What To Do When You Need Termite Treatment

What To Do When You Need Termite Treatment

Maybe you’re an attentive homeowner that saw a swarming termite flying in or around your house. Or maybe you’re a homeowner that’s noticed termite pellets in your garage for the last 10 years and you were hoping they would go away on their own. Either way, your better accept the situation and begin working on a lasting solution for your home.

Your first move should be to make an appointment with the Ventura pest control experts at Spearhead Pest Control for a free, non-escrow WDO inspection. WDO stands for wood destroying organism and includes termites, fungus (dry rot), some species of beetles and carpenter bees. An inspection for a typical California home takes around 45 minutes and can usually be scheduled within 48 hours of your call.

3An inspection is like a free check-up for your home. There are no obligations. We’ll start with the most recent evidence that you’ve found or whatever prompted you to seek an inspection. That could be drywood termite pellets on a windowsill, in your garage, around your exterior siding, or maybe you see obvious damage around your roof line and eaves. Many times we get calls for flying termites in a house or outside.

I begin with the most recent evidence and identify your specific type of termites. For instance, in the Ventura, Oxnard, and Camarillo areas there are subterranean termites, drywood termites and dampwood termites, and they all have different termite treatments. Once we’ve identified the species of termite, we then survey the damage and extent of the infestation.

So let’s break this down by species.

Drywood Termites: For this species, we sometimes recommend tenting the house to eliminate the infestation. Tenting is actually called fumigation and it means covering a structure in an air locked tarp enclosure and filling its volume with a gas lethal to drywood termites, usually sulfuryl fluoride or methyl bromide.

The cost for a tenting is calculated by the volume of the structure. Square footage isn’t useful because it doesn’t include spaces with unfinished floors, like basements (rare in Ventura County), garages, patio covers or sun rooms. The angle of the roof must also be measured to determine an accurate volume. The more volume in a structure, the more gas is needed to fill that space and hence the more it costs. An accurate measurement results in the most savings for a homeowner needing termite treatment in Ventura or elsewhere in our service area. IMG_20151015_133632610_HDR

Fumigation is necessary when multiple spot treatments are required that will cost more than or close to the cost of tenting the entire house. Fumigation is also recommended when the infestation is located in an inaccessible or unknown area of the home. A classic example of an unknown area is when there are swarming drywood termites around a window inside the house. Those termites came from a mature termite colony somewhere in the home, and finding out where can be difficult. Failure to identify the root of an infestation leaves two options: Make the inaccessible areas of a home accessible by tearing down drywall to expose the wood until we find the colony or by fumigating the structure to ensure the thorough extermination of everything inside your home.

Fumigation requires vacating the structure for 2 nights and 3 days. While some preparation is required, we’ve found ways to make this process easy for our customers while maximizing safety and reducing costs.

2Local Treatment: This treatment involves directly injecting a termiticide into termite  tunnels. There are many termiticides out there but not all are created equal. Just because something can kill termites doesn’t necessarily mean it will eliminate your infestation or assist in future termite prevention. This is an issue we continue to see pop up with orange oil and borate injections. While these might kill termites they come directly in contact with, they do not have the transfer effect necessary to kill off an entire colony. Termites will just stop traveling to the treated areas, which only makes it appear as if the termites are gone.

Small colonies generally call for local treatment or “spot” treatment, as it’s commonly referred to. Spot treatments are a good option for drywood termites in accessible areas like open framing or patio structures.

Subterranean Termites: The termite treatment for this species generally requires going beyond spot treatments. Over time the termite colony will just move beyond the treated area and continue eating your house from inaccessible areas. For this reason, we typically recommend full perimeter treatment or complimenting the local treatment with a termite baiting program designed for the subterranean termites in Ventura County.

When dealing with termites, it’s very important that the products used actually exterminate Ventura colonies instead of diverting them. Full perimeter treatment means injecting a high volume of termiticide all the way around the base of a structure, blocking it off from subterranean termites. Since the overwhelming majority of homes and commercial buildings in Oxnard, Ventura, Camarillo, and Thousand Oaks are on concrete slab foundations (especially new homes), these treatments will require drilling through the foundations, which many customers take issue with that.

At Spearhead Pest Control, we remain committed to our role in local environmental stewardship. This means if we can avoid harming non-target species by evolving our methods, then that’s what we’ll do. We feel that the times of full perimeter pesticide barriers have passed, which is why we no longer offer this type of termite prevention in Ventura. There are equally effective alternatives that possess far less risks to non-target species like fish, birds or pets. We’ve had excellent results with small spot treatment in addition to our termite baiting program. If your goal is to make a maximum impact with a highly targeted approach, Spearhead Pest Control has got the answer for you!

Dampwood Termites: This species rarely does any significant structural damage  to a home despite their large size (up to 10 times the size of a drywood termite). This is because they need a very high moisture saturation in the wood they eat. Getting rid of dampwood termites is quite simple – just get rid of the moisture source! Simple. There are no pesticides and no tenting needed for this particular termite species, which is welcome news for homeowners!

At Spearhead Pest Control we are dedicated to solutions that are right for our customers, for the environment and for the wildlife we share it with. As a homeowner, it’s quite natural for you to have questions about protecting your home and making sure you’re getting the most value for your money. Give us a call right now and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. We don’t have automated phones and you’ll never “Push 1 for” anything. You’ll always get a live and highly competent human being to answer your questions. Or if you prefer, click here to fill out a contact form and we can chat via email.

-Rudy Ayala
Owner Spearhead Pest Control

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