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Pre-Season Termite Checklist | Clark Pest Control

 

Do You Have Termites?

Termites are one of the most silent pests homeowners encounter since they do not announce their arrival with much fanfare or leave very few visible signs of their presence. For example, subterranean termites invade structures from the soil and it can be years before you know they are there happily eating away your deck or the woodwork in your family room.

termitesBut don’t take a termite’s silence for inactivity: Termites cause more than $5 billion worth of damage to structures in the United States annually and are a real headache for homeowners. 

Researchers estimate there are more than 2,500 different species of termites worldwide and 17 different species in California alone. The three most common termites that Golden State homeowners have to be concerned with include:

  • Subterranean Termites – Can be found in many areas of the state where moist soil is present; it is the most destructive termite species.
     
  • Drywood Termites – Found mainly in Southern California but also in the Central Valley.
     
  • Dampwood Termites – Found in the central and northern coastal regions.

The first step to keeping termites in check is to have an annual inspection of your home by a trained pest management professional. The Clark Man and his team of licensed, experienced termite inspectors will examine your home inside and out. 

They will search around windows and plumbing; check out the attic, the basement and the crawl space. They will look anywhere termite colonies might be establishing a threat around your home.

If our inspector discovers a termite problem they will recommend the most effective treatment method and customize the plan to meet your home’s specific needs. We will also advise you on appropriate repairs for any damaged areas.

As a final step our inspector may recommend an ongoing termite monitoring plan. Clark’s termite home protection services will guarantee that if termites do try to re-establish a colony around your home, we’ll be there to treat the problem before they can do any further damage

Termite Warning Signs

  • Wood damage can be an identifying sign of a termite infestation. If you find or break open a piece of wood and it is honeycombed or carved out, the damage was likely caused by termites. You can probe suspect wood with a knife or flat-blade screwdriver to see if it's been hollowed. Severely damaged wood may sound hollow when tapped.
     
  • Unexplained piles of what appears to be coarse grains of sand (which can appear almost anywhere throughout the structure) may actually be termite fecal pellets sifting out of wood members.
     
  • Mud tubes on walls, along baseboards or in cracks and crevices indicate termites.
     
  • Wings on windowsills or flying termites in your home certainly are cause for alarm.

Remember, if you think your home may have termites, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an e-mail at clarkcares@clarkpest.com

Until next time, I’m the Clark Man and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

Termite Facts - a visual representation

 
Termites are a growing problem, do not become a termite statistic!

termite facts 2013Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

Clark Pest Control's - A Case of Termites

 

When Mrs. House is not feeling well Clark Man comes to the rescue! "You have a case of termites" says Clark and before you know it Mrs. House will be feeling better. Our newest commercial is a winner, we hope you think so too!

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

Termite FAQs

 

Termite FAQs | Clark Blog | Jackson Griffith

 

Termite FAQs

There are two kinds of houses, an old saying goes: Those with termites, and those that someday will get termites. This pest strikes fear into homeowners for good reason: each year, termites cause billions of dollars worth of damage, and most of that damage is hidden from sight – often until it’s quite extensive, and it requires structural repairs.

 

  • What are termites? Termites are wood-destroying insects of the order Isoptera. They have been around for at least 100 million years, and it’s believed they evolved from wood-eating cockroaches. Termites are eusocial insects, which means that – like ants and bees – they live in colonies organized into castes, with a queen (and king), soldiers and either workers (subterranean termites) or nymphs (immature dampwood and drywood termites).

  • What purpose do termites serve in nature? Termites break wood and other cellulose-containing plant material down into components small enough to be reabsorbed by the soil. Ground-dwelling termites also help aerate soil by tunneling through it. Without termites, we might be up to our necks in dead grass and trees.

  • That sounds pretty good. Why, then, are termites a problem? The trouble starts when termites can’t tell the difference between a dead tree and the lumber from a dead tree used to build your house. Both contain cellulose – or as termites might put it, dinner.

