4 Benefits of Nematodes: A Remedy Against Termites

4 Benefits of Nematodes A Remedy Against Termites

How are nematodes a remedy against termites?

  1. Effective at killing termites
  2. Beneficial for the environment
  3. Safe for humans and pets
  4. Easy to apply

 

A termite infestation is a common problem among many households. Any wood parts are vulnerable, and some houses are made entirely of wood. The traditional solution nowadays is the use of chemical pesticides. But what if there’s a better, cleaner, and safer alternative?

Nematodes are microscopic, unsegmented roundworms that can prey on insects we consider pests. Beneficial nematodes are some species of nematodes that kill our pests and are not harmful to us. The following benefits prove that the use of nematodes is a remedy against termites.

 

Effective at killing termites

Termites are part of what beneficial nematodes consider prey. These roundworms are known to effectively kill termites after application. They are parasites who enter the termite’s body and kill them from the inside. They lay eggs inside the termite’s body to reproduce.

Their effectiveness on pest killing is so well-known, that you can find bags of beneficial nematodes in various gardening and home shops. These pack enough nematodes to take care of the pest problem of a single household.

But why would you want to use parasites instead of pesticides?

In fact, at least one study has claimed that beneficial nematodes can be alternatives to chemical pesticides. These pesticides can kill all termites exposed to them immediately. Meanwhile, nematodes prey on termites from the inside. They’ll bring the nematodes to the colony and soon enough, they will be wiped out. The nematodes will spread across the members of the colony, even the queen.

While termites can develop resistance against chemicals, they can’t develop anything against nematodes. Repeated exposure to chemical pesticides will make the termites naturally stronger against the chemicals. The more you use it, the less effective it will be. Beneficial nematodes do not have this problem.

 

Beneficial to the environment

Beneficial to the environment

Most pesticides have negative effects on the environment. The chemicals can easily spread from where you spray to nearby habitats and ecosystems. The air can carry the chemicals you spray in your home to water sources or the soil. It can affect the local wildlife population and even get into our drinking water.

Nematodes exist naturally in the soil. When you use beneficial nematodes as pesticides, you would only be promoting biodiversity to the soil.

Nematode sprays don’t contain harmful chemicals, which means they’re also not destructive to the soil, wood, or other plants in the vicinity. Because of their targeted attacks, everything else besides their prey will remain untouched.

 

Safe for humans and pets

As opposed to chemical pesticides, beneficial nematodes are safe to use around people and pets. Pesticides spread dangerous chemicals in the air when sprayed at an area. Nearby people, even children and pets, inhale these chemicals. There are many different kinds of chemicals in a pesticide, but they’ve been proven to have negative effects on a person’s health. They have been linked to diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and ADHD.

On the other hand, beneficial nematodes are safe to use around people. They only attack pests such as termites when sprayed. They are not a health risk to people because they have no interest in causing harm to us. They would most likely focus on what they consider prey, and then they usually die out once the termites are gone.

Also, they are sprayed straight on the wood or soil, lowering the chances of getting inhaled.

 

Easy to apply

Easy to apply

In addition to being effective, environmentally friendly, and safe, nematodes are also easy to apply. You can buy bags of these parasites in your local gardening store. Depending on the severity of the infestation, you should prepare enough.

You simply need to mix the nematodes in a gallon of water then stir. After a while, let the mixture sit for a few more minutes. Then transfer the water into the spray bottles and apply to affected surfaces. Spraying them at least once a day should keep the nematode infestation in the termite colony going.

You may also apply it to surfaces that you want termites to avoid.  This can be done to keep important, load-bearing or foundational lumber from getting damaged. This simple procedure can be done by any homeowner.

 

Key takeaway

Beneficial nematodes have the effectiveness of chemical pesticides but without all the health and environmental risks. The use of nematodes as a remedy against termites instead of commercial pesticides should be done more often. As homeowners or gardeners, it is our duty to both prevent pest infestations and keep the environment safe as well.

These natural pesticides termite killers can definitely handle an infestation well. But sometimes, the spread of the termites is too severe for even nematodes to exterminate. A pest control professional should be contacted in these cases. In the Philippines, the best pest control service is only a call and a click away. Send us a message here to get help for your infestations!

