Termites yard

Termites yard

Of course, the local conditions play a very important part in all of this also. Most all of the United States has a moderate termite pressure, some places more than others. And there are a few places that have (essentially) zero termite pressure. And there are even many variations in your very own microclimate. Two houses, built exactly the alike, across the street from each other, could have wildly different times as to when they pop up with termites. So you can never tell. I’m sure you’re getting my drift.

So the only way to know if you actually have termites would be by a visual inspection, preferably by someone who is honest and very experienced at performing termite inspections, on structures of that type. Sometimes it’s hard to determine whether what you think is ‘experience,’ is actually BS. For the average layman, it’s hard to discern. Scamming is easy to do on some people by some people. Remember, termite control is an expertise, not an exact science. Different exterminators will have different treatment specifications, (and, of course, different prices) and all could be valid (or invalid) treatments. That tends to confuse the issue too. Needless procedures to drive up the price is a definite no-no. Lots of guys do it. Some will skimp on service and/or chemicals too.

Do I ‘spray’ around the perimeter of my house? And use the bait sticks? What about that new stuff from Bayer, the granular stuff you spread around the perimeter, does that work?

No, no and no.

‘Spraying” around your house (by you or anyone else) is not going to do a thing for termites except empty your wallet. Termites forage underground, so anything you spray or sprinkle around isn’t going to do the trick. It has to be applied underground, in specific ways to work on termites. Depending on a thousand other factors, of course.

And neither will the termite stakes you buy at Home Depot. Waste of your money and time, trust me. It’s never that easy, trust me on that too.

So what do you do about it?

You could always have the job ‘professionally’ performed NOW, before your house shows up with termites. But that still wouldn’t guarantee that you would not still develop termites! It could happen despite all your efforts! If you’re really panicky, you could go the ‘baiting route,’ and pay out lots of good money to have some disinterested person show up on a regular basis and check all the stations. (This is REAL BORING work, so don’t get ‘inspected’ at the end of the day.

I recommend you get associated with a good exterminator, you’re going to be needing one, over the years. Different things are going to pop up, so if you have a name to call, that you know and trust, you’ll be ahead of the game. But this is true with any of the trades, so you’ll actually need to do the same for plumbers, etc. Best way to get these guys (us too!) is to get a referral from someone you know and trust.

Frankly, (and personally) I think you might be just as well off waiting for things to happen. I would suggest you go through my termite page (if you haven’t already) and see if you can get some further sense of what you think you want to do.

And, of course, you can always trust any of the guys on my good guys page, if you ever need to have an exterminator step in and give you a hand. Just tell them “John from United” sent you.


I Just Found Termites in my Yard. Does My House Need to be Treated?

Not necessarily. In Arizona, termites abound in the soil wherever wood is to be found. Most yards, especially those in older, established neighborhoods, support termites. While termites are more abundant in some locations, chances are good that your yard has termites. Finding termites in a fence or woodpile, or in landscape timbers, does not necessarily mean that your home needs to be treated, but it should alert you to the presence of termites around your home.

Should you find termites in your yard; a few simple steps can help reduce your risk of becoming infested. First, familiarize yourself with what termites look like so that if you notice swarms of any unusual indoor insects, you will know whether your house should be inspected. Second, examine the foundation of your home to see whether mud shelter tubes are present that might indicate termite activity. Termite shelter tubes are hollow soil tunnels extending from the soil to your house, and provide runways for termites to travel between their underground nest and their food supply (your home). If you find any suspicious mud structures, leave at least part of the material in place for a professional termite inspector to examine. Finally, keep soil and debris, such as stacked wood, away from the foundation of your home. This reduces the chance of termite entry and makes it easier to inspect your home for termite signs.

If you suspect termites, it’s a good idea to have a professional inspect your home. Termite inspections are often free, unless you need a formal report for use in a real estate transaction.


Termites in Yard: Cause for Concern?

While I was planting fall bulbs yesterday, I noticed a mess of termites crawling in the soil near our house. We have a 1949 brick home. We haven’t seen any evidence inside the house of termites (house is built on a concrete foundation). There are a lot of tree roots throughout the yard. Maybe termites could be feasting on sunken roots?

