Have you awakened in the morning with a raging appetite? Have there been times when you could not get enough to eat? You fix yourself a nice, big dinner complete with steak, a loaded baked potato, green beans, and a side salad, but 30 minutes after enjoying the meal, you want dessert. As you sit on the couch debating whether you should have ice cream or that slice of leftover pie for dessert, you wonder, "How can I still want something to eat?".
Every living thing has an appetite because we need food to sustain ourselves. We eat and are temporarily satisfied; however, there is one pest that never seems to get full; termites. These tiny insects eat twenty-four hours a day, every day of the week. Unfortunately, they don't eat vegetables but consume wood — including the wood in your house.
If you think you have termites consuming the floor beneath your feet or want to ensure you don't have termites "eating you out of house and home," you need the Reno pest control team from Celtic Pest Control. We are a locally owned company with years of quality pest control experience. We train our carefully screened technicians to provide you with the best termite control available.
We understand termites are a mystery to those outside the pest control industry, but we don't want them to remain that way. Therefore, we have written this guide so you can understand these insidious pests and get practical tips to prevent them from overtaking your house.
The Life Cycle Of A Termite Colony
Termites are insects, which means they have six legs, two antennae, a head, a thorax, and an abdomen, and some have wings. Most insects, including termites, begin life in an egg, but let's back up to the time before the eggs come into existence.
In the spring, winged reproductive termites, known as alates or swarmers, catch the warm air currents, usually after a heavy rain, to search for nesting locations. If they survive birds, toads, and other predators, as well as the weather, and find a rock, rotting tree stump, wood scrap, or decaying landscaping timber with moisture underneath or nearby, they lose their wings and begin creating a nest. Once they form a nest, they mate, the queen lays a few eggs, and the male helps care for them.
One characteristic of termites is that their skeleton is on the outside of the body (exoskeleton). Thus, when larvae emerge from the eggs, the growth process involves shedding their exterior shell (molting) as they morph into adulthood. As the larvae grow, some will become workers, others soldiers, and a few will grow wing pads and eventually become reproductive termites.
Most larvae become worker termites, and they are the ones that eat wood. Worker termites are sterile, wingless, and about 1/4 to 3/8 inches. These white to creamy-white termites eat wood and then regurgitate it to feed developing larvae. They are also responsible for the care of the queen. Workers create tunnels for nest expansion and mud transportation termite tunnels, often found on foundation walls. Worker termites live for about four years.
Soldier termites have larger heads when compared to worker termites, are blind, and are wingless. These termites protect the colony with their powerful mandibles against ants and predators. Soldier termites do not bore into the wood in your home but rely on worker termites to provide them with their nutritional needs.
During the first few years, a termite colony is in survival mode, and few reproductive termites, if any, are produced. The new queen lays only about 100 eggs the first year, but as she matures, she delivers more eggs until she reaches an annual production of 5,000 to 10,000 eggs.
A mature subterranean termite colony has 60,000 to two million members. As the colony matures, more winged reproductive termites develop and swarm in the spring or early summer. They fly from the nest to begin nearby satellite colonies. If the primary nest is near a house, you have a greater chance of witnessing termite swarmers around your property. When you see swarms of termites, there is a good chance the reproductive termites will settle in your crawl space, underneath a deck, porch, attic, or another area in or around your home.
The best way to stop a termite infestation is to get the best termite company near you, Celtic Pest Control. Our licensed technicians know where to look for signs of termites and what to do about them.
All The Ways Termites Can Damage Your Home
Subterranean termites are the primary species affecting Reno homes. These social termites create massive colonies with thousands of worker termites constantly eating wood. When reproductive termites swarm, odor from fungus-ridden wood attracts them, and if this wood is in your crawl space, under the porch, or wood deck, they will attempt to enter the area to create a new nest. As the queen grows and lays more eggs, more workers are born, which will damage the house as they eat.
