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!

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.

What Chemicals Are Used On Termites?

What Chemicals Are Used On Termites

What chemicals are used on termites?

  1. Fipronil
  2. Imidacloprid
  3. Hexaflumuron

 

Termites are a source of stress for many people. They work as a colony and can burrow in hidden areas in your home. Once you discover them it is usually too late. This is because they like to eat wood from the inside out and make these their nests. Once you discover holes in wood or traces of these pests, your home is probably already infested. Eradicating and preventing them can be hard. But to give you an idea we listed down the chemicals that are used on termites. Read on!

 

Fipronil

Fipronil

Fipronil is a chemical that is commonly used as an insecticide to many types of pests such as ants, cockroaches, and fleas. In termite treatment, it is used to eradicate them or prevent an infestation in the future. It works by affecting the central nervous system of the termites, which causes their muscles and nerves to malfunction and leads to death. Fipronil can still be present in the excrement of termites, which can affect other members of the colony.

In termite treatment, fipronil powder can be used on the nests. Holes can be drilled on trees, walls, power posts, or where termites are found to be settling. The powder is applied, and holes are sealed closed.

When you can’t find the nests, you can use another method wherein fipronil gels or powder can be applied to cellulose-based baits such as timber and cardboard. Termites are attracted to these materials and take them back to their nests.

In termite prevention, liquid Fipronil is diluted in water and applied to key areas as a protective barrier. It can be sprayed on the soil, or around the house.

When applying this chemical, it is important to use personal protective equipment because it can irritate the skin and the eyes. Take note that it can also harm the environment, such as bees, birds, and aquatic life.

 

Imidacloprid

Imidacloprid is a nicotine-based chemical that is used to eradicate termites. If you’re not aware, nicotine can also be found in tobacco. Just like fipronil, it is also able to affect other insects and pests.

It works similarly to fipronil because it affects the central nervous system, but it is more specific. The nicotine found in the chemical affects the brain of the termites continuously instead of disintegrating in the immune system.

This chemical can be applied in low concentrations because it is highly effective on insects. The slow-acting chemical can affect a few termites and they can pass the toxins to the others. If a queen is affected by this, the whole colony will die.

Because this is a nicotine-based-chemical that affects insects, it is of moderate toxicity to other animals and humans. Although like fipronil, it has severe effects on bees, which can cause the death of a whole colony.

 

Hexaflumuron

Hexaflumuron

Hexaflumuron works in a different way than the above-mentioned chemicals. It is a formulation that inhibits the growth of termites, preventing them from forming an exoskeleton.

If immature worker termites ingest this chemical, they die prematurely because of its growth inhibitory effect. It leaves the older worker termites to forage themselves, and when they die, no one will replace them.

Instead of applying on homes or termites themselves, hexaflumuron is used in baiting treatment above or under the ground. Termites, like cockroaches, have an internal GPS system, where they leave a trail for other termites to find. A few termites who visit this bait will lead more from the nest. They will carry the chemical with them and affect the others. From then on, the whole colony will slowly die.

Because hexaflumuron is used in baits that are only accessible by termites, exposure of other insects and animals is not likely. It is considered a low-risk chemical. It was also tested on animals and it was found out that it didn’t irritate the eyes and is of low toxicity.

 

Key Takeaway

The common chemicals that are used on termites are fipronil, imidacloprid, and hexaflumuron. Some are put on nests, or directly to the termites on sight. If the nest cannot be found, baiting techniques could also be used to attract these pests. Fipronil is fast-acting compared to the other two, which slowly kills the termites and the whole colony.

If you’re experiencing a problem with termites, it is best to leave the use of chemicals to the professionals. They are trained to look for termite homes, to handle harmful substances, and determine the best course of action depending on your case. If you want a free consultation, you can click here.

You can also chat with us by clicking the ‘Online’ bar on the lower right side of the screen.

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.

The Effects of Termites in the Ecosystem

The Effects of Termites in the Ecosystem

What are the effects of termites on the ecosystem?

  1. Effects of termites on the ecosystem
  2. The importance of termites to the soil
  3. The importance of termites in agriculture

 

To most (if not all) people, termites are a household pest that needs to be eliminated as soon as possible. After all, there’s a reason why termite control is a thriving industry. The ecosystem, however, might have a different say on the issue.

What most people don’t know is that, like all creatures, termites have an important role in the different processes and cycles that occur in nature, not just in a person’s household.

To get you up to speed on why these insects aren’t the ultimate antagonists to your home, here are the effects termites have on the ecosystem.

 

Effects of Termites on the Ecosystem

Effects of termites on the Ecosystem

Along with earthworms and ants, termites are the third member of the trio of groups of soil ecosystem engineers. Termites, in particular, are the dominant invertebrates in tropical soils. They have a major influence on the chemical and physical structure of the soil itself. To be more specific, termites can process a variety of organic plant matter at all stages of decomposition which contributes to the efficient return of nutrients to vegetation.

