Homeowners rarely realize termites are causing damage to their home until the pests have permanently damaged their structure. Their activities are cryptobiotic, hidden from view, so it can be a surprise to home owners when they are informed that their house is infested. Termites consume the inner part of the wood but still leave the outside surface intact leaving people oblivious to the major damage that is happening to their home. With these three tips to help you spot termite damage you can catch it early enough to get rid of the problem and keep your home in the shape that it deserves.
- Found Wings? – Leftover termite wings can be found near closed windows and doors. When termites swarm out of their nest to try and start a new colony, they fly one at a time and only for a short distance. When they land the termite will twist their wings off because they will never need them again. The way to tell if they are in fact termite wings is by making sure that it is a duel pair and each wing is the same size as the other. If the wings differ in length you are most likely looking at a carpenter ant infestation rather than termites.
- Mud Tubes – Pen sized mud tubes can be found where the ground meets your house or in places like a tree or shed. Termites require a certain temperature and humidity level to survive. Their tunnels help block out cool and dry air turning a home into an environment where they can thrive. You can test the mud tube for termites by leaving the ends of a mud tube intact and removing a small section in the center. If termites crawl out or if the section is rebuilt within a few days, termites are still active in your home. However they may also choose to abandon the disturbed mud tube and build a new one in fear of the tunnel being disturbed again.
- Wood Damage – Wood damage from termites is most often below ground level and behind surfaces like walls, floors and ceilings. Termites chew through wood in search of cellulose, leaving behind long grooves. Over time these grooves weaken the wood creating structural damage. Looking below the surface damage is hard to do and it is recommended that it be done by and expert. A specialist has tools to test hollowed-out areas for signs of termite damage, often without having to cut through walls or ceilings.Unfortunately, even if you cannot see signs of term
Unfortunately, even if you cannot see signs of termites, that doesn’t mean that they are not there. Protect your home well into the future by calling Western Exterminating today (817) 834-3121 to schedule your termite inspection and prevention.
A common mistake that homeowners experience is mistaking a carpenter ant for a termite. While having carpenter ants is a problem, termites are a much bigger problem. To distinguish between the two you can look at a few different components, the physical aspect of the pest and the damage that the insect is enforcing on your home.
To begin you have to know the similarities of the termites and carpenter ants. Both do in fact have wings. Most home owners will mistake carpenter ants for termites because they assume that carpenter ants do not have wings. By looking at three different characteristics of these pests we can distinguish them from one another:
- The Waist – While ants have a thin “waist” between the base and the abdomen, the termite has a broad waist making it harder to distinguish the abdomen from the base of the insect.
- The Antennae – The carpenter ant has an elbow shaped antennae while a termite has a straight antenna.
- The Wings – All ants have winged ants in their colony once they are established. Ants belong to the same insect group as hornets, wasps and bees. All of these insects share the same types of wings which has two pairs of membranous wings with the front ones being larger than the hind ones. This is a distinction in comparison to a termite who also has duel wings but their wings are equal in length.
While the physical aspect might help a home owner have an idea of what type of infestation they are having the similarities might be too much for one to come to a conclusion. To get a clearer idea of how severe their problem is we have to pair the physical appearances with the structural damage.
Carpenter Ant Infestation:
– Smooth and clean hollows
– “Swarmer’s” can appear in great numbers
– Presence of ants daily
– Presence of ants indoors during winter months
– Hollow sounding wood
– Cracked wood (not as clean and smooth as aunts)
– Mud tubes on exterior walls
– Attracted to moisture-rich habitats
– Sheet Rock Flaking
– Small pin holes in ceiling or on walls around showers or other plumbing areas, with or without dirt at the opening
Carpenter ants are large ants that tend to invade homes in Texas starting in late winter and early spring. The common myth about Carpenter Ants is that they invade homes by eating wood the same way termites do. This is proven to not be true. Although Carpenter Ants are an annoying nuisance that can invade your home, they do not eat wood. Instead they usually nest somewhere in homes where there is already structural damage in cool damp areas like a bathroom, kitchen or around windows and doors. Carpenter ants love to move into areas that already have structural damage from termites, rotting wood and/or they will excavate tunnels in insulation. These ants can be found in certain parts of a house such as hollow core doors, around and under windows, roof eaves, decks and porches. These areas are more likely to be infested because they are most vulnerable to moisture.
Here are a few interesting facts:
- Carpenter ants do not eat wood, but they will feed on a variety of foods people eat—particularly sweets and meat. They will also feed on other insects and insect honey dew.
- The queen lays 9 to 16 eggs her first year and may live up to 25 years.
- Development time from egg to adult is at least 60 days.
- Carpenter ants will forage for food up to 300 feet away from the colony.
- Have multiple colony locations (satellite colonies).
- Swarmer’s are not produced until the colony is 2 years old and usually 3 to 4 years old.
Would you know the difference between an ant and a termite if you saw one? Click here to compare the visible differences.
Homeowners usually notice Carpenter ants when the worker ants are foraging for food or if there are visible dead ants or debris; many people describe this debris as looking like coffee grounds. Also they may see a swarm of ants inside or around their home. Carpenter ants will not structurally hurt your home but are a major nuisance to homeowners. If you see any sign of an ant infestation contact Western Exterminating Company for pest control service as soon as possible as it is proven that this issue cannot be ridden of easily. For a residential or commercial estimate call us at 817-834-3121 to set up an appointment.
