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Category Archive: Termite Removal

New Hybrid Termite Spreading Faster Than Expected

fbopengraphFormosan and Asian subterranean termites have invaded Florida and taken the state by storm. They have joined forces and colonies by interbreeding and forming a “super termite.” Apex Pest Control reported on these subterranean wood destroyers a few months ago and wants to ensure your home remains protected by giving you the following facts on this new breed of termite, along with tips for termite control for Orlando.

  • Both species of termites arrived in the 1980s in extremely low numbers. The manageable, single-digit nests of 40 years ago escalated to approximately 20 in 1990, around 100 in 2000, to over 10,000 colonies today.
  • Each nest houses hundreds of thousands more termites than drywood termite species. With more termites per nest, the damage is much more intense and expedient.
  • March and April are swarming months for the reproductive members of termite nests (alates) as they fly from their subterranean homes to create new nests for themselves and other termites.
  • Global warming may have impacted the interbreeding since the two species live side-by-side in Asia and Hawaii, but have mating seasons separate from each other. Warmer than average winters in South Florida may have been the beginning of a perfect storm for the creation of this super breed.
  • It is uncertain whether the Formosan/Asian termite offspring are capable of reproduction and would legitimately be considered a new breed of termite that could survive in climates stretching from North Carolina to Brazil. Even if they prove not to be a true breed, this hybrid’s destruction is sure to be intense since a single colony of millions of termites can survive for 20 years.

Knowing these facts, it is imperative to protect your home and business before these dangerous hybrid termites begin to flourish in Florida and beyond. Apex Pest Control has a guaranteed program in termite control for Orlando. Give Apex a call at (866) 675-4070 to set up a termite inspection and begin a yearly schedule to ensure your property is protected from all termites.

Termite Protection is All About Prevention

termite-specialTermites are on the move in Florida, spreading their short-lived wings and discovering new venues to create nests. Knowing that any sign of damage in your home generally implies an infestation, the best line of defense is to protect your home before termite damage is noticed. Calling Apex Pest Control, the Orlando termite control experts, to inspect your home this spring will give you peace of mind that your home is covered. Apex will treat your home with Termidor®, a highly-rated termite protection termiticide that kills existing termites and keeps new termites from burrowing into your home. Read below for homeowner tips to make homes less inviting to termites.

  • Use termite-resistant mulch around your home, and keep all mulch a few inches from your home’s exterior walls.
  • Wooden trellises are attractive, but do not affix them to your home’s façade. Instead, erect them in your garden as a stand-alone structure or on a permanent trellis mounted in the ground.
  • Remove all wood scraps from around your home. If you use a fireplace, store wood in an elevated container at least six inches off the ground.
  • Termites need a source of water to survive. If your home has had any leaks repaired in the roof, under the sub-floor, or in the concrete slab of your home, tell your exterminator. Those areas are prone to infestation.
  • Trim all shrubbery away from your home’s foundation to keep termites from passing from a natural habitat into your home.
  • If you notice any dead wood or stumps in your yard that harbor termites, remove these items promptly.
  • Rain gutters should be maintained all year to prevent termites from setting up housekeeping in the moist, woody layer of leaves and small sticks that pile in unmaintained gutters.
  • Air conditioners naturally drip condensation. Ensure this condensation drains away from your home’s foundation.

These tips will make your home much more resistant to termites in the months between termite inspections. Ensure your home is covered by a termite warranty by calling the Orlando termite control experts at Apex Pest Control at (866) 675-4070 to set up an annual inspection.

Now is the Time to Prep for the Spring Termite Swarm

termite-specialYou may have noticed the small, winged ant-like insects that seem to pop up during the spring and last only a short while. These insects are not ants at all, but “swarming” termites: immature king and queen termites blowing around on wind currents in search of a new place to create a colony. Most noticeable after a rainstorm, these termites have the ability to start a colony that may involve over a million termite inhabitants, an image most of us don’t want to imagine! The following tips by Orlando termite control company, Apex Pest Control, will help you prepare your home for the spring termite swarm and create the least pleasing environment possible for the future kings and queens of the mound.

