Termite Programs. How do you know what you’re getting?

by Nate on November 12, 2010

Termite Programs. How do you know what you’re getting?

Part 1

Termites and how they work


The Hampton Roads area deals with subterranean termites.  They live and travel in the ground, hence the name subterranean.  The colony sends out foragers to locate a food source.  These termites crawl through the soil until they detect a temperature change above them in the soil.  This is known as thermal detection.  Once this detection takes place, they come up to investigate.  Whether it is a tree branch, mulch or your home, (they are not too particular) they will begin to disassemble the source and inform the colony to come join them.  When your building is crawlspace construction, the termites will normally build soil tubes up the interior foundation wall to get to the food source and these tubes are fairly easy to spot with a proper inspection.  With slab construction the expansion joint is the primary area that an infiltration will take place.  The expansion joint is a gap between the slab floor and the perimeter foundation block (outside walls).  This type of infiltration is hard to detect and always takes place inside of the building.  The inspection of the interior of the unit is vital for early detection of the termite infiltration and helps prevent further damage.  A termite inspection that does not perform mandatory inspections to the interior of slab construction every year is failing to properly protect you. Termites can also infiltrate up the exterior of a foundation, for this reason it is very important keep mulch below the bottom of siding (keep a 2 inch gap from the soil to the siding).  This will provide an environmental barrier and help reduce the chances of a termite infiltration.


Part 2

Termite treatment types and how they work.

Subterranean termite treatments come in 3 primary types; Liquid (Non-repellant and repellant) and Bait systems.

BAIT SYSTEMS: This system places termite monitoring stations 10 feet apart around the perimeter of the building.  These monitoring station do not start with a termite bait in them.  A piece of cellulose (wood) material is installed to await a termite to find the station and present a “strike”.  The inspecting company will monitor the stations until a strike has taken place and then will install a bait matrix to begin the control of the colony.  The control of the colony is achieved by the termites feeding on the bait and feeding it to other termites.  This process can take a very long time to achieve termite elimination.  During this monitoring and baiting time period there is no physical protection for the building and termite infiltration/ damage can/will take place, particularly if an active termite infiltration was the reason for the treatment to be initiated. For this reason I do not recommend Baits Systems as a primary termite defense except for certain types of construction or where a liquid application may be harmful to an “on the water” project.

LIQUIDS: Each liquid treatment is performed in the same manner, the soil were the termites travel is treated around the building and below the expansion joint so the termites will come in contact with the treatment area.  From here on is the difference.  A repellant will kill the individual termite quickly when contacted is made and this is a good thing with the exception that termites are not completely suicidal. They will not continue to contact a treated area if it is so adverse to them, they will look for an alternate route to the food source. So, if the repellant barrier has any area of a break of application (particularly with slab construction) they will find that way in sooner or later.  Termites do not know a Non-repellant is there and continues on as normal. After about 3 hours from contact, the termite stops disassembling the food source and wanders through the colony spreading the material by contact to other termites by natural social habits. Thus the elimination of the colony takes place quickly as the workers move from the colony and food source through the treated area.

The Non-repellant is this best application method for direct and quick protection of a building, and for maximum protection, the full liquid treatment with a secondary bait system is recommended.

Part 3

Termite Warranty programs


There are 2 types of warranty programs, one is a damage or repair bond warranty and the other is a control or retreat only.  Reading the fine print of all warranties offered is of vital importance, the personnel issuing the warranty may say some things but it is what is in writing that counts.

Liquid Application Warranties

DAMAGE/REPAIR WARRANTY: The issue of this warranty will repair any NEW termite damage that should occur during the warranty time frame and normally takes effect at the

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