9 Natural Termite Predators

9 Natural Termite Predators

What are some natural termite predators?

  1. Ants
  2. Spiders
  3. Chickens
  4. Pigeons
  5. Sparrows
  6. Lizards
  7. Frogs
  8. Bats
  9. Monkeys and other primates

 

A continuing problem in households around the world, termite infestations spell trouble if left unchecked. These pests consume wood and if they start a colony on your house’s foundations, then it will weaken significantly. Despite how troublesome these insects can be; they’ve been cursed with the misfortune of being at the bottom of the food chain. There are plenty of natural termite predators no matter where you are in the world, which explains why they burrow underground or within the wood.

In this article, we will highlight the most common termite predators you may encounter. There are animals in this list from each of the major classifications of animals. Keep reading to find out which animals are silently helping you with your termite problem!

 

INSECTS AND SPIDERS

Because of their size, termites are often preyed on by some bigger insects and spiders. Some of these predators include beetles, wasps, and even some flies. Here are some of the most common you can find:

 

Ants

Ants and termites mix like oil and water. These two look-alikes don’t get along at all, and if their colonies ever meet, they turn hostile on each other. There are even some species of ants that actively hunt termites. This isn’t all good news because ants are also unwelcome in our homes, but at least we know the two pests won’t bug us at the same time.

 

Spiders

Spiders

Spiders are arachnids and are mostly predators. Their main diet consists of smaller insects like mosquitoes, flies, and yes, termites. Sometimes, flying termites get caught in a spider’s web and get turned into dinner. Other spiders who stay on the ground chow down on what termites they might find.

 

BIRDS

Like most of the other animals on this list, insects are a part of a bird’s main diet, along with seeds, nuts, and flowers. For most birds, termites are fair game. The following birds are the ones that may be around to help control the termite population:

 

Chickens

In the Philippines, chickens are everywhere. It always seems like chickens are pecking something of the ground, like seeds and worms. If they ever stumble upon termites, they’re certainly on the menu. Chickens aren’t picky with what they eat and having them around will certainly keep termites wary of them.

 

Pigeons

Pigeons

Many people like to collect and raise pigeons, and that’s a bad sign for termites. Free-flying pigeons can travel far and wide in search of food, and if some termites are caught in their sights, they won’t hesitate to devour them.

 

Sparrows

Unknown to many, there is a big population of sparrows in the Philippines that include termites in their diet. The Eurasian Tree Sparrow, better known as the maya, inhabits both rural and urban areas of the country. It wouldn’t be difficult to imagine a lucky maya chancing on a free dinner of an unsuspecting termite colony in a tree or house somewhere.

 

REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS

Both reptiles and amphibians are also well-known to enjoy insects as delicacies. The ones that you’re most likely to meet in your house or backyard are:

 

Lizards

Lizards

A common sight on ceilings, lizards like to eat bugs like flies, mosquitoes, flying ants, and the occasional termite. These friendly reptilian roommates are great to have around because they aren’t harmful to humans and they prey on pests like termites. So say thank you, the next time you see that tuko that you’ve been trying to chase away!

 

Frogs

They may be a less welcoming sight in our homes, but frogs contribute to decreasing the termite population wherever they live. They like to munch on small insects, ants and termites included.

 

MAMMALS

Mammals also like to get in on the insect food craze that every other animal seems to like. Though their diets do not depend on insects, they would enjoy having them as meals every now and then.

 

Bats

Bats

Bats feast on a variety of foods like fruits, insects, and even blood. A termite colony showing themselves at night will likely fall victim to hungry bats, especially if it’s termite mating season. Bats are experts in the air and they can easily catch flying termites that happen to be in the way.

 

Monkeys and other primates

Primates are mostly omnivores, meaning they eat almost whatever they get their hands on. Unfortunately for termites, they qualify as food. Monkeys are not often seen near civilization, but there are some rural areas where monkeys are welcome in the town. These primates won’t hesitate to gobble up mounds of termites if it tickles their fancy.

 

Key Takeaway

The list of natural termite predators goes on and on even beyond those discussed in this article. Some of them can be found near our homes and inflict lots of casualties on the local pest population. Having these animals around can help us with our infestation problem.