  • How do termites eat? Termites will chow down on anything containing cellulose – wood, plant material, such products made from plant materials as paper, cardboard, cotton fabrics and more. Workers (or nymphs) chew off pieces with their mandibles and ingest them, which are then broken down by bacteria and protozoa in their digestive tracts and transferred to other termites by trophyllaxis:  mouth-to-mouth (or anus-to-mouth) sharing. Some termite castes, such as queens, kings and soldiers, can’t feed themselves; they depend upon liquid meals from workers or nymphs.


  • Can you tell me more about dampwood termites? Dampwood termites (Zootermopsis angusticollis; Z. nevadensis) generally only live where the weather is damp, e.g., along the coast and in the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountains, and need downed wood with high moisture content to survive. If you live in a forested area, they can infest if you have a long-term leak in your home.

  • What about drywood termites? Drywood termites (Incisitermes minor), more common in coastal areas, infest homes when winged reproductive termites (alates, or “swarmers”) enter attics and upper parts of homes, where they mate and start colonies.

  • And subterranean termites? Subterranean termites (Reticulitermes hesperus), common in California’s central valley, live in colonies deep underground and tunnel to the surface to feed. Subterranean termites are the most destructive kind commonly found in the Western U.S.

  • Really? The most destructive kind? No, that notoriety belongs to Formosan subterranean termites (Coptotermes formosanus), which have taken hold in other areas in the U.S., like the Southeast, but fortunately have been contained before they have been able to establish colonies on the west coast.

  • Are termites visible?Yes, they often are quite visible during their mating phase, typically in early spring, after a good rain. It’s common to see thousands of alates, or winged reproductives, swarming en masse and looking for mates. Some species swarm in the fall, but the timing is always related to optimal local climate conditions that trigger swarming from multiple colonies in the area, maximizing the opportunity for successful mating.

  • Termites? I thought those flying things were ants? Like termites, there are flying reproductive ants. The three ways to tell them apart are, 1) termites don’t have narrow waists that separate their thoraces from their abdomens, where ants do; 2) termite antennae are straight and beaded, where ant antennae are elbowed; and 3) the two sets of wings on alate termites are the same length, where the upper pair are longer than the lower pair on ants.

  • Are there other signs of termite activity? Yes, but it usually takes a well-trained eye to find those signs. Subterranean termites, for example, will build tubes from the ground where they nest to the sources of wood where they are feeding. Drywood termites often will eject tiny fecal pellets from holes in wood where they are active.

  • How can I tell if my house has termites? The easiest way is to schedule an inspection with a licensed termite inspector. The inspector will examine your home’s exterior and interior, along with your attic or any voids under your roof, and then any crawl spaces below your house. The inspector will look for leaks and damp areas, as well as dry rot and other wood-destroying fungus activity – all of which provide conditions conducive for termite activity.

  • What steps can I take to make my home less prone to termite invasion? Termites need moisture to survive. You can divert water away from accumulating around your home’s foundation by installing downspouts, gutters and splash blocks so they drain away from the structure. Add proper ventilation to crawl spaces and attics to reduce humidity. Make sure shrubs and vegetation don’t grow to cover vents. Remove old tree stumps and random wood left under your house when it was built. And get rid of any direct contact between wood and soil. An 18-inch gap between wood and soil is ideal.

  • Can I buy any kind of termite alarm system? Clark Pest Control offers a program called Term-Alert®, which involves placing monitors in and around your home and property, which are routinely inspected by a service technician for termite activity.

 

Termites may be a reality, but they don’t have to be a source of free-floating anxiety for you. The termite experts at Clark Pest Control are here to answer your questions and bring you peace of mind. So call today!

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

Chew on This: Termites have homes on their menu

 

Sacramento Bee
www.Kudzu.com

 

Spring and summer are the most active seasons for termites, and these pests can cause big problems for homeowners.

Termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year, according to the National Pest Management Association.

Most homeowners don't even know they have a problem until it is time for drastic measures, so consider the following points and watch for these wood-destroying pests.

Know your enemy

There are multiple termite species in North America, but the most common are Subterranean Termites. These termites are found throughout the United States and stay below ground or at least out of direct sunlight. To travel above ground and into homes, subterranean termites build drinking-straw sized mud tubes to shelter them from predators and the elements. Mud tubes are commonly found in crawlspaces or along foundation walls.

