Category Archives: Termite Control

Termites In Your Home? Here Are 3 Of The Most Important Things You Should Know

The University of Kentucky has released an informative FAQ article of homeowners on termites.

Here is a low-down on the experts’ answers to homeowners’ most common questions, and we have rounded up three of the most important:

Why worry about termites?

Termites are reported to cause billions of dollars in damages every year. The list of things they can damage are not limited to wood. Aside from posing a serious threat to your home’s structural foundations, termites can also damage books, insulation, papers, important documents, memorabilia, and even pool liners and filtration systems.

How will you know if your home is infested?

When you see mud tubes about the width of a pencil and sometimes wider, extending from your foundations or in other crevices and surfaces of your home, it is most certainly a termite infestation. Termites build these mud tubes for traveling between their underground homes and to new territory. Hollowed-out wood with bits of dried mud or soil lining its galleries is also a sure sign of a termite infestation. Rippled or sunken traces behind wall coverings can also be signs that termites have been tunneling underneath it.

One thing you also have to brush up on is identifying termites from flying ants.

Can I treat a termite infestation myself?

If a termite infestation happens to a small, uncomplicated structure isolated from your house, such as a mailbox, a sandbox, or your dog’s kennel, for example, then it is possible a DIY measure can help. But if you’re going to be exterminating an infestation that has burrowed deep into your home — which is a much more complicated structure, then you will certainly need the expertise and on-hand equipment range of pest control professionals. Attempting a DIY termite extermination project can only result in creating even more damage to your home.

Termites In Your Home? Here Are 3 Of The Most Important Things You Should Know

Termites In Your Home? Here Are 3 Of The Most Important Things You Should Know

The University of Kentucky has released an informative FAQ article of homeowners on termites.

Here is a low-down on the experts’ answers to homeowners’ most common questions, and we have rounded up three of the most important:

Why worry about termites?

Termites are reported to cause billions of dollars in damages every year. The list of things they can damage are not limited to wood. Aside from posing a serious threat to your home’s structural foundations, termites can also damage books, insulation, papers, important documents, memorabilia, and even pool liners and filtration systems.

How will you know if your home is infested?

When you see mud tubes about the width of a pencil and sometimes wider, extending from your foundations or in other crevices and surfaces of your home, it is most certainly a termite infestation. Termites build these mud tubes for traveling between their underground homes and to new territory. Hollowed-out wood with bits of dried mud or soil lining its galleries is also a sure sign of a termite infestation. Rippled or sunken traces behind wall coverings can also be signs that termites have been tunneling underneath it.

One thing you also have to brush up on is identifying termites from flying ants.

Can I treat a termite infestation myself?

If a termite infestation happens to a small, uncomplicated structure isolated from your house, such as a mailbox, a sandbox, or your dog’s kennel, for example, then it is possible a DIY measure can help. But if you’re going to be exterminating an infestation that has burrowed deep into your home — which is a much more complicated structure, then you will certainly need the expertise and on-hand equipment range of pest control professionals. Attempting a DIY termite extermination project can only result in creating even more damage to your home.

 

 

 

Hybrid Termites Flourish Under Unusual Palm Beach County Heat

Hybrid Termites Flourish Under Unusual Palm Beach County Heat

The arrival of spring and summer seasons have always heralded the arrival of tourists and local vacationists. But recently, Florida has also been teeming with something — or in this case, some things, a little more than unwelcome: termites. And if the presence of exotic tourists lounging under the Palm Beach County heat are not unheard of in this time of year, the presence of exotic termites have now also been discovered to swarm aplenty, thriving almost maniacally under the same unusual warmth of the season.

University of Florida entomologists announced the discovery of a new “super termite hybrid”, believed to be a product of climate-directed mating seasons that, due to the unusually hotter and extended summer, now overlap. All through March to May, South Florida reached its warmest recorded season, according to the National Weather Service in Miami. In West Palm Beach, temperatures were also higher than the historic norm by 4.1 degrees, which resulted in a field day for heat and humidity-loving termites.

“There is no exactly correct answer as to why it’s such an active swarm season this year, but it is,” said Greg Rice, marketing director for West Palm Beach-based Hulett Environmental Services.

They may not be sure about what’s causing the recent termite swarms, but those intense infestations are certainly the culprit for why Hullet’s termite business went up 27% in May compared to the same period in 2014; Guarantee Floridian’s termite treatments doubled over 2014 according to sales manager Carlos Pedroso; and business went up 40% last year and geared for another increase this season for West Palm Beach-based Beach Environmental owner, David Sprague.

It just goes to show that where there’s a field day for pests, there’s also a peak in the pest extermination business, as they get down to the nitty and gritty with not only their old nemesis, the original dry-wood termite — but now have the added pleasure of meeting the newcomer hybrids.