How to Spot Termite Damage Vs Water Damage

Bamboo wall construction with termites damage

How do you spot termite damage vs water damage?

  1. Search for signs of pooling water
  2. Understand how wood rot happens
  3. Look for the presence of termite nests
  4. Spot discarded termite wings

 

There are times where you can mistake an infestation for wood rot. There are similarities when it comes to appearance, but it is vital to conduct further investigations to determine the real cause. After all, applying the wrong treatment can cause you thousands, just to redo it all over again. To help you differentiate termite damage vs water damage, continue on reading.

 

Search for Signs of Pooling Water

One of the common causes of water damage is unchecked leaks coming from supply lines and drainage. These piping are normally located in hidden areas, so searching for signs of pooling water may help.

While this may indicate that you have water damage in your homes, an infestation is still possible. After all, termites—especially the subterranean and damp wood kinds—are attracted to moisture. Dry wood types require fewer liquids, getting it from the wood it consumes.

To rule out a termite infestation, you can also look for other signs of their presence such as wood damage and underground mud tubes.

 

Understand The Process of Wood Rot

Termites eating rotted wood

At first glance, termite and water damage will look the same—especially to the untrained eyes. But one of the easiest ways to spot the difference is by looking at the 3 signs of common wood rot: Dry rot, white rot, and soft rot. Before this occurs, moisture must first be present in the material, which attracts fungi to proliferate and destroy the wood.

In dry rot, cubical forms are formed due to the expanding and shrinking of wood. This happens as fungi attack the cellulose, which can leave an “alligatoring” pattern similar to the animal. This can happen rapidly in environments between 19 to 32 ° C.

In the same temperature conditions as dry rot, wood can also be affected by white-rot fungi. The damage happens to the lignans, a component of wood, which leaves behind white or yellowish cellulose exposed. Lastly, soft rot has higher chances of happening to trees, leaving behind a honeycomb appearance. But this only happens between -17 and 43 degrees Celsius.

 

Look for the Presence of Termite Nests

In a termite infestation, the surface of the wood may look normal. But underneath is a hollow and heavily damaged material. Subterranean types consume softer grains like springwood, leaving behind darker and harder summerwood. This creates a pattern of honeycomb, which may confuse you with soft rot. Dry wood termites, on the other hand, harvest large passages as their nests.

To further determine the deterioration associated with this pest, it is useful to look for the presence of mud tunnels. While dry wood termites reside in the wood in which they are consuming, subterranean types create mud tubes underground to connect their nest to areas of feeding.

Mud tubes are made with a combination of wood, soil, and termite saliva. They are usually a quarter of an inch to an inch in size when used by these insects as exploratory and working tubes. Some may be empty and abandoned, but this will signal their presence in other parts of your home.

 

Spot Discarded Termite Wings

many of brown winged termite (alates) on cement floor

Aside from looking at the appearance of wood and nests, discarded termite wings will help you conclude that an infestation is happening. This is the most obvious and easiest way to spot their presence in your home.

Winged termites are the only ones in their colony capable of reproducing. They fly to mate with members of other colonies and shed their wings after the process. Then they search for a new area to propagate—which could be your home.

While termites like to hide, their presence can be detected if you find discarded wings nearby.

 

Key Takeaway

When looking at termite damage vs water damage, it is useful to differentiate between the two by searching for pooling water, looking at the appearance of the deteriorating wood, finding nests, and spotting discarded wings.

What can make it worse is that it is also possible for both to happen in one place. To help you determine the cause of your problem, you can hire a professional pest control service to inspect your building. If you find signs of infestation, Topbest can help you get rid of termites for good.

4 Enemies of Termites

4 Enemies of Termites

What are the enemies of termites?

  1. Ants
  2. Birds
  3. Spiders
  4. Primates

 

As pests, termites have a capacity for big damage in homes and establishments. But did you ever wonder how they do in the wild? As insects, other species will prey on them and see them as food. In this blog post, you will learn more about the enemies of termites.

 

Ants

ants feeding

If you first see termites, it may remind you of larger species of ants called carpenter ants. They have the same looks but there are also some noticeable differences. Termites have straight antennae while ants have bent ones. The biggest differentiator would be their color. Ants are more on the reddish side, while termites have a translucent or white shade.