Despite having so many natural enemies, termites continue to thrive and exist in homes everywhere. These animals are helpful, but they are not enough to stop an infestation. A good way to get rid of pests for good is to call professionals, like the country’s best: Topbest! If you need help with pest control, send us a message here for a free consultation!

6 Facts About Orange Oil Termite Treatment

6 Facts About Orange Oil Termite Treatment

What are some facts about orange oil termite treatment?

  1. It has a low termite mortality rate
  2. It is not harmful to the environment
  3. It is flammable and should not be ingested
  4. Kills termites on contact only
  5. Larger treatments are more expensive
  6. It doesn’t have a long-lasting effect

 

The havoc that termites wreak on any of the wooden parts of your home needs to be controlled before causing too much damage. Sure, we have pesticides and such, but these products can be quite harmful to humans. But some people discovered the orange oil termite treatment that we know today.

Its fame quickly grew as an effective, easy-to-make, and easy-to-apply termite solution. Orange oil is easy to come by because it is an extract that comes from orange rinds. It is the D-limonene in orange oil treatments that is believed to kill termites. But how effective is it really? What do you need to know about this termite treatment? Keep reading to learn more!

 

It has a low termite mortality rate

For something considered a termite control option, orange oil has a surprisingly low mortality rate. A study showed that an orange oil treatment only has a 77% mortality rate among termites. Anyone who knows anything about termite control would know that this number is very low.

To put that number in context, it would kill only 770 in 1000 ants. Only 2 are needed to restart the colony. The average colony size is 60,000 to 1 million. It is safe to say that orange oil treatment is not enough to wipe out a termite colony.

 

It is not harmful to the environment

It is not harmful to the environment

The good thing about orange oil is that it isn’t harmful to the environment. Commercial aerosol pesticides are known to be toxic to people and animals. When applying the typical pesticide treatment, people should stay out of the room for some time. You should cover your things and remove all food. You don’t have to do this with orange oil.

The substance itself isn’t toxic to humans. You don’t need to stay away from the room where you apply the treatment. Your food, plant, and pets are all safe, and your tiles and walls will not be damaged at all. It also doesn’t contain CFCs that might be harmful to the environment itself.

 

It is flammable and should not be ingested

Orange oil is highly flammable. You should be wary of open flames when applying orange oil treatment inside the house. You should also avoid combusting the oil at all because its fumes are not good for your health. For this reason, you should also avoid ingesting orange oil all in all.

Being exposed for an extended time to either the oil or its fumes can cause the following symptoms: skin and eye irritation, nausea, vomiting, lung irritation, and others. So even though you don’t need to leave the room, try not to stay in contact with it or get too close to it for too long.

 

Kills termites on contact only

Kills termites on contact only

The effectiveness of this treatment depends on how well it kills termites. It works as a pesticide because orange oil itself is toxic to termites. It can break down the termites’ exoskeletons and also kill their eggs. But it needs to make direct contact with them.

This also means that they are only effective for spot-specific infestations. If you want to clear a certain spot of termites, then you can apply orange oil treatments to kill them. But if you want to get rid of whole dry wood infestations, or even some subterranean colonies, orange oil treatment would not work as well as other pesticides.

 

Larger treatments are more expensive

What makes orange oil treatments charming to many households is that it is easy to make. You can get an extract from orange rinds that you have around the house or from oranges you’ve eaten. But that small amount can’t cover larger areas of infestation.

Many termite infestations, especially if it has gotten more severe, can cover large areas of the wood foundation of the house. If you want to end this infestation with only orange oil treatments, you would have to acquire many more oranges and extract oil from all of them. All of the expense wasted on that could have gone to real pesticides or hiring professional pest control services.

 

It doesn’t have a long-lasting effect

It doesn’t have a long-lasting effect

Commercial pesticides can stay on the area where you sprayed them for longer times. The chemicals are absorbed by the soil or wood so that termites wouldn’t easily be able to return. Once they’ve been killed or moved away, the area is more or less free of infestation.

Orange oil treatments don’t linger in the area of application. They can simply kill termites that come in contact with them. This adds to the list of reasons why they can’t be used to exterminate severe infestations. How could orange oil prevent the threats of re-infestation, after all?