West Palm Beach Termite Control

  • Seal any cracks on the outside of the home with a silicone-based caulk, including entry points for utilities and pipes.
  • Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows.
  • Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house.
  • Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles.
  • Keep mulch at least 15 inches from the foundation.
  • Eliminate sources of standing water around the house, including birdbaths and in clogged gutters.
  • Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
  • Avoid leaving pet’s food dishes out for long periods of time.
  • Contact a licensed pest professional if an infestation is suspected.

South Florida Termite Control Experts | Just Call HULETT!

  • Seal any cracks on the outside of the home with a silicone-based caulk, including entry points for utilities and pipes.
  • Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows.
  • Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house.
  • Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles.
  • Keep mulch at least 15 inches from the foundation.
  • Eliminate sources of standing water around the house, including birdbaths and in clogged gutters.
  • Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
  • Avoid leaving pet’s food dishes out for long periods of time.
  • Contact a licensed pest professional if an infestation is suspected.

South Florida Hybrid | Termite Control Experts

Researchers in South Florida have recently found that the two most invasive termite species in the world may eventually produce new termite hybrid that cold be devastating. This new species could reproduce faster than their parent species and might have a larger range.

The Asian (Coptotermes gestroi) and Formosan (Coptotermes formosanus) subterranean termite species cause an estimated $40 billion worth of damage worldwide, the researchers reported. Both types of termite have evolved separately for hundreds of thousands of years. Due to human expansion and trade, the species were brought together in Taiwan, Hawaii and South Florida.

The study’s lead researcher, Thomas Chouvenc, an assistant research scientist of entomology at the University of Florida, has observed the two mating. This raises concerns that the hybrid offspring might have developed a temperature tolerance that stretches from North Carolina to Brazil. “That is the worst-case scenario,” said Chouvenc who has observed the hybrids growing in the lab.

In South Florida, the Asian termite typically mates in February, and the Formosan usually mates in April. In March 2013, Chouvenc found the two species mating at the same time. He believes that the warming climate has changed the termites’ mating seasons, but more evidence is needed to find the root cause.

 

The size of the hybrid brood, nearly twice the size of either parent group, is another concern, According to Chouvenc, when the researchers observed a Formosan colony and an Asian colony that were kept separate in the lab, each colony had about 80 offspring after a year. However, when the Formosan mated with the Asian termites, their colony produced about 150 termites in a year. The researchers are currently replicating the experiment to see if they get the same results.

The new study details a “fascinating situation” and “a sobering picture,” said Ed Vargo, a professor of entomology at Texas A&M University. “You have the two most destructive subterranean termite species in the world, and here they are, brought together through human activity, being introduced together in a place where they’re not native, and they’re hybridizing,” Vargo said.

 

 

http://www.livescience.com/50290-hybrid-termite-pests.html

 

 

Dampwood Termites

As the name suggests, dampwood termites infest wood with a high moisture content. Dampwood termites are normally larger in size than other termite species. Bodies of king and queen dampwood termites range in size from 1/2 inch to 5/8 inch long and have two pairs of wings that are equal in size and shape and extend beyond their abdomen. Nymphs range up to 5/8 inch and worker dampwood termites are up to 3/4 inch.

dampwoods

 

 

 

 

(Click image above)

 

What To Do If You Have Termites

The best way to effectively treat an existing termite infestation is through professional pest control, but there are steps homeowners can take to help keep the pests from invading in the first place.

For instance, simple things, such as keeping tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house can help.

Termite Pest Control
Termite Pest Control

We recommend these tips for controlling termites:

  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home including entry points for utilities and pipes.
  • Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and AC units.
  • Repair fascia and soffits and rotted roof shingles. Some termites are drawn to deteriorating wood.
  • Replace weather stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and 5 inches off the ground.
  • Routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), cracked or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Direct water away from your house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
  • Visit Pestworld.org to find a qualified pest professional for additional advice and treatment if necessary.

Hulett Environmental Services encourages public awareness about insects of foreign origin

Hulett Environmental Services encourage homeowners to also be on the lookout for the following invasive species this summer:

Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) – RIFAs were brought to the United States in 1930 from South America and are mainly found in the southern region of the country. When disturbed, they are known to swarm and sting humans, often causing painful welts on the skin.

Asian Tiger Mosquito – Originating from Southeast Asia, the Asian tiger mosquito is now found throughout the eastern, Midwestern and southern states. This mosquito species can cause an irritable bite and spread several diseases, including Dengue fever, West Nile virus and Japanese Encephalitis.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug – Likely introduced from Eastern Asia, stink bugs are most prevalent in the northeast. While stink bugs don’t pose any health threats, they can produce an unpleasant odor when crushed.

Formosan Termite – Originally from China, Formosan termites are the most aggressive subterranean termite species. They are capable of consuming wood at rapid speeds, posing a serious structural threat to a property if left untreated.