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termites

pests

bed bugs

bed bugs

  • Identifying bed bugs and bed bug activity
    • What are bed bugs (bedbugs)?

      Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. They’re known as bed bugs because they like to nest in beds and feed on the blood of sleeping people. Although bed bugs have not been proven to transmit any disease, their bites can cause itchy welts on the skin.

    • What do bed bugs look like?

      Adult bed bugs grow to 4–5 mm long and 1.5–3 mm wide (about the size of an apple seed), with a small head and larger oval-shaped body. Newly hatched bed bug nymphs are tiny (1 mm) and cream colored. They are about the size of the letters on a penny.

    • Why are bed bug reports on the rise?

      Once a common problem in homes and businesses, bed bugs largely disappeared from the U.S. when modern insecticides were introduced after WWII. Since the late 1990s, bed bugs have come back strongly and infestations have been found across the country, but the reasons for this resurgence are not clearly understood. Factors such as increased international travel and immigration have likely contributed to the rapid spread of infestations.

    • What are typical signs of bed bugs?

      Signs of bed bugs include bite symptoms, small brown (fecal) spots on bedding and small blood smears on sheets. Small translucent bed bug eggs may be found in tucks and folds of the mattress and box spring, behind headboards, along baseboards and any other site bed bugs are hiding.

    • Where are bed bugs found?

      Bed bugs are mostly found where people like to rest or sleep. About 70% of any bed bug infestation is found to be associated with the bed, and furniture, pictures and baseboards next to the bed. Bed bugs hide in cracks, folds, tucks and voids in and around these areas. The second most common bed bug harborage is upholstered furniture, while a small percentage of any bed bug population may be scattered throughout a room.

  • Preventing bed bug infestations
    • How can I avoid a bed bug infestation at my home?

      Follow the tips to avoid picking up bed bugs in hotels

      • Upon arriving at home, keep your suitcase in the garage until you have time to inspect it and your belongings. Launder clothes immediately after removal from the suitcase
      • Consider storing your suitcase(s) in the garage or basement instead of bedrooms or closets in the event there may be bed bugs or eggs that you miss with your inspection
      • Storing these inside closed, plastic trash bags also helps to limit any spread of bed bugs you may have inadvertently picked up in your travels
      • Avoid picking up used furniture and items left on the curb
      • Don’t store things under beds
      • Consider using fitted bed bug-proof encasements for your mattress and box springs (although encasements do not prevent bed bugs, they make infestations easier to detect)
    • How can I avoid picking up bed bugs in hotels?

      • Check the mattress, headboard, frame and pictures for signs of bed bugs
      • Keep your luggage on the luggage rack (after making sure it has no signs of bed bugs)- don’t store your luggage on the bed or floor
      • Hang clothes that can be hung and avoid storing any clothes in a dresser
      • Check travel reviews before visiting a hotel and be careful of those with multiple reports of bed bugs
  • Selecting a bed bug control professional
    • What should I look for in choosing a bed bug control company?

      There are a number of factors that may differentiate pest control companies from one another. Following are some general guidelines for choosing a bed bug control company:

      • Look for a reputable company with representatives knowledgeable about bed bug habits, treatment specifications and state regulations
      • Ask friends and associates to recommend companies they have used
      • Look for a company with memberships in industry associations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) that provide ethical guidelines and technical information
      • Find out if continued coverage is offered that includes treatment for re-infestation and ask if it is renewable
      • Be certain the company is licensed by your state’s regulatory agency
  • Terminix bed bug guarantee
    • Does Terminix guarantee their bed bug treatments?

      Yes. Terminix offers the following bed bug treatment guarantee:

      • Terminix will customize a treatment for your needs to quickly and safely eliminate bed bugs from the infested room/area
      • If bed bugs are found in the treated room/area within the next 30 days, Terminix will perform further treatment at no additional cost
      • If mattress encasements are purchased with the service, this guarantee will be extended to 90 days
  • Terminix bed bug treatment offerings
    • How can a bed bug infestation be treated?

      Terminix employs a range of treatments for residential and commercial infestations, including a fast, non-toxic treatment called RapidFreeze®. RapidFreeze uses carbon dioxide (CO2) converted to a dry ice “snow” to freeze insects, including their eggs and nymphs, after contact. RapidFreeze is perfect for homes, hotels, apartments, food processing plants and organic industries since it’s 100% non-toxic and there’s no need to move furniture or electronics. Terminix also uses other safe, effective treatments along with or in place of RapidFreeze to ensure that an infestation is ended as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

    • Is there a wrong way to treat for bed bugs?

      Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to control and eliminate. You should work with only recognized, reputable pest control professionals like Terminix, who have specific training and proven methods for dealing with bed bugs. It takes a comprehensive approach and targeted efforts based on experience to be successful against bed bugs. One product or technique, used alone, is not likely to be effective. You can trust Terminix to use the most up-to-date techniques and products to solve any bed bug problem.

pests

  • Selecting a pest control professional
    • What should I look for in choosing a termite and pest control company?

      There are a number of factors that may differentiate pest control companies from one another. Following are some general guidelines for choosing a pest control company:

      • Look for a reputable company with representatives knowledgeable about pest and/or termite habits, types of construction, treatment specifications and state regulations
      • Ask friends and associates to recommend companies they have used
      • Look for a company with memberships in industry associations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) that provide ethical guidelines and technical information
      • Find out if continued coverage is offered that includes treatment for re-infestation and repairs for future damage and ask if it is renewable
      • Be certain the company is licensed by your state’s regulatory agency
  • Ants
    • How do I get rid of Argentine ants?

      Argentine ants are one of the more difficult ants to control because the colonies consist of numerous sub-colonies that can be located on neighboring properties. For this reason they may reinvade after treatment, so regular inspections and ant control service is essential. Reducing the potential sites where ants could nest on your property is helpful—heavy ground cover, like ivy, piles of bricks, flagstones, lumber, etc. Sealing exterior cracks and holes is also helpful in limiting the number of ants seen inside.

    • How do I get rid of fire ants?

      Fire ants can be difficult to eliminate totally because they can reinvade from neighboring properties. Fire ant bait or a residual contact product labeled for fire ants is used to treat individual mounds. Then the entire yard may be baited. Regular fire ant services are necessary to keep ants to a minimum. Terminix ant extermination is well equipped to provide such services.

    • How do I get rid of carpenter ants?

      Carpenter ant infestations can be difficult to eliminate because of the number of satellite colonies they may establish. Most parent colonies live outdoors in trees and landscape timbers, but they often set up satellite colonies indoors near a moisture source. The parent colony must be treated to prevent new invasions of satellite colonies. A Terminix professional knows how to kill carpenter ants and will directly treat each colony found in and around your home.

    • What’s the best way to get rid of pharaoh ants?

      Pharaoh ants can only be controlled by use of ant baits. Any residual treatments applied to them can make the problem worse by causing colonies to split into two or more. It normally takes the experience of a pest control company that knows how to get rid of ants to achieve elimination of this ant because of its cryptic habits and biology. This ant commonly uses the electrical wiring and plumbing pipes inside walls as “highways” to travel from room to room.