We moved in two years ago and had a termite inspection that came back clear. Does the presence of termites in the soil mean that we should call a pest company out? Thanks – I’m still new at this. 😉

Comments (8)

yes, they WILL eventually get into your house. call around and get several estimates. when we found termites this past spring, the prices ranged from 1100 to 3000 for treatment. they put a barrier down around the house, and drilled into all concrete to spray under it as well. we ended up going with Terminix because i KNOW how well they stand behind their service contracts. if ever we have active termites again, as long as we are paying the yearly contract, they will retreat at their expense. if they cause any damage, they will pay to fix like new.

BTW, a termite inspection when buying ONLY means that there was no visible termite activity. they look for tunnels and chewings around the walls. nothing else really. most of the time they don’t even show prior termite damage. our house came back clean, but after we discovered the termites this spring Terminix found evidence of OLD damage, and showed me where the house had been treated previously, the TI when we bought simply said no evidence of current termites.

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Sounds like subterranean termites. They burrow under the soil and create tunnels to crawl in to climb the walls and into the “innards” of your home.

You mentioned concrete foundation, but is your home concrete block or brick? In our last home they created tunnels between the brick and concrete walls. We only found them because of damage to the frame of a nearby window.

We now have a bait system in place and we sleep better because of it.

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they will also come up thru ANY crack/opening in the foundation. and i don’t care how solid your house is, ALL houses on a concrete slab have a crack somewhere. heck, where the plumbing comes up is usually a 12×12 hole, sometimes bigger.

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If the termites are less than a foot away from the house then I’d be especially worried — in my experience at least, the soil up to a foot from the house is injected with termiticide to form a chemical barrier. So if they’re that close, there’s no effective barrier. Even if they’re further away, then this is a wake-up call to get a barrier treatment, if you have no record of a recent treatment. Definition of “recent” depends on the kind of chemical, so get a few pest control operator opinions on that. Incidentally, once the barrier is in place, you’ll need spot retreatment if the soil is disturbed in specified ways (e.g. if a plumber digs it up to fix an underground pipe).

As for bait systems. My pest control guy is as honest as the day is long, and he doesn’t believe in baits. He treated a house that had severe termite damage (e.g. you could poke a screwdriver through one of the interior walls) despite having a monitored bait system for years.

Here’s an anti-Sentricon web page:

Personally I wouldn’t sleep well if my house was protected only by baits.


Termites yard

January 15, 2019

You were always aware of termites—even nervous about what would happen if these destructive pests got into your home.

At the same time, your worry never really rose to the level of something you were actively worried about. After all, there were no signs of issues in your house.

Then, one day, while gardening, you noticed what looked like termite tubes in your yard. You did a little poking around and—yep—definitely termites. Or are they?

After pushing your feelings of panic aside for a moment, you started to think it through rationally, and realized that you had more questions than answers, including:

  • If there are termites in your yard, does that mean these pests already in your house?
  • If termites are in your yard, is that really a reason to be worried?
  • What signs should you look for to determine how bad the problem is?

Pest professionals have heard all these questions—and countless others like them—many times over. We understand that finding termites outside is something that leaves homeowners wondering what they should do next.

If termites were clearly in the house, you would know that you need to handle it immediately. But in the yard? How does that change things?

We created this post to answer these kinds of questions.

First, let’s go over how to tell if you’re dealing with termites outside or not.

Identifying Termites In Grass

Every year, during the warm, humid months, some of the reproductive male and female termites leave the nest and fly out of the colony. Consequently, the most visible sign of a termite infestation is a swarm of flying termites.

However, there’s also a decent chance that the swarming insects you think are termites are in fact ants. So, how does one tell a termite from an ant?

Characteristics Of Termites

Termites are insects that are visible to naked human eye. You do not necessarily need to take a magnifying glass out to the yard for you to identify termites and tell them apart from their look-alikes.

One important fact to note is that the most destructive termites live underground, so unless you are disturbing soil, moving landscaping timbers or near a woodpile, you are unlikely to see these creatures out in the open.

That said, let’s go into a bit more detail about what termites look like.

How big are termites, exactly? If you are trying to tell if what you are looking at is, in fact, a termite, you should know that:

  • Termites are small to medium-sized.
  • The body length ranges from between a quarter and a half inch.

Are termites white, black, brown or another color entirely? Use these tips to learn more about this insect’s appearance:

  • Termites range in color from light brown to white, depending on the type and life stage.
  • Worker termites are often lighter than their darker swarming counterparts.

