Inactive termite damage was discovered when a contractor was gutting a basement. The home had been previously treated years ago and when the contractors were removing the old walls and ceiling in the basement, they discovered termite damage.
The termite damage was on some of the floor joists above and on a wooden panel. Before the contractors opened up and exposed these areas, there was a ceiling and wall covering the termite damage.
When I performed my initial inspection, I did not find any evidence of live termites or an active termite infestation. The previous termite treatment was effective. Since the contractors had the area exposed, we all agreed that a localized spot treatment to the damaged areas and the exposed wood was a good course of action.
Typically, for an active termite infestation, we would apply Termidor to the exterior foundation of the home. In this case, since the contractors were going to install walls and ceiling, and because the infestation was not active, we decided to apply a product called Bora Care.
Bora Care is a borate based salt solution that penetrates deep into the wood. This is a great product to use for a localized spot treatment for termites and other wood destroying insects.
We also like to use Bora Care on the interior of homes because it is more eco-friendly since its active ingredient is a borate as opposed to a strong chemical. Bora Care is added to water and must be mixed thoroughly before applying. This is because Bora Care is a very thick, viscous solution when it is poured directly from the concentrate container it comes in.
We use a paint mixer attached to our cordless drill to ensure proper mixing a thorough solution. You could apply the mixed Bora Care solution with a hand sprayer or commercial sprayer. We like to use an electric paint gun to apply the Bora Care. The paint gun is designed to apply a thicker product (paint) and uses air to push the Bora Care onto the surface we are treating.
If we were to put the Bora Care into our commercial hand sprayers, we run the risk of clogging the piping and the applicator tips resulting in more clean-up time and possible equipment damage. Using the paint gun, we apply the Bora Care solution to the damaged wood and the exposed wood in the nearby area.
The Bora Care penetrates into the wood and will provide years and years of protection against Termites, Carpenter Ants, and Wood Beetles such as Powder Post Beetles. After the treatment was completed, the contractors were able to confidently install the ceiling and walls knowing that the previous damage was treated and the area was protected against future infestations.
Prudential Pest Solutions are the EXPERTS at identifying, treating, and preventing termite infestations. We are a VETERAN and FAMILY owned and operated pest control and termite exterminating company.
As a Marine Corps Veteran with a degree in Biology from Penn State, I promise you haven’t met a termite professional like me before!
This treatment took place in Reading PA which is in Berks County Pennsylvania. We service ALL of South Easter Pennsylvania including:
Seeing ants with wings can mean one of two things are happening. You either have an ant problem, or a TERMITE problem. So the question is “are flying ants actually termites?!”
Ants and termites are similar in their colony habits and culture. Both termites and ants create winged reproductives, called alates or swarmers. Their job is to leave the colony, reproduce, and form new colonies.
Seeing winged ants or termites strongly indicates that a colony is in the house or in the immediate area.
How do you know if your winged pests are termites or ants?
Most homeowners are not certified entomologists. Do not fear, there are several basic identification indicators to determine whether your winged alates are termites or ants.
Look at the wings
Termite swarmers will have 2 pairs of wings that are the same size
Ant alates will have 2 pairs or wings that are different lengths.
Look at the body
Termite Swarmers will have a long, smooth body.
Ant Swarmers will have “pinch points” along their body called nodes. The number of nodes will depend on the species of ant.
What other evidence do you have?
If you have been seeing a lot of ants in your home all season, then it would be likely to see winged ants as well. If you have an ant nest in your home, the winged reproductive alates will also be in your home.
Termites, since they are subterranean, will NOT be visible in the home. This is why they are known as the silent destroyers. Termite activity and damage can go unnoticed for years!
Seeing winged alates and swarmers once or twice a year without seeing any ants in the house could mean a termite problem. Especially if the winged reproductives are only localized in at a specific window sill during a specific time of year.
Why do termite swarmers look like ants and not termites?
Subteranean termites are small, and clear or white in color. Their color is based on their lack of sunlight due to living underground and in wood.
The winged ants, or swarmers or alates, of the termite colony have a dark color to them. This allows them to go above ground in search of a reproductive mate. Once they have mated, they will return to the ground and start a new termite colony.
Why are termites called flying ants?
Most homeowners have never seen a termite. Ants, on the other hand, are extremely common and can be found most places. Since the termite swarmers resemble ants in size and general appearance, most homeowners just refer to them as flying ants.
How do I know if I have termites or ants?
If you are seeing winged ants or swarmers in your home and are still unsure if you have termites or ants, its time to call in the professionals.