Why are ants the enemies of termites? They require the same surroundings and have a similar caste system in their colony. This makes each side a natural competitor for resources. This usually results in an all-out war between the two.

Many people think that termites will win because of their size. But ants are more aggressive. Having the advantage of numbers, they will raid a termite’s nest and take the queen out. Without an egg-layer, their colony will be wiped out easily. Ants also feed on termite bodies for protein.

 

Birds

These flying creatures love to prey on insects for their meal. One of these is termites, which is a great source of protein. Because they are natural predators of these insects, termites don’t have a choice but to run back to their nest.

The amazon rain forest is an environment where termites and birds must co-exist. One of the predators that can be found here is the woodpecker. Because termites burrow in wood to make their nests, these two animals can find each other easily. But these insects have no choice but to be eaten.

Aside from serving as food, birds also use termites for disease control. Sometimes they let these insects climb their feathers to feed on parasites that stick to their bodies.

 

Spiders

Close up of spider in a web.

Most people are scared of spiders. But there are only a few species in the wild that can be harmful to humans. Most of the time, they will avoid people at all costs and stay in their nest, and only feed on other insects.

Spiders build webs to trap flies, cockroaches, and even wasps. If they don’t find any victims, they will crawl outside of their nest to look for food. They are also known to feed on termites which they can find on their hunts.

There are even types of spiders that will proactively eat termites. The species of Ammoxenus can detect any termite activity through soil vibrations. They live near their prey’s nest to wait for their next victims. Then, they will immediately bite a termite, killing it before feeding. For reserve, these spiders wrap the paralyzed bodies of termites in sacs for their next meal.

 

Primates

Aside from birds and insects, some mammals feed on termites. One of them is the chimpanzee. They are one of the closest relatives of humans, which makes some of their actions similar. They are omnivores, which means that their diet is a combination of meat and vegetables.

Chimpanzees are intelligent beings. Researchers found out that they use various tools to fish for termites in their environment. Not every community uses the same techniques and tools, which shows that there is cultural diversity in these creatures.

For example, chimpanzees who lived in one community would only hunt for termites above ground and use soft twigs. Other chimpanzees who lived in faraway places would use hard sticks and look for insects underground. Differences were noted in their postures while fishing. Some ate straight from the stick while others plucked the termites before eating them.

 

Key Takeaway

Termites are problematic pests that can cost you thousands. They feed on wood, making your home prone to breakage and accidents. They do this by burrowing inside walls and ceilings so damage is not very obvious. But as insects, other animals also prey on them. In this article, you learned about some of the enemies of termites.

If you need assistance in getting rid of a termite infestation, you can send a message here for a free inspection.

Best Home Remedies for Termite Infestation

When You See Signs of Infestation

What are the best home remedies for a termite infestation?’

  1. Use boric acid
  2. Consider getting help from nematodes
  3. Try diatomaceous earth
  4. Expose them to direct heat
  5. Get rid of wooden items
  6. Call professional termite control services

 

More and more household owners are frantically searching for termite control methods. Why? Well, termites are arguably the most destructive pests out there. If left untreated, their colonies can easily destroy your property. If you want to avoid this situation, you must know about the home remedies for termite infestation.

While it’s true that termites don’t carry harmful diseases, their bites can cause allergic reactions and even asthma attacks. It’s important to get rid of termites as soon as you notice the signs of infestation.

Here are some helpful tips on how to put a stop to your termite problems through home remedies. Read on!

 

Use Boric Acid

Boric acid is a natural pesticide and doesn’t necessarily kill upon contact. Though when termites do digest boric acid, it damages their digestive tract and kills them.

Head to your local hardware store and grab boric acid powder. Mix it with water. Then, spray it on your infested household areas. Termite nests are commonly found on wood floors, wood furniture, roof materials, and trees that have fallen in the yard.

An important thing to remember when handling boric acid is to use eye protection and gloves. The ingredients of the pesticide are potent which means it can cause skin or eye irritation.