    • I have small and medium-sized ants all over my kitchen (especially around the dishwasher), and traps and boric acid don’t work. What should I do?

      It is important to identify the ant involved before trying to control it. Some ant species can be controlled using ant baits, while others cannot. The key to success is following the ants back to their colony and treating the colony directly (except when dealing with pharaoh ants). Terminix service professionals have the experience to identify the species properly and to provide this service and help you get rid of ants.

    • How do I know if I have winged ants or swarming termites?

      Winged termites have pigmented bodies with broad waists and two pair of wings that are equal in size and shape. Subterranean termite swarmers have bodies about ¼-inch in length. The swarmers quickly shed their wings after a brief flight. Winged ants have pinched waists and two pair of wings that differ in size and shape (front pair is large, hind pair is much smaller). Flying ants shed their wings like termites. Termites have wings that are all the same size. If the hind wings are much smaller than the front wings, you have ants. Collect a few and call Terminix to have them identified if you want to be sure.

      The Winged Ant Picture

      Ants

      • Elbowed antennae
      • Narrow (pinched) waistline
      • Two pairs of wings – front wings are much longer

      Termite Swarmer Picture

      Termites

      • Straight, beaded antennae
      • Broad waistline
      • Two pairs of wings – equal in size
  • Cockroaches
    • How do I control smoky brown cockroaches?

      The best cockroach control method for the smoky brown cockroach is to determine the source and treat it directly, usually with a cockroach bait product. To keep these cockroaches from invading, make sure your attic and/or crawl space has sufficient ventilation and seal as many exterior cracks and holes as possible on the outside of your home. Don’t allow pet food to sit outside overnight and eliminate lumber piles and debris where these cockroaches could harbor.

    • Palmetto bugs (aka cockroaches) are common where I live. What are some steps I can take to get rid of them?

      The best way to deal with large, outdoor cockroach species is to limit the potential harborages for them near your home and to seal as many cracks and holes in your home's exterior as possible. Move firewood away from the house, store it off the ground and cover it with plastic to keep it dry. Discard piles of lumber, bricks, etc. Minimize the use of heavy ground cover like ivy near the house. Keep layers of pine needle mulch to about two inches deep and keep mulch at least 12 inches from the foundation. If the problem persists, consider using a professional pest control company, like Terminix, to apply treatments, such as baits, to lower the cockroach population on the property.

    • How do I get rid of American cockroaches?

      American cockroaches thrive in warm, damp environments such as sewers, steam tunnels, basements, crawl spaces and boiler rooms. For this reason, it’s important to find and treat these areas directly. In many cases, professional services are necessary. Terminix professionals know how to get rid of cockroaches and can help you achieve long-term cockroach control. In southern states where this cockroach lives outdoors, successful pest control involves treatments to the attic, crawl space and exterior cracks in your home and finding and treating likely cockroach harborages over the entire property.

    • What’s the best way to get rid of German cockroaches?

      German cockroaches are a pest control challenge because they’re the most prolific breeders among all cockroaches. They hide in your bathrooms and kitchen to be as close as possible to food and moisture sources. Successfully killing cockroaches requires persistence and experience. An infestation can be controlled using off-the-shelf products, but homeowners often meet with frustration and call the professionals at Terminix to get rid of cockroaches.

    • How effective are baits for controlling cockroaches?

      Cockroach baits may be an effective way to get rid of cockroaches if placed properly. Baits, however, rely on every cockroach in a population to feed on the bait before the infestation can be eliminated. Baits should be combined with other control efforts, such as crack and void treatments, to ensure the infestation is eliminated. Knowing where to apply each product effectively is where the experience of a Terminix professional is helpful.

    • Is it possible to get rid of cockroaches and keep them from coming back?

      Cockroaches can be eliminated from a home, but re-infestation can occur depending on the particular species involved and where your home is situated. Outdoor cockroaches, like the large smoky browns in the Southeast or Oriental cockroaches in the Northeast and Midwest, may continually try to enter a home from the outside. Regular exterior cockroach control in addition to sealing outside cracks and holes in walls can help limit such invasions. A Terminix professional can look for any conditions that might contribute to cockroach infestations and make recommendations on how to get rid of cockroaches.

  • Rats and mice
    • How do I get rid of mice?

      Mice are best controlled by using traps, either snap traps, live traps (e.g., Tin Cat) or a combination of the two. When using snap traps, use different baits (chocolate, peanut butter, etc.) on the traps and place them where the mice are active—but where children and pets can’t get to them. Also, seal exterior cracks and holes and put weather strips on doors to prevent new mice from entering. Mice only need a hole 1/4-inch in size to enter. Numerous mice indicate a more serious problem and should be dealt with by a professional.

    • What is the best mouse/rat bait, and how should I use it in my traps?

      Contrary to popular belief, cheese is not a good bait for mice. Peanut butter and chocolate work well as long as you don't put too much on the trap. Work the bait onto the trap’s trigger so that it is hard for the mouse to get it off and it will be forced to climb onto the trigger.

    • I have a problem with field mice every year. Is there anything I can do to eliminate them and keep them out for good?

      If you live by a field or in the woods, it is likely that you will always have to deal with mice every fall and winter. Your best strategy is to seal as many openings and holes in the exterior walls as possible and to put weatherstrips on the bottom of all doors—especially the garage door—to prevent mice from entering. If you can stick a pencil through a crack or hole, a mouse can squeeze through it. Place live traps inside the garage on either side of the doorway to catch mice and rats as they enter. Check the traps often. Make sure all foundation and attic vents have 1/4-inch hardware cloths tightly fitted over the opening and do the same for any turbine vents in the roof. Trim all tree branches at least 10 feet from the roof.

    • Is it possible to get rid of rats?

      Yes, it is possible, but it takes a lot of effort. Traps are best for control because the bodies may be removed. With baits, you run the risk of the rodent dying inside a wall or in a place where you cannot remove it. This may cause an unpleasant odor. In some cases, you need to use both traps and baits. Rodent bait should be used only in tamper-resistant rodent stations. Baits should NEVER be placed unsecured where children or pets could access them. It may be better to hire a professional. Contact your local Terminix branch to get a free estimate of the cost for mouse/rat services in your area.

  • Spiders
    • What can I do to keep spiders out of my home?

      You can take the following steps to minimize spiders in your home or apartment:

      • Seal all cracks around window and door frames and around light fixtures, vents, ceiling fans
      • Seal all openings around pipes under the sink and behind appliances
      • Place sticky traps designed for cockroaches inside near doorways (along walls under and behind furniture and appliances)
      • Regularly remove webs and spiders via vacuuming
    • What is the best way to handle a brown recluse spider infestation?

      Brown recluse spiders are one of the most difficult pests to eliminate, and therefore require an experienced professional. When hiring a pest control company, ask them for references of customers with whom they successfully assisted in controlling this spider. Treatments need to be quite extensive throughout your home and may take several hours to complete, resulting in additional costs for the service than generally occurs for standard pest problems.

    • What is the best way to eliminate cellar spiders?