Having a professional and experienced exterminator come to your home can provide valuable knowledge about your specific pest problem.
Letting an ant issue go is not as bad as letting a termite infestation destroy your home! When in doubt, get the pros to come out!
How do I hire the best termite exterminators?
When it comes to termites and other pests that can damage and destroy your home, you need the best and more experienced exterminators.
If you live in South Eastern and South Central Pennsylvania, we can help!
Termite Control and Treatments
We provide a full range of termite control and treatment options to our clients. Some of the many termite services we provide include:
There are a few ways to prevent termites from destroying your home. This guide is for subterranean termites that we find our area of South Eastern Pennsylvania.
Not every case of termites is avoidable but there are always preventative measures that can be taken. In this article we will discuss ways to make your home less desirable to termites and how to identify termite activity BEFORE they destroy your home.
Termites LOVE moisture
Subterranean termites need a certain amount of moisture in the soil to live and thrive. Keeping moisture and water away from your home and foundation can deter termites from coming near your home.
Check your grading
If the grade of the surrounding yard and property leads water towards the home, than this issue should be addressed. The grading of the property should always channel rain and water away from the home.
Mulch can lead to moisture
Landscaping features such as mulch can trap moisture at the foundation of the home. If the mulch is placed too deep or too close to the home, moisture can remain and sit at the foundation.
Downspouts and Gutters
Gutters and Downspouts are designed to channel rain and water from the roof and send it away from the house. Clogged or wrongly installed gutters can allow rain and water to flow freely over the gutter and onto the foundation.
Downspouts can also lead to moisture problems. Downspouts that do not discharge the rain water far enough away from the house can lead to water sitting at the foundation. Downspouts that go underground are especially problematic since any damage to them goes unnoticed because they go underground.
Check outdoor faucets for leaks
Outdoor faucets where garden hoses connect can leak and allow water to sit at the foundation. Making sure the garden hose is properly connected and not leaking can prevent moisture issues.
Termites need wood!
Besides moisture, termites need wood! Avoid any wood to soil contact. Any wood that is contacting the soil or close to the soil should be treated before installation.
Termite Prevention Options for Wood
The best time to think about termite prevention is BEFORE your home has a termite infestation.
Termite PreTreatments for New Construction and Additions
The very best time to protect a home against termites is while it is being constructed. Home built after 1990 are required to have a termite pretreatment done prior to the completion of the home.
How a termite pretreatment works is that the soil around and UNDER the foundation of the new home is treated with a liquid termiticide. This liquid termite treatment kills any termites that come in contact with it for a few years.
Another method of termite pretreatments involve the treating of the structural wood with a solution to kill termites. This solution penetrates into the wood and can provide years of lasting protection.
We have an entire article on Termite PreTreatments for new construction that you can find here.
Pressure Treated Lumber
Wood that is in contact with the soil should be treated against termites. Most commonly found is pressure treated lumber. This lumber is treated with a chemical to prevent termite infestations.
Termite inspections can be obtained through a variety of circumstances. Regular termite inspections can spot termite activity early and prevent a full termite infestation.
Real Estate Termite Inspections (WDI’s)
Often during a home transaction a termite inspection or wood destroying insect inspection will be required. This inspection can uncover hidden termite activity that had gone unnoticed for years.
Regular Termite inspections happen as a preventative measure. These inspections happen typically annually and are part of a general pest control service plan.
The winter is great time for your exterminator to inspect your home for termites during their winter pest service.
You can learn about about our pest control service plans here.
Do I have termites now?
Since subteranean termites live in the soil and inside of the wood, how do you know if you have termites? Most homeowners find out they have termites from one of these 3 scenarios:
They bought or sold a house an exterminator found evidence of termites.
A contractor finds termite damage during a home renovation
Every spring the homeowner reports seeing “fly ants” for a few weeks
These are the 3 most common scenarios where homeowners discover they have termites.
What does termite activity look like?
Termite activity for subterranean termites can take a few forms but most commonly it appears as mud shelter tubes. These shelter tubes protect the termite as they go from the soil to the wood.
Termite Damage found during renovations
When a contractor opens a wall during a renovation, termite damage can be seen. This damage has been going on for years and when it is uncovered, it can be quite extensive.
Termite monitors are a method of monitoring for termite activity BEFORE it reaches the house. Termite monitors are placed around the exterior perimeter of the home and allow the termite technician to inspect for termite activity year round.
If termite activity is found in the monitors, a termiticide cartridge can be placed into the monitor and the termite colony can be destroyed before it ever reaches the house.