 

Consider Getting Help from Nematodes

Termite walkway

Nematodes are special types of roundworms. As they are microscopic, you won’t be able to see them with the naked eye. The best part about nematodes? They can eliminate a wide variety of pest species such as cockroaches, house flies, and mosquitoes. Once utilized properly, they can be one of the most effective natural solutions to get rid of your termite problem too.

Nematodes penetrate their bodies and poison them by injecting bacteria. When compared to humans, they are like bacterial infections.

They are very easy to apply. Simply mix the nematodes with water and stir to blend them thoroughly. Wait for several minutes and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Go to the termite infested area and spray on. The killing process should take no more than 48 hours.

 

Try Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural pest solution as well. It appears to be a fine white powdery substance that can be bought in hardware stores.

If inhaled, the substance can irritate the nasal passages and skin. This is why we recommend wearing a mask when handling it.

Diatomaceous earth has razor-sharp particles that cut through the outer shell of termites. The pests would die because it draws out all the moisture from their bodies.

To apply diatomaceous earth, sprinkle a thin layer over infested areas. You can also spread this substance around crawl spaces, basements, attics, and around foundations. It will act as a barrier and prevent termites from getting into your household.

 

Expose Them to Direct Heat

Termites are in the nest.

Termites prefer to take shelter in dark and moist places because they cannot survive under direct heat. If you can expose them directly under the sun, do so. If not, creating a bait system is a great alternative.

Get pieces of cardboard and paper sheets. Cardboards and paper have cellulose, a compound that is vital to termite nutrition. The ability of these materials to absorb moisture attracts termites as well.

Place the materials in the infested areas and wait for the termites to feed on them. Give it around two days and check to see if they took the bait. If yes, take the bait outside and burn them.

 

Get Rid of Wooden Items

As we all know, termites love wood. If you have a termite infestation, there is a big possibility they got attracted by your wooden items. Check under wooden furniture such as couches and desks. It is likely that their structural integrity is compromised already. Once you see the infestations, it would be best to throw out the items.

 

Call Professional Termite Control Services

Call Professional Termite Control Services

While home remedies are helpful for simple infestations, severe ones require comprehensive and extensive effort. Remember that if you do not come up with a solution quickly, your termite problem can become more destructive and costly.

With that being said, calling professional termite control services is your no-fail choice. They are equipped with the necessary knowledge and experience, not to mention the access to pest control equipment.

 

Key Takeaway

If you’re wondering about the home remedies for termite infestation, we’ve stated the best ones above.

Remember that these are not permanent solutions. If you want to keep your termite problems gone, long-term speaking, contact the best control experts.

At Topbest, we are equipped to offer the most effective pest control treatments. Click here to inquire and get a free consultation today.

How to Detect Termite Damage

How to Detect Termite Damage

How do you detect termite damage?

  1. Hollowed sounding furniture
  2. Ceiling damage
  3. Floor damage
  4. Wall damage
  5. Mud tubes
  6. Discarded wings and swarmers
  7. Piles of frass

 

Sure, termites are useful in breaking down nutrients from dead plants. However, that very same behavior leads to a threat to homes. Every homeowner needs to know about how to detect termite damage.

Termites are destructive pests and infestations are rampant. In the Philippines, the tropical climate encourages the growth of termite populations. This causes major property damage and costly repairs. Moreover, it is a growing health concern for people with asthma and allergic reactions as well.

If you’re a household owner who is neglectful of the many signs of termite infestations, it will be difficult to deal with the situation.

Free yourself from the worry of these wood-eating insects and familiarize yourself with all that you need to know about termites. It is important to check for any damage inside your house as it can comprise the whole structure. Here are some tips on how to detect termite damage. Read on!

 

Hollow Sounding Furniture

Termites chew up everything that is made up of wood inside out. They eat nonstop as well. This is why it’s important to check for wood damage in every household furniture. Try looking below and behind all surfaces.

These pests are always in search of cellulose found in wood pulp. Once they do so, termites will leave hollows that have a honeycomb pattern. If left undetected, these hollows can weaken the wood and ultimately result in comprised structural stability.

Slightly tap on the furniture you want to check. If it sounds empty, it is likely to be termite damage.

