If you have experienced buying a new car, you know the excitement of driving it off the lot and to the house. You feel the exhilaration as the car seems to accelerate better than the old clunker you just traded, and there is nothing like that new car smell. For the first few weeks, you admire your new purchase, wash and wax it regularly, and keep the interior immaculate. But then it happens. You get your first scratch, and all you can see is the imperfection on your car.
When something you invest in gets damaged, it is a big issue. The bigger the price tag, the more we want to protect our purchase from harm. Perhaps the costliest item most of us will purchase is a house. The last thing we need is for termites to wreak havoc on our homes.
Prevent expensive repair bills by securing pest control in Longview from Gecko Pest Control. Our family-owned and operated company has removed termites for over two decades. We have been awarded The Hometown Best award for pest service for over ten years. A certified entomologist instructs our technicians, and they must pass a Purdue Pest Management Course.
You probably found this article because you suspect termites are inside your home. Or, you want to ensure termites never get a foothold in your house. We wrote this blog because we want to help you protect your investment. Please keep reading to learn how to identify a termite infestation and what you can do to stop termites from destroying your home.
How To Identify Termites: Types, Behaviors, And Warning Signs
Termites are insects. They have six legs, a three-part body (head, thorax, and abdomen), and two straight antennae. Unlike some insects, termites do not have stingers; however, some have wings. Termites eat wood and harvest their meals using a set of mandibles with razor-sharp teeth.
Drywood, subterranean, Formosan, dampwood, and conehead termites are the species in the United States that cause problems for homeowners. Drywood and dampwood termites create nests inside the wood, but subterranean, Formosan, and conehead termites live in the soil near a wood source.
Drywood termites have a 3/8 to 1-inch creamy-white to light brown long, narrow body. These termites do not need damp wood and often infest homes where they dwell in the attic, wood frames, stairway railings, and wood furniture. Dampwood termites have a 1/2 to 5/8-inch creamy white to brownish long body. These termites do not usually infest homes but rather live in woods with high moisture content, usually in tree stumps, logs, fence posts, and light poles.
Subterranean and Formosan termites build nests in the dirt near damp wood, but conehead termites live on the soil's surface in freestanding nests in trees and wooden structures. Because the sun and heat quickly dehydrate these termites, they construct mud tubes for passageways between the nest and food sources. Subterranean and Formosan termites have creamy-white to dark brown bodies, but subterranean termites are smaller (1/8-inch) than Formosan termites (1/2-inch). The cone-shaped head of conehead termites makes these newcomers to the United States (2001) distinguishable from all other termite species.
Termites are social insects that live in colonies. Subterranean, Formosan, and conehead termites build massive nests with 60,000 to a few million members. A hierarchical structure exists within subterranean, Formosan, and conehead termite nests. At the top are the queen and king, whose sole responsibility is to produce offspring for the colony. The sterile workers forage for food, nurture the offspring, and expand the nest. Sterile solider termites have larger heads and powerful mandibles, which they use to protect their nests from ants and other predators. When a nest matures, the queen produces winged, reproductive termites that fly from the nest in the spring or early fall to begin nearby satellite nests. The eastern subterranean termite is the termite species affecting most homeowners in Longview. These termites have characteristics similar to Formosan termites.
Drywood and dampwood termites do not have a caste system. Maturing offerings (nymphs) provide for the kings, queens, and soldiers. Like subterranean, Formason, and conehead termites, the queens produce flying, reproductive termites (swarmers) that exit the nest and create new colonies.
How can you determine if termites are on your property? To answer that question, look for these warning signs of termites:
Mud tubes on basement and foundation walls
Swarmers near outdoor lights or windows at dusk or dawn
Discarded wings in window sills or spider webs
Crumbling, hollow-sounding, or discolored wood
Pinholes in wood or sheetrock
Sawdust-like material outside of tiny holes in timber
Blistering wallpaper or paint
Warping window and door frames
Gecko Pest Control protects against termite infestations in Longview in Longview. Our trained technicians know all the signs of a termite infestation.