      Cellar spiders are thin, pale-colored spiders with extremely long legs that are typically found hanging upside down in large webs. They are best controlled by regular removal using a vacuum or brush.

  • Occasional invaders
    • What can I do to keep crickets from taking over the exterior of my home and office?

      Crickets are attracted to buildings by bright exterior lights. Changing commercial lighting to sodium vapor lamps and home lighting to yellow “bug light bulbs” greatly reduces the number of crickets attracted. In addition, heavy ground cover, like ivy, should be minimized in landscaping, especially next to the building. Sites where crickets could harbor, such as piles of lumber and bricks, should be removed. Also, seal as many exterior cracks and holes and make sure all doors have tight-fitting weatherstrips on the bottom.

    • What are the small, reddish brown bugs around I see around our doors and windows?

      The description sounds like clover mites that live in the grass outside and invade homes during the spring. During the fall, the adults will deposit eggs in cracks in the outside of buildings. When these eggs hatch in the spring, the tiny, red mite “larvae” crawl up the foundation and find their way inside. This problem is usually remedied by treating the exterior foundation and the ground several feet out from your house. You may want to consult a professional company, like Terminix, to apply this treatment.

    • I have seen ladybugs in the house, both alive and dead. What kind of damage do they do, and what should I do about them?

      Ladybugs, also known as lady beetles, are more common now than they used to be, possibly because of mild winters in recent years, or organic gardeners buying and releasing them to control plant pests. In the fall, ladybugs may be attracted to buildings where they crawl into cracks and voids to live for the winter. During warm winter days, beetles may “waken” and then crawl into the living spaces of your home. Once inside the walls, the beetles are very difficult to eliminate. Caulking cracks around window and door frames and around ceiling fixtures (lights, fans) can help keep the beetles inside the walls and out of the rooms of the house. Prevention is the best course of action for the following year. Seal up as many exterior cracks and holes as possible and install tight-fitting screens on all foundation and attic vents.

    • I have these slow-moving bugs with multiple legs and long, thin bodies like worms. What are they, and what should I do?

      These sound like they are millipedes, which are related to insects. They live in moist areas outside and feed on organic matter in mulch, lawns and leaf litter. When it gets too hot, too wet, too dry, etc., millipedes may try to enter a home, sometimes in large numbers. You will need to seal cracks and holes in your home's exterior walls. Keep mulch to a thickness of two inches or less and try to keep it 10 – 12 inches from the foundation. You may want to treat the foundation and ground around your home with a product labeled for exterior use around homes. Follow the label directions. Otherwise, you can call in a professional company, like Terminix, to do a treatment and provide recommendations.

    • I’ve heard that silverfish are extremely difficult to control. Is this true? If so, what should I do?

      Silverfish are difficult to eliminate, not because they are resistant to treatments, but because they often hide deep within walls or attics, where treatments are difficult to apply. Apply a residual pest control dust product into all cracks and voids where activity has been seen. You may need to treat the attic beneath insulation where silverfish are found. Silverfish do not respond well to feeding on insect baits, so crack and crevice treatments are the best options. Persistence in inspecting and treating new areas of activity over several months is also helpful. Experience has shown that homes with wood shingle roofs typically have the most difficult of silverfish infestations.

    • What harm can earwigs cause, and how can they be eliminated?

      First of all, earwigs do not bite and are not dangerous. Earwig control requires the treatment of cracks inside where the insects are seen, cracks in the home’s exterior and likely harborage sites (woodpile, landscape timbers, etc.) outside. A residual aerosol or dust insecticide labeled for indoor crack and crevice treatment should be used indoors. Outdoors, a suitable exterior household insecticide can be applied to areas where earwigs might live. Many people seek to hire the professionals at Terminix when dealing with a significant infestation of earwigs because of all the areas that must be located and treated.

    • How do I know if I have house centipedes?

      If they have very long legs, they are likely house centipedes that can breed indoors and feed on spiders and insects. Homes with house centipedes usually have a crawl space or basement underneath where the centipedes harbor. You may want to consult Terminix; we can inspect your home and advise you on the best course of action.

    • Is it possible to have root weevils in the house?

      Two types of root weevils may be encountered: the black vine weevil and the strawberry root weevil. These black, 1/4-inch long beetles feed on vines, ivy, wild strawberries and “yew” shrubbery outside. When populations grow large enough, wandering beetles may come indoors. To control them, seal exterior cracks and holes and treat the perimeter and foundation for your home. Long-term control includes removing the vines, ivy and other vegetation that the weevils target for breeding.

    • What are firebrats, and how do I get rid of them?

      Firebrats are related to silverfish and prefer very warm areas such as furnace rooms, heat ducts, boiler rooms and fireplaces. Cracks and voids in areas such as these should be treated using a residual dust pest control product labeled for indoor use. This pest often proves difficult to control, so you may want to consult a professional.

  • Biting and stinging pests
    • What can I do to prevent or get rid of scorpions around my home?

      The numbers of scorpions in a yard usually corresponds to the amount of potential harborage they can find. All items lying in contact with the soil should be removed. Also, landscaping that is edged with stacked timbers or stacked flagstones provides considerable shelter for scorpions and the insects they feed on. Changing to edging that doesn’t have cracks reduces the potential harborages for scorpions as does eliminating heavy ground cover, like ivy, in landscaping. Cracks and holes in your home’s exterior need to be sealed to prevent scorpions from entering. You may want to call Terminix to come out at night with a UV blacklight to look for where scorpions might be on your property and to provide possible treatments. Scorpions glow blue-green under UV light.

    • Are there really such things as bed bugs?

      Bed bugs are small, oval, reddish-brown insects about 1/4-inch long as adults. They live in crevices in beds and in cracks in walls as well as in furniture near beds. At night, they will crawl into the bed and bite a sleeping person. The bite is usually not painful, and fortunately, bed bugs do not transmit any diseases. Bed bugs can prove difficult to control, so a professional pest control company, like Terminix, should be consulted.

    • What is the best way to treat a flea-infested home?

      Flea control requires thorough vacuuming, treatment of pets and treatment of the infested premises. Vacuuming removes soils and debris that might interfere with the treatment, removes adult fleas and some flea eggs and opens carpet fibers so the treatment can penetrate to flea larvae and pupae. An insect growth regulator (IGR) should be used together with a product targeted at the adult fleas. The IGR affects only the flea larvae and prevents them from molting into adult fleas, which do the biting. The IGR, therefore, helps prevent future infestations while assisting in stopping the current problem. Vacuuming every day stimulates adult fleas to emerge from cocoons so they will contact the treatment and die more quickly. Although the number of adult fleas you see quickly drops following treatments, it may take two weeks or a bit longer before all fleas are gone from the premises. It is important to treat pets the same days as your home is treated.

    • I have carpenter bees. Does Terminix treat them? What would I use?

      Yes, Terminix offers pest control services for carpenter bees. Carpenter bees chew tunnels in wood to make a nest cavity in which their larvae can grow. To prevent the bees from making the holes, the surfaces being attacked may be treated using a residual liquid product. If the holes are already present, a dust product may be applied into the holes and then the surrounding wood treated with the liquid product. Such treatments may need to be repeated after a couple of months to further deter the bees. You can consult a professional pest control company, like Terminix, for a comprehensive inspection and treatment plan.