 

Key Takeaway

A termite infestation is more often than not a persistent problem. Like all animals, they try to survive no matter what we do. By using an orange oil termite treatment, you can kill a majority of termites and stop small spot infestations. But if you really want to get rid of these pests, the best thing to do is to contact professional pest control services near you.

Are you plagued by termites in your home? Are your DIY treatments not strong enough to fight the infestation? You’re in luck! Topbest is the best pest control solutions provider in the Philippines, and we offer FREE consultations! Just send us a message here and we’ll talk about clearing your house of pests!

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!

What Does a Termite King Do? 5 Facts About Termite Kings

What Does a Termite King Do 5 Facts About Termite Kings

What are some facts about termite kings?

  1. They look different from other members of the colony.
  2. They have functioning eyes.
  3. They keep the population of the colony growing.
  4. They maintain the status quo.
  5. They spend their lives underground.

 

Termites are common pests that can be found almost anywhere in the world. They damage almost anything that came from wood: furniture, books, and even clothes. Everyone knows about the termite queen, the uncontested monarch of the termite colony. But have you ever heard of her partner? What does a termite king do? How does he function within the colony? And why is he not as well-known as the queen?

Listed below are some interesting facts about the termite king and their secret lives. Read on to find out more!

 

They look different from other members of the colony

Most people would describe termites as brown ants who eat wood. We make this comparison because most termites really do look very similar to ants, other than their color. What we don’t see underground is the appearance of other colony members.

As would be expected of royalty, the termite king has a different appearance from other members of the colony.  Both the king and the queen gain a darker color as they become monarchs of their own colony. Other than that, they also both have no wings. The queen then increases in size as she continues to lay eggs for the colony, but the king stays in his normal size. You could say that he is a shorter and darker version of his queen. This makes it easier for them to distinguish from other colony members if you ever have the fortune of seeing one.

 

They have functioning eyes

They have functioning eyes

Termites have notoriously bad eyesight. In fact, most termites are even born without them. They rely mainly on pheromones to interact with the world and do their respective jobs. However, while workers and soldiers are completely blind, termite kings and queens develop better eyesight. The reproductives of the colony also have eyesight to help them navigate the world better through flying.

The termite king, on the other hand, enjoys the privilege of having better eyesight despite only having to mate and release pheromones underground for the majority of his life. This can be traced back to when he needed his eyes as a young alate looking for a mate. But the reason why their eyesight gets better as they move underground is not clear.

 

They keep the population of the colony growing

The reproductive termites of the colony are called alates. These are the members of the colony who have wings. They fly out, pair with each other, and become new kings and queens of their colonies. As they start their underground lives, it becomes the king’s duty to mate with the queen and keep the population growing.

Different species of termites may vary in reproductive cycles, but the queen can lay around 0 to 22 eggs in the first year of their colony. This means that in the early stages, the presence of a colony cannot be easily detected as they are few in number and do not cause as much damage as when they have finally matured. While they are still few, the termite king becomes a caring father while no workers are mature enough to do their roles. The king cleans, carries, and generally takes care of the eggs until workers can take over.

 

They maintain the status quo

They maintain the status quo

As the top monarchs of the colony, the kings and queens also keep every termite in line. Each termite has their own roles, and the termite king and queen do their job to keep them in their place.

Termite kings are the only ones who can mate with their queens, and that is because they also release a special pheromone that keeps other termites within their roles. This pheromone stops other termites from growing reproductive organs, and they get sorted into soldiers and workers afterward. Reproducing with the queen and producing pheromones to keep everyone in line are the two main jobs of the termite king.

If a termite king dies, some workers replace him as temporary reproductives.

 

They spend their lives underground

Once a pair of alates decide to move underground, they cut off their wings, become a king and a queen and they stay underground for the rest of their lives. This is why it’s uncommon for people to know what termite queens and kings look like.

The flying termites, or alates, are the ones that we usually see. Seeing alates fly around could mean that they are looking to pair off and start a new colony. That could be a sign of an existing colony nearby, or of a new colony developing in the area. Either way, it’s best to contact pest control professionals to avoid any more termite problems in the future.

 

Key Takeaways

Termite kings are important members of any termite colony. Without them, the colony might not function or grow as well as it potentially can. The facts about termite royalty above are the reasons why one would do what a termite king does.