 

Ceiling Damage

House construction  with termites damage

Despite being elevated, rafters, ceilings, and beams are not safe from termite damage either. Be on the lookout for any ceiling that is sagging and cracked. This is evidence of termite damage.

 

Floor Damage

Even your floors are not guarded against termites. Whether it’s hardwood floors or laminated floors, these pesky creatures won’t be choosy with their targets. It pays to be extra cautious when it comes to unstable and squeaking floorboards. Once you notice that your floors have been slightly lifted up, that is a sign of termite damage.

 

Wall Damage

Macro termites are walking on the logs.

The earliest signs of termite infestations are easy to miss. Cavities and holes in walls can signify the presence of termites.

These pests love damaging walls because they are highly accessible from the ground. Once termites eat through drywall and wallpaper, they will leave tiny pinholes. Peeling or bubbling paint can indicate termite damage as well. A hollow sound when you tap on the wall.

 

Mud Tubes

There are different types of termites, but one thing is consistent for all: every termite species needs water or moisture in order to survive.

Subterranean termites are arguably the most destructive type. They are capable of creating large colonies and feed on wood at a much faster pace. These termites build mud tubes as their source of food and shelter.

Subterranean termites need to build tubes made of mud that are connected above-ground as a means of travel route to food sources. These tunnels may be as thin as pencils. Furthermore, it retains moisture to protect the termites from dehydration.

The mud tubes appear like dried and encrusted dirt. They can either be straight or squiggly. Once you spot these, it is important to let your local pest control services handle them. When a mud tube is destroyed without proper care, the termites will be cautious and continue to live underground.

 

Discarded Wings and Swarmers

winged termite

Swarmers are young male and female winged termites whose primary role is reproduction. Furthermore, they emerge from their nests after the current termite colony matures. During springtime, they are on the lookout for the perfect area for creating new colonies. This is when they will shed their wings.

You might have already noticed the piles of discarded insect wings around your home or you’re on the lookout for them. Check near your doors and windowsills. Discarded wings are a common sign of termite damage.

 

Piles of Frass

Once termites eat through wood, they produce excrements called frass. The pests create tiny holes on surfaces to push their frass out of the nests.

When in piles, frass appears like sand or sawdust. Depending on the wood consumed, its color can vary from light beige to brown. You might see these one-millimeter pellets anywhere around your home. This is strong evidence of termite damage.

 

Key Takeaway

Don’t compromise the structure of your home. Learn how to detect termite damage by calling your local pest control service provider.

At Topbest, we value your properties. With years of experience in the pest control industry, we offer the best solutions for your termite problems.

Click here for a termite inspection today.

10 Areas You Need To Check For Before You Move To A New Home

Home Area

Where do you need to check for pests in a new home?

  1. Foundation: They could be living in the wood.
  2. Exterior Walls: Cracks and holes must be sealed.
  3. The Roof: These are access points for rodents.
  4. Indoor and Outdoor Plumbing: Any leak will cause moisture which can attract pests.
  5. Windows and Doors: Make sure that potential access points are properly closed and sealed.
  6. Garden: Make sure that no tree branches are near your house.
  7. Drawers and Cabinets: Rats love making their homes out of these places.
  8. Wood: Any piece of wood is a termite magnet.
  9. Sources of Standing Water: Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  10. Attic: Since this isn’t visited often, pests find this a peaceful place to live in.

So you’ve already bought the lot and house for your new home. You’re probably thinking that moving into your new home will be the next step. Hold on a minute. First things, first: you need to check certain areas to make sure that pests (like termites) don’t abound. And if they do, immediately call termite control in the Philippines. Here are 10 places you need to survey:

The Structure’s Foundation and Exterior Walls

The Structure’s Foundation and Exterior Walls

The first area you should immediately check is the home’s foundation, because this is the connection of the house to the ground and it’s what makes it stable. If pests are in your foundation and you don’t know about it, then it will only be a matter of time before it is ruined and your whole home may be compromised. That’s really frustrating given that your home is new.

You may think that the wood has already been used and disturbed and there’s no way that more pests will live in these after it’s used for construction. This is not true, especially with pests such as beetle larvae, they can grow and live in pieces of wood and they won’t leave it even if it is being chopped up and nailed down. For this reason, you must check the foundation and other wood parts of your home regardless if it looks good.