What other information can help you tell if it’s a termite you see in your yard? The following information can be helpful for reference:

  • Termites have a soft, pale, elongated body.
  • A termite’s body has a head, thorax and abdomen.
  • Termites have a pair of antennae that are just about as long as their heads.
  • The maxillae (mouthparts) are also found on the head.
  • A termite’s thorax is divided into three segments, and each segment has a pair of legs, giving them six legs total.
  • Wings are found only on the thorax of reproductive male and female termites (swarming termites).

Is It A Termite Or An Ant?

Many homeowners mistake winged termites for winged ants—and vice versa. Even though it might be difficult to tell at first glance, there are many differences between ants and termites.

So, how are winged termites and ants distinct?

  • Winged termites have equal length wings, straight antennae and a straight waist.
  • Flying ants have wings that are different sizes, bent antennae and a pinched waist.
  • The wings of winged termites are clear, while those of flying ants are often brown-tinted.
  • Ants go through a complete metamorphosis, with four stages of development. Adult ants lay eggs that hatch into larva. The larva becomes a pupa, which later turns into an adult ant.
  • Termites undergo incomplete metamorphosis with only three stages of development. Adult termites lay eggs that hatch into nymphs, and the nymphs later grow into adult termites.
  • A male ant dies after mating with the female.
  • Both the male and female termites live on after mating.

Different Types Of Termites

Over 3,000 species of termites that have been described to date. However, only less than 20 of them are recognized as pests in North America. Some of the termite species that U.S. homeowners typically have to deal with include:

  • Subterranean termites (family Rhinotermit > are found all over the country, and are by far the most destructive termite species . An invasive, aggressive species, Formosan termites (C. formosanus) are sometimes called “super termites” because they are among the most voracious pests, capable of chewing through flooring, wood and even materials like wallapaper.
  • Dampwood termites (family Hodotermit />

Termites In Garden: Do You Need To Worry?

It’s not unusual for southern homeowners to find termites in their yard or garden while digging or planting. On rare occasions, you might even catch these insects above ground foraging at night. Termites have been known to collect grass pieces from your lawn to carry back to their nest.

Termites serve an important role in our larger ecosystem. These creatures are recyclers and decomposers of dead wood, which helps maintain an essential balance among the living organisms that make up our backyards.

However, when they nest close to residential or commercial property, termites become a dangerous economic pest.

You may have some knowledge of the destructive power of termites. You may have heard that they cause billions of dollars of damage to structures every year. You may have also read about how thoroughly they can destroy a house. An experienced pest professional will tell you they can feast on your home without you even knowing it. Termites have earned the nickname “silent destroyers” for this ability to threaten a homeowner’s largest investment.

So, if you spot a termite in your yard or garden, is it really a big deal?

On the one hand, no. Termites naturally feed on various types of plant material, which may include bark, leaves, humus, wood and even the droppings of herbivores. However, once they’ve exhausted the food resources near their colony, termites will move on, and could begin feeding on the wood found on whatever structures they encounter.

Basically, their quest for food may bring termites to your house. If they find wood to feed on there (which they will), termites will build mud tubes leading from their colony to your home.

What happens when this occurs?

  • They may cause structural damage—especially if your house is primarily built of wood.
  • Even if the structure does not have a wood exterior, termites may cause structural damage by damaging walls, foundations and more.
  • Termites could get into your home and feed on furniture, ceilings, floors and cabinets.
  • Termites can damage other cellulose-based materials, such as carpets, books, clothes and photo frames.
  • Since termites feed 24/7, the damage they cause may progress quickly if the right countermeasures aren’t put in place.

Warning Signs Of A Termite Infestation

There are a few tell-tale indicators of a termite infestation.

As mentioned earlier, termites will build small mud tunnels using soil or dirt. Termite mud tubes look like dirt that’s been packed into strands. These passageways can be seen coming up from the ground against the wall of a house and can be found virtually anywhere, including such places as the back patio, front porch, inside the garage or even on the wooden handles of a wide variety of home and gardening tools.

Sighting Of Flying Termites

Flying termites (also known as swarmers or alates) are one of the most obvious signs of termites in your yard.