Fortunately, there are professionals who are good at controlling these termites and the damage they can do. If you ever find yourself with a termite infestation in your home, feel free to contact us to help you with the problem!

5 Termite Queen Facts You Need to Know

5 Termite Queen Facts You Need to Know

What are the termite queen facts you need to know?

  1. The appearance of the queen is distinct
  2. The queen is tasked with reproduction
  3. The queen emits a special pheromone
  4. The other termites work for the queen
  5. The lifespan of the queen can span decades

 

Just like how ant colonies have a queen, the termite queen leads the wood munching pests in a caste system. As the most important component of the colony, all the other termites assist her. She hides deep into the nest, so you need to contact pest control services to locate her if you have a termite infestation. If you’re interested in more termite queen facts, keep on reading!

 

The Appearance of the Queen Is Distinct

One of the things that separate the termite queen from the rest of the colony is her appearance. As the largest member, she looks more like a worm or caterpillar than a termite. A termite queen can grow up to 6 inches when carrying a high number of eggs, so it’s easy to differentiate her from the workers.

Before a termite becomes a queen, she will look like any of the termites in the caste. But as she fulfills her role as the founder and main reproducer of the colony, her appearance will start to change. When this happens, the abdomen part of the termite queen’s body will stretch out and elongate. This makes it hard for her to move around freely.

 

The Queen Is Tasked with Reproduction

The Queen Is Tasked with Reproduction

To understand more about the role of the queen in the colony, it is important to know more about how an ordinary termite turns into one. First, winged male and female termites, which are also known as alates, leave the main colony to mate and find a new nest. Once they find shelter, the female termite lays the eggs from which a new colony will emerge. She is the “founder” but also the main reproducer.

What makes a termite infestation problematic is the fact that termite queens can lay eggs every day. This will gradually increase every year so more termite workers and soldiers are produced. A small colony can turn into a huge problem in months.

 

The Queen Emits a Special Pheromone

Speaking of termite reproduction, aside from the termite queen, secondary queens can also produce eggs away from the main nest—which makes an infestation more problematic. These termites are typically located in satellite nests.

But before this happens, the main queen must permit them to reproduce first. This is done through a special pheromone she releases from her body. With these chemicals, she can block the reproductive development of the other members. Through this, the queen can control the size of the colony.

 

The Other Termites Work for The Queen

The Other Termites Work for The Queen

Apart from the termite queen and king who are tasked with reproduction, the other members also have a distinct role. Because the queen is too big to move freely, the worker termites fetch the food, build the nest, and tend to her needs. The soldiers are the ones who defend the colony from intruders.

These roles are not fixed, because the termites can adapt to fill in the current need. For example, a soldier can take on the role of the worker or become reproductive.

 

The Lifespan of the Queen Can Span Decades

In addition to the high capacity of the termite queen to lay eggs, she can also live for decades. Without disturbance from external forces such as a pest control team, her lifespan will last between 25 to 50 years. What this means is that she can produce a countless amount of termites in her lifetime. The peak egg production can last as long as 10 years.

When the termite queen dies naturally, the chemicals she releases will also disappear. A new queen will replace her and the colony will continue to live. This means that other methods are needed to completely get rid of a termite infestation.

 

Key Takeaway

A termite queen is the founder, main reproducer, and the cause of a growing termite colony. She’s responsible for how big the nest will reach, so it’s vital to stop her before the problem worsens.

Now that you know these termite queen facts, you can understand how dangerous and problematic an infestation can be. A pest control team like Topbest can provide effective methods to get rid of this problem, so you can live pest-free. If you’re interested in a free consultation, just send a message on this page today!

5 Causes of Flying Termites in the Philippines

5 Causes of Flying Termites in the Philippines

What causes flying termites in the Philippines?

  1. Heavy Rainfall and Warmer Temperatures
  2. Wood and Mulch
  3. Dark and Damp Spaces
  4. Openings in Your Home
  5. Your Home’s Location

 

A pest invasion can easily create nuisances at home, and if left untreated can quickly destroy your property’s value. Termites are one of those pests and they are common in the Philippines. Termites have the potential to invade your living spaces at a moment’s notice and swarm around your home as flying termites. However, knowing the causes for their invasion could help prevent thousands of pesos’ worth in damages. Read on to learn more about the common causes of flying termites in the Philippines.