A termite nest in your Reno home can result in these damages:
- Bubbling wallpaper or blistering drywall
- Darkening wood
- Crumbling wood
- Sagging floors
- Warping doors and frames
- Collapsing structures
Subterranean termites infest moist wood and eat it from the inside and leave a thin outside layer. Thinning wall material and moisture will cause wallpaper and drywall to blister. When termites infest timber, it discolors due to excessive water and crumbles. You have termites if you poke wood in the house and it disintegrates.
As the termites whittle away at the floor joists in the crawl space, gaps may form between the baseboard and the floor and cause noticeable sags in the corners. You may notice the doors and windows are not operating correctly due to sagging support beams, which cause frames to warp.
A mature nest of subterranean termites can consume up to five grams of wood daily or the equivalent of just over 2 feet of a 2x4 wood board in a year. Support beams, front porches, and decks may collapse after several years of boring.
If you procrastinate and don't use the termite service near your home, you risk losing thousands of dollars in damages. Sadly, most homeowners' insurance policies will not cover termite damage; therefore, repair and replacement costs are the homeowner's responsibility. Eradication of termites in your Reno home and preventative termite treatment is cheaper than your home's repair and replacement costs.
Five Practical Termite Prevention Tips For Homes
Insurance companies estimate that termites cost homeowners over five billion dollars annually in damage. When a homeowner notices termite damage, repair costs will be a minimum of $2,000 to $3,000 because they often require a contractor to replace and repair structural beams in the house. When Celtic Pest Control removes termites from your Reno home, you don't want them to return.
The following five suggestions will help with termite prevention in Reno homes:
- Remove dead tree stumps and yard debris.
- Provide drainage to ditches, low-lying areas, and gutters.
- Install a dehumidifier in the crawl space.
- Seal cracks and gaps in the home's foundation.
- Cover the foundation vents with screens.
Subterranean termites live in moist soil, so when you remove wood scraps, stones, and wood piles, you limit options for swarmers looking for nesting locations. If you enjoy burning wood in the fireplace, you do not need to eliminate the firewood but elevate it and store it at least 20 feet from the house. Rotting wood is often infested with fungus, giving off an attractive scent to swarming termites. Therefore, replace rotting landscape lumber and fence posts, and remove decaying tree stumps to avoid attracting springtime swarmers.
Remove all water-collecting items on the property and ensure that all ditches, puddles, and downspouts are draining away from the property to reduce moisture. If you cannot install a dehumidifier in the crawl space, check that the vents are open to allow good air crossflow.
Remember, termites are only 1/8 inch long and can squeeze through tiny cracks in the foundation. Seal cracks with caulk. Do not ignore spaces around outdoor utility outlets, meters, and gaps between incoming pipes and wires. Ensure that termites cannot enter through unscreened vents or screens with holes in them.
These termite prevention tips will keep your home safe from a future invasion of termites after Celtic Pest Control eliminates them.
The Benefits Of Year-Round Professional Termite Control
Our warm Nevada climate is fun for year-round outdoor activities, but the downside is that many pests thrive in our temperate climate, and termites are no exception. Because a mature termite queen rapidly reproduces and since hundreds to thousands of termite swarmers leave colonies each spring to begin new nests, you need year-round termite protection from Celtic Pest Control.
When you schedule an inspection, a trained termite technician will investigate the ceilings, floors, decks, crawlspace, and more areas on your Reno property for signs of a termite infestation in your home. We will examine the property for entry points, attractions, and termite hot spots. We will create a strategic plan targeting the termite species infesting your home based on the findings of our investigation. Contact Celtic Pest Control today to schedule a free, no-obligation evaluation.
What Celtic Pest Control Customers Are Saying
"My overall experience with your company was very good. They were on time and professional. They did good work and answered all questions we had. From the first point of contact with your company, we have had a good experience. Great customer service. We will use them in the future and highly recommend them!"
Contact Celtic Pest Control Today!(775) 348-7445
Reach out to us for immediate pest solutions in Reno, NV, and surrounding areas.