You can learn more about termite monitors and other termite treatment options here.
If termites are found at the property, there a few termite treatment options available.
A very common and effective liquid termite treatment involves the application of a product such as Termidor. Termidor works by allowing the termites to come in contact with the chemical and then having the termite transfer the chemical to other termites. This process of transference eventually annihilates the entire termite colony.
You can learn about our termite liquid and Termidor treatments here.
Direct Wood Treatments
Direct wood treatments are a ECO Friendly termite treatment process. This treatment is the same as the direct wood treatment listed above in the PreTreatment Section.
With the direct wood treatment, a borate based solution is applied to the wood. This solution permeates into the wood and creates a treated area. When the termites chew into this treated wood, they are killed and the home is protected.
How is direct wood treatments ECO Friendly?
Since the primary active ingredient in the solution is a borate. It poses no hazard to mammals, including humans and most pets.
Since mammals have livers, they are able to process the borates and the borates have no ill effects. Insects and termites however, are devastated by borates and cannot survive.
You can learn more about our ECO Friendly termite treatments here.
Even if termite activity was found, it does not mean the property is not viable. When the termites are treated professionally, a warranty is almost always attached to the treatment.
A termite warranty protects the homeowner against new termite activity.
We service Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and all of South Eastern and South Central Pennsylvania.
We provide many options for termite treatments and prevention. From liquid applications to the exterior perimeter, to direct wood treatments and monitoring systems, we can resolve any termite issue you have.
Types of Termite Services We Provide
FREE TERMITE CONSULTATIONS!
We provide a full range of termite services and solutions including:
As a Marine Corps Veteran with a degree in Biology from Penn State, I promise you haven’t met a termite exterminator like me before!
The safety of your family, pets, and the environment are always my top priority. We can provide you with all of the information and treatment recommendations so that we can resolve you termite issue in a safe manner.
Speak with a Termite Specialist
Give us a call or text us at (484) 401-4361 to speak with a termite control specialist!
Our affordable pest control services can get your home or business pest free quickly! No need to break the bank to rid your home of pests. Our affordable, professional, and effective pest services can bring comfort back to your home!
Affordable Pest Control and Exterminator Services
Affordable doesn’t mean low quality. In fact, our pest control and exterminator services are professional and effective.
The safety of your family, pets, and the environment are always our top priority!
Many pest control and exterminator companies want to simply spray a magic chemical and hope that it resolves your pest problem.
We use the latest pest control and exterminator techniques to evaluate your home and provide you with the most effective solution to your pest problem.
As a veteran and family owned company, you can trust that we will treat your home like our own.
With a decade of experience and a degree in Biology from Penn State University, you have not met an exterminator like me before!
Why use one of the “big” companies, when they will just send an entry level technician to your house? With Prudential Pest Solutions you will have an experienced and knowledgeable technician that has a mission to safely resolve your pest problem.
Flexible Scheduling and Service Times
We are not like the utility companies that give you large and inconvenient service appointment windows. Your time is very valuable and so is ours! Our appointments are scheduled to be as convenient and timely as possible.
Weekend and Off Hours Appointments
Why take off of work or burn a sick day just for the exterminator? We can schedule and resolve your pest issue on a weekend, or outside of our normal business hours.
Pests aren’t 9am-5pm and neither are we! If you have an issue outside of normal business hours, give us a call or send us a message and I’m sure we can schedule you in.
The home buying process can be a stressful time. For most people, a home purchase will be the largest purchase of their lives. We provide termite inspection and wood destroying insect inspections to inform potential buyers of insect activity on the property.
Termite Inspections WDI
We provide termite inspection reports for real estate transactions. As part of the home buying process, many lenders will require a wood destroying insect (WDI) report as part of the real estate inspection.
In addition to termites, the WDI inspector is looking for any and all signs and evidence of wood destroying insects.
Some common species of wood destroying insects found in Chester County include:
Termites are wood destroying insects that can cause substantial damage to the structure of a building. There are many different species of termites found throughout the world.
Termites in Pennsylvania
The termites found in Chester County and throughout Pennsylvania are subterranean termites. These termites live underground and are very rarely seen above ground. They are clear in color and can form colonies of thousands of individuals.
Termite inspections are often initiated for a few reasons. Either the inspection is required for a real estate transaction, or there is a suspicion of termite activity.
To learn more about termite real estate inspections, WDI, you can find that here.
If termites or termite activity is discovered, then you will need a termite treatment.
