Category: termite control

Termite Awareness Week

National Termite Awareness Week

March 13-19 is Termite Awareness Week. One reason Termite Awareness Week takes place in March every year is because March is the month when people in many states, including Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana start seeing termite swarmers, or the winged termites. They become even more prevalent in April and May.

Susan Ellis, Bugwood.org
Susan Ellis, Bugwood.org
These winged termites, or alates, are the reproductive caste members of the termite colony. They typically swarm on warm, sunny days in the Greater Cincinnati are, by the hundreds or the thousands, causing panic to homeowners and businesses. The swarmers look very similar to winged ants.

Therefore, when the swarm occurs, more calls are made to pest management professionals in the months of March, April and May than any other months of the year.

Should you see a swarm in your home or business, do not hesitate to call Hooper Pest and Termite Control. We will come to your home or business and inspect for free. In doing so, we will determine if the swarmers are winged termites, winged ants or another pest. We do this because proper identification is imperative. After the inspection, should you need treatment, we will come up with a plan to protect your home from the pest.

The plan will involve a treatment tailored specifically to the pest, whether it is termites, carpenter ants, or some other pest. First, however, we must properly identify and inspect the structure.

Should you have a termite swarm, Hooper Pest and Termite Control offers a couple solutions: a liquid treatment, forming a barrier around the structure using Termidor HE, an effective soil treatment. We also offer a termite baiting system, where we strategically place stations around the outside of the home or business, where termites find the bait and take it back to the colony, feeding other termites the bait.

So, which program is right for you? The best place to start is with a free inspection. Even if you have not seen any evidence of termites in and around your home or place of business, it is always a good idea to have it inspected for termites on a regular basis, especially if your home is more than ten years old. Contact Hooper Termite and Pest Control now for a free inspection. We will make a thorough inspection of the structure and give you an honest assessment.

termite-ant comparison
USDA Forest Service , USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

The Swarmers: Termites and Ants

Inside swarming insects are normally ants and termites. Other flying insects may appear in your house, but more on an individual basis like lady bugs, Brown Marmorated Stink bugs, wasps and mosquitos. But inside swarms indicate an active termite or ant colony infestation that must be taken care of. Swarms appear during the spring mating stage of these normally wingless insects.

By June 1st, most termites have already swarmed. Ants can swarm in both in the spring or fall, and these swarms gather predominately around windows and other sources of natural light.

If you don’t know the difference between flying ants and termites are, here are a couple ways to tell the difference. Wings and antennae tell the difference. Winged ants (both large and small) and termites both have two wings on each side of their body.

Termites have all (4) wings of equal length.

Ants have the (2) front wings of equal length, and the (2) back wings are shorter

Termite antennae are straight.

Ant antennae are elbow shaped.

Many of us have experienced infestations of different levels during our lives. They might be at our home or at our business. Open windows, doors, large overhead shipping dock doors, loosely sealing sliding doors can all provide entry points for insects to come in and find a suitable location to nest and multiply. Treating these infestations works but greater success results from minimizing the entry points.

Insects also need moisture for survival so look for areas that are perpetually damp or wet. This could include dripping faucets, condensation around air conditioning units and climate control units, and roof leaks, flashing leaks, caulking failures around wall openings like windows, vents, air intakes, and skylights.

In industrial buildings, incoming freight or product can come into a building with pallets made from contaminated, and infested wood components.

Ants are attracted to damp or wet wood. Termites actually nest in surrounding damp dirt but venture out for food in damp media and wood. This extraction of wood weakens structures and can result in high repair costs.

Termites and ants most often work in hidden areas, signs of termites are damage to wood are termite tunnels on the surface of walls, ants can excavate soil or sand from beneath slabs insulation behind walls.

But there are insects that can leave visible larger holes in wood, and these aren’t ants or termites. These would be carpenter bees. These are bees that can be seen hovering around wooden structures like a hummingbird or mini-helicopter. They are watching over their specific hole where they’ve burrowed and deposited an egg into a nearly perfect round hole, and are protecting that opening. The burrowed tunnel goes straight in about ½” to ¾” and then turns typically to one side. Treatments are specific, so discuss with your preferred pest control contractor.

What about ants and termites outside your home? Does this automatically mean they are inside when you see them outside? Sometimes people see termites in mulch products around the structures, but termites don’t survive that well in mulch alone since they need dirt to nest in. It’s just that mulch lays on top of dirt in close proximity. But if there is a perimeter treatment program in place, there shouldn’t be any issues. Hooper Pest Control recognizes the need to treat perimeters as a priority. This provides a chemical barrier heading off the ants or termites before they come in.

Hooper also treats with a “non-repellant” chemical; termites that cross this barrier transfer the material to other termites it comes in contact with. They end up taking the chemical back down into the nest and begin to eliminate the colony from the inside. Colony elimination is three months or less, and lasts for ten plus years.