-- Termites

TERMITE CONTROL


 

 

No structural pest has commanded more attention than termites, termite are rated as the world’s number one structural pest. The Romans referred to these insects as “Termes” which aptly means “woodworm” Termites are the most ancient of insects (200 million years).

Termites were once known as “white ants” they live in social communities. Belongs to the order ispotera. The nymph stage of termites develops into few different castes; all these castes contribute in an individual way to the growth of the colony. The queen termite lays 2000 eggs per day & lives for almost 25 years; the soldier termite’s function is to protect the colony from intruders. The worker termites search for food for the colony members & the termite reproductive are the future kings & queens

TERMITE FACTS

  • A gourmet delight in Singapore is 2-inch long termite queens. For only a few dollars you can have them served either live (YUM!), dipped in alcohol, or preserved in a fine rice wine.

  • It is estimated that for every human on Earth there may be 1000 pounds of termites.

  • The Queen of a species of African termite may eventually grow to 5 inches long, and lay up to 30,000 eggs each day

  • There have been documented cases of the Queen of a termite colony living for over 50 years, and some scientists believe it is possible they may live to be 100 years old

  • An “insect specialist” in India is promoting the idea that eating live termites will improve a person’s sex drive. He suggests popping them into the mouth and allowing them to slide – alive and wriggling – down your throat. He currently sells huge queen termites for $10 each. For those unable to “stomach” the idea of swallowing the termites in this manner, Mr. Michael Chia allows a person to swallow them along with a gulp of red wine

  • Some African and Australian termite colonies may contain over 3 million individuals: that’s enough to fill 7 large pickup trucks placed end to end they would stretch 100 miles

Know the Enemy


The Historical Perspective

Termites are an integral part of the extensive fauna of all the warmer countries of the world. They are neither conspicuous as individuals, nor do the they attract attention by any violent fluctuations in numbers and they also move unnoticed. Since their main food is mainly wood and tissues of plants they come into competition with man.

Termite Architecture

The termites are known be the worlds greatest architect. Termite architecture is used for the outward and visible form of next structure. Termites mounds differ in structure and size according to the termite species.

Geographical Distribution

 

Termites are found from Canada to Argentina and Chili in the American Continent, from France to Southern Russia to down under Australia & New Zealand. Termites are even found in the small islands Micro-Asia and in the Maldives as well. Termite species have not been found in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Alaska, Mongolia and UK. In 1998 for the first history there was outbreak in southern England. Termite was eliminated since then their have been no termite activity in England.

Termite Belt

There are two Termite Belts with a high density of termites species in tropical Asia ( South India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia & Northern Australia) and the other Termite Belt is in USA, from Florida, Texas, Mexico & Cuba.

Termites in Sri Lanka

There are about 2800 species of termites worldwide. In Sri Lanka there are 61 extant species of termites. There are 10 very common species of which 9 are a threat to building structures. Recent industry surveys suggest that about 50% of all unprotected properties are subject to attack by termites. Most houses are at risk!

Termite Food

Termites can consume a wide assortment of foods. The main nutritional ingredient in all this is cellulose, the hard, structural component of wood and other plant tissues. Cellulose is the most common organic compound on earth. Termites will feed on almost any cellulose containing material, including living and dead wood, roots, twigs, grass, plant litter, paper, cardboard, fiberboard and many forms of fabric made of cotton and other plant based materials.

How Do Termites Eat Wood

 

Termites eat woodby tearing off tiny fragments with their mandibles. Unlike ants, foraging termites don’t carry away food in their mouthparts, the tiny wood fragments are ingested and stored in the gut for digestion and subsequent sharing with nest mates.

Termites & The Environment

Termites pay a very important part in fertilizing the soil & scientists estimate, that worldwide, termites may release over 150 million tones of gas annually to the atmosphere. In our lower atmosphere methane reacts with carbon-dioxide and it is the notorious “greenhouse gas” which affects the OZONE layer.

It is estimated that the world’s total number of termites are 50 times heavier than all humans. ( Eq: for every man that weighs 50 Kg there are 500 kg of termites).