 

Heavy Rainfall and Warmer Temperatures

Termites love tropical weather. This is because they love moisture — they need it to survive, and will take great lengths to sniff out new water sources for the colony. They require a damp, moist environment to protect their exoskeletons and prevent their bodies from drying out.

Termites take measures to prevent this from happening. Since they cannot survive too long without moisture, they create mud tunnels from their ground nest towards any food sources they find nearby. These tunnels create a warm, damp pathway for their commute to and from the nest while they are in search of food.

The country’s moist and warm climate is ideal for termites. The weather stays humid and warm nearly all year round and provides the optimum levels not only for their living conditions but also their mating conditions. During warmer months you may have seen swarms of winged termites gathering near your home. The environment is perfect for termites to live long enough to enter their mating cycle, which is when they become flying termites or ‘gamu-gamo

 

Wood and Mulch

Wood and Mulch

In order for the termites to live long enough to mate, they need to have a steady source of food. Wood and mulch are the two biggest sources that can be found in your home in the Philippines. Many houses have trees and foliage that provide enough material for termites to eat through. Additionally, these plants can also block sunlight, which causes the dirt beneath them to remain damp after rains for a longer period of time.

Many homeowners also use mulch in their gardens, which is used to protect their plants from heat and weeds. However, mulch can also absorb and retain large amounts of water. This creates an ideal environment and food source for termites.

 

Dark and Damp Spaces

On top of needing food sources, termites also need the right living spaces to continue their cycle. They tend to be attracted to dark, damp spaces. These can be found near or even inside your home. These spaces can be created by clogged gutters, leaky pipes, or any other area near your home that holds standing water. Termites love to settle near these places because of the temperature and moisture, as well as the proximity to an abundant food source.

These spaces collect moisture, which creates additional problems like mold and rot on wood surfaces. Termites love water-damaged wood and are drawn to it. If you’re unlucky, they might even make their termite mound near these areas. The damage that they could do to your house if their mound remains undetected is extensive and hard to measure, as most of their damage would be within the structure of your home.

 

Openings in Your Home

Openings in Your Home

Termites will also make their homes within yours if they are able to squeeze inside. Termites can infiltrate through the smallest cracks in your walls. Your doors, windows, and other points of entry could have tiny openings for them to slip in.

Roofs also offer many opportunities for them to enter. This could be done if your garden has low-hanging branches or plants that touch the exterior walls of your home. These branches and leaves will act as a bridge for termites to access your property.

From these openings, termites can make short work of expanding their territory. The bigger they can make their territory, the larger their termite mound becomes. If left unchecked, their population will also rise. Come warmer months, this large population will enter the next stage of their cycle and will reappear as flying termites.

 

Your Home’s Location

In the Philippines, termite damage is more common compared to fire and flood damage. This is an indicator of how serious the termite problem is in this area, and why flying termite swarms are so common. In fact, there are 2,500 different termite species around the world and about 54 species have made the Philippines their home. The tropical environment of the Philippinesa hr encourages and ensures the growth of the local termite population.

Worse still, if you live in urban areas, it is more likely for you to experience flying termites than when you live in rural areas. Studies have found that the effect of urbanization in Metro Manila has impacted the average temperatures and rainfall of the area. On average, Metro Manila experiences warmer temperatures than surrounding areas, having up to 2.4 °C higher temperatures. Metro Manila also experiences higher average values of rainfall during the summer and rainy seasons.

This effect of urbanization makes Metro Manila one of the best places for termites to continue their mating cycles and is one of the top causes of flying termites in the Philippines. Homes in Metro Manila are consequently more susceptible to termite infestations because of the large population of termites in this area.

 

Key Takeaway

There are many causes of flying termites in the Philippines. In this country, there are many ways for termites to continue living in homes comfortably. With the right conditions, they can easily increase their numbers and swarm your homes as flying termites during the warmer months. The sight of these flying termites can be an indicator of a termite infestation near or within your home. It is best to contact experts in pest control, such as Topbest, if you are concerned that you may have a termite problem. Call us now!

How to Prepare for Termite Inspection

How to Prepare for Termite Inspection

How to prepare for a termite inspection?

