Don’t let termites eat your biggest investment!
One of the most destructive pests in Hawaii is the Formosan termite, commonly referred to as subterranean or ground termite. They are aggressive, travel in massive colonies of 10–12+ million termites, don’t require any sleep, and eat wood 24/7 around the clock.
They enter your home through many different entry points feeding on structural framing, cabinetry, trim, beams, drywall, and more. Once they’ve entered the structure, they can remain hidden while causing thousands of dollars in damage under your very nose. University of Hawaii studies report that termites cause over $100 million dollars of damage in Hawaii every year.
Now for the good news! Oahu homeowners have multiple treatment options to prevent these voracious critters. Prevention is the best way to avoid headache and costly repairs. For the most part, by the time you find active ground termites in your home significant damage has already been done. Kilauea Pest termite specialists are performing these treatments, with great warranties, all over Oahu every day.
Ground termites travel underground? How are they finding the wood at my home?
Termites are extremely intelligent and adaptive creatures. Because termites are blind, they do not communicate through eyesight or sound. Instead, they communicate through pheromones and chemical signaling.
Ground termites are precise and methodical when it comes to finding new food sources. They mimic a herd of grazing animals, migrating in enormous colonies from food source to food source. Foraging termites are sent out in systematic and intentional patterns over an area as large as a football field. Imagine an underground branched network brimming with pencil-sized exploratory tunnels. The soil tunnels form a star-like pattern in every direction originating from the central point of the main colony. Areas are subdivided and unsuccessful foraging attempts in empty areas aren’t repeated. This incredibly efficient foraging network nearly guarantees that a ground termite colony will eventually find a new food source.
This new food source might be your home, a tree in your yard, the mailbox post, or the buffet of plywood laying on the soil under your crawlspace. A successful foraging termite releases appropriate chemicals to signal the entire colony of up to 10 – 12+ million. At that point, the feasting and destruction begins.
What is a ground termite mud tube?
Ground termites form mud tubes for transportation from the soil to the food source. The connection draws the required moisture from the soil. Much like taking the H1 from your home in Ewa Beach to downtown Honolulu for work, termites use the mud tubes for travel. Commuting to and from the soil, their home below, to the food source, where they work and eat.
Many times, termite mud tubes are discrete and unexposed. They may use the backside of drywall or stucco, through the center of CMU bricks, cracks in the concrete foundation, undersides of carpet, and other wood trim pieces to travel undetected.
Three ways ground termites enter you home:
1. Cracks in the concrete: The width of a credit card is all a ground termite needs to start forming mud tubes to lead a colony to the food source. These cracks in your concrete foundation might be found around plumbing areas or naturally occur over time as the house settles over the years.
2. Wood in contact with your foundation: If there is any wood in direct contact with soil, it is a highly conducive condition to attract ground termites. If wooden posts or siding is in direct contact with the soil, ground termites will travel up the wood to get into other parts of the home, including the attic. Oahu homeowners often store their extra lumber or plywood under or lying against their foundation. This is like sending out party invitations and laying down the red carpet for ground termites to start feasting on their home.
3. Damp spots and pooling water: Subterranean termites love damp, wet spots absorbing necessary moisture through their skin. For example, poorly graded earth. Rainwater should flow away from your home, not toward it. Other highly conducive conditions are a wet crawl space and leaking roofs. A leaking roof may produce the perfect habitat for an especially difficult to treat “aerial ground termite colony.” A ground termite colony that is sustained with any connection to the soil. This sounds contradictory and an oxymoron, but it is not as uncommon as you might think. That will be a blog for another time, stay tuned.
Easy things a homeowner can do today to help prevent ground termites:
● Keep sprinkler systems pointed away from your house and foundation.
● Ensure your AC unit drains away from the foundation.
● Remove stacks of wood away from your home or other outbuildings.
● Identify and repair any roof leaks and chronically damp wood.
● Perform annual termite inspections with Kilauea Pest Control. Make a quick call to schedule a complimentary consultation.
What are my options for ground termite treatment?
Protect your home by stopping an infestation before it starts. There are multiple ways to create “barriers” around your home to do this. Kilauea Pest Control provides the best options with great warranties.
Liquid Ground Treatment: A continuous liquid barrier can be applied around the perimeter structure which is considered the termite kill zone. If ground termites cross this barrier, they will begin to die before they have a chance to cause major damage. The product we use is Termidor, which is a non-repellant. This means the termites don’t know they’ve come in contact with it until it is too late. This treatment can be applied during pre-construction before pouring concrete or post-construction. Watch our video here to learn more.
Sentricon Bait Stations: Termite bait stations are spaced around the perimeter of the home with an always active ingredient to attract and kill the termites. Kilauea Pest is certified to use Sentricon Always Active Bait Stations which are very effective. When termites forage and find a bait station, they prefer the bait even over wood. They send out chemical signals to bring the entire colony to feed and then die.
Kilauea Pest Control has over 20 years of experience to ensure your Hawaii home is bug-free. We use a variety of options to eradicate termites, like the few mentioned above. We have the best options to treat Drywood Termites, the other most common termite on Oahu.
Call 808-737-BUGS(2847) to speak with the termite specialist today and schedule a complimentary consultation.