When you wake up in the middle of the night to get a glass of water, you gently ease out of bed and gingerly walk to the kitchen. To avoid waking others in the house, you avoid turning on lights. As you slowly feel through the dark, you are on high alert to avoid stubbing your toe on a furniture leg or stepping on a squeaky dog toy. Because you can't see obstacles in the dark, there is a sense of fear and anticipation as you work your way to the sink for the glass of water.
Darkness hides potential dangers as we stumble through the house at night, and it conceals destructive termites that eat through the wood in the dark recesses of our homes. Beneath our feet or above our heads, in the unliveable parts, termites may be chewing through support beams, trusses, and other wood components of our homes. Just as you may not see an end table as you stumble through a dark room, but you feel its presence the moment your unprotected toe hits it, termites work unseen, but the damage they cause is eventually visible and costly.
To protect your hard-earned home purchase and to save on expensive repair costs, you need the St. Charles pest control company Pest Control Consultants to come to your rescue. For over 20 years, our family-owned and operated company has removed termites from St. Charles homes. Our highly-trained technicians have years of combined experience, and they know termites and what it takes to eradicate them from your home. We hope you will find the following information helpful as you battle these destructive insects.
The Types Of Termites Found In St. Charles
There are thousands of termite species worldwide, but the most prevalent species affecting St. Charles homeowners is the subterranean termite. These termites build their nests underground. If you work for a large company or have coordinated a big event, you know that the more people, the more challenging it is to keep everyone organized. Subterranean termites are social creatures that live in large colonies. A mature eastern subterranean termites colony has 60,000 to one million members.
Subterranean termites organize themselves into a sort of caste system. The king and queen are at the top of colony leadership, and their only function is to produce offspring. It is a fact that a mature queen can deliver 5,000 to 10,000 eggs annually! How does the queen take care of her hordes of offspring? She doesn't.
The next layer in the caste is the workers, and these sterile eyeless termites are the ones who feed the king and queen and their offspring (nymphs). The workers provide food for the colony and the offspring using their sharp, sawtooth-like hard mandibles to chew through fungus-ridden wood. Technically, the workers are the ones who are eating the wood in St. Charles homes.
Most nymphs mature to become workers, but others grow to be soldiers. Soldiers develop armor on their heads and have jaws bigger than the workers; their function is to protect the colony from ants and other predators. A nest consists of the king, queen, workers, and soldiers when established, but after a couple of years, a new class of offspring, known as reproductives (alates), are born. This class is responsible for creating new nests. So, that is how subterranean termites stay organized, protected, and spread to other locations.
Although you'd think termites live in the wood, subterranean termites live in the soil. Subterranean termites dehydrate quickly and require areas with high moisture. Therefore, you will find them in water-logged timber, at the base of dead tree stumps, fence posts in poorly-drained locations, and underneath poorly-ventilated decks, porches, and homes.
Termites work inside the wood in the unlivable areas of homes or outside, so you don't tend to see them unless a group of subterranean termite swarmers has left the colony to start a new one. If you see insects flying around lights or against the window in the early morning or early evening in the spring, it may be termites or flying carpenter ants. Adult subterranean termites have a creamy-white or dark brown 1/8 inch long oval, narrow body. Like all insects, they have six jointed legs, a pair of antennae, and a body with three segments (head, thorax, and abdomen). How do you know you are not looking at a flying carpenter ant? The best way to determine whether you see a termite and not a carpenter ant is to look at the waist. Carpenter ants have a pinched waist, like a wasp. Additionally, carpenter ants have larger forewings than hindwings, but the wings of flying termites are the same size.
Pest Control Consultants provides termite control near you to protect your St. Charles home from these massive colonies of earth-dwelling, wood-eating insects.
Signs Of Termites To Be On The Watch For Around Your Home
Subterranean termites in St. Charles are tiny and work in areas not part of our living space, but that does not mean they don't leave signs of their presence. These are indications of subterranean termites in your house or property:
- Discarded wings: Wings on the window sills or flying cream-colored or dark insects in spider webs indicate subterranean termites are in your St. Charles house or at least in the area.
- Flying termites: A nest is nearby if you see swarms of flying termites around your property in the spring after heavy rain.
- Mud tubes: Subterranean termites create mud tubes from their nest in the soil to their wood food source. These tubes are often on the side of the house along the foundation; they protect the termites against heat and the sun.
- Sagging floors: As the subterranean termite workers eat softened, water-logged support beams, the foundation begins to sag, creating gaps between the baseboards and the floor.
- Blisters: When subterranean termites eat wood, they leave a thin layer to protect them from outside elements and predators. Paint or wallpaper on the remaining wood veneer will begin to bubble or blister due to moisture affecting the thin wood layer beneath.
- Collapsing structures: After years of constant eating by subterranean termites, weakened wood structures will give way.
- Hollow-sounding: When you tap on termite-infested wood, it will sound hollow.
- Discoloration: When subterranean termites consume wood, the additional moisture absorbed by the wood causes it to darken.
- Crumbling: Wood infested by subterranean termites will flake away when prodded with a screwdriver or poked by your fingers.
Each year termites cause $5 billion in damage to homes throughout the United States. Contact Pest Control Consultants today if you see any of these signs of termites in the home, and we will eliminate the termites to stop further damage to your house.
Effective Termite Prevention Tips For St. Charles Properties
We know homeowners don't want termites destroying their hard-earned home investment. Although you may feel powerless against this hidden, insidious insect, you are not. These termite prevention tips will deter future infestations once we have successfully treated your St. Charles home:
- Remove wood debris and dead trees from the property.
- Prune shrubs away from the house to allow better airflow.
- Dehumidify the crawl space.
- Provide proper ventilation under decks and porches.
- Drain gutter downspouts away from the foundation.
- Replace rotting fence and porch posts.
- Protect wood in contact with the soil by painting and creating a barrier.
- Place firewood at least 20 feet from the house and elevate it.
Maintaining a debris-free, dry, well-ventilated house and property will discourage swarmer termites near your St. Charles home from creating nests on your property. When you request an inspection from Pest Control Consultants, our service technician will give you more insight into termite prevention for your particular location.
The Best Termite Control For St. Charles Properties
Pest Control Consultants is the termite specialist for your St. Charles property. We will thoroughly inspect your crawl space, attic, basement, and other areas for signs of active termites. If we find termites present, we will create a strategic plan using techniques that allow us to eliminate termites while protecting people and the environment.
We will treat your St. Charles home with products registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) upon your approval. We use secured bait stations installed in the ground to attract termites. The worker termites will feed on the cellulose in the station ingesting the product; they will carry it back to the nest, where they will unwittingly feed it to the offspring. The product also sticks to the workers' bodies, and when they return to the colony, it rubs off on the soldiers and reproductives and kills them. We also use liquid products to treat the soil and wood and to create a barrier around the house.
Pest Control Consultants provide quality, top-rated subterranean termite treatment in St. Charles. Trust a company that has provided termite control for over 20 years in the St. Charles area. Contact us today to learn about our termite warranty and to schedule a free inspection.