Termite Removal: Tacoma, Olympia, Auburn, Kent, Federal Way and Burien
Termites, unlike Carpenter Ants, feed on and digest the wood products they infest, this makes termite pest control, just a little more difficult to control. They live in large or small colonies consisting of different classes or castes: a queen, reproductive males and females, workers, and soldiers. What you can expect to find when encountering a termite colony depends greatly on the species of termite, as do the control procedures. Some live underground almost entirely, and come to the wood only to gather food, while others live almost entirely inside of the wood, leaving only to reproduce. Some are large and some are very small. Let’s explore the two most common species found in Western Washington.
Termite control prices are determined on a case by case basis.
As the name would indicate, these pests live in damp or moisture-damaged wood. Dampwoods need high levels of moisture to live. They can often be found nesting in wood siding under a leaking gutter, behind an improperly sealed porch or in a rotting tree stump or landscape timbers. Dampwood Termites are rather large. Adults average 3/4 of an inch long, and are cream colored to brownish in appearance.
Because they rarely leave the nest site, Dampwood Termites are most frequently seen during their reproductive swarming season in the late summer months at dusk. Many people confuse these mating flights with that of swarming ants but they are hard to confuse once you have learned the differences between termites and ants. All termites have two pairs of equal-length wings and fly clumsily. Reproductive ants fly clumsily too and also have two pairs of wings but if you look closely you will find that one pair of wings on an ant is longer than the other. Dampwood Termite reproductive, or alates, can be over one inch long with their wings folded back. A thick swarm of Dampwoods can be quite a sight!
Subterranean Termites, or “Subs” as we call them, are very small when compared to Dampwood Termites but they can have a very large colony size, frequently as many as several hundred thousand workers. That number can do severe damage quickly to a house. Coloration varies from a very light cream color in the workers to dark brownish black in the winged reproductives.
Subterranean Termites live, again as the name would indicate, underground. They are able to retain the moisture they need by living underground and they build mud shelter tubes from their subterranean nests to the wood they want to feed on. This mud is comprised of wood cellulose and saliva and the tubes frequently will be found heading up a foundation wall in a garage or going up footings and posts in a crawlspace. These mud tubes allow them to attack damp wood or dry wood, classifying them as a primary wood-destroying organism. Subs are very destructive when left untreated inside a structure. Their destructive power is rivalled only by Carpenter Ants in Western Washington.
Found only in warmer climates, Drywood Termites aren’t able to survive here even if they are imported in a shipment of lumber.
Control procedures are determined by which variety of termite we are facing. For Dampwood Termites control is best obtained by removing and replacing the water-damaged wood that they are infesting and correcting whatever leaks that might be contributing to the problem. They depend so much on that moist condition that a colony can be eliminated just by fixing the damp situation.
While it can be helpful to apply a chemical treatment it is generally not required, even to reach 100% control. Control of Subterranean Termites is an entirely different process. Because the majority of the colony lives underground it is useless to simply treat the wood they are infesting. The treatment must be focused on the soil under the structure. By establishing a chemical barrier between the soil and the wood structure we can prevent any colony from living under your house and accessing the wood. Unfortunately the process of applying chemicals into the soil under a house can sometimes be very difficult and it involves drilling holes through any concrete slabs within and around the structure. It sounds worse than it is and recently there have been major improvements in the products designed for these treatments. Non-repellent termiticides are a great leap forward because instead of pushing them out of the treated area, only to return once the residual is worn off, now the termites don’t know any better and continue to nest within the treated area until the colony is 100% neutralized!
Call Rambo Total Pest Control for a free phone quote! We will gladly offer any advice that we can during this process.