Devasting Effects: Understanding The Potential Damage Of Termites
The insurance industry estimates that termites annually cost homeowners $5 billion dollars in damage. When you notice termite damage, you are likely facing repair bills costing several thousand dollars. Termite damage repair is expensive because they often attack structural components of the house. For example, eastern subterranean termites, which affect most Longview homes, live near damp wood support structures in crawl spaces and basements. As they chew tunnels in the wood, it begins to sag and eventually collapse. Repairing support structures requires a licensed contractor with special equipment to fix the problem.
Moist wood attracts eastern subterranean termites. As they chew through the damp wood, they create new channels for the moisture to spread. When termites infest ceiling areas, water stains and eventually collapsing drywall are the results. Due to a termite infestation, a contractor may need to replace the subflooring, joists, support beams, ceilings, wood porches, and other wooden structures inside and outside the home.
The best way to stop subterranean termite damage on your Longview property is to partner with Gecko Pest Control to end the current infestation before further damage occurs.
Fortify Your Defense: Measures To Prevent Termite Attacks
Once Gecko Pest Control ends the current termite infestation, you don't want to repeat the problem. The following termite prevention tips will discourage termites from invading your Longview home in the future:
Remove decaying tree stumps, fence posts, and wood from the property.
Provide drainage to gutters to divert water away from the house.
Dehumidify the attic, crawl space, or basement.
Repair leaking plumbing fixtures and pipes.
Place termite-proof covers over posts and beams in contact with the soil.
Seal wood exposed to the weather with paint.
Cover foundation and roofline cracks with caulk to help prevent termites from entering the attic, crawl space, or basement.
Store firewood 20 feet from the house and elevate.
Maintaining a clean, dry property will deter termite swarmers from landing on your property and establishing new colonies. We can provide additional suggestions when you contact us for a termite inspection.
Calling in the Experts: Professional Termite Control
The best way to save money and avoid expensive repair bills is to secure termite control in Longview from Gecko Pest Control. A termite inspection is necessary to determine attractants, entry points, termite species, hot spots, and your home's structure. We will present our findings and elimination strategy once we gather our information.
Eastern subterranean termites that feed on wood inside homes are part of the worker class. Because these termites travel through tunnels in the soil to food sources, we will dig a trench around your house and fill it with Termidor to create a barrier around your home; we will refill the trench with dirt to prevent access by children or animals. When worker termites cross the barricade, the Termidor product sticks to their bodies, and they take it back to the colony, where it spreads among the members.
Termites have an external skeleton (exoskeleton), which they must discard (molt) at each growth phase to allow their growing bodies to expand. Terimidor prevents the growing termites from molting, which causes them to suffocate and die. Thus, the nest dies from the youngest to the oldest, eventually destroying the king and queen.
For termites inside walls, we use foam injections that soak the wood. When worker termites eat the treated timbers, they die. Another tool in our termite elimination arsenal is Trelona® ATBS® Annual Bait Stations. According to a university study, termites find these particular bait stations quicker than bait stations from competitors.
Our termite technicians must pass the Purdue Univeristy Urban Pest Management Course under the supervision of our staff etymologist. Thus, they know the latest tools, methods, and treatments for termite control. We have so much confidence in our trained technicians and termite control products that we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on our annual termite service plan.
Don't risk damage to your Longview home and potentially costly repair bills by hoping you don't have termites. Trust Gecko Pest Control with your termite control needs. We are your award-winning hometown pest control company with over 500 five-star reviews on various online platforms. Contact us today to get started and to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Longview.
What Gecko Pest Control Customers Are Saying
"I just wanted to say that y’all have some of the best and kind hearted employees working for Gecko. Landen came out today and went above and beyond to represent the company and who he is as a person. I am very thankful for his hospitality and professionalism. Great team you have!! Proud to be a Gecko customer."
"Love this company. Very professional. All there employees are professional, knowledgeable, helpful and just darn nice!"
"Ryan did a very thorough job in spraying around the house. He walked the exterior of the house with me to learn my specific needs. He was even very helpful to help move the humming bird feeders before this initial spray. Daren was also very informative I’m explaining the services. They were able to come out the day I called and were prompt arriving."