With Spring, comes Termites!

spring flowers 2 Termites in a way, are like our home buyers in Elk Grove come spring…They are having spring fever, and heading out to find a new home! They of course, don’t have to worry about inventory…they can find a suitable home pretty much where ever the wind takes them.  Literally.  It is swarming season for termites. Our rain, combined with hot spring days, alerted the destructive insect that it was time to come out and mate.  They will be looking for a nice damp place close to a source of “food”.  Which can be more that just wood!  They like cardboard, books, cotton and plant fibers as well as paper. Termites can also chew on carpets, furniture, and flooring in addition to window frames.

termites One thing to note:  We all have termites in our yards!  They are like ants, they are out there, they don’t really bother you…..until it is too late!  Being that they are a fragile insect, and susceptive to becoming lunch by other insects, lizard, birds, and other prey, they build their nests in hidden dark places. Underground, or near foundations, wood piles, and old stumps are all good spots for a new home.

A mature colony can be from several hundred, to several million termites!  There is one main queen, with several back up queens, should something happen to the main queen.  She can live up to 45 years, and the king termite will mate with her for life.  The destruction these colonies can cause to our homes is extensive ~ unfortunately discovered after the damage has been done.

Always get a pest inspection before buying a new home!  Jeff Marang, a termite inspector for Hydrex in Sacramento, has been on the hunt for termites for years!  He has seen first hand the damage that can occur from termites going undetected in homes!

Tips for Getting Rid of Termites

  • Lay a trap:  a damp cardboard box, filled with torn strips of more wet cardboard, placed near the colony will kill a few hundred at a time.  They will become trapped while trying to process the excellent source of food you left for them.  When they are all in there, take the box out back and burn it!  You will have to do this many times to make a dent in the colony…
  • Nematodes:  They are a small unsegmented worm species that are natural parasites to garden pests, including termites. These nematodes search for hosts, such as termite larvae, and burrow into them, usually causing death within 48 hours. They use the host’s carcass as a place to spawn.  You can purchase beneficial nematodes at your local garden supply store or online. Currently, there are about five varieties produced for sale.
  • Call an exterminator!!!

 

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