  • Eliminate surplus termite food sources: Termites eat cellulose, and all plants are cellulose-based. While it seems unlikely you will strip your yard of every tree and flower, take precautions with the wood near your home. If you have a fireplace, store the wood at least 15 feet from your home on an elevated surface. Remove all fallen tree branches and dead limbs from trees and dig up old tree stumps. Not only will your yard’s appearance improve, but the termites will find it much less appealing.
  • Eliminate pools of standing water: Termites need water to survive. By taking a minute and sweeping up standing puddles, you can remove a source of nutrition for termites. Ensure your gutters and downspouts are working properly to prevent improper drainage, and check your exterior faucets for any leaks. If you have pets that drink outside, elevate their drinking containers to prevent termites from sipping your pet’s beverage.
  • Treat the soil and construction timbers before building: Homes under  construction can easily add this extra line of defense to save years of frustration and expense in the future.
  • Remove brush and growth close to your home’s foundation: Bushes make a soft, lush border around the exterior of your home. When the bushes are planted too closely to your home, though, termites that have invaded the bushes can easily transfer their tastes to plywood and your home’s framing. Trim tree branches that come in contact with your home’s façade or roof for the same reason. If you use wood mulch, move it 1 foot or more from your house’s foundation, or switch existing mulch for either cedar or a non-wood mulch, such as rubber mulch.
  • Contact Apex Pest Control for a complete home termite inspection: The ultimate defense occurs when a professional Orlando termite control company inspects your home every year or two. Although you may believe you have the ability to check for termite damage yourself, chances are if the damage is severe enough for you to notice it, termites have been infesting your home for years.

Contact Orlando pest control company, Apex Pest Control at (866) 675-4070 to speak with one of our termite experts, and read our past blogs for further information on termite damage, pest control, lawn maintenance, and more.

5 Things that Termites Love

termitesMost homeowners have their homes inspected before it is purchased to determine if any termite damage exists. After that, though, many people have their homes routinely sprayed but forego termite control because they believe it’s unnecessary unless damage is evident. Termites are on your property at all times and may infiltrate your home if you leave them unchecked. Contact Orlando termite control company, Apex Pest Control, to have their experts inspect your property and home for termite infestation and damage, and read below for a number of termite delicacies that you may not have realized termites find so inviting.

  • Firewood and Woodpiles – Homes with fireplaces require firewood, and firewood is necessary for outdoor fire pits. Most homeowners stack their firewood close to the house for easy access during the chilly winter months. Unfortunately, the wood is often home to termites, and they may easily invade your home when you carry the wood inside. Store wood at least 20 feet from your home and about five inches above ground level, and burn it as quickly as possible when you carry it inside.
  • Gutters – Trees drop leaves and small branches in the gutters around your home, which leads to clogged drains. Termites love the moisture that pools around the downspouts and easily creep from the downspout area to the foundation of your home, eating your insulation or any wood facing. Adding downspout extenders and splash blocks will prevent termites from lingering close to your home.
  • Dead Wood – Many homeowners leave rotting tree stumps or heavy logs in their yard simply because they are too much trouble to move. These items are termite havens that must be eradicated.
  • Mulch – Many mulches serve as termite meals. Choose cedar, cypress, or melaleuca mulch for natural mulch, or non-wood mulch to completely remove any food source. If you have existing wood mulch in a form not listed above, move it 15 inches from your home’s foundation.
  • Overhanging Trees – Tree limbs that come into contact with your roof or home’s exterior can easily become a termite walkway, especially for termites seeking a new location for a colony. Trim branches away from your home, and monitor large trees that block sunlight for extended periods of time since these trees encourage moisture from pooling.

These tips will extend the life of your home’s wood façade or structural supports. However, if you suspect termite damage, contact the Orlando termite control experts at Apex Pest Control at (866) 675-4070 to remove these destructive insects and keep them away. Browse the Apex website to read more about termite control and many other informative topics related to pest control and maintenance.

What Effective Termite Treatments Are Out There?

termite-specialOne of the things that drive homeowners crazy, when thinking about termites and the problems they can cause, is which Orlando pest control company to call to handle problems for them. After dismissing those making ridiculous claims, consumers are left with competing companies that offer different approaches for stopping termites from building nests or getting into homes and of course for getting rid of the ones that are already eating the wood that makes up walls, floors or even the foundation.

