Termites cause much damage to wood, paper, fabrics, and electrical cable lining. In the wood they are able to dig tunnels parallel to the fibers, thus destroying the interior and leaving only a thin layer of wood or paint externally which can cause structural failures. Books, leather, and fabrics are completely ruined, and the erosion of the electrical cable lining can result in short circuits with unforeseeable outcomes. Nearly 20% of house fires are attributed to short circuits in wires caused by termites and rodents.
OUR SOLUTION: Since termites may build their nest outside the house, often quite far from the places they infest, the fight against them needs to follow three phases.
► Localization: First of all we need to find out where the termites are. For this purpose we use Termatrac T3i. (See short video below.) Termatrac T3i is a sophisticated digital system for detecting and monitoring the presence of termites. It combines three different technologies: a detection radar, a laser-guided thermal sensor and a state-of-the-art moisture sensor. The synergy between these technologies allows a definite and reliable localization of termites through walls, ceilings, floors, plaster, metal, cement, concrete, tiles, carpet and many other common building materials, and to intervene where the problem really exist, with non-invasive techniques, and a significant cost reduction.
► Microwave based treatment: Once the pests are identified the attack strategy involves a phase based on a microwave treatment, that burns anything biological found in the structures (eggs, larvae, adults) in an eco-friendly and clean way and without causing any damage whatsoever to the structures themselves. The metal parts do not represent a problem, since the equipment allows the regulation of the electromagnetic power according to established protocols.
► Non-toxic product: In addition to the microwaves, we also use a granular, non-toxic product which results very inviting to termites and cause, in synergy with the microwaves, the total elimination of the colony.
Insecticides or fumigant canisters can poison the entire family, including children and pets and do not solve the problem: since very often termites build their nest at a distance and those solutions eliminate only the specimens affected, they will continue to reproduce and infest the house or apartment.
CONCLUSION: Our treatments are effective, convenient, completely eco-friendly, do not need any advance preparation of the areas to be treated, your house or apartment will not be messed up, and you will not need to dispose of anything in that all infested object will be sanitized and recovered. Get in touch with us, we will be delighted to provide you with a free estimate without any obligation on your part. Remember: your satisfaction is our pride!
A DEEPER ANALYSIS: In the recent years, climate change and other factors have worsened the problem of termites. The attack carried out by termites is very insidious in that they feed on the cellulose-based materials like wood leaving it hollowed inside, and with a thin layer of wood to protect them from light. There are more than 50 species of termites in the United States and they are responsible for an average of $1 billion per year in property damages, and infesting 350,000 structures. A termite’s mouth is capable of tearing pieces of woody material without any immediate signs of damage but its feeding habits can cause costly damage to property. Even though it is difficult to see them it’s probable that they are infesting our home in some way: house foundations, furniture, shelves, fabrics, leather goods and even books, are all possible feeding sites for termites. To get an idea of how severe their infestation can be, just think of what happened in New Orleans in 2005 with Hurricane Katrina. According to Prof. Henderson, from the Louisiana State University, the levees that were supposed to keep the city safe from floods, did not resist the strong impact of waters, since the termites had eaten from the inside 79% of the panels that made up the levees, thus reducing drastically their protective function. Termites belong to the Isopteran order. They are social insects that often form large communities made up of millions of individuals. Within the colony there is caste polymorphism, which means that the different functions are reflected by their external appearance: the reproductive termites, are the founders of the colony, and have the responsibility to build the nest; the workers, the most numerous of the colony, are concerned with finding food, and tunnel excavations; the soldiers defend the colony against predator’s attacks.
Termites are somewhat similar to ants, both in appearance and organization; in fact they are sometimes called “white ants.” Their sessile abdomen is connected to the chest, while in the ants it’s pedunculated. The exoskeleton has little consistency and normally light-colored. Some species have two pairs of long wings, others are wingless, others, more rarely, have short wings. They have mouths with chewing apparatus.