We’ve all been there before. Green detergents that don’t actually get your clothes clean. Water-saving toilets that have to be flushed twice. Does the promise of green always come at the cost of compromise?
Not always. A growing number of green products actually equal or outperform less earth-friendly options. That’s the case with the Sentricon® System, which is welcome relief to homeowners in every state (but Alaska) where hungry termites see your home as their next meal. Yes, the Sentricon System is a green product that works. Really works. The proof is the 70 published articles and the 2 million structures it’s been selected to protect, including the White House and the Statue of Liberty.
The Sentricon System is the only pest control product ever to earn the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, an award presented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Unlike alternate methods of termite control that require digging a trench around the home and pumping hundreds of gallons of liquid chemical termiticide into the soil, Sentricon uses only a small amount of active ingredient in the bait stations. In fact, the bait used in Sentricon also was the first product registered by the EPA as a Reduced Risk Pesticide.
Developed through extensive research to take advantage of termite behavior, Sentricon targets and eliminates the whole termite colony. In-ground Sentricon stations are placed in a protective ring around your home. Termites eat the bait placed in the stations and share it with the rest of the colony, eventually eliminating the entire colony, including the termite queen, who can produce millions of eggs during her lifetime.
Termites are a serious problem, costing homeowners an estimated $5 billion per year.1 So it’s nice to know that with technologies like the Sentricon System, you don’t have to compromise between earth-friendly and effective.
1National Pest Management Association
®Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow
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Did you know that the biggest pest problem a Texas homeowner will face is ants? Not termites, not spiders or roaches, but ants. There are a mind boggling amount of types of ants- about 22,000 species inhabit the Earth. In Texas, there are about 250 ant species which are native to our state, but thankfully, in the Fort Worth-Dallas metroplex, we mostly deal with a much smaller number of the problematic pests. Those would be; Carpenter Ants, Pharaoh Ants, Acrobat Ants, Odorous House Ants, Fire Ants, Argentine Ants, and Crazy Ants. Yes.. Crazy Ants.
Ants are nature’s most industrious workers, and play a critical role in the soil aeration needed for healthy crop growth, and in the decomposition and recycling of dead organic material. However; their work ethic, small size, and outlandish numbers make ants a challenging opponent when they invade North Texas homes, yards, and businesses.
The public sometimes will get confused when trying to identify an ant from a termite. Texas ants range in size from the thumbnail sized Carpenter which can be from 1/4 to 3/4 inch, and is the largest ant in North America. Others are so tiny that it’s difficult to discern one species from another with the naked eye. Several of the species are similar in color, which leads to even more confusion; but they all cause damage. Some ants cause physical damage to homes, gardens, home food supplies, and yards. Others such as the Fire Ant, pose a serious medical threat to people and pets. As you can see, it is very important to be able to identify the type of pest you are dealing with correctly, so that they can be treated effectively.
We recommend that a homeowner not try to eliminate an ant infestation on their own. Most likely, they will only be treating a surface problem, and won’t be able to locate the hidden source colony, which can harbor thousands and thousands of pests. Successful elimination of Texas ant infestations requires the knowledge and expertise of a professional. Please call Western Exterminating at our Fort Worth, TX office, at 817.834.3121, and let us put our 55 years of experience to work for you.
Your home is your castle and your treasure, and should be treated as such. Did you know that Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination Baiting System protects some of our National treasures such as the Statue of Liberty, and the White House? The Termite Queen lives to breed. Her colony lives to feed, and that is their fatal error in life. We say outsmart the queen and her subjects, and kill them all. They love to eat your food, walls, baseboards, and floors, and destroy your home. Termites never stop feeding and are always looking for new sources of food. Those sources can be anything from a fallen tree to a woodpile. We say give them the proven science of Sentricon and let them eat.
Termites know what they like. The love a moist, subterranean environment that is temperature stable. The soil just below your lawn is ideal, and they like to get into crevices and cracks in your foundations and walls. This is where they feast. Every year, more than 5 million homes in America are damaged by termites and do an estimated $5 billion dollars in damage. Unfortunately, damage from termites is rarely covered by homeowners insurance policies. Therefore, as a responsible homeowner, it is your duty to defend what is yours. Kill the queen and destroy her colony.
Western Exterminating has had the priviledge of protecting some Fort Worth, TX. historical treasures such as Thistle Hill and the McPharland House. We can install the Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination System to help you protect your treasured home against the most structurally damaging pests in our area. Watch our video at www.Westernext.com, to learn about the #1 selling product in termite protection- then call our experts at our Fort Worth office at 817.834.3121 for help.
Western Exterminating Company of Fort Worth, TX. is proud to be one of the few Certified Sentricon Specialists authorized to use the Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination Baiting System. Sentricon’s system is the #1 termite product in America, and we are among the priviledged 5% of pest control businesses in America to have earned this designation.
Dow AgroSciences is the developer of the Sentricon System and has used the newest technology and smart science in the creation of the product. There is constant research, development, and testing to make sure the best termite system is always available in the marketplace. Sentricon’s science is superior and it is the only termite product to be awarded the Presidential Green Chemistry Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Always Active system utilizes the newest technology which includes bait in each station 365 days a year. As an authorized dealer, we are held to strict standards regarding the application and monitoring of the product, and we are responsible to check the stations every six months to make sure that those standards are met. Expert results are ensured when using a Certified Sentricon Specialist; and with Sentricon’s endorsement and our 55 years of expertise, you can feel confident in choosing Western Exterminating Company. Please call our Fort Worth, TX office at 817.834.3121 to schedule a consultation.