  1. Rearrange objects and furniture
  2. Make sure the attic is accessible
  3. Trim overgrown landscaping
  4. Remove storage in the garage

 

Household and building owners who want to maintain the quality and appearance of their structures understand the importance of proper termite control. However, not everyone will necessarily know how to prepare for a termite inspection, especially if they haven’t had one in the past. After scheduling a session with your termite control provider, you might be stumped as to the next steps you have to take.

A number of questions might be in your head, such as “What do I need to expect?” “Do I need to do anything before the termite control technician arrives?” The simple answer to these two questions is yes, there are quite a few things you have to do.

It’s not necessarily difficult to prepare your home for a termite inspection. But there are some building adjustments you can make for a smoother experience. From simple home rearrangements to getting rid of overgrown foliage, these termite inspection preparation tips can get you started off on the right foot. Read on to learn more.

 

Rearrange Objects and Furniture

If you’re storing objects and equipment under the sink for kitchens or bathrooms, you will have to move them to another area. Doing this will allow the inspector to easily check plumbing systems and water sources for any termite activity.

In your living room, for example, you should also empty out any furniture — wooden shelves, coffee tables, side tables, chairs. For fixtures that are placed against the wall, remove them at least two (2) feet away. The same goes for any part of the building that will have to be assessed for termite infestations.

A good tip is to stack any removed or rearranged items into a storage box for later. Make sure to keep them in areas that won’t have to be inspected by the technician to avoid time-consuming disruptions.

 

Make Sure the Attic Is Accessible

Make Sure the Attic Is Accessible

Parts of your house that have wood in them will definitely attract termites. For homeowners that have attics, this is why they also have to ensure that it’s accessible for use by the technician. This allows them to conduct proper examinations as well as assess other nearby areas, such as rafters, ceilings, wooden beams, or roofing decks.

Any obstacles blocking exit or entry paths to the attic should be cleared at least a day or two in advance before the inspection takes place. Aside from this, you should also consider ridding this area of dust and debris that might fall onto the technician or disrupt the inspection. On the day itself, provide the technician with a sturdy ladder so they can climb up safely to the attic without any hassle.

 

Trim Overgrown Landscaping

Outside the building or house, devote an afternoon or two to trimming overgrown hedges, shrubs, and bushes outside your property. Anything that’s concealing structures such as exterior walls, windows, or building foundations should be taken care of.

For future inspections, keep in mind that the trick to a smooth-sailing session is to practice proper yard maintenance. Get rid of any tree stumps, or dead/rotten wood lying around any part of the property. Proper yard work such as cutting grass, bushes, and trees, also makes the house far less attractive to destructive termite species.

 

Remove Storage in The Garage

Remove Storage in The Garage

The garage is another storage area in your home where you’ll most likely be storing different wooden items and equipment. Make sure that items put up against the wall are also placed at least 2 feet away, allowing the inspector easier access to wall cladding, potential wall openings, studs, or trims/moldings.

Any items/machinery sprawled across the floor should also be temporarily kept in a large box or garbage bag so as not to prevent the inspector from moving around. If there are any crafting tables or work desks, keep them free from tools or other loose objects.

 

Key Takeaway

Knowing how to prepare for a termite inspection is crucial to a successful termite control treatment. As you anticipate the visit from the termite technician, make a number of adjustments and preparations to your building. Keep all wooden structures accessible by rearranging objects in both the exterior and interior parts of the house. You should also see to it that your technician can comfortably navigate different parts of your home by rearranging storage spaces, trimming landscaping, and conducting general cleaning.

Needless to say, the key to any successful termite inspection depends on the quality of service — you need only make it easier for your provider to do their job.

In need of termite control services? Hire only the most professional technicians from Topbest! Click here to get in touch with us now and learn more about our services.

What to Expect from Termite Treatments

What to Expect from Termite Treatments

What can you expect from a termite treatment?