As for the exterior walls, look for cracks and have them sealed. This area is where ants, spiders, and rodents gain access to your home. Check around for mud tubes (small lines made of earth) as these are signs of termites infesting the place. If you see any or all of these pests located here, then have them eliminated.

The Roof

The Roof

Another access point for rodents to your home is the roof. Signs that there are rats or mice are damaged wire cables, since rodents gnaw on almost anything to keep their teeth at a manageable length. If there is an overpowering odor of urine and rat droppings, then you can be sure that rodents have already pass through there.

While you’re inspecting the roof, check the gutter as well and make sure that it will dispose of any rain water that it catches on rainy days, and seal any openings if you find leaks at the sides of your walls. This will prevent a big number of moisture-loving pests from being attracted to your home.

Indoor Pipes and Outdoor Leaks

Indoor Pipes and Outdoor Leaks

As said above, moisture attracts certain pests, namely cockroaches, termites, carpenter ants, rats, squirrels, and other pests. For this reason, you may want to make sure that there are no consistent sources of moisture in and around your home. These usually comes in the form of leaks in your plumbing.

For indoors, be sure to check the pipes. Hire a plumber to seal off any gaps in the pipes of your kitchen and bathroom sinks so you reduce the risk of a pest infestation inside your home.

Also, check for leaks that could lead to moisture around your new house (like a faulty gutter). This will attract wood-loving pests, especially since it will come from the great outdoors. If the moisture gets on the wooden parts of your home, then consider this as a sign that you have a major pest attraction.

Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors

These two are the most common entry points of insects and other pests. Rodents are infamous for squeezing through door openings (somewhat like the size of a quarter). Make sure windows and doors leading outside are closed and sealed properly with screens or any other related material. If your new home has already come with a screen and other physical pest interferences, then just make sure you repair these if they are not in top shape.

Garden

Garden

Trees, branches, and vines must be trimmed so that they are 5 to 10 feet away from your house. Insects can gain entry to your homes through branches that are in close proximity to it.

Also, make sure that the soil in your garden is 6 inches from the floor to keep insects like ants and termites away from your home. Keep plant pots off the floor area, as these only attract insects to go near your home.

Kitchen Drawers and Cabinets

Kitchen Drawers and Cabinets

Rodents and cockroaches prefer taking shelter in these places since they’re warm and usually offers moisture (if next to the sink). One way to find out if these pests are living or have live on these places is to look for urine and droppings.

Any Place in Your House with Wood

Any Place in Your House with Wood

It is important to note that it takes time to build a house. This time can also be prolonged because of financial problems and weather conditions during construction. The latter is something that you have to be worried about in particular when it comes to pest control. Especially with rain, as this means that large and moist piles of wood are left out in the open for a long time.

As such, inspect your home and look for any wood that is not treated or painted over. These will pose as a termite magnet. It is imperative that you check these places like your room cabinets, living room, dining area, etc., so a possible termite infestation can be immediately treated before they cause serious property damage.

Gypsum board and fiberglass insulation are other materials that absorb more moisture than the sunlight can dry away, so you must also check these items when it rains during the construction of your home.

Pools and Other Sources of Standing Water

Pools and Other Sources of Standing Water

Some examples of sources of standing water are pools, birdbaths, and gutters. Even if these start out empty, just a little bit of rain is needed in order for it to have standing water. These are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, which serves as common transmitters of deadly diseases such as Zika and the West Nile virus. Hence, if you haven’t moved in yet, ask the house keeper to consistently remove the standing water. If you have, then be careful as you remove them yourself because there may already be an infestation. Better yet, call a professional to handle it.

The Attic and Crawl Spaces

The Attic and Crawl Spaces

Although these spaces are the least visited by the people at home, it is important that you check this in your new home because these are common areas the pests live in. When you do, use a flashlight so you can easily spot a nest. If you need to crawl into the space, then call a professional because you don’t want to get stuck in case you are swarmed.

Key Takeaway

That rounds up our 10 must-check areas before you move in your new home. Are there other places you believe that needs to be inspected before moving in? Do you agree or disagree with what we’ve written above? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments section below.