termites near washington home

Spring and early summer are when subterranean termites spread. On warm, humid days, when there is little or no breeze, swarmers take to the air in search of new locations to create new nests. If they choose your Central Washington home, you aren't likely to know it. Today, we're going to take a look at the incredibly sneaky nature of termites and what is required to keep sneaky termites from eating away at your equity.

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termites up close in ellensburg

Subterranean Termite Worker Behavior

The reason subterranean termites are so destructive is that they go undetected for years. Here are just a few character traits that help them do this:

  • As their name describes, subterranean termites live under the ground. When workers come into your yard to feed on your property, you won't know it. They can tunnel as far as the length of a football field to find a meal. If you're expecting to see termite swarmers (winged termites) before an infestation takes root in your home, you're likely to be disappointed.
  • Termite workers have a strong aversion to light and they warn each other by laying down chemical pheromones. So don't expect to see workers crawling around on your home or on your inside walls, and don't expect to see holes created by these insects. The damage they do is usually hidden within wood timbers.
  • Sometimes worker termites create shelter tubes on foundation walls and other surfaces to get from moist soil to the wood of a home. These shelter tubes protect workers from the drying effects of the air and keep them in the darkness they prefer. But don't expect to see shelter tubes in obvious locations that are easy to see. These tubes are usually created in dark spaces under decks, porches, stairs, and in crawl spaces.   
  • While it is certainly possible to see winged swarmers crawling around on your home in spring, even this obvious sign is easy to miss because of the way swarmers behave. When male and female alates take to the air to mate, they gather together in a swarm that is sometimes noticeable. But this swarm doesn't last for more than 30 minutes. That means a swarm could come onto your property and dissipate in the time it takes you to watch one television program.

Effective Subterranean Termite Control

How do you stop an insect that is prone to hide? While there are many character traits that help subterranean termites avoid detection, there is one characteristic that can be used to eliminate them.
You wouldn't think that an insect that lives under the ground would be terribly concerned about keeping itself well groomed, but subterranean termites are actually quite obsessed about their grooming. As workers move through tunnels and come into contact with other workers, they groom each other. There are many reasons for this beyond simple hygiene. One important reason is they check each other for dangerous chemical compounds. If a threat is found, workers sound the alarm.
Liquid termiticide, developed by Termidor, uses this foraging behavior against termite colonies. When the product is picked up, workers share it with each other as they groom. Slowly, it works its way back to the colony and the colony is eliminated. All of this happens under the ground and in the secret places where termites hide. There is no need to detect those sneaky termites.
At this point, you might be thinking, "Won't the termites detect the chemical and sound the alarm?" Well, the clever folks at BASF Corporation, who developed Termidor, considered this and engineered Termidor to be completely undetectable to termites. When they pass through the barrier around your home, they won't know it. And when they share it with other termites, no alarm will be raised. Termidor works its way from one termite to the next all the way to the heart of the colony.

Termite Protection You Can Trust

When you have Termidor around your home, you don't only have a barrier that eliminates termites that pass through it, you have a product that goes on the offense to eliminate the colonies that sent those termites. No termite detection is needed. But even with a product as powerful as Termidor, termites can find a way. It is rare, but it can happen. That is why we offer a seven-year termite warranty that remains active only when an annual termite inspection is conducted. When it comes to protecting your property, we don't take any chances.
If you'd like to learn more or to schedule a termite inspection, reach out to us. We are standing by to assist you with this vital protection.


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