  • Flying pests
    • I think I have a gnat problem, but I’m not sure. What should I do?

      It is very important to identify these flies or gnats. The type of fly/gnat is critical in providing useful advice for control. If the fly is tiny and black, it may be a fungus gnat that lives in the wet soil of potted plants. Small tan flies with red eyes are fruit flies that breed in fresh fruit—especially bananas—and garbage. Other types of flies breed elsewhere. Terminix can help you to identify the gnats and recommend control solutions.

    • I have moths in my clothes and have indoor pets that may get into mothballs. What are my alternatives?

      Clothes moths are best controlled by first cleaning the affected clothing and other clothing items that were stored with it. Clean items according to the clothing manufacturer’s instructions. Next, thoroughly clean the closet, dresser or storage area. Cracks in these areas may also be treated using a properly labeled indoor pest control product. Pheromone traps are available for clothes moths to monitor for moth activity.

    • How do I get rid of moths? They are all over my ceiling and in my food cabinets.

      Based on this description, it sounds like you have Indian meal moths, which are a food pest (insects that infest and feed on stored grain and grain products). This is why you are seeing so much activity in the kitchen cabinets. To control these moths, you need to examine all dry items like flour, cereal, whole grains, spices, pet foods, tobacco, dried flower arrangements and seeds. Infested products need to be discarded. Clean and vacuum the pantry very well. Look for the cocoons of the moths in corners, under shelves, etc. and destroy them. Store all dried food products and pet foods in plastic or glass containers with tight-fitting lids.

    • Can you tell me how to rid my home of fruit flies?

      The small, brown, red-eyed fruit fly is usually carried inside homes in fresh fruits and vegetables, most often bananas. The items in which the flies are breeding must be found and discarded in the outdoor trash. To deal with the remaining adult flies, create a trap by pouring a few ounces of vinegar into a cup and covering the cup with a plastic wrap secured with tape or a rubber band. Poke a hole about 1/8th to 1/4th inch through the plastic. Place the trap in rooms where the flies are seen. The flies enter through the opening but have difficulty exiting, eventually drowning in the vinegar.

    • I have a problem with black, ¼-inch flies in my house during the fall and winter. What kind of fly is this, and what can I do about them?

      If they hold their wings flat over their abdomens, then they are likely cluster flies. These flies enter the walls and attics of homes in large numbers to survive the winter. On warmer days, they may crawl into the living spaces of your home. Once inside the walls, they are difficult, if not impossible, to eliminate. You need a professional company, like Terminix, to inspect your home and make recommendations for sealing cracks where flies could enter. Treatments can be applied that can greatly reduce the numbers of flies seen inside.

  • Fabric and pantry pests
    • I have small, worm-like, tan-colored bugs living in my carpets. They taper at one end to a darker brown color. What are they? How can I remove them?

      The description sounds like carpet beetles or cabinet beetles. These beetles feed on woolen items as well as dead insects, pet and human hair trapped in carpets and food items in pantries. They can be very difficult to control, so it is recommended you consult a pest management professional.

    • I have been noticing increasing numbers of a small, reddish brown beetle in my new home. Is there anything I can do to get rid of them?

      It sounds like you may be dealing with foreign grain beetles. The foreign grain beetle feeds on molds that sometimes occur inside walls of newly built homes. During construction, moisture invariably wets wood and becomes trapped in walls thereby allowing molds to grow. The beetles find this mold and begin breeding, then months or even a year later, the adults start emerging, sometimes in large numbers. Eventually, the walls dry out, the molds die and so do the beetles. In the meantime, treatment beneath baseboards and the voids behind electric outlets using a dry residual dust product can reduce the numbers of beetles seen. You may wish to hire a professional company, like Terminix, to positively identify the beetles involved and to make treatment recommendations.

    • In the summer, I find small, reddish brown bugs shaped like a grain of rice in my cabinets and dry foods. What are they? Can I get rid of them?

      This description sounds like flour beetles or saw-toothed grain beetles. If you have a dog, you may be bringing them into your home inside dog food, dog biscuits, etc. The beetle population in these infested products then grows, and they move outside the bag where you see them. Go through all dried food goods and inspect for dead or live beetles. Throw out all infested foods. Store all such foods, including pet foods in plastic or glass containers with tight-fitting lids. If you do bring home infested product, the infestation will be contained to that one item making it easier for you to tell the origin.

  • Animal control
    • I have squirrels in my attic. What should I do?

      Squirrels of any kind must either be excluded from re-entering once they leave the attic or they can be trapped and relocated. The site where they entered must be located and sealed. Squirrels can be difficult to trap in attics and you may want to consult a wildlife animal removal company for assistance (consult your Yellow Pages).

    • How can I eliminate lizards?

      Lizards are best controlled inside buildings by excluding them. Exterior cracks should be sealed and tight-fitting screens installed on all windows and vents. Vegetation outside should be kept away from the foundation. Lizards inside can be captured using glue traps and then removed from the traps using vegetable oil to dissolve the glue. Release captured lizards outside at a distance away from the building.

  • Pest control services
    • How effective are electrical pest control systems that are on the market?

      Ultrasonic devices have been tested by entomologists at major universities and have been found to have little to no effect on insects and other pests. Some devices may be beneficial in some situations for rats and birds, but even these have their limits and usually do not produce the desired results.

    • What type of program or treatment do you recommend to ensure we keep the house pest free?

      We believe that the most effective way to control pests is to prevent them from crawling inside in the first place. If they’re already inside your home, we’ll get them out and make sure they don’t come back. Terminix backs our service up with the most comprehensive guarantee in the business. Your Terminix service professional will provide a three-step program:

      1. Your service professional will look for the sources of pest infestations and then apply pest control materials where they will be most effective. The appropriate control methods will be selected for the situation at hand.
      2. Because the exterior of your home is where most new infestations originate, likely pest harborages next to or near your home are inspected for pest activity and treated accordingly.
      3. Finally, your service professional will provide you with recommendations on how to reduce pests around your home. And if there are fewer pests around your home, fewer pests will get in your home.
    • If it rains, will outside treatment materials wash away?

      Once a liquid residual product has dried following application, the solvents and emulsifiers evaporate, leaving a durable residual that adheres to surfaces and is resistant to being washed away by rain. Insect baits, however, are placed in protected areas to keep excess moisture from possibly reducing their effectiveness.

    • Will I still see pests after treatment?

      Treatments are targeted at sites where pests are harboring or might enter your home. Because pests that contact these treated areas can sometimes take a few hours to die, they may wander into living spaces where you might see them. But the number will greatly drop in the days after the service. Of course, after your original infestation has been eliminated, pests living outdoors will continue to try to enter your home so an occasional pest may be seen. This factor is why regular exterior services are important—to find and intercept pests outside before they have a chance to enter your home. If you have more than an occasional sighting of pests inside, please call us. We'll be happy to schedule a service call at no additional cost to you.