The Formosan Termite is a non-native subterranean species that was accidentally brought to the United States on warships returning from the Pacific after World War II. Formosan termites are now found in the Southern United States, parts of California and Hawaii. Nicknamed the "super termite", this species lives in huge colonies which are capable of consuming massive amounts of wood. An established colony can consume as much as a pound a day and can cause more damage to property than any other termite species.

Drywood Termites are called by this name because they only infest dry wood. Unlike their subterranean counterparts, drywood termites build aboveground nests and get the moisture they need from the wood they consume. They can be found in attic rafters, furniture, hardwood floors, crown molding and anything else comprised of dry wood. Their colonies are much smaller than the subterraneans and they are most common in the Southeast and along the West Coast.

What's for dinner?

Termites are responsible for recycling dead wood back into the environment, putting homes high on their preferred menu items. Outdoors, termites consume wood debris and rotting trees, among other things. Once they enter a home, they can consume items like furniture, wallpaper and even books.

Mark of the Beast

Termites eat homes from the inside out and can remain concealed within wall voids or other structural elements for years before they are detected and the extent of their damage is apparent. No matter the species, the most obvious sign of any termite infestation is a swarm of winged termites. Common signs of a subterranean termite infestation include the presence of mud tubes, irregularities in interior walls and wood that's hollow when tapped. A dead giveaway of a drywood infestation is the oval-shaped fecal pellets they leave behind. These often resemble small piles of sawdust.

The Swarm!

Termites swarm each spring in an effort to find a mate and establish new colonies. These swarms can occur indoors or outdoors and can include thousands of winged termites. While swarming termites are an alarming sight, they do not damage homes. They are, however, an obvious sign that their wood-devouring nest mates are nearby.

Click here to read the entire article on the SacBee!

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

Termite Control - Florida Termites Ravage Homes

 

Florida Termites Ravage Homes, as Spike in Infestations Are Reported Across the State

Suncoast Pest Control, a Florida Pest Control Expert, Expects Intense Swarming Through August

ST. PETERSBURG, FL--(Marketwire - May 31, 2011) - It begins! Florida termites are swarming across the state, with reports of infestations spiking this month. Heavy swarming is expected to last through August, with the potential for home and property damage approaching millions. With the possibility for such catastrophe it is only prudent for homeowners to seek professional Florida pest control.

drywood termite damage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Few homeowners realize just how serious an infestation by Florida termites can be. Florida's warm and humid climate is the perfect breeding ground for these pests. They are extremely apt invaders, with the ability to enter any home with an opening as little as 1/64th of an inch. It only takes two Florida termites to start an entire colony, and they are commonly found entering homes through attics, foundation vents, windowsills, concrete cracks and utility boxes.

The wide misconception remains that these pests only eat wood. The fact is that Florida termites will eat almost anything with a cellulose base, including cardboard, paper and a wide array of other common house hold items. Specifically, Florida Drywood termites are considered among the most destructive variety of Florida termites. They have a tendency to create multiple colonies within the same structure, and do not require any contact with soil. This means that they are immune to do-it-yourself treatments.

Click here to read the entire article

 

To learn more about termites and treatment solutions visit Clark Pest Control.

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

Clark Pest Control Enters the Lodi Parade of Lights!

 

Last night (December 2nd) Clark Pest Control took part in a long time Lodi tradition, Winterfest: The Parade of Lights and wow'ed
the crowds. Although we were a late entry and only having a few weeks to prepare, we were a show stopper. 

gingerbread house

snap trap

Imagine Elf's, Christmas trees, Gingerbread men, rein deer, all dancing around a float of a gingerbread house, a christmas tree with a touch pest control added to it, topped off with Timmy the Termite chewing on wood, on and lets not forget Frosty the Snow man waving to the crowd! 

clark cast on float

As the driver, I heard the crowd yelling "Clark we need you"! and saw the excitement when our cast of characters danced and worked the crowd. Next year we plan on having some to trump this years float and will may be starting as early as next summer! 

clark float day 1

float

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

Visit Clark at the Lodi Grape Festival!