  1. Inspection of building exteriors
  2. Perimeter assessment of the property
  3. Checking of interiors
  4. Communication of findings

 

Although you’ve probably seen numerous ads in your lifetime about termite or anay control treatment services, there’s a good chance that you don’t really have the first idea about how they’re conducted. It also doesn’t help that most termite control technicians nowadays simply conduct a few simple taps on wooden structures of your building, write a report, and then go on their way. However, professional termite inspection and treatment involve much more than just those routine checks. Ultimately, knowing what to expect from your termite treatment the next time you hire a company is crucial to find out whether you’re getting the best value and most effective service.

Any well-established termite exterminator or pest control company understands that termite treatment involves a comprehensive inspection of all parts of a property, termite risk assessment, drafting of a termite report, and further suggestions. Whether you’re a home or building owner, anticipating these termite inspection procedures allows you to not only gauge the quality of the service but also ensure a termite-free structure. Read on to learn more.

 

Inspection of Building Exteriors

Inspection of Building Exteriors

Prior to an initial termite inspection, you have to make sure that your home or building is prepared for the visit. For your property’s exteriors, this means that outdoor structures must be made visible and accessible to the technician. You might need to declutter your garage shed, clear the wooden deck, declutter the yard, and the like. Doing these will allow the visiting termite technician to inspect exterior areas for any signs or potential signs of a termite infestation.

Depending on the size of the property’s exteriors, the inspection may last from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. This is because they’ll be checking for signs for different types of termites, such as subterranean — those that burrow inside the ground — and wooden termites that typically nest inside the wooden structure they’re feeding on.

Some tell-tale termite signs that the inspector may be checking for include nests, droppings, stumps, discarded wings, rotten wood, and the like. The technician may find these anywhere — from a simple wooden enclosure, windowsill, carport, or even a wooden storage rack. See to it that there are no obstructions that will prevent them from conducting a proper inspection of these locations.

 

Perimeter Assessment of the Property

After inspecting exterior structures, the termite control technician will now begin perimeter assessments of your property. They will walk the lengths and sides of your building and inspect particular structures such as the slab edge, subflooring (if any) footings, thresholds, deposit systems, and any timber structures.

Similarly, the inspector will see if the surroundings of your property may eventually become hotspots for termites. For example, perimeter structures that are situated or are in direct contact with the ground or soil may be affected by subterranean termites. An assessment will be done to see if there are already existing termite nests or colonies that may have formed in these areas. Since the perimeter and exterior of your building are frequently exposed to external humidity and moisture, a thorough inspection will allow you to determine the gravity of the termite problem.

 

Checking of Interiors

Checking of Interiors

Moving onto the interiors of your building, the technician will then begin checking for signs of termites through visual and physical inspection. As mentioned before, termite problems may manifest in a number of ways — from mounds, droppings, and rotted wood. However, not all types of termites will be easily visible. Since termites are often known as “silent killers” identifying their presence won’t be possible unless a physical check is done.

Physical inspections are probably something you’re familiar with. In this case, the termite professional will use a tapping stick and strike it onto all wooden furniture, walls, floors, and structures that are found inside the home. Generally, when a flat or low sound is produced, this indicates that the wood has already been hollowed out due to termite feeding. This allows the technician to understand the level of disintegration that has already been done to any part of your property, be it the bedroom, living room, dining room, and such.

 

Communication of Findings

Once the inspection has been completed, your termite control provider will now draft a report of their findings. If they didn’t find any warning signs of termites, then the inspector may simply suggest that you have an annual inspection for good measure. They may also suggest preventative treatment plans to make sure that these pests do not invade your property.

In the event that you do have a termite problem, then the report will include a concrete action plan that will be done by your termite control company. During the consultation with them, you’ll be asked to schedule the termite extermination procedure that targets certain areas of the property.

With a professional pest control company, rest assured that the treatment plan they will implement will both be effective and non-destructive. This guarantees that your termite problem will be resolved with little difficulties and without damaging your existing structures.

 

Key Takeaway

Unsure about what to expect from a termite treatment? This guide has outlined a few key things that you need to understand. Once you have already scheduled the initial consultation, you can expect that the pest control technician will work on all areas of the property — interiors, exteriors, and the building perimeter.

They will use a combination of techniques that will allow them to effectively determine signs of termites that may already be doing damage to your property. As such, you need to undertake the right preparations to accommodate the activities that will be done by the technician.

Ready to have your first termite inspection and treatment? Contact Topbest Pest Services Inc. — the Philippines’ leading provider of termite control services. Click here to get a free consultation now! You may also visit this page to learn more about our specialized pest services.