One way to decide is to compare the types of treatments used by the various companies. After conducting extensive research on the best approach, Apex Pest Control has chosen to use a chemical treatment called Termidor to both stop termites from entering structures and to kill them where they live.

With termite control, there are two basic types of deterrent:

  • The “Trench and Treat” Barrier System—a shallow trench is dug a few inches away from the structure’s foundation, all the way around the house, a chemical is put in and then the trench is covered over. The chemical forms a barrier in the ground between the rest of the world and the structure. For termites to get to the house, they will have to pass through the barrier and if they try, the chemical will kill them.
  • Using Baits—bait stations are placed in several spots near the foundation, usually spaced ten feet apart, all the way around the structure.

The advantage of the trench method is that it is extremely effective when the right chemical is used and applied correctly and it will last up to ten years. An advantage of the bait approach is initial low cost but its downside is that it doesn’t work nearly as well at getting rid of termites and the baits must be replaced over time.

For most people, the trench method is preferable because it offers peace of mind—termites won’t get through. But, once that choice has been made, there is still the decision regarding which chemical to put in the trench. Right now, Termidor wins hands-down over other chemicals such as Premise because it is both safe for humans and animals and because it doesn’t just deter termites, it kills them. Even better, those that dawdle at the edges of the barrier get just a little bit of the chemical on their bodies which they take it back to their nest and rub all over their friends, killing them too.

Orlando pest control company Apex specializes in the use of Termidor as a termite treatment. It’s a chemical that has been proven to be the most effective available and our technicians have extensive experience using it and it is the best treatment option available for home and business owners.

Local Termites are Crossbreeding, Creating a New Hybrid Species

termitesAs if it weren’t bad enough that Asian and Formosan subterranean termites call Florida home, causing massive amounts of damage to property, now it seems we are on the verge of seeing a whole new threat of termites. The offspring of the two species have met, mated, and produced a hybrid that some experts believe might be more destructive than anything we’ve seen before.

If you believe you might have a problem with any variety of termite, don’t wait for them to chew you out of your house and home. Call the Orlando pest control experts at Apex Pest Control—we have the knowledge, experience, and tools to get rid of any termite problem, regardless of its heritage.

The new species has been confirmed by researchers at The University of Florida, who have been studying the bugs, both in their lab and in the wild in South Florida. First, they set up a monitoring site where both species were known to exist and then watched them during swarming season. Sure enough, they spotted instances of the wood destroyers crossing species lines and mating. In some cases the males of one species seemed to actually prefer the females of the other species. Next, they brought some of the bugs into their lab and found that when the two mated, they were capable of producing offspring and that offspring created nests at twice the growth rate of their parent species. There have been no confirmed sightings of the new hybrid species in the wild as of yet, but the researchers believe they are out there, likely already causing damage somewhere. Researchers can’t say for sure yet whether the offspring are sterile or not, a common occurrence with crossbreeding. In any case, they believe the cross-breeding insects are likely to cause a lot more damage than either species alone, pointing out that a termite colony can last up to twenty years, and grow to a population of millions. The researchers say the threat is real.

None of this is good news. Until now, it was believed that the two species could not mate because they swarmed at different times, but that turned out to be wrong. The scientists found that there is a short period during which both species swarm, giving them ample time for a bit of termite dalliance.

So, what does this mean for Floridians? Sadly, the researchers suggest the hybrids might also eat wood faster than either of the two parent species. Also, there is a possibility that the new termites might be better able to tolerate temperature changes, perhaps migrating to other states.

For worried homeowners, the best option is to be even more vigilant in watching for signs of termites (mud tunnels, droppings, wings, or weakened wood) or to contact an Orlando Pest Control expert such as the professionals at Apex Pest Control at 1-800-675-4070.