They are able to digest the wood’s cellulose thanks to symbionts protozoa that lodge in the rear intestine and to another mechanism through which the food is distributed between individuals of the colony by regurgitation mouth to mouth. In this way the termites also transmit the protozoa and certain types of bacteria useful for the digestion of the cellulose. They are unable to digest lignin, which is expelled in the feces. The vital cycle includes egg, nymph and adult. However, they are the only social insects that perform an incomplete metamorphosis, reaching the adult state through small progressive phases.
Worker and soldier classes are male and female “adolescent,” that is they have not yet reached the state of fully formed adult. In less developed communities, workers and soldiers have the possibility to become reproductive, even though they will never play the royal role. The cast of royal is formed by winged individuals, who have completed their development with harder exoskeleton, functioning eyes.
Worker termites are whitish and do not fly. They have to deal with all the operations related to the functioning of the colony like getting the food: in this activity they are the only ones responsible for damaging our homes, feeding on the cellulose contained in the paper, in wood, in textile materials, and while in some types of insects, the larvae are xylophagous, in this case the adults are the ones who degrade wood. The reproducers are larger in size, with color from yellow-brown to black, and two pairs of transparent wings of equal length.
Generally the termites build the nest in the ground; close to wood roots or similar material to attack (some species can build giant nests of up to 20 feet high and 100 feet in diameter). To reach the complete development they need warmth and humidity, like condensation water or rain water infiltrations.
Since termites hate light, they dig underground tunnels in search of a food source, and where they cannot succeed in opening a cavity, for the presence of hard material, or for other reasons, they build external artificial tunnels, known as “mud tubes,” cemented with materials such as sand and soil mixed with saliva and excrements.
The “mud tubes” indicate an infestation by this pest. Termites can attack structures but also furniture, or any wooden element with sufficient quantity of humidity necessary for their living.
Among the species that cause damage to the wood we mention two types of termites, which do not exceed 8 mm in length: Reticulitermes lucifugus and Kalotermes Flavicollis. However the presence of Cryptotermes brevis is also noticeable, characterized by colonies formed by a few hundred individuals that do not need any humidity for living.
Reticulitermes lucifugus: It is a subterranean termite that builds the nest underground, composed of elaborate tunnels and chambers, since it needs a high level of humidity. The termite is able to dig tunnels parallel to the direction of the fibers, so the wood surface appears intact; the nest is sometimes deep into the ground up to 18-22 feet and the specimen move inside the passages, obtained by kneading droppings, dirt and saliva, adhering to the walls or hanging from the ceiling, similar to small stalactites. Its colonies are made up of thousands of individuals and unfortunately we realize too late their infestation, when a roof beam, a mast, or a floor board collapses. The Reticulitermes is the most dangerous species because it can attack wood in structures of churches, homes and monuments, but also paper materials of archives and libraries. The winged insect is gray/blackish and has long wings twice the body, while the soldier is wingless. The swarming, when the winged termites leave the colony in search of a new environment in which reproduce and develop a new colony, occurs in the spring time and in this period it is easy to see large groups of adult insects mistaken for winged ants.
Kalotermes flavicollis: It is known as “Yellownecked dry-wood termite.” These termites make their nest within cellulose-based materials such as lumber, siding and wooden trim. They require no soil contact and get their moisture from the wood, keeping clear the tunnels expelling their excrements through small openings that reach the surface of the wood; the droppings have a characteristic shape with octagonal section and 4-6 longitudinal grooves, so the attack of this thermite can be identified by the presence of excrement that accumulate on the surface below the timber, while the galleries inside remain accessible. They are dangerous for roof beams fitted in the wall because they can reduce the wood to a mass of sawdust. The winged individuals are dark brown in color with yellowish fronts, legs and antennae, hence the name yellow-necked. The colonies are formed by a maximum of 1,000 or 2,000 individuals and have no castes of worker termites, so that certain tasks, such as that of procuring the food are carried out by young individuals who feed the soldiers and the royal couple.
Cryptotermes brevis: Also called West Indian drywood termite or powderpost termite, is similar behavior wise to the Kalotermes flavicollis. It is one of the most dangerous termites for wooden structures and furnishings such as picture frames, house furniture and doors. The nest is built on totally dry objects and isolated from the walls. The individuals of the colony remain inside the timber, which result totally emptied after its infestation.