4 Most Destructive Termite Species You Need to Know About

termites damage home, macro close up termites in anthill

What are the most destructive termite species?

  1. Subterranean termites
  2. Dampwood termites
  3. Formosan termites
  4. Drywood termites

 

Termites can do serious damage to any building. They get attracted to wood and absorb the cellulose and other nutrients found in it as a means to survive and replicate. The worst part is, you don’t know the damage has already been done because these pests can be unnoticeable. Destructive termite species are the worst kinds of insects for any kind of home that has wooden structures. Knowing what they are, how they look like, and how they reproduce might help you deal with them better.

Not all termites are considered destructive, but there are a few ones that you should look out for, namely subterranean, dampwood, Formosan, and drywood termites. Fortunately, not all termites can be found in the Philippines, as some of them are found in certain North American regions. However, a majority of them are present in Southeast Asian as well as Central Asian locations. Read on to learn more.

 

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are considered to be the most damaging species on this list. Aside from just being altogether too difficult to spot, they feed on wood at all times of the day, which can definitely pose a problem.

In the Philippines, subterranean termites can be further classified into the Coptotermes species that are divided into gestroi, curvignathus, kalshoveni, sepangensis, and gestroi. Although the names are a mouthful, the only thing you need to know about this termite species is that it can create irreparable destruction to your home or building space. In extreme situations, they may even be the cause of structural collapse.

Although subterranean termites themselves may be difficult to spot due to their size and almost translucent appearance, there are certain signs to watch out for in a wooden structure, such as dark spots, hollow areas, or even blisters. If you’re unsure, the best course of action is to contact your local exterminator or pest control services to help you identify the presence of termites.

 

Dampwood Termites

As their name suggests, dampwood termites like to feed on damp portions of wood that have already rotten due to high moisture content. Compared to the subterranean termites, this species is more easily spotted with the dark brown, almost red-like color of their bodies.

With this in mind, spotting small colonies of dampwood termites might be less of a challenge compared to subterranean ones. You only need to look around your house for signs of rotten wood, such as spore dust, black spots, blisters, damp scent, and the like. Try to identify which parts of your building are more prone to moisture and conduct your assessment from there.

When it comes to dampwood termites — or any kind of termite for that matter — taking preventative action is advisable. In this case, you want to make sure that all wooden structures are well-maintained and are situated in dry locations. You may also apply various wood treatments such as coatings, varnishings, or finishes to protect your wood and prevent the attraction of these termites.

 

Formosan Termites

Winged individuals of termite

Formosan termites are a termite species that is endemic to Formosa, now modern-day Taiwan, although they are commonly spotted in the country as well. Although they’re oftentimes identified on their own, Formosan termites actually belong under the subterranean species. They’re considered aggressive termites — often referred to as “super termites” — because they feed not only on wood but also other sources of cellulose, that can be found in wallpaper and even flooring.

Most formosan termites may appear similar to flying ants due to their similar bodies and transparent wing appearance. However, you can differentiate them by checking out the antennae and the body shape. Formosan termites tend to have straight antennae while these are usually bent among flying ants. The former also has thicker body proportions compared to the latter.

 

Drywood Termites

Subterranean termites are often found colonizing below ground, which is uncommon in drywood termites. For the latter, these termites do not need soil for survival, meaning they can burrow in different channels formed in any kind of wooden structure.

Drywood termites may have a different appearance, depending on their stage of development. Like Formosan termites, dampwood termites may eventually develop wings and may be spotted swarming in the affected location. Tell-tale signs of drywood termites may include discarded wings or termite droppings that may form mounds on the exposed wood.

 

Key Takeaway

In the guide above, you’ve learned some destructive termite species that can be found in the Philippines. As mentioned before, spotting these termites can be a challenge because they often find homes inside wooden structures. This means that the damage may already be beyond repair and will be discovered all too late when the wood has been damaged past the point of recognition.

The best way to ensure that your building doesn’t get affected by termites is to hire a professional pest control service. At Topbest Philippines we handle all kinds of infestations — from termites, cockroaches, flying ants, and many more. Click here to get in touch with us and get a free consultation!

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.