  • Preventing pests
    • Is there anything I can do to help prevent pests in my home?

      Your Terminix service professional will inspect your property during your service and provide a list of recommendations for correcting conditions that contribute to pest infestations. He or she can show you these areas and may even suggest a course of action. For example, your firewood pile may need to be moved away from the house. There may be cracks around the windows and doors that need to be sealed. Or, you might not be aware that the screen on your foundation vent is missing or damaged, which could permit mice to enter. Making recommended modifications will help prevent new infestations.

  • Terminix guarantee
    • Does Terminix guarantee pest protection?

      We back our Pest Control Plans with the strongest guarantee in the business: The Ultimate Protection® Guarantee. It promises:

      • Same–day solutions — If you need us, contact us. We’ll have a proposed solution for you within 24 hours
      • A job done right the first time — If not, we’ll come back at no extra cost until you’re satisfied
      • 100% satisfaction or your money back — If you're not happy with our services, we will keep working until you are satisfied or we will credit or refund the cost of your last service

termites

  • Bait Defend System
    • When should a home be re-treated for termites?

      Your home should be inspected annually, but annual re-treatment of the structure is prohibited. Re-treatment only takes place when there is clear evidence of re-infestation, treatment zone disruption and/or breakdown of the termiticide treatment zone in the soil. Disruption of the treatment zone is usually because of construction, excavation or landscaping.

    • Will the liquid treatment be less effective if it rains, the soil is blown away by wind, etc.?

      Once the treatment is applied to soil, the termiticide binds to soil particles and is not easily displaced. In USDA test sites, Termidor®, the termiticide used in the Liquid Defend System, is still controlling termites for more than 10 years and longer. However, if the treated soil is removed or overly disturbed, the treatment is removed and will require reapplication to maintain the barrier against termites.

    • How is the Bait Defend System monitored?

      Once the system is installed, your Terminix service professional will periodically visit your home to check the elimination progress.

    • Is the Terminix Bait Defend System effective if I have a colony right underneath my house?

      Termites exhibit continuous and random foraging behavior, so even when they have found a good source for food, they constantly look for more. We strategically place the Terminix baiting stations in areas where the termites are likely to forage.

    • Will the Terminix Bait Defend System or the Liquid Defend System work against the kind of termites I have?

      Terminix termite treatments have been proven effective against all economically important subterranean (not drywood) termite species in the mainland U.S. and Hawaii—including Formosan termites—regardless of soil type, climate or geographic conditions.

    • What’s in the termite bait that makes it so effective against termites?

      The bait contains an insect growth regulator that prevents the successful completion of the termites’ vital molting process. Because they are unable to molt, they cannot advance through their life cycle, and die.

    • Why not put the bait in all the stations right away?

      Baiting all stations immediately would be impractical and expensive. Bait is placed only in the stations that show signs of termite activity and kept there only as long as termites continue to feed on it.

    • What is the Bait Defend System?

      This treatment plan uses a series of strategically installed bait stations to draw subterranean termites away from your home. Termites carry the bait back to the colony and share it with other termites, resulting in fast, effective control. Plus, it can help prevent future infestations. Get more information about the Bait Defend System.

    • When the colony is eliminated, do you remove the stations?

      No. Once the colony is gone, others may move in to the area. To keep your home protected, we will continue to monitor the Terminix baiting stations for signs of a new colony as long as your contract remains in effect.

    • How long does it take to eliminate or control a termite colony with baits?

      Individual termites can be affected within a few days after consuming the bait, but it may take several months before an entire colony is controlled or eliminated. This varies depending on the time of year, geography, the number of termites and termite species.

  • Liquid Defend System
    • What is in the liquid treatment that makes it so effective against termites?

      The product used in the Liquid Defend System is “non-repellent,” meaning it doesn’t kill the termites right away. Rather, it works slowly so that the termites that come in contact with the treatment can carry it to other termites throughout the rest of the colony.

    • What is involved with a liquid treatment?

      With the Terminix Liquid Defend System, one of our trained specialists creates a trench in soil areas and carefully drills through slab areas around the perimeter of your home, then applies a highly effective liquid agent. The treatment agent sticks to termites as they forage through the treated soil. Elimination begins almost immediately as the termites spread the material to other termites.

    • Will the Terminix Bait Defend System or the Liquid Defend System work against the kind of termites I have?

      Terminix termite treatments have been proven effective against all economically important subterranean (not drywood) termite species in the mainland U.S. and Hawaii—including Formosan termites—regardless of soil type, climate or geographic conditions.

    • When the colony is eliminated, do you reapply the treatment?

      No. Treatments are not reapplied unless new termite activity is found in your home.

    • When should a home be re-treated for termites?

      Your home should be inspected annually, but annual re-treatment of the structure is prohibited. Re-treatment only takes place when there is clear evidence of re-infestation, treatment zone disruption and/or breakdown of the termiticide treatment zone in the soil. Disruption of the treatment zone is usually because of construction, excavation or landscaping.

    • How long does it take to eliminate or control a termite colony with a liquid treatment?

      Because subterranean termite colonies live underground, it is difficult to determine when a colony might be eliminated. However, we have seen that termite activity within a home usually ceases about 30 – 60 days following a treatment with Termidor®, the termiticide used in the Liquid Defend System.

  • Pest control offerings
    • What is the best way to control termites and avoid infestations?

      There is no single method of controlling termites that is better than the others, but having options does provide a choice of methods to suit particular situations. Terminix recommends a termite inspection in order to determine the best method and treatment plan.

      Liquid barrier treatments use applications of termiticide to the soil at potential termite entry points into the structure. The termite colony must then use other available food sources, including tree roots, fallen limbs and fences, instead of the structure. Soil treatments are intended to control termites for extended periods of time, although, they may be breached because of physical disturbance of the treatment zone (landscaping activities, construction, erosion), tree roots growing through the treatment zone, and natural degradation of the termiticide, among others. For these reasons, most termite control treatments are available with renewable guarantees.

  • Protection plans
    • What is the Ultimate Protection® Package?

      This comprehensive plan combines a Subterranean Termite Coverage Plan with our Pest Control Plan. Ongoing termite coverage and annual termite inspections are combined with quarterly pest treatments give your home protection from termites and 27 of the worst kinds of pests. Get more information about the Ultimate Protection Package here.

    • What happens if I do get termites while I have this plan?

      As soon as you sign on for a Termite Coverage Plan, your Ultimate Protection® Guarantee takes effect. And that protection continues unwaveringly for as long as you keep your plan. That means that if you ever get termites while you’re covered by your plan, Terminix will treat your home to quickly eliminate them at no additional cost. Plus, you won’t pay a cent for any damage repairs.

    • What does my annual inspection do?

      Terminix will come back to your home every year for as long as you keep your plan to determine if your home is still termite free.

      We check your exterior plumbing and electrical openings, pier supports, foundation gaps and stress gaps for signs of termites.

      We’ll also inspect the interior of your home for wings around your windowsills, blisters in wood flooring and mud tubes.

