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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 ant, 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.

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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. Therefore, they 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. So, if you have a quarter acre lot, it is likely that you will have two active termite colonies on you 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

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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, hook up, and crawl into a dark, damp area to found a new colony. Swarmers are only one of many signs that you have an active termite colony on your property.

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 the wood. They have to maintain a closed system to keep from drying out. They need high moisture levels to survive. Other signs of termites are areas where wallpaper or paint are bubbling on the 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 inspect and offer treatment options.

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How does a professional treat for termites?

If you are looking for termite treatment, in Wichita, Kansas or the surrounding areas, Patton Termite & Pest Control is here to help! There are many different factors that go into termite treatment, so we would want to examine the property. Our treatment plan works with your existing construction and landscaping features to be minimally invasive. As well, our termite treatment plan also takes into consideration the size of the structure and scope of the infestation. We send out one of our trained professionals to inspect the property to provide you with a treatment plan and pricing. Patton Termite and Pest Control can assess each infestation separately and recommend a rigorous treatment plan that will effectively control the termite population or prevent a termite infestation from occurring. We are equally concerned with curative termite treatment and lasting protection for years to come. Our termite treatment methods are effective for homes, businesses, and so much more! The White House and Statue of Liberty, to name a few, are equipped with the Sentricon® Colony Elimination System.  We are confident we can solve any termite issue and protect from future infestations with Sentricon. You are in good hands with us. 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.

Visit our page “How Does an Exterminator Treat for Termites?” for more information on the treatment process!

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The Sentricon® Colony Elimination System is a green termite elimination system that uses termite biology against the colony to eliminate it. The top picture is a Sentricon bait station that termites have just begun to feed on. Below, there 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 thousands of gallons of chemicals into the ground. Sentricon stations are installed around the perimeter of the home, about 10 feet apart, to create a barrier that provides 24/7 protection from termites. You can rest easy knowing that your biggest investment is being protected.

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Termite Services Offered

-Certified Sentricon Specialist for Sentricon® Colony Elimination System
-Real Estate Inspections and Reports
-Termite Inspection/Identification
-V.A. loan Certified Reports
-HUD Certified

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Can you treat termites by yourself, without a professional?

Some people choose to treat termite infestations themselves. It is possible to remove surface termites from your home temporarily, however, this will take hours of work. Eventually, they will emerge again soon enough. The products a professional will use for termite control aren’t available to the general public. It takes a licensed and certified technician to use and maintain these professional products. Therefore, you won’t be using the safest, highest quality tools to remove the termites if you choose to do self-treatment. Treating for termites by yourself is just delaying the inevitable. It is best to call a professional to assess and treat for the sake of your sanity and finances.

What happens if I don’t take care of the termites?

Eventually, your house will have enough damage that you will be forced to take care of the termite problem. Termites have a very sophisticated work model, taking shifts and working without rest for hours and weeks on end. They can cause serious, structural damage to your property. They might even spread to your neighbors’ homes or your outdoor structures, causing even more damage. The best bet is inspection and treatment before the damage is too extensive. We would be happy to send out a technician to take a look at your property and give you options and pricing.

How Can I Keep Termites Away?

Kansas has a moderate to heavy termite pressure and it is generally always constant. It is not possible to keep termites away from your property.  On the other hand, you can reduce the conducive conditions and give yourself a protective barrier with the Sentricon®System. Our experts will be able to assess your property and show you places that encourage termite colonization. As well, we can inspect your home inside, outside, in the crawl space, and in the basement for signs of termite activity. Termite damage can start anywhere so it is better to get an inspection as soon as possible. The two most common conditions needed for a termite colony to thrive are moisture and wood.

Below is an easy checklist to help 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.

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