There are many different options for termite treatments in Pennsylvania. We typically prefer a liquid treatment with a monitoring program. Our termite technicians will be able to recommend a termite treatment that is right for you and affordable.
You can learn more about termite treatment options here.
Termites can be controlled many different ways. We offer termite control services to all of Chester County.
If you would like to speak with one of our termite specialists, give us a call or send us a message.
There are 2 main choices for termite treatment options in a residential home. They are chemical treatments using repellents or non-repellents, and baiting systems using baits. Both termite treatment options can provide great results. In this post we will discuss both treatment options and when they work best.
Termidor Termite Treatments
When we think of liquid, non-repellent, chemical termite treatments, Termidor is the only name that comes to mind. This termiticide made by BASF, is THE name in termite treatments. We use a Termidor HE which is a great product to treat the termite colony fast.
Termidor works by using the termites social colony against them. Once the termite comes in contact with the termiticide, it does not die right away. This is a good thing because we want that termite to spread the chemical to his friends and family. Those termites that have contacted the first termites spread it to others and so on and so on. Since the chemical is a non-repellent, the termites can’t detect it and will happily contact it or eat wood that was treated with Termidor.
Let’s look at how we use Termidor HE for our Termite Treatments
Prepping for Termite Treatments
We have established through a thorough inspection that your home has termites. Now it is time to prep your home for a termite treatment. Since the termites that we have in Chester County and throughout the State of Pennsylvania are subterranean, we need to focus our prep on the ground and soil. We will need access to the entire perimeter foundation of your home. Even if the termites are only found in one section of your home, the entire structure needs to be treated.
Remove any moveable obstructions from the area around the foundation of the home. This includes garden hoses, flower pots, and other objects.
Contact PA PUC to have them properly find and mark any and all buried electrical lines, gas lines, plumbing pipes, cable lines, and other hidden obstructions.
Check for wells, drains, and other water sources that are close to the home.
Identify and remove sources of moisture from the foundation. This includes improper and damaged downspouts, gutters overflowing, and grading issues.
Termidor Termite Treatment
Note: Termidor HE should only be applied by licensed PA Pesticide Applicators.
ALWAYS read and follow the label on the chemical as writte
We will trench around the structure approximately 2 inches deep and 4 inches wide. Depending on the type of construction, the application may even go to a depth of 2 feet. Using a our power spraying equipment we attach a trenching rod to apply the chemical into the soil. The label on the Termidor HE will dictate how many gallons per linear foot we will apply.
After the Termite Treatment, Now What?
After a termite treatment has been successfully completed, there are more options moving forward. We offer warranties that stay with the home that cover if the termites return. There are monitors that can be placed around the perimeter of the home to identify termite activity in the future. Between the termite warranties and a monitoring system, you can rest assured that your termite issue is under control.
Repellent Chemical Termite Treatments
The repellent chemical termite treatments are very similar to the non-repellent termite treatments. The only big difference is how the chemical works and what effects it has on the termites and the colony. For non-repellent chemical treatments, we rely on the termites not detecting the chemical and spreading it to one another. With repellent termite treatments, that is not the case.
Repellent chemicals kill the termites on contact. The termites do not pass along or transfer the chemical to one another. This type of treatment has its advantages and disadvantages. An advantage of using this type of treatment would be in preventative termite treatments. With preventative termite treatments, the termites would die on contact and the colony would not move into the home. The disadvantage is if the colony is already established in the home, then you may be killing just the workers and the colony remains undisturbed.
Termite Bait Systems
Termite bait systems offer a non-liquid chemical approach to termite control. The idea is that wood and cellulose baited stations are installed around the exterior perimeter of the home. These stations are checked throughout the year and if termite activity is noted in the station then treatment begins.
If termite activity is found in the station, the cellulose cartridge is removed and a termiticide cartridge is placed into the station. Similar to the Termidor, the termites eat the bait and take it back to the colony. After a few months the termite colony is destroyed and the monitors remain in place. The monitors are then left to be checked on a yearly basis to see if the termites are active. If activity is found, the same process is repeated.
Here is the baiting/monitoring system that we use.
Pros/Cons of baiting systems
What I like about the baiting systems are that you can visually see the progress of the termite treatments. Since the termites live underground, it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of the termite treatment if using only a liquid treatment.
The cons of using a baiting/monitoring system is that the treatment takes longer to eradicate the colony than the liquid termite treatments. Also, since you are putting pure cellulose into the soil, you could attract termites from the surrounding area that would have otherwise not come near your home. Lastly, the stations are moisture prone and I have found ant colonies LOVE to make the stations their homes.