      If your home is termite free, your protection will continue as before. If termites are discovered during this inspection, we’ll treat your home to quickly eliminate termites, at no additional cost. And you’re covered against future treatments and damage repair costs.

    • What are Termite Protection Plans?

      Termite Protection Plans guarantee future protection for homes that haven’t been infested by termites yet. They can help catch the start of an infestation sooner and reduce the amount of damage termites may do. These plans include:

  • Risk factors and treatment options
    • Isn’t it customary for the builder of a new home to protect it against termites?

      There are only a few states that require soil pretreatment for control of subterranean termites during construction. It is usually the mortgage lender that requires this, especially in termite-prone areas.

    • I have an old tree stump about three feet from the house that is infested with termites. I inspected the house and it is free of termites. Should I have the stump treated for termites?

      You don’t need to treat the stump, but you may want to give your home termite protection. In areas of the country where termites are common, it is not unusual to find them in the ground, in tree stumps or in debris near a structure. If your home has not been treated to control or prevent termite entry, you should maintain a close watch for termites and have a termite control professional, like Terminix, implement a termite control program.

      Subterranean termites nest in the ground and forage for food (cellulose or wood) over areas up to 1/2 acre or more in size. There is a high probability that if they are detected close to your home, will eventually infest it—if they have not done so already. Treating the stump will not have any great impact on the colony or its continued search for new food sources. Contact your local Terminix branch for an inspection and to find out your control options.

      Preventive action makes good sense in any termite-prone area, and you should also consider having a professional termite control company, like Terminix, implement a termite control program before you notice an infestation.

      • Remove all wood debris from around your home, especially after new construction and remodeling. This includes wood from boards along foundations, tree stumps and roots, as well as firewood stacked near the house
      • Since termites need moisture to survive, grade the soil around your foundation so it carries water away from the house. Maintain gutters and downspouts in good repair
    • I have experienced termite swarms year after year even with regular treatment. Is there anything I can do to get rid of them?

      Continued swarming after a conventional soil treatment can mean one of four things:

      1. The termites are still finding an “unprotected” access point into the structure where the termiticide application has not created an effective barrier to stop entry.
      2. Termites are swarming into an area where there is no food source (wood) to sustain ongoing activity. They swarm at this location, then go elsewhere for food requirements.
      3. The soil barrier is in place, but the termites are able to find a “bridge” over the treatment. The underside of concrete slabs can permits this to happen.
      4. The barrier is working to stop movement of termites back and forth from the ground to the structure, but the termites are able to obtain moisture from inside the structure and do not need to return to the soil. This moisture source is usually a leaky pipe, shower pan or roof/gutter leak.
    • Will subterranean termite swarmers inside my home infest other areas of the house, furniture, closets, etc.?

      Subterranean termite swarmers are looking for moist soil in close proximity to wood in order to start a new colony. The likelihood of these conditions existing inside your home is very low, so unless the swarmers get outdoors, they will not survive.

    • Can you offer any advice on how to prevent a termite infestation at my new house?

      As a homeowner, you can take some action in making your home less attractive to termite infestation. Although this will not prevent or control potential entry by subterranean termites, these recommendations will reduce or eliminate some of the conducive conditions that make it easier for termites to gain entry.

    • There are homes on my street with termite infestation and damage. What actions can I take to protect my home from being infested?

      Termites forage from spring through fall and they spread most commonly underground. If your home is currently termite free, it could become infested by termites that are active nearby. A preventive termite control program will help avoid termite infestation. Contact your local Terminix branch for additional information about termite biology, habits and treatment options.

    • When is the best time to treat for termites?

      The best time to treat for termites is before they infest a structure. Termite control is an ongoing process; a control plan should be in place to avoid an infestation and damage repair costs.

    • I live in a stucco home. Should I be concerned with termites?

      The main reason stucco homes and subterranean termites don’t mix is that the stucco exterior finish often extends beneath the soil level around the exterior of the structure. A small space often develops between the foundation and the stucco finish, and this permits termite entry that is completely hidden from view.

      Another situation involves the “synthetic” stucco finishes that have a base layer of rigid foam board. This type also often extends beneath the soil level, and once the termites access the foam, they can move anywhere around the structure. This type of exterior finish is also prone to moisture intrusion, which will help support the termites once they get in.

    • How quickly can termites infest a house? If a residence has been treated and there is no evidence remaining of termite infestation, how soon could they reappear?

      Subterranean termites can infest a structure during its construction phase if they are present in the soil. Whether the home is occupied or not makes no difference to the termites. Conventional soil barrier treatments to control subterranean termites do not eliminate the termite colony. They do create a treatment zone in the soil at potential entry points into the structure. This causes the termite colony to utilize their other available food sources such as tree roots, fallen limbs and fences. Soil treatment zones are intended to control termites for extended periods of time, however they may be breached because of physical disturbance of the treatment zone (landscaping activities, construction, erosion, etc.), tree roots growing through the treatment zone, natural degradation of the termiticide, etc. For these reasons, most termite control treatments(like our Bait Defend System) are available with renewable warranties.

  • Selecting a termite control professional
    • What should I look for in choosing a termite and pest control company?

      There are a number of factors that may differentiate termite and pest control companies from one another. Following are general guidelines for choosing the best company for your needs:

      • Look for a reputable company with representatives knowledgeable about pest and/or termite habits, types of home construction, treatment specifications and state regulations
      • Ask friends and associates to recommend companies they have used
      • Look for companies with memberships in industry associations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) that provide ethical guidelines and technical information
      • Find out if continued coverage is offered that includes treatment for re-infestation and repairs for future damage, and ask if it is renewable
      • Be certain the company is licensed by your state’s regulatory agency
  • Signs of termites
    • What are some common signs of termites?

      Because so much of the damage caused by termites is within the inner walls of a structure, it can be difficult to know if you have a termite problem until it is too late. However, there are three warning signs to help you determine if you have a termite problem.

      1. Termites, dead or alive
        Winged termites are often the first sign of subterranean termite infestation. Swarming termites are attracted to light and are often found near windows, doors, vents and lighting fixtures. Experiencing a termite swarm is the most obvious indicator that your property has a termite problem. Worker termites are small, light-colored insects that move quickly when exposed to light and are the type involved in spring swarms. Even if you haven’t seen any signs of termites, check windows, heating vents, doors, in sinks and bathtubs for dead termites or termite wings.
      2. Mud tubes
        These termite-made tubes provide shelter for pesky termites and have a muddy, flattened appearance approximately the width of a drinking straw. Look for mud tubes along cracks, beneath flooring, around baseboards, on pipes, piers, chimneys, behind siding, plumbing and other fixtures. Mud tubes may also extend over concrete foundations and other exposed surfaces.
      3. “Hollow” wood
        An easy way to check for termites is to tap wood along the wall every few inches with a screwdriver handle. Damaged wood will sound hollow and, if the area is extremely damaged, the handle may break the wood’s surface. If the area is still active, you may see worker termites inside. Dark areas or blisters in wood flooring are an indicator of subterranean termite infestation. Because subterranean termites are preventable, it is a good idea to have your property regularly inspected by a trained specialist.

