Archive for the ‘Termite Inspection’ Category

Subterranean Termites – Swarming!

Yes, it is that time of year (at least in Sunny St. Petersburg,Fl.) when the temperature and humidity is just right for the hordes of cellulose eating subterranean termites to swarm.

While it is only natural to see termite swarmers outside, the presence of termite swarmers inside of your home must raise serious concern.

Swarming occurs when reproductive male and female termites exit the colony and attempt to begin building a new colony. Since it takes most termite colonies at least three years to produce termite swarms, this is a likely sign of an ongoing problem.

 It is often difficult to determine the difference between termites and ants. Termites have two pair of wings (front and back) and are of almost equal length. Ants also have two pair of wings but the fore wings are much larger than the hind wings. 

Also, termites have relatively straight antennae while ants have elbowed antennae.

   Ants generally do not swarm at the same time as termites, but it can happen.
   Termites have a thick waist and ants have a narrow waist
   Termites have straight antennae and ants have elbowed antennae
   Termites have four wings that are all equal in length
   Ants have four wings, however, two are larger and two are smaller

This is an example of a healthy subterranean termite swarm. The easiest way to identify the subterranean termites and the drywood termites are the wings.  As you can see here, the subterranean termite has a black body with white milky wings, as a drywood termite usually has iridescent wings.

Fun Termite Facts:

Termites have been around since the time of the dinosaurs!

Termites live long lives. Every termite colony has a queen which may live from 15 to 30 years, laying hundreds of eggs each day. Any number of colonies may infest a home.

Termite colonies eat non-stop, 24 hours a day, seven days a week!

Termites do more damage than all fires, hurricanes and tornadoes combined.

The total weight of all of the termites in the world is more than the weight of all the humans in the world.

In Australia, termites build towers 6 metres high and 30 metres wide. Ten tonnes of mud are collected bit by bit by millions of insects. Soilder termite guard the mud castle, where the queen lays her eggs and is fed by worker termites.

Termite nests may be over 20 feet (7 meters) high and contain more than a million insects in a highly structured society.

These nests are intricately built, with a huge network of chambers and passageways, including ventilation, drainage, and heating systems.

Amazingly, termites manage to build their nests entirely out of soil, using saliva where necessary to hold it together!

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Getting Dirty with Bathtraps

As I was performing a termite inspection for Enrique Behrens of INQUEST Home Inspections, I wondered what to blog about next.

  Enrique Behrens, owner of INQUEST Home Inspections doing what he does best…Inspecting!

Enrique informed me that he had already opened up the bathtraps and they were ready for our termite inspection.

BATH TRAPS, now there’s something to blog about…here we go!

One of the areas that some pest control technicians forget to treat on their customers first pest service is the bathtrap area (if accessable). The bathtrap is where a “squarish” hole was cut so that the plumber can have access to the plumbing pipes that supply water to your tub.

These water pipes usually come up through the (concrete/wood) floor via a hole. If the hole is in concrete, the hole is sometimes pretty large and usually sealed with a hard black “tar-ish” substance or concrete. Sometimes there is not any type of sealant, leaving just bare dirt below your tub. Not good.

If the hole is in wood floor, the water pipes access is usually smaller but not sealed. This is not good either because everything from an ant to a oppossum can be under your tub!

What is so important about the open area for plumbing pipes to be sealed?

Pest can harbourage under the tub, such as cockroaches, ants, springtails, spiders and rodents to name a few. But the big name that you really need to worry about is “TERMITES”.

leaving the ground “unsealed”  in your bathtrap is a recipe for disaster! It is a very important area that that needs attention when treating for either household pest or termites.

Just where is that darn hole in the wall located anyway? Easy, just go to your bathroom and notice which side of the tub that your bath faucet is located, the hole will be located on the opposite side of the wall.  I have seen the bathtrap  in bedrooms, front rooms, kitchens and hallways…they can just about be anywhere.

This bathtrap was located in a bedroom, while the other bathtrap of this house was located a closet on the other side of the house.

Here is a close up of that bathtrap, notice the hole in the concrete for the plumbing  pipes. this one was sealed with the hard black “tarry”  sealant.

Just look at all that hiding space under the tub…whats under your tub?

Some people want a pest inspection but did you know that most people need a pest inspection.

Call us now for a FREE 57 Point Pest Inspection   727-388-6759

  

Rat’s And Their Attic Insulation Highways

Well, it’s getting close to that time of year again when you will start hearing more thumps and bumps in your attic. When the nights start to get cooler, rodents will start looking for better accommodations, namely your attic.

While on a termite inspection for a realtor and good friend, Liz McCool of Re/Max Preferred of St Pete Bch, I chanced upon a network of runways that rats created while running about the attic.

You  should be looking at a solid wall of insulation but constant rat activity has created a cool little habitrail in the insulation.

This was just a little pocket that was hollowed out, possibly to house their newborn “pups”.

The dark cylindrical on the right is proof positive that rats are in the attic. The dark object is not a Cheeto, it’s rat poop! (Of course it depends on what the rat has been eating, in that case, it may taste like a cheeto.)

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, rats are becoming somewhat more noticable with the coming cooler weather. Rats can cause a whole list of bad things for your heath as well as the health of your home.

Hearing things go bump in the attic? Call us at 727-388-6759

It does not cost you anything for us to inspect your attic for

those those creepy little creatures.