Down and Dirty: The 4 Different Types of Termites in Florida

termite-specialYou know how we all love the weather here in Florida—the warm winters and sensuous summer nights, right? Well, termites like the climate here too, for the very same reasons—that’s why Florida has become home to one of the largest populations of the bugs in the country. They can set up shop in a nest in your back yard and use the wood that holds up your house as a dining hall, quietly causing thousands of dollars in damage before you even know they are there. If you have even the slightest suspicion that you might have termites living in or near your home, don’t delay. Call the Tampa termite treatment experts at Apex Pest Control—we can help you find out if there is a problem, and fix it for you if they are found. In the meantime, people who live in Florida need to learn as much about the wood-munchers so they will know what to look for. Below are the four main types found in our state:

  • Eastern Subterranean Termites—these little bugs cause a lot of problems for homeowners in Florida, where it is has been estimated that approximately one in five homes in high activity areas will be attacked at some point. They build nests under your lawn and march in and out of your house using it as a grocery store, munching away at whatever looks good.
  • Formosan Subterranean Termites—these little guys are the most aggressive and destructive timber pests in the whole country. They live in nests underground as well and can eat out the internal sections of structural timbers, making it difficult for homeowners to know they have a problem until it is too late.
  • Drywood Termites—they’re different from the subterranean termites because they live inside the wood full time, not in nests in the ground. They can live in furniture, wood beams or even kitchen cabinets. They are oftentimes brought into the home accidentally, hiding inside of furniture or other types of lumber.
  • Florida Dampwood Termites—less well-known, these bugs are common in the subtropical woodlands, mangrove forests and urban settings in the state. Because they prefer moist wood, they are more likely to attack homes that have water issues, such as plumbing problems or leaks in roof or walls.

The important thing to note is that all termites can cause damage to your home and because of their ability to adjust to new circumstances, they are notoriously difficult to eradicate. That’s why homeowners need to call the Tampa termite treatment professionals at Apex Pest Control—our experts can identify problems, lay down treatments to deter them from making your house their home, and/or get rid of those that have already come in. Our state-certified termite control specialists use the latest technology, products and methods to successfully treat brick, block, frame, and metal structures—click here to set up a free, no obligation visit or to request an inspection of your property.

Tenting your Home for Termites

termite-specialIf your home has—*gasp*—become the target of a drywood termite infestation, one proven way to completely eradicate the wood eating insects is through a process called tenting. No, it’s not where you invite them to camp with you in the backyard—it’s where your entire house is enclosed in a giant tent. Once the tent has been set up, a gas is released inside the house which kills the termites, even the ones deep inside pieces of wood. After a period of time has passed, typically one or two days, the tent is removed and the house vented to get rid of the gas resulting in no residue left behind. Because the gas is toxic, the people who live in the home, and their pets, must vacate the premises for at least 72 hours. They should also be aware that tenting can only be done in good weather, thus, there can be delays. If you are in need of Orlando termite control, call the experts at Apex Pest Control. We can help you prepare for tenting, and then get rid of your problem for you. Below are some tips on how to prepare your home for termite tenting:

Seal or dispose of food for both pets and people—do the same for tobacco and medicines—this includes food in the fridge or freezer. Alternatively you can take such things with you when you leave the house.

Seal dry goods such as cereal, rice, flour, chips, etc.—they need to be double bagged and made air tight because the original bag or cardboard boxes aren’t sufficient for keeping out the fumigant.

Remove plastic seals on beds or other furniture to make sure the fumigant can penetrate them. Otherwise, remove them from the house altogether.

Take all your plants with you when you leave the house to avoid damage from the fumigant.

Check your shrubbery—the tent will need to be between the house and the plants—if there isn’t room, the shrubbery will need to be trimmed.

If you have a gas furnace, stove or water heater, then arrange to have the gas turned off the day before fumigation is to start.

Thoroughly soak the ground with water around the perimeter of your house the day before fumigation is to start—it will help protect plants and will keep the fumigant from leaking out at the base of the tent.

Having your house tented may look like you’re being invaded by secret agents looking for ET, but in reality, other than having to live elsewhere for a few days, the process is relatively stress free. For more information about termite control in Orlando, or to have your home inspected or tented, call the experts at Apex Pet Control—we take extra care to make the process as easy as possible for you and your family.