Termite Treatment Costs
The cost for a termite treatment is affected by a few factors. They include:
Total length of your foundation (Total Linear Feet)
Severity of Infestation
Type of ground around your home (concrete will require additional drilling)
Wells or drains near the home
Type of treatment option
Termite Treatments Chester County
If you live in Chester County and have a termite issue, we can help. Out experienced and licensed termite technicians will inspect your home and provide you with an affordable treatment option. Termite warranties stay with the home so even if you sell your home, the warranty transfers to the new owners.
In our service areas of Chester County, York County, and Dauphin County there are many questions about termites. In our part of the country, we have subterranean termites. In this post, we examine a recent study and how it effects termite control and homes in Pennsylvania.
The subterranean termite is known as the “silent destroyer”. This is because their damage often goes un-noticed for years. Once the termite infestation is found, the damage could be quite severe.
In January of 2018, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) conducted a study on termite damage. You can check out the video and study specifics here. The NPMA wanted to conduct a study to see how destructive termites could be on a home. Of course, we all know that termites are destructive, but few have seen how destructive they can be.
Subterranean termites live and move underground. As such, termite activity can go un-noticed for a very long time. Many of our clients find out that they have termites through three different scenarios:
Scenario 1: You go to buy or sell a home and an inspector performing a wood destroying insect inspection (WDI) finds termites.
Scenario 2: You are doing some renovation to the home and you or the contractor finds termites
Scenario 3: You notice that once a year you see what look like ants with wings in a specific part of the house. They arrive for a few days in the spring, die, and then you don’t see them for another year.
In all three of these scenarios, the termites have been present and causing damage to your home. For how long is unknown because most of the damage happens in areas you can’t see. This is why this NPMA “Tiny Termite House” is so fascinating. We get to see how much damage and how quickly the damage occurs in the house.
In the study, the NPMA built a miniature house. This house is not a doll house that only has four walls and some floors. No, this is a very realistic miniature home meant to mimic an actual home. This tiny termite house was constructed using the same techniques and materials as a full-size house. The tiny house had full electric and plumbing, drywall, a swimming pool, and hardwood floors. This tiny termite house was constructed on top of a poured concrete slab and included a concrete porch. Multiple cameras are placed to watch and track the progress/damage by the termites.
After construction of the home, approximately half a million termites are released into the foundation around the tiny house. The termites can be seen entering the soil, and the vulnerable areas around the home. Termites are looking for soil, wood and darkness. As the video shows, the termites can be seen entering gaps and crevices where the porch meets the house and where the wood meets the concrete at the foundation. As the study progresses, the termites begin to form mud tunnels which allow them to go from the soil to the wood without being exposed to the outside world.
After approximately one month, the researchers investigate what type of damage is occurring to the home. The termites had consumed most of the floor joists and plywood under the hardwood floors. In one of the videos from the study, the camera does a close up of the hardwood floors. The flooring is warped throughout the home due to the moisture created by the termites. After the termites had finished with the floor joists and subfloor, they started moving up to the wall framing behind the drywall. When the researchers lift up the home, there are “100’s of thousands” of live termites found under the concrete foundation slab. At the conclusion of the study, the tiny house is labeled as structurally unsound and thus unlivable.
This study by the NPMA shows us a few interesting things about termites and the damage they cause. First it showed just how rapid the termites found the weak points around the foundation of the home and entered. Once inside, they were able to absolutely devastate the structural components of the home. Second, the study made it interesting to actually observe the termites in action and the aftermath of their damage. Since the termites are subterranean, watching visible activity in the real world is rarely possible. Lastly, the study showed that you can’t judge a book by its cover. After the tiny house is labeled structurally unsound, the camera zooms out and we can see that the house looks pristine. Besides the warped floor boards, the home doesn’t show any outward signs of a major problem.
The important takeaway from this study is that you need to have an experienced and dedicated company inspect and treat for termites. Prudential Pest Solutions has the experience and treatment options to best fit your need and budget. We can make sure your home is treated properly and then is warrantied against future infestations. This warranty can be transferred in the event you sell the home, or simply renewed each year for peace of mind. Termites, if identified early on, can be treated and eradicated. Don’t let your home look great on the outside but have a serious problem on the inside. If you live in Chester County, York County, or Dauphin County, we can get you termite free! Contact us to schedule an appointment today.
Tiny Termite House Reveals How Termites Destroy From the Inside Out. (2018). Retrieved November 4, 2018, from https://www.pestworld.org/tiny-termite-house/