How To Protect Your Tampa Home From Termite Damage

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If you have purchased a new vehicle, you understand the pride you experience as you drive the car around town. You wash and wax it regularly, keep it vacuumed, and park it in the rear of parking lots away from other autos. You do everything possible to protect your prize investment. However, there comes a day that every new car owner dreads; the day when the first scratch or ding occurs. When it finally happens, you experience a sickening feeling because you feel you failed to protect the vehicle. 

The greater the investment, the more we want to protect it. We work harder to guard a new car against a ding than a used car. Of course, a house is a more expensive asset than a car, and we need to do all we can to guard our homes against the ravages of termites. These tiny insects can harm your home and cost much more than repairing a scratch on a new car. 

If you suspect the termites are in your house, you need the Tampa pest control termite specialists from Haskell Termite & Pest Control. From our humble beginnings in 1992 to becoming the largest termite fumigation company on the west coast of Florida, we know how to stop termites from destroying homes. Many of our trained service technicians have been with us for over 20 years, and there are 100 years of combined experience between all of our inspectors. When you partner with us to eradicate termites from your Tampa home, you can rest assured you are getting help from long-time pest control experts.

It is common knowledge in the military that you must know your enemy to defeat them. Protecting your house from termites means understanding how they live, the warning signs of an infestation, and how to keep from being the victim of another infestation. We give you the information you need to fight termites in this article, so please keep reading.

About The Termite Caste System

Termites are social insects that live in colonies consisting of a few thousand to millions of members. We all know that when you get a large group of people together in a company, you need structure to avoid chaos and to accomplish tasks. Drywood termites, subterranean termites, and Formosan termites are the three types of termites in the Tampa area, and of the three, subterranean and Formosan termites have an advanced caste system.

At the top of the hierarchy is the queen and king termites. After initially beginning the nest, the queen's only task is to produce offspring, and the king's task is to keep her impregnated. In the case of subterranean and Formosan termites, when the pair begins a nest, the first group hatching from the queen's eggs are sterile, blind termites known as workers. 

Workers are the largest group in the hierarchy and are the ones you are most likely to see outside the nest. The worker's job is to expand the nest by creating tunnels and chambers, nurture the offspring, and provide food for the colony. In the case of subterranean termites, the workers obtain food by shaving off wood pieces from a nearby timber source and digesting it.

Upon returning to the nest, they regurgitate the food and feed it to the colony members.

After enough workers are born and mature to provide for the king, queen, and offspring, the queen produces another layer of caste members; the soldiers. Soldier termites have a large head and two powerful mandibles, which they use to kill predators that invade the burgeoning colony. The only job of these sterile, blind guardians is to protect the nest entrances against ants and enemies.

Since they do not have the same predatory threat as subterranean and Formosan termites, drywood termites do not have a caste of workers and soldiers; the immature termites provide for the king and queen. 

In all the termite species, after a few years, when the nest has several thousand workers and a few hundred soldiers, the queen produces a final caste layer: the reproductives. Also known as swarmers or alates, these male and female termites have a functioning reproductive system and four equally-sized white wings. In the spring or late fall, these termites fly from the nest, glide on air currents, and search for new colony locations. Once they detect the odor of fungus from rotting timber, they land, mate, discard their wings, and burrow into the soil or a wood crevice and begin a new colony.

Haskell Termite & Pest Control has proven methods and tools that stop and reverses colony growth. We know how to end a subterranean, Formosan, or drywood termite infestation in your Tampa home.

Know The Warning Signs Of Termite Damage

An organization that is well-organized and utilizes the abilities of its members is an entity that accomplishes great things. Because termites operate in a system, they cause damage to the Tampa homes they infest. Since termites work in areas we seldom see, how do we know they are eating away the timber in the house? 

To know if termites are in your home, look for the following signs of termites in your home:

  • Mud tubes
  • Discarded wings
  • Wood damage
  • Fecal droppings
  • Wallpaper blisters
  • Sagging floors in the corners
  • Warping window or door frames
  • Collapsing structures

Mud tubes will be attached to the exterior walls when subterranean or Formosan termites invade your house. These termites live in the soil, and the workers move from the underground nests to nearby damp wood to forage for food. Workers construct mud tubes to protect them from the dehydrating effects of the sun. 

All termite species on our list produce swarmers. When flying termites find new nesting locations, they discard their wings. Look for these wings in window sills, the attic, spider webs, and damp areas of the house. You probably have termites if the wood sounds hollow or crumbles when you tap on it. Dark patches in wood are from increased moisture in the areas where termites are present.

As termites eat wood, they produce feces which they push to the exterior of the wood. You probably have termites when you see saw-dust-like material outside pinholes in the wood. Termites eating inside walls leave a thin layer between them and the outside world. Due to the moisture on their bodies, this paper-thick layer will blister and cause the wallpaper or drywall paper to bubble. 

The last three are advanced evidence of termite damage. When you see floors and ceilings sagging or the doors and windows no longer close, damage to structural supports is severe. Unless Haskell Termite & Pest Control ends the termite infestation and you get the structures repaired, you will experience collapsed structures. Protect yourself against expensive repairs by partnering with Haskell Termite & Pest Control.

Prevention Is Vital To Protecting Your Home From Termites

According to the insurance industry, termites cause over $5 billion dollars in damage annually in the United States. Of the three termite species on our list, Formosan termites are the most destructive, and Florida is a Formosan termite hot spot. Formosan termite colonies have 350,000 to three million members, and traditional subterranean termites are not too far behind with 60,000 to two million members per nest. A Formosan termite colony can consume one ounce of wood daily or one foot of a 2x4 every 25 days. 

These are termite prevention tips you can implement to stop termites from destroying your house: 

  • Remove rotting tree stumps and wood materials from the yard
  • Place downspout extensions to remove rainwater away from the foundation
  • Install dehumidifiers in the attic, crawl space, and basement.
  • Construct a barrier of at least 18 inches between the soil and timber. 
  • Move firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.
  • Seal foundational cracks and crevices.
  • Repair leaking water fixtures.

When a highly-trained service technician from Haskell Termite & Pest Control inspects your Tampa home, we can offer additional prevention tips based on your situation.

Professional Termite Control Offers Lasting Protection For Your Home

Haskell Termite & Pest Control provides termite control services in Tampa. When a certified service technician arrives at your Tampa home, he will investigate for termite signs, entry points, and attractants. Because different termite species require unique treatment, we will identify the termite type infesting your house. 

Unlike subterranean and Formosan termites that live in the soil, drywood termites live exclusively in wood; therefore, the best way to eradicate them is through fumigation of the entire house. As the largest fumigation company on the west coast of Florida, we have the equipment to cover your home to ensure no drywood termite escapes the treatment. We use Vikane ® gas fumigant because it has a 55-year track record of drywood termite elimination in over two million homes and businesses. 

We use Termidor liquid treatments and always active bait stations to eradicate subterranean and Formosan termites because they live in the dirt. When the worker termites travel through the soil, they contact the treatment and carry it back to the colony. This product prevents termites from maturing and kills the colony members, including the king and queen. Contact Haskell Termite & Pest Control to learn about the termite treatment options for your home and request service.