National Termite Awareness Week March 16-22: Experts Predicting Bad Termite Season for Florida

termitesLook out Floridians, bug experts are predicting that this year, the termite season is going to be the worst ever seen in our state! Those awful subterranean termites are already swarming and all signs indicate that there are more of them than usual. But that doesn’t mean you should head for the hills because Orlando termite control specialists Apex Pest Control know just what to do—we can treat your lawn so the flying wood eaters will go elsewhere, or if need be, get rid of those that have already arrived. A little background:

  • The termite season in Florida peaks during May, June and July—that’s when homeowners need to be on high alert. If you see any sign of them, call for help from the pros.
  • Termite numbers are expected to be higher than normal this year because of unique weather conditions and because a new type of termite has arrived—the Asian termite—which actually eats more wood per bug than the kind we normally have.
  • The termites find mates in the spring (that’s what all the swarming is about) and look for a place to make a nest, such as your back yard. The real feeding doesn’t get started until things get sauna-like with our familiar hot temperatures and high humidity during the summer.
  • It is important to pretreat now to avoid substantial costs later. Without treatment, a lawn looks like a veritable Garden of Eden to prospecting termites. Applying treatment now means not having to risk structural damage later—termites cause between $500 million to a billion dollars worth of damage every year in our state alone. Termites really love it here.
  • Ways to make your home less of a target include: avoiding the use of mulch around your house, never using wooden landscaping timbers, fixing plumbing leaks and removing any structures that allow water to collect near your house.

To address the termite problem this year, Apex Pest Control is offering a $349 limited time special offer on subterranean termite prevention treatment for your property (we’ll also apply fertilizer if you’d like while we’re at it). We want to help you save your home from damage and the worry that swarming season can cause—we offer the ultimate in Orlando termite control services. We also offer a renewable One Million Dollar Warranty covering damage repair and treatment—we use the most effective products available, including Wisdom® TC, Bora-Care® and Termidor®.

Beware of the Destroyers! The Termite Swarm is Coming!

termite-specialMost everyone in Florida knows that termites eat wood, which can lead to damage to your home, but many still don’t understand what termite swarming is all about and why it matters.

Danger, danger homeowner! Heed this termite-swarm warning!

Swarming is a way for termites to establish new colonies every year—some immature termites in established nests grow into nymphs with wing buds, then over the winter, they grow up and become male and female swarmers with mature, long narrow wings, and are typically darker than normal termites. When spring arrives, they fly out of their nests looking for true love or mates. Once found, the pairs unite and form an entourage with new colonies. The swarm has begun!

For us humans, this is important because it’s the time when termites are looking for a new place to nest or hang out like your backyard for instance. Swarming doesn’t always happen at the same time of year, and it’s dependent on the weather. A rainy January in Florida, for example, can trigger termite swarming in February or March. One of the best ways to prevent an infestation is by calling your termite control experts at Apex Pest Control in Orlando, Tampa and Brevard County at 866-675-4070. We’re your superheroes! We’ll fight termites by applying liquid treatments to your property that create an invisible barrier over the ground where swarming termites may land, preventing them from taking up residence.

An Important Note: There are two basic kinds of termites, those that live underground in nests (subterranean termites) and travel back and forth to a wood source and those that live right in the wood they’re eating (drywood termites).

Subterranean termites:

  • Swarm is in far larger numbers than drywood termites—numbering in the hundreds or thousands.
  • Causes the most damage.
  • Leaves behind telltale mud tubes.

Drywood termites:

  • Swarms have only 10 to 100 members.
  • Leaves frass (termite droppings) near wood damage areas.

In addition to swarming termites flying around in a yard, homeowners can also look for discarded wings—the termites let go of their wings once they land and begin building a nest. Sightings should be taken seriously because many homeowners mistakenly believe the problem has gone away when they no longer see termites in the air—that’s a sign that swarming season is past, and serious nest building and new termite production has begun. In just a few months you could have a major problem on your hands, so act now!

If you suspect termites have started a new colony in or near your home, call the termite control experts at Apex Pest Control in Orlando, Tampa and Brevard County at 866-675-4070. We offer a One Million Dollar Warranty covering damage repair and treatments we apply, which include Wisdom TC, Bora-Care and Termidor. We use the latest technology, products and methods to successfully treat brick, block, frame and metal structures for residential and commercial properties, making sure your termite problem goes away.

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The technicians were incredibly friendly, professional, knowledgeable and fast. Gold stars for customer care.
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