Termite Damages

Termite cause millions worth of damage annually all over the world. Data of the damaged caused by termites & termite treatment.

2008 USA 5 Billion USD $
2007 Australia 3 Billion AUS $
2006 Malaysia 1 Billion USD $
1955 British West African Territories (250000 pounds per annum 10% of the building value)
1955 Bermuda (Repairing cathedral at Hamilton 15576 POUNDS)

HOME SWEET HOME

Termites are a threat across 70% of the world, found in all Continents except for the Arctic & Antarctic. They are widely spread in tropical & sub tropical countries in humid conditions. One of the most important investments in a person’s life is a house. Now this is at a risk from subterranean termites. If a structure is weakened by a subterranean attack, it will result in an increased safety risk end economic loss. Call a professional Termite Detector to inspect the house before buying it. The termite detector will carry out a comprehensive termite inspection.

Subterranean termites are the type most likely to attack your home. All subterranean termites are social insects that nest in large underground colonies. There can be millions of termites in a colony, but you will never see any evidence of them until a professional termite detector inspects your home.

TERMITE MANAGEMENT


No pest is more complicated to control than termites. The small size, cryptic nature and tenacious forging habits of these insects pose formidable challenge. The science of termite control has advanced significantly in last decade. New technologies and approaches available are Non repellent termiticides and Insect Growth Regulators. Nonetheless, many of the same challenges persist, including poor construction practices, commercial pressure and importantly the price factor.

Integrated Termite Management

The goal of ITM is to prevent or reduce problems caused by termites. The best control of termites is prevention. The best time to provide protection against termites is during the planning & construction process of the building. Treatment of the building site before construction is the easiest, cheapest and best method for preventing termite damage in the future.

ITM Steps

  • Inspection
  • Identification of termite species
  • Establishment of threshold levels of termite activity
  • Employment of appropriate control and/or management measures
  • Evolution of effectiveness of the control and/or management measures

Soil Treatment Against Termites

The application of liquid termiticide the to soil has been the mainstay of subterranean termite control since the early 1900s. The objective of such treatments has been to create a continuous chemical barrier that excludes termites in the ground from entering the buildings.

PRE Construction Termite Treatment

The most effective and economical time to apply a liquid termiticide is while the building is under-construction. Pre-construction treatment allows the application of termiticide precisely in the areas where it is needed. Ex-posed soil can be accessed and thoroughly treated before the slabs are poured, floors are fitted, foundations are completed and substructures are erected.

Pre- Construction Treatment

– entire soil surfaces of the structure
– around pipes and utility conduits
– along all sides of the foundation & piers
– interior partition walls
– voids and concrete blocks
– vertical treatment of outer perimeter along the foundation after the backfilling and grading has been completed

A proper applied Pre – Construction treatment is a wise investment and has long been recommended. Unfortunately, demands of builders for the least expensive treatment has negatively affected pre-construction termite treatment. Under-dosing and insufficient volumes of termiticide erode the effectiveness of these treatments, and for sake the most opportune time for achieving comprehensive soil barriers. Removal of treated soil and disruption of the termiticide barrier by construction workers, plumbing and landscapers, may also compromise the easiest, cheapest and the best termite treatment method.

PERIMETER TREATMENT – POST CONSTRUCTION

Establishing a comprehensive liquid termiticide barrier after a structure is built is a far more difficult and laborious proposition. Many factors complicate post-construction applications, including non-uniform soil absorption, inaccessible areas, hidden construction faults, and a general inability to see where the termiticides is flowing. Post construction treatment also requires in-depth knowledge of building construction since many of the building constructions are hidden behind walls, floor coverings and built-in obstructions such as tubs, showers, cabinets, pantry cupboards, wall cupboards and book cases. The risk of damaging and contaminating ducts, drains, wells, cisterns, plenums, plumbing and electrical lines also increase with post construction treatment.