Another sign of termites is the remnants of the wings that are discarded after the swarmers land. The wings are usually identical in shape, size and color, and can be found on the ground, floors or even along windowsills.

Holes In Wood

Termites bore into wood and consume it from the inside out. Therefore, wood that’s been damaged by termites will often have multiple tiny holes that were drilled by the termites.

Once inside the wood, termites create tunnels—also referred to as galleries. These galleries can be seen on the inside of split wood that’s been damaged by termites and can sometimes even be seen along the exterior.

As the termites consume the wood from the inside, they leave a thin veneer of timber or overlying paint. If you were to tap on wood that’s been impacted, it would feel papery and sound hollow if you were to tap it with a flat-head screwdriver.

Termite Droppings

After consuming wood, termites (particularly the drywood variety) leave behind grainy, brown-colored fecal mounds that are often confused with sawdust. These termite droppings, also referred to as frass, are frequently found beneath termite-infested wood.

Hard-To-Open Doors And Windows

The excrement and mud created by termites as they devour wood may trap moisture and heat, which can, in some extreme cases, make the wood itself swell. Doors and windows whose timber is swollen may become so tight-fitting that it becomes hard to open and close them.

How To Look For Termites

Now that we know what signs to look for, it’s time to learn how to try to perform your own visual inspection. Here’s what we’d recommend you try to determine whether you have a termite problem:

  • Begin by taking a tour in and around the property, looking for possible entry points.
  • Watch out for mud tubes, dirt or mud protruding from cracks.
  • Break any tubes that you might see and check whether any termites are crawling inside.
  • Check on the broken tubes a few days later to see if they’ve been rebuilt or whether new tubes arise.
  • Watch out for piles of termite wings or actual live termites in and around the home.

Common termite locations in a home include:

  • Window sills and doors
  • Cellar and crawlspace doors
  • Foundation walls
  • Basements
  • Subfloors
  • Headers and joists
  • Chimney bases
  • Floor drains
  • Washer/dryer areas
  • Water heater
  • Dirt-filled porches
  • Planter boxes
  • Wood decks
  • Exterior sidings

Although you may find some types of termites in these areas, subterranean termites are notoriously hard to spot, particularly since they infest the most hard-to-reach areas of your home. The best way to find out if you have termites in and around your home, particularly given the high stakes if you have an infestation, is to have a trained pest professional conduct an inspection for you.

How To Get Rid Of Termites In A Tree Stump

One of the ways a termite colony can gain a foothold on your property is by feeding on a tree stump. Homeowners may notice these voracious pests set up camp in these areas and devour all they can, then move on to whatever structure is closest—quite possibly, your house.

If you discover termites on a tree stump in your yard, your natural instinct will be to forcibly evict these dangerous pests. But, how?

Clear The Area

Remove loose sections of the stump and other wood debris nearby and put these materials in your City of Austin green composting cart or in a bag for your residential yard trimming collection.

Apply A Termiticide

Call in a professional to treat the impacted area. Although consumers may purchase and use these products, the Environmental Protection Agency and other institutions recommend having a trained pest management technician apply termiticides on your property.

Treat The Surrounding Soil

An experienced pest control professional may also recommend treating around the stump to target the termites that may be living underground nearby.

Remove The Stump

The most effective way to eliminate termites on a tree stump is to remove the food source, which is the stump itself. However, stump removal is expensive, so most homeowners only take this step in extreme cases.

Do Termites Come Back After Treatment?

Unfortunately, the soil in Texas and many other southern states is quite comfy for termites, so they’re going to try to come back. The factors that dictate how long termite treatment products will last include which type of treatment was used, how thorough the application was, what part of the country you live in, any unique aspects of your local environment that make you more or less susceptible to termites and how severe your infestation was. Generally speaking, recurrences occur when termites find a gap in the chemical barrier that products are intended to form around your home, rather than from a product breaking down over time.

Chem-free Can Protect Your Home From Termites

Want some good news? Chem-free uses scientifically-proven products to safeguard your home from these destructive pests. The compound treatment we use stays in the ground for five years, encouraging these pests to stay away. As an added line of defense, we can also install sensors in your yard that will detect when termites are getting too close. With the help of Chem-free, your biggest investment can be safeguarded from termite infestations while you can rest assured that the methods we employ will be low-impact on your children, your pets and the nearby flora and fauna. Contact us today for a free estimate!


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