 

Visit Clark Pest Control at the Lodi Grape Festival, Our booth is located in the Cabernet exhibition hall. Stop by and enter to win a year of pest control service, sign up for a free inspection and speak to one of our pest and termite specialists ready to answer all and any questions.

Saturday we have a special treat, The Clark Pest Bug Zoo will be out from 12-5. Watch the Bug Zoo keeper handle some really cool bugs like Tarantulas, Vigaroons, Giant roaches and even a Giant African Millipede! We will also be giving be doing tattoo's for the kids and activity books! 

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

Termites take a bite out of Daniel Island

 

By Elizabeth Bush
thedanielislandnews.com
Jun 23, 2010 - 11:31:34 AM

Daniel Island residents Dick and Susan Pruet weren’t sure what to think when they spotted a little ripple in their hardwood floors last January. Initially, water damage seemed the likely culprit, so they contacted a local home inspector to help them find the source.

"He was looking for water leaks, but couldn’t find any," recalled Dick. "So we moved a table and (accidentally) popped one of the floor boards. And there they were."

The Pruets starred down in disbelief at an active Formosan Termite colony enjoying a hardwood buffet inside their dining room floor. Unfortunately, the Pruets are just two of many residents on Daniel Island, and in the greater Charleston area, who have discovered hidden termites inside the walls and floors of their homes in recent months and years, and the problem is getting worse.

"We’re gonna be seeing a whole lot more of this," said Bert Snyder, vice president of Palmetto Exterminators, a pest control company that works with homeowners to keep pesky insects at bay. "It’s dramatically on the increase…and more and more people are having massive damage claims."

It’s easy to bug-out a little when you spend time with Snyder. The Clemson-educated graduate entomologist, who owns and operates Palmetto Exterminators with his brother, Lance, is fascinated by all things creepy and crawly. And his office in West Ashley is quite literally living proof.

Visitors to Snyder’s corporate abode will find it looks more like a biology lab complete with microscopes, petri dishes, jars of larvae (his Formosan queen is quite impressive), and colorful framed butterfly displays. Like a child proudly showing off a class project, Snyder is happy to pluck one of his squirming Madagascar Cockroaches from inside a glass container and place it in his hand. He’s also got a scorpion, snake, and a couple hundred live Palmetto Bugs to take a gander at as well. But when talk shifts to Formosan Termites, brought to the Charleston area from the Orient via port terminals in the 1950’s, Snyder is all business.

"Up until the mid 1980’s, we knew pretty much by street where we had activity," he said. "Downtown, Hampton Park area, the port, Charlestowne Landing, Orange Grove Road…(Now), there’s just massive activity going on all over the place."

Daniel Island termites right at home

On Daniel Island, Snyder said termite activity is particularly troublesome. In fact, he theorizes that there could be some 10 to 20 termite colonies per acre on the island. It’s a problem Snyder traces back to the island’s pre-development days, when termite populations could feast unchecked on downed trees in the wake of tropical storm damage caused by events like Hurricane Hugo.

"We started building houses right up on top of all these colonies," he said. "And with active Formosan Termites in the live oak trees, these nice beautiful trees with carton nests right inside of them, with those root systems under ground that termites like to follow, now you just set yourself up for a tremendous amount of termite activity popping up in houses."

Snyder recalls spotting early termite activity on the island when Palmetto Exterminator crews began conducting pre-treatments of wood and soil on new homes under construction.

"Even before we could get to the treatments on the houses, we were finding (termite) tubing up the foundation walls during the construction process. Termites were infesting construction materials sitting out in the yard, sitting on the ground! So we immediately knew we were going to have to change our way of thinking with the Formosan, particularly on Daniel Island."

While another species, the Eastern Subterranean Termite can also be found in the Charleston area, the Formosans are known for being the most aggressive and most damaging to structures. A trained exterminator will look for small tubes extending from the ground up towards the structure on foundation walls, as well as conditions conducive to termite activity such as moisture and wood rot.

"When we train our guys, we tell them you’ve got to think like a termite," said Snyder. "You’ve got to be analytical in looking at these properties. Sometimes you just think ‘something is just not right here’ and you’ve got to have a little intuition."