Treatment Along Foundations

The soil alongside the foundation is an important area of termite entry and one of the most crucial for effective treatment. Although termites may appear in the center of buildings, infestations are more often associated with perimeter walls and adjoining areas (90% of the termites damage).The soil alongside the foundation should be treated to prevent termites from building up mud trails up the foundation wall by drilling along the perimeter of the building and injecting the termiticide.

Treatment Under Slabs

Concrete slab construction historically has produced the greatest numbers of termite damage related claims in the industry. Termites enter the slab-on-ground building through the edges of the foundation and concrete, expansion joints; settlement cracks, around utility penetrations such as pipes, drains, and electrical conduits. Termiticide may be applied by drilling and injecting vertically through the slab from above, or by treating horizontally through the foundation from the exterior.

Attached Slabs

Where porches, patios, sidewalks and other attached slabs about the foundation, the concrete slab should be vertically drilled adjacent to the foundation wall and the soil deep rodded to the footing.

Basement Treatment

Although basements have proportionately fewer problems than other types of construction, termiticide usage is typically higher due to their deeper footings. The treatment will be carried out by drilling along the perimeter of the basement.

Foundation (Void) Treatment

Termites commonly enter structures through cracks and openings in the foundation. Historically, professionals attempted to “coat” the surface of many masonry voids as possible by drilling above the outside grade and allowing the termiticide to flow downward towards the footing. With the current termiticide, such practices are deemed inappropriate and is no longer permissible.

CUSTOMER COOPERATION

  1. THE entire floor area should be well compacted, cleared & ready for the treatment
  2. ALL wooden debris should be removed from the soil before compacting the soil.
  3. THE concrete slab should be laid on the soil immediately after the treatment
  4. IF unable to lay the concrete slab immediately after the treatment cover the treated soil with polythene (gauge 800)
  5. Failing to lay the concrete slab within 24 hrs requires a re-treatment
  6. AFTER the treatment, we recommend to cover the treated area using polythene
  7. THE barrier (floor soil) should not be disturbed after the treatment for any reason whatsoever.
  8. THE service guarantee will only be issued upon completion of treatment
  9. PETS & children should be out of the treatment zone during the time of treatment & 24 hours thereafter
  10. DRILLED holes should be sealed immediately after the treatment by the client- except Max & Ultimate options
  11. TAKE immediate action to solve drainage & water leaks in the structure
  12. KEEP mulch, wood debris, firewood at least three feet away from the perimeter of the wall
  13. REMOVE or treat infested trees stumps & don’t bury wood debris in your home
  14. FIX leaky roofs and gutters & don’t allow leaves to accumulate in gutters
  15. GRADE the soil so that the water will run away from the foundation
  16. SEAL all cracks and holes in your homes floor and foundation
  17. PLUMBING layout of the premises should be provided by the customer prior to the treatment in order to avoid damage to underground plumbing, electrical and wiring during the time of the treatment.

 

TERMITE CONTROL FAQ


Termites are a threat across 70% of the world, found in all Continents except for the Arctic & Antarctic, are widely spread in tropical & sub tropical countries in humid conditions.

Q. What are termites?

No structural pest has commanded more attention than termites, termites are rated as the world’s number 1 structural pest. The Romans referred to those insects as “Termes” which means ” woodworm”. Termites are the most ancient of all forms insects (200 million years).

Q. Are there different kinds of termites?

Yes, the three major kinds of termites in Sri Lanka, dampwood, drywood and subterranean. Dampwood termites commonly live in heavily forested areas of the country as they prefer wet wood;. Subterranean termites require moist environments, live mainly in the soil and are the most destructive species. In Sri Lanka there are 61 species of termites of which 9 species are identified as structural pest.

