What are Termites?
Termites are wood-destroying insects which commonly infest forested environments and generally live in the soil.
(The indigenous termites in Kansas live in the soil and are called subterranean termites.)
Their part in nature is to digest decaying wood and turn it into nutritious soil. Specifically, they seek out areas that have moisture and cellulose materials such as wood.
Much like ants, they are social insects that randomly and continuously forage for food (wood). The workers are blind because they live in tunnels. They follow complex chemical markers called pheromones which tell them where to go and what to do. Modern research has shown that termites will travel the length of a football field to gather food.
The queen is capable of laying thousands of eggs every day to grow the colony, but the worker (white grubby looking insect) must feed and groom the queen and her subjects. The worker is the most abundant member of the colony and is responsible for damaging wood structures.They tear off small wood particles, digest the wood in their gut and feed it to the rest of the colony.
Often, in early spring, termites will swarm out of the colony creating a mass of winged insects in an attempt to start new colonies. These swarmers are reproductive members of the colony and are the future queens and kings of new termite nests. A colony is usually four to five years old before it produces swarmers. If you discover swarmers in or around your home, it’s a sure sign you have a mature colony working on your property. Patton can provide proactive termite prevention that will eliminate termite colonies before they get to this stage.
Termites are silent, very destructive insects, that cause billions of dollars in property damage in the US yearly. At a minimum, you should have your home inspected every year or two to see if you have an active infestation. US Forestry surveys indicate that Kansas is heavily infested with termites with an average or 7 to 8 colonies per acre. If you have a quarter acre lot, it is likely that you will have two active termite colonies on your property. We can provide preventive as well as curative termite protection to make sure these colonies do not invade your home and cause extensive damage.
How to Recognize Termites
Swarming termites look similar to flying black ants. The visible termites (alates) swarming out of the colony are immature reproductive males and females. Their mission is to mate and start new colonies. Upon landing, they break off their wings, select a mate, mate and crawl into a dark, damp area to found a new colony. Swarmers are one sign of an active termite colony but there are many other signs.
Often, homeowners will discover mud tunnels or tubes running up foundations or bridging gaps between construction elements. These closed tunnels provide termites with protected access from the nest to wood. They have to maintain a closed system to keep from drying out because they need high levels of moisture to survive. Another sign is bubbling areas on painted or wallpapered walls. In bare wood, they sometimes leave small amounts of mud. If you suspect you have termites, your best course of action is to call a pest control specialist to determine if termites are active.
How does a termite control professional treat termites?
Depending on construction features and location, termite treatment plans take into consideration the size of the structure and scope of the infestation. A trained professional will need to inspect the property to provide you with a treatment plan and pricing. Patton Termite & Pest Control will assess each infestation separately and recommend a rigorous treatment plan that will effectively control the termite population.
Patton Termite & Pest Control, as a member of the National Pest Management Association, is committed to providing effective, safe treatment options for all pest issues.
The Sentricon® Colony Elimination System is a green termite colony elimination product that uses termite biology against the colony to eliminate it. The above picture is a Sentricon bait station that termites have just begun to feed on. The picture below is a Sentricon bait station that has been fed on by termites until the colony has been eliminated. These environmentally friendly stations protect your home from termites without pouring hundreds of gallons of chemicals into the ground. Sentricon stations are installed around the perimeter of the home, about 10 feet apart, to create a feeding zone that provides 24/7 protection from termites. You can rest easy knowing that your biggest investment is being protected.
Termite Services Offered
-Certified Sentricon Specialist for Sentricon® Colony Elimination System
-Real Estate Inspections and Reports
-V.A. loan Certified Reports
Can you treat termites by yourself, without a professional?
It is possible to remove surface termites from your home for hours at a time. However, more will emerge soon enough. The products we use for termite control aren’t available to the general public, and therefore, you won’t be using the best, safest, highest quality tools to remove the termites. Removing termites by yourself is just delaying the inevitable.
What if I don’t take care of it?
Eventually, your house will have damage that will make you take care of your termite problem. Termites have a very sophisticated work model, taking shifts and working without rest for hours and weeks on end. They might even spread to your neighbors’ homes or your outdoor structures, causing even more damage. The best bet is to just take care of your termite problem by having it checked out by Patton’s pest and termite control experts.
Keep Termites Away!
Our experts will be able to show you places that encourage termite colonization. We will inspect your home inside, outside, and even the foundation underneath. Termite damage can start anywhere, and it is better to get an inspection as soon as possible. The most common conditions needed for a termite colony to thrive are moisture and wood.
Below is an easy checklist to avert future termite infestations:
Regularly walk your property looking for any indication of termites.
Check the foundation for moisture accumulation and mud tubes.
Manage the water flow with consistent, proper functioning of gutters, downspouts, and splash blocks.
Replace old boards, decaying wood, and any problematic foundation issues.
Keep vents clear from overgrowing vegetation, shrubs, and tree roots.
Wood mulch in flower beds can provide food and moisture for termite colonies immediately adjacent to your house.
Remove tree stumps.
Provide proper ventilation and reduce humidity in crawl spaces.
Don’t allow wood to remain in direct contact with the soil.
In the Wichita area, homes are 3.1 times more likely to be damaged by termites than fires.