How will homeowners know if termites are near?

"A lot of times, all people see is a tiny hole in the wall where termites are coming out, where swarmers are coming out right through the sheetrock," added Snyder, of the tiny honey-colored Formosan ‘scouts’ that swarm in May looking for food or places to begin new colonies. "…If you’ve got (Formosan) termites coming out of the wall, you’ve got to cut the sheetrock off, because you’ve probably got a nest right behind the wall or in close proximity, and you’ll never control them until you pull that out."

But Snyder also pointed out that the presence of swarmers inside the home is not necessarily cause for alarm.

"Most of the calls we get are people finding these inside their houses crawling around. You may see 10, 20 or 100, but if you’ve got several hundred of them inside your house with wings, there is a potential of a problem somewhere in that house. Sometimes it’s like finding a needle in a haystack."

About a year ago, Daniel Island resident Susan Orick and her family noticed some cracks in the sheetrock in the room over their detached garage.

"We also noticed that our floor had started to sag, and we could see the floor separating from the shoe molding," said Susan.

When their contractor indicated that normal "settling" may not be the cause, they had part of the wall and ceiling torn out to get an inside look.

"As soon as they pulled it out you could see the amount of damage," she recalled of the termite colony found in her walls and floor. "It was unbelievable that these little guys could do so much damage."

Termite warranties offer protection for homeowners

Fortunately, both the Oricks and the Pruets had complete termite warranties issued by Palmetto Exterminators, who took care of all repairs at no cost to either family. A number of area exterminator companies offer similar coverage for homeowners, but Snyder said you must be careful to read the fine print in their policies.

"You better make sure you verify what the limitations and terms of those agreements and warranties are before you purchase it."

In some cases, companies do not cover Formosan damage.

"The Formosan is the dominant species of termite in the tri-county area," he said. "About 90 percent of all termite infestations we are seeing are from the Formosan…If you are not controlling the Formosan in your warranty program, or you have an exclusion, you really shouldn’t be in the termite business."

Snyder also points out that it’s not a question of "if" a home will be impacted by termites, it’s "when." Protecting your home must be a long-term commitment, he said. Exterminator companies should come back each year to do a full inspection on the property and treat as needed, including a "booster" treatment every seven years.

"It’s not an exact science," he added. "It’s more of an art. It’s a process. It’s not a one-time event. It’s maintenance. And it’s a relationship we build with a homeowner."

A yearly renewal for a termite warranty is typically between $200 and $300. When you consider the cost of home insurance, which doesn’t cover termite damage, it’s money well spent, Snyder added.

"You are several times more likely to have termite damage to your structure than you are to have damage from hurricanes, fires, or storms of some sort. And people don’t realize that."

"Keep your termite bond in place, up to date, and current," said Dick Pruet, whose Center Park home was treated and repaired for termite damage within a few weeks. "If you’re without a termite bond, you’re not being smart…You’ve got too much of an investment in these houses not to have it…If you see something that’s not quite right, it’s probably not right. With termites, you have to assume the worst."

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

Termite Bites! - Terrorized by termites

 
Video 1 of 1
Terrorized by termites
Terrorized by termites
Terrorized by termites
It all started when Mary Ann Taylor noticed that her one-year-old grandson's back and leg were blistered with what she thought were ant bites.

So she took him to the doctor. "The doctor told me to get some cream to put on him," she says.

Taylor says the doctor told her, the bites were too big for ants, and that the boy may have been bitten by termites. The family had just moved into a home in north Jacksonville. On the outside it looks normal, but inside, it was infested with termites.

"Its all on this wall and that wall over there. All of the ceiling is rotten. He said its been ate up. If you step through its going to fall straight down," says Taylor.

Exterminators found hundreds of swarming termites inside Taylor's home.

Robert Teal is a termite expert. He says, more termite colonies are popping up all over Jacksonville. Blame the change from cold to hot weather that's sending these wood hungry insects to attack your home. "As they come out of the winter season, there's higher levels of humidity. It softens the wood and the higher temps lets them know it's time to swarm and create a new colony," says Teal.
Click here to read the entire article 
Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.
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