      Professional pest control companies use three types of treatments to deal with termites: liquid barrier treatments or baiting for subterranean termites and fumigation for drywood termites. A liquid barrier treatment serves as a termite barricade around a property, preventing termites from entering. Having a liquid barrier treatment on your property, even before you see signs of termites, can help you keep your property termite free.

      Baiting is a preventative and curative tactic when a termite problem is already prevalent. Baiting involves giving termites a substance they take back to their nest and spread to other termites. Eventually the bait eliminates the entire colony.

      Fumigation consists of sealing a home under specialized, weighted tarps, then dispersing a fumigant in the home that will penetrate all wood timbers, trim, finished wood and furniture, as well as hard-to-treat wall studs. This is the only way to eliminate drywood termites.

      Termites are organized, determined, non-discriminating creatures. They will eat wood from any property regardless of size, age or upkeep. In the pest business, it is often said that there are only two kinds of properties: those that have termites now and those that will. Remember, the best way to protect against termites is to have your property inspected on a regular basis by a reputable, professional pest control service, like Terminix.

    • How much damage can termites really do?

      Termites are serious business for property owners, causing an estimated $5 billion in property damages and repair costs annually. In fact, termites damage more homes than fires, floods and tornadoes, meaning your house might be one of more than 4 million at risk of infestation this year.

    • How do I know if I have swarming termites or winged ants?

      Winged termites have pigmented bodies with broad waists and two pair of wings that are equal in size and shape. Subterranean termite swarmers have bodies about ¼-inch in length. The swarmers quickly shed their wings after a brief flight. Winged ants have pinched waists and two pair of wings that differ in size and shape (front pair is large, hind pair is much smaller). Flying ants shed their wings like termites. Termites have wings that are all the same size. If the hind wings are much smaller than the front wings, you have ants. Collect a few and call Terminix to have them identified if you want to be sure.

      Ants

      • Elbowed antennae
      • Narrow (pinched) waistline
      • Two pairs of wings – front wings are much longer

      Termites

      • Straight, beaded antennae
      • Broad waistline
      • Two pairs of wings – equal in size
    • How can I identify a termite?

      Termite workers are pale, soft-bodied insects about ¼-inch or less in length. They appear to have a head and body because their thorax is broadly joined to their abdomen. Their antennae are straight, just like a string of beads. Termites are mistakenly called white ants, but are not ant-like in appearance. Ants are usually heavily pigmented and have three distinct body regions: head, thorax and abdomen. Ants also have a very narrow or pinched “waist,” and their antennae are "elbowed."

      Winged termites (swarmers) have pigmented bodies with broad waists and two pair of wings that are equal in size and shape. Subterranean termite swarmers have bodies about ¼-inch in length. The swarmers quickly shed their wings after a brief flight. Winged ants, on the other hand, have pinched waists and two pair of wings that differ in size and shape (front pair is large, hind pair is much smaller).

      WINGED ANT PICTURE

      Ants

      • Elbowed antennae
      • Narrow (pinched) waistline
      • Two pairs of wings – front wings are much longer

      Termites

      • Straight, beaded antennae
      • Broad waistline
      • Two pairs of wings – equal in size
    • I have noticed some pest excrement that has fallen from the ceiling. How can I tell if it is from termites or other insects?

      Drywood termites produce small bun-shaped pellets as excrement. This often accumulates on surfaces directly below infested areas. Evidence of activity can include small “pin holes” in the surface of the infested area and the droppings accumulating below. Winged termites, called swarmers, might also be observed. The adult reproductives swarm to start new infestations in other areas of the structure. This usually occurs between early summer and late summer.

      Termites are extremely well-organized and persistent in their search for new food sources. Contrary to what one might think, they will eat anything containing cellulose—wallpaper, books, boxes, carpet backing, drywall and furniture—not just wood.

      Termites play a useful role in nature, to help wood be recycled to the soil as humus. But when these wood-eating creatures attack wood elements in human structures—like your property—big problems are sure to follow. And they can’t be treated with a can of bug spray.

      Termites swarm at various times throughout the year depending on geographical and weather conditions. Subterranean termites are often detected during spring swarm season when billions of winged termites fly from their nests to start new colonies. They usually swarm mid-day, most often when it is sunny and right after a rain shower.

      But, just because you don’t see termites does not mean your property is safe from infestation. Subterranean termites live in colonies that can house hundreds of thousands of termites, depending on its age and health. They work 24 hours a day from the inside out and are often difficult to detect since 80 percent of the wood they eat is hidden within the walls.

      Colonies can be active for more than five years before the damage is visible. With the capability of a large colony to consume more than two pounds of food a day, having an active colony on your property could equal thousands of dollars in damages. The only way to ensure your property is not inviting termites in is to have it examined by a professional pest control company, like Terminix.

    • I recently noticed a small mud tunnel on the drywall side of an exterior wall. I knocked it off, but after a few days, the mud tunnel was back. Should I be concerned about termites?

      Such mud tunnels are an indication of subterranean termite activity. Because the tube was rebuilt after being broken, the termites are active. Please contact your local Terminix branch by calling the local number in the Yellow Pages or by calling 1.800.TERMINIX. A representative will provide a free inspection to determine your control options.

  • Tent Defend System
    • What is the difference between tenting a house for termites and other treatments?

      Fumigation, also known as tenting, is one of the treatment options for dealing with active drywood termites. Localized “spot” treatment controls only the drywood termite activity in the specific area and often involves drilling into infested areas. CleanHeat, available in limited markets, controls drywood termite activity in the area treated. Keep in mind that control methods for drywood termites do not control subterranean termites.

    • How long does tenting take?

      Tenting is an elaborate process in which specialized tarps are placed over your home, joined together at rolled seams using heavy-duty clamps, and weighted at the bottom to create a seal. Fumigant is dispersed, penetrating every area of the home, as well as hard-to-treat areas. To allow time for the fumigant to eliminate a drywood termite infestation, you should expect to safely return to your home in 2-3 days.

    • How safe is fumigation or tenting?

      Tenting requires an experienced, licensed company. It is the only method to ensure 100% control of drywood termites and some situations involving wood-boring beetles. The procedure itself poses some risk during tenting while the fumigant is being contained. After the tarps are removed, however, the home is aired out and cleared, and no residue is left behind.

    • What is the Tent Defend System?

      This treatment plan consists of a complete home fumigation (sometimes called “tenting” since the home is completely enveloped by specialized tarps). Fumigation is the only way to eliminate drywood termites. Get more information about the Tent Defend System here.

  • Terminix guarantee
    • Does Terminix guarantee termite protection?

      Terminix® backs you with the strongest guarantee in the business for as long as you keep your Terminix termite plan. We call it the Ultimate Protection® Guarantee. You’ll come to call it ultimate peace of mind. Our termite plans include:

      • Same-day solutions — If you need us, contact us. We’ll have a proposed solution for you within 24 hours
      • A job done right the first time — If not, we’ll come back at no extra cost until you’re satisfied
      • 100% satisfaction or your money back — If within the first 30 days you are not happy with our services, we will refund your annual payment and cancel the plan
      • Lifetime damage repair — Terminix promises that if there is ever any live termite activity, we’ll treat it promptly at no extra cost. And if there is ever any termite damage caused by live activity, you’ll be covered for repairs as long as you maintain your protection

      See our guarantees page for more detailed information.