Q. Termites biology?

Termites are wood-destroying insects. They were known as ” White Ants” they live in social communities, belongs to the order isoptera. The nymph stage of termites develop into few different castes. The queen termites lays 2000 eggs per day and live for more than 25 years. The soldiers function is to protect the colony from intruders. The termite workers search for the food for colony members and termite reproductive’s are the future kings and queens

Q. How much damage do termites cause?

Termites work 24 hours/7 days a week at damaging the wood in and around a structure. They have estimated to cause $5 billion in damage each year in USA only. Termites cause damage to structural timber such as timber flooring, skirtings, pantry cupboards, wall cupboards, window & door frames, furniture, roof and timber ceilings, furniture, carpets etc…

Q. Our neighbors have termites in their house; will we get them in ours?

There is an old saying; there are two kinds of houses, those with termites and those that will get termites. Seriously, there is no guarantee that a house will or will not get termites. Termites are all around us in the soil. They convert thousands of pounds of dead trees and other forms of cellulose to organic matter each year. They are constantly foraging for food sources. They do not intentionally set out to destroy your house; they just see it as another food source. If your home has not been treated and they are in your neighbor’s house, chances are they will eventually run into yours.

Q. My house is less than one year old, why do I have termites?

Many houses have remained termite free for years while some new houses get termites in just a few weeks or months. If your house was pretreated and you have a termite infestation in less than 1 year, it is possible that during construction your home did not get a continuous termiticide barrier around and under it. Also, the termiticide barrier may have been disturbed in some way such as planting shrubs around the foundation or adding sidewalks or patios after the final grade treatment.

Q. How do I know if I actually have termites in my house?

Swarming termites inside your house are a sure sign. Window sills and door frames should be checked for damage. Mud tubes on walls, along baseboards or in cracks and crevices indicate termites. It may be necessary to open small holes in sheetrock to see termite tubes on wall studs.

Q. I have termites in my home, what do I do?

First, do not panic. Although termites can do severe damage, they work very slowly. Your house will not collapse overnight. If your house has been treated in the past five years, call the company that did the treatment. If your house has never been treated, call a few reputed pest control companies and get estimates for their termite control services. These companies can inspect your house and determine whether you actually have termites, and can provide proper treatments.

Q. About how much does it cost to treat for termites?

The cost varies according to factors such as the pest control company, termiticide and treatment method. Value for money is good, very cheap is not! In pest control, mainly termite control, low prices often mean, cutting corners. Nature will fight back, compare the prices with services offered.

Q. Are the chemicals this company wants to use inside my house dangerous?

Most termiticides should be considered dangerous. Presently, all the liquid termiticides carry a signal word of warning or caution on the label. Warning signals that the product is moderately toxic and caution indicates the product is slightly toxic. Termiticides, like most pesticides, when used correctly can be applied safely and without undue risk to the homeowner. Most termiticides are applied into the soil, under slabs and around the foundations of structures. It would be advisable for the occupants of the home to leave during a termiticide application and for a few hours afterward. It might be necessary to air out the house for a few hours upon return. If these precautions are taken, there should be little chance of exposure to the termiticide.

Q. What termiticide is the best?

There are many products on the market today that are labeled for termite treatments. The newer non-repellent termiticides that are now in the market have had good reports. No matter what termiticide is used, the key to getting a good application is coverage and obtaining a continuous barrier. Ask the Pest Control Company the termiticide they will be using and to provide you with a copy of the label and MSDS. Do not hesitate to ask questions, the more you ask the more you will be confident with the pest control firm. AlsoDon’t forget to ask the quantity of termiticide and the dosage which will be used at your premises.

Q. Can I treat my house on my own?

Termites are nearly impossible for homeowners to treat on their own. On the other hand, pest control professionals have the training, expertise and technology to eliminate termite infestations.

Q. How can choose reliable pest control company?

Choose a termite control service with the same care and discrimination you would use in securing any other service for your property. Always be sure you deal with a reliable firm that is both licensed and certified to do the work and that has an established place of business. Here are some ways to investigate before you invest: Ask for the pest control operations license issued by the ROP- Dept of Agriculture Sri Lanka also ask for proof of training & certificates related to pest & termite control. If a firm offers references of previous work, take time to check them carefully. Check if the firm has an established place of business & try to visit the office. Get a proposal in writing. Ask for the termiticide they are using and including quantity and dosage. Ask for the MSDS and a guarantee in writing.

 

Q. Beware of firms that:

Quot a price through the phone, profess to have a secret formula or ingredient for termite control and does not look professional.