil up into their tunnels. 
  • You may detect hollow wood. When you tap on a wood timber and hear a hollow sound, there is insect damage on the inside. You won't know for sure that you have termites, but there is a good chance that you do.
  • You may find termite swarmers crawling around on your property if you have a termite nest. Swarmers are black or dark orange with long wings. They are about ⅜ of an inch in length. Swarms are rare and typically happen in spring. They last less than an hour and are easy to miss. If you miss the swarm, you may find the wings. Swarmers shed their wings during the mating process.

These are the common warning signs of termite activity. Keep watch for them or take the time to perform routine inspections so that you may catch termite activity early. Early detection can prevent significant damage.

Why Termites Infest And Destroy Wooden Structures

The primary reason why termites infest and destroy wooden structures is that they eat wood—more specifically, they eat cellulose inside wood. Cellulose is sweet to a termite, and they have organisms in their gut that can easily break down this sweet food source. While humans don't eat wood, a human can eat cellulose from the bark of trees. But don't eat too much or you'll likely get quite a belly ache. The human body does not possess the enzymes required to break cellulose down, so it remains solid, much like fiber passing through the system. Termites don't have this issue. They easily break down cellulose continually as they feed on wood. But the fact that termites eat wood isn't the only reason they infest your home and destroy the wood inside. They only do what is natural. If you don't prevent them from doing what is natural, they will eventually harm your property.

How Termite Damage Happens: Termites encroach upon Kittitas County properties. Here is a step-by-step example of how they may encroach upon yours.

  • Termites enter your yard as workers or swarmers. Workers tunnel under the ground. Swarmers fly.
  • Workers that find food sources in your yard will alert the colony, and reproductives may establish a satellite colony in your yard, below ground, where you can't see it.
  • Swarmers that come into your yard and settle on the ground may establish a viable nest in your yard. They mate, shed their wings, and tunnel underground.
  • Whether workers enter your yard or are produced in your yard, their numbers will grow in proportion to available food resources.
  • The presence of termite workers in your yard will apply pressure to your home. Workers will explore your exterior, enter through cracks in your foundation, via wood-to-soil contact, or create above-ground mud tunnels to go from soil to wood.
  • When workers find a food source in your home, they'll take tiny nibbles from the wood. You won't hear these nibbles because termites are quiet.
  • Colonies can have thousands and even hundreds of thousands of workers. That is a lot of mouths to feed! You should also know that more than one colony can feed on your home at the same time.
  • A colony will damage your home for years before swarmers are created. When you see swarmers in your yard, or worse, you see a termite swarm in your house, it is a warning sign that your home has years of damage.

Termites do what termites do. They are always looking for food. They are always replicating their colonies. If they find a food source inside your home, they can't help but eat it.

How To Identify And Remove Factors That Attract Termites

We touched on this already, but it is helpful to drill in and provide specific examples. It is easy to say, "You shouldn't have permanent termite food sources in your yard." But what does that look like in practical application? Let's break down a few simple-to-understand strategies for preventing termite activity.

  • Store dead branches in a bin. What often happens is that residents stack branches in a pile on the ground, providing direct access for termites. When you put your branches in a bin, worker termites can't feed on them directly. It also prevents the branches from decaying quickly.
  • Store wood on a platform or mat. As with dead branches, sources of wood can provide a food source for termites. They'll eat firewood, scrap wood, construction materials, etc. Get these sources off the ground to deter termite workers from finding food.
  • Address wood-to-soil contact on structures. An older fence is a treat for termites. Consider replacing wood fencing with vinyl. Deck posts that go into the ground are delectable to termite workers. Consider putting those posts on concrete supports. Worker termites will have to create mud tubes to get to the wood. Wooden crawlspace skirting that touches the ground is a direct route for termites. Trim it away from the ground to deter moisture damage and termite access.
  • Pick up stacked cardboard and junk piles. There are several items found in junk piles that a termite will eat, such as old pizza boxes, books, documents, clothing, and furniture. Get these off the ground to deter termites.
  • Address moisture. A moisture problem can cause wood rot. That is not good if you're hoping to keep termites away. But moisture attracts termites in another way. Worker termites are attracted to moist soil. It is essential to clear your gutters and keep them in good repair. Repair plumbing issues. Avoid overwatering your landscaping. Address every condition that leads to unnecessary soil moisture.

These all-natural deterrents can make a big impact on termites. Will they completely protect you from having a termite problem? No. But addressing conducive conditions and performing routine inspections provides critical protection if you don't have termite control installed.

The Key To Total Termite Control For Kittitas County Properties

Can you take care of termite control on your own? Yes. Unfortunately, there are many ways DIY termite control fails. The worst part about failed termite control is that you may not realize it failed, which allows termites to continue to damage your property. Licensed professionals apply termite control according to strict manufacturer's guidelines, and they support your termite service with professional-grade termite detection. If you're in Kittitas County, contact Prosite to learn the available options. When you pay for professional termite control, you don't have to pay for unexpected termite damage, particularly in your retirement years when you're looking to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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