      Ultimate Protection Guarantee excludes service plans and is subject to continued annual renewal inspections and payments thereof.

  • Termite behavior
    • Do termites really eat wood?

      Yes, termites actually eat wood. Using bacteria, protozoa and microbes that live inside their stomachs, they are able to digest cellulose, the main constituent of wood.

    • Can termites make their way through concrete?

      Termites cannot go through solid concrete, but they can get through a crack only 1/32nd of an inch wide. Openings this size or bigger often occur where two pieces of concrete abut—like when poured separately—and around plumbing penetrations through the concrete or where the concrete has cracked.

    • I have active termites. How much damage will they do in a month’s time?

      Subterranean termites would not be expected to create significant damage in a few months’ time, but rather over an extended period of time if left untreated. Individual termites randomly visit the various feeding sites established by the colony, rather than returning to the same location day after day. Terminix recommends

    • How do swarming termites enter a home?

      Subterranean termites come from the ground to enter structures. Wood portions of the structure (and its furnishings) that are closest to the foundation level are probably more prone to infestation, but termites can move to other areas. The typical evidence of infestation is the presence of dirt-like shelter tubes that the termites use to conceal themselves as they cross masonry foundation materials. The swarmer termites can enter the home at any one of these access points.

    • How long do termites live? Why do they lose their wings?

      A worker termite may live from one to two years. A queen termite may live for decades. Winged termites, also known as swarmers, need their wings to fly a short distance from their nest. They then pry off their wings and never fly again, burrowing themselves in the soil to spend the remainder of their lives building a new colony. They must remove the wings to move through their underground tunnels.

    • What will termites do after they swarm? Do they stay active in my home, stay in my home but become inactive or just leave?

      Subterranean termite swarmers are attempting to pair with a swarmer of the opposite sex from another colony. They must locate a suitable habitat to establish a new colony of their own. They need moist soil, preferably in direct contact with wood, in order to survive. The termites that swarm inside a structure and cannot get out will quickly die from lack of available moisture. The termite colony that produced the swarmers will continue to be active after the swarm has taken place.

    • How do termites get in?

      Termites don’t need much room to migrate. In fact, they can enter a structure through a space as small as 1/32nd of an inch. Subterranean termites usually enter a building from the soil along its foundation or through cracks in the slab, expansion joints or hollow bricks around plumbing. Decks, porches and other wood structures in direct contact with the ground are also easy access ramps for termites.

      While most subterranean termite infestations can be traced to a colony living in soil outside the structure, some infestations actually begin above the ground. This occurs when a termite king and queen begin a new nest within a structure or when foraging termite workers become isolated and cannot return to the parent colony. Such conditions are most common in high-moisture areas. Structures with flat roofs or chronic leaks can also be at risk because the structure can retain enough moisture for a termite colony to establish itself. Constant moisture allows a termite colony to survive even without a connection to the soil. In such cases, the structural moisture problems may be as damaging to the home as the termite activity.

      Common construction practices can also contribute to termite problems by providing termites admittance into a structure or creating ideal damp conditions for colonization. Some examples of these practices include wood to soil contact, form boards not being removed after construction is completed, wood refuse buried under the slab, improper drainage and stucco below grade. Spreading mulch soil to the area adjacent to a structure’s foundation can also provide an inroad for termites to creep into a building.

  • Treatment plans
    • What kinds of termites does Terminix treat?

      Terminix offers protection against the two most common termite threats in the United States: subterranean termites (including Formosan termites) and drywood termites.

    • What if my house is already infested with termites?

      If your home is already infested, it is important to eliminate the termites before they can do any more damage. A Terminix professional can inspect your home and decide the best treatment for your home: the Bait Defend System (above ground baiting stations) or the Liquid Defend System® (advanced liquid treatment applied around the exterior of your home).

    • I have drywood termites. What is the best way to treat them and eliminate the problem?

      More than likely, a home infested with drywood termites will require tent fumigation. Tent fumigation involves covering your home with tarps and introducing a fumigant gas to penetrate all infested wood. This method ensures that all drywood termites in your home are eliminated.

    • What kinds of termite plans does Terminix offer?

      We offer two types of plans to help protect you from the potentially major costs of future termite infestations: Termite Protection Plans and Termite Treatment Plans.

      Termite Protection Plans guarantee future protection for homes that haven’t been infested by termites yet. These plans include:

      Termite Treatment Plans guarantee to get termites out of an infested home safely and effectively. They also assure you’re protected against future infestations. These plans include:

    • My home has never had termites. Is there a way to prevent a termite infestation?

      Terminix offers two types of plans to help get to subterranean termites before they get to you: The Bait Barrier Plan and the Subterranean Termite Coverage Plan. The Bait Barrier Plan establishes an advanced treatment perimeter around your home to stop termites from invading, and provides annual monitoring to check for termite activity. The Subterranean Termite Coverage plan offers an annual professional termite inspection. Both plans are backed by an ongoing guarantee protecting against any costs from future treatments or damage repairs.

    • My house does not have termites—should I still get a termite treatment?

      Yes. Without an effective prevention program, like our Bait Barrier Plan, your home is open to termite damage, which could remain unnoticed until it becomes a serious problem. The Terminix Bait Barrier Plan is designed to eliminate termites and their colonies before they enter your home.

    • What if I’ve had termites in my home? Is there a termite plan that provides for damage repair?

      Terminix offers three types of treatment options if your home has termites now or has had them in the past: Bait Defend System, Liquid DefendSystem® and Tent Defend System.

      For subterranean termites, the Bait Defend System and Liquid Defend System establish a treatment perimeter around your home that kills the colony and helps stop termites from invading. Both plans are backed by our guarantee that you’ll never pay for future termite treatments or damage costs incurred by a subterranean termite infestation.

      For drywood termites, the Tent Defend System consists of a complete home fumigation (sometimes called “tenting”). It’s an in-depth process that Terminix has perfected over many years. It gets termites out of your home and ensures that drywood termites will never again cost you a dime.

  • What should I look for in choosing a termite and pest control company?

    There are a number of factors that may differentiate pest control companies from one another. Following are some general guidelines for choosing a pest control company:

    • Look for a reputable company with representatives knowledgeable about pest and/or termite habits, types of construction, treatment specifications and state regulations
    • Ask friends and associates to recommend companies they have used
    • Look for a company with memberships in industry associations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) that provide ethical guidelines and technical information
    • Find out if continued coverage is offered that includes treatment for re-infestation and repairs for future damage and ask if it is renewable
    • Be certain the company is licensed by your state’s regulatory agency

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44880 Falcon Place Suite 117
STERLING, VA 20166
703.464.5545

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Your local Terminix branch

44880 Falcon Place Suite 117
STERLING, VA 20166
703.464.5545