 

The Importance of Termites to the Soil

The Importance of Termites to the Soil

Soil Loosening and Formation

The maintenance of soil is perhaps one of the biggest contributions termites have to the ecosystem. In particular, termites help loosen the soil and help in its formation.

Loose, crumbly soil allows water to drain freely and prevents waterlogging. Waterlogged soil is bad for crops and plants because it prevents them from undergoing cellular respiration due to the lack of oxygen (plants can’t get oxygen from water). Aside from that, inundated soil enables the activity of anaerobic microbes that produce toxic wastes that break down organic matter.

Put simply, the oversaturation of soil can kill plants. Termites help prevent said oversaturation thanks to their burrowing and movement, which loosens the soil.

Aside from helping plants and crops survive, loose soil makes for better penetration for the roots and allows plants to have an overall stronger support system. When soil is too compact, it often needs modifications and treatment in order to be suitable for planting.

 

Soil Fertility

When it comes to soil fertility, termites also have an important role to play because they have been known to mix inorganic particles such as sand, stone, and clay with organic bits of leaf litter, discarded insect exoskeletons, and the occasional wild animal tail. This blending helps the soil retain nutrients and resist erosion.

In connection to that, ant and termite activity contribute to the nitrogen content of the soil. Crops depend on an adequate supply of nitrogen. Most nitrogen is naturally present in the soil as organic content thanks to the activity of termites. Their gut bacteria contain high levels of nitrogen and this gets transferred to the soil when termites dig their tunnels.

 

The Importance of Termites in Agriculture

The Importance of Termites in Agriculture

Since termites have a number of positive effects on the soil, it is only natural that agriculture is affected. In this regard, termites are like a double-edged sword in that they can be crop pests while at the same time contribute to the high production of crops.

Some studies that examined Laotian villages near the Mekong River found that rice production was higher in areas where termite mounds were present than in areas where they weren’t. This was due to the villagers crushing and spreading of soil from the mounds on their rice paddies before planting.

Termite mounds, in this regard, serve as a natural fertilizer. Apart from that, adult termites are a good food source for aquatic livestock. Termites are collected and fed to the several types of fish the villagers are raising.

If the experience of the Laotian villagers isn’t enough, researchers in Australia have also discovered that termites can help boost the yield of wheat crops in arid climates. They have discovered that fields containing termites have a higher mineral content and water absorption than those without. Tunnels dug by the insects allowed rain to fall deeper into the ground, retaining moisture at three times the rate of normal fields which led to better wheat yield.

 

Key Takeaway

Termites are surprisingly helpful creatures when it comes to things relating to soil and agriculture. However, just because they have positive contributions to the ecosystem doesn’t mean you can simply neglect termite control when you see them pestering your home.

They can and will eat through your homes and can leave their structures vulnerable to more damage. Don’t think twice about getting rid of them just because they have some environmental benefits because your home certainly does not.

Termite Mounds: Nature’s Architectural Works

Termites are mostly known for their capacity to destroy houses, furniture, and other things made of wood, thus we call termite control companies to avoid them from ruining our beloved homes. But aside from this destructive ability that they possess, termites should also be noted for another thing – their architectural skills and ability to build wondrous termite mounds or hills.

These structures, made from tons of soil and water, show the collaborative forces of colonies of termites as social insects. Let’s look at them, shall we?

The Compasses or Magnetic Termite Hills

magnetic-termite-mound

These termite hills are unlike other termite hills. These flat monoliths are made by magnetic termites. Since these termites prefer the warmth over anything else, they first build their mounds at the east – the direction in which the sun rises. Their mound absorbs the heat and once night falls, these termites go to the center of the mound since the remaining heat absorbed from the sun for the rest of the day can be felt there. In short, the termite hill’s structure is done to regulate the heat inside it.

African Macrotermes Termite Hill

African-Macrotermes-Termite-Hill

These are the usual termite hills created by African macrotermes. These termite hills, made of clay glued together by the termites’ saliva, can reach up to 8 to 9 meters. Because of the combination of clay and the termites’ saliva, the structure has become more solid and hard as to avoid erosion when rain or any other external stimuli hit the hill. What made these termite hills notable is the pinnacle or chimney found at the exterior part of the structure. Inside these hills are honeycomb-like structures, which serve as the “garden” or “farm” of the termites since that is where they tend the fungi that they harvest as food.

Mutualism and Commensalism Observed in Termite Hills

cheetah-on-termite-hill

Found in the wild around the world, these towering structures do not only serve as nature’s ornament, but they also serve as home to termite colonies and sanctuary to several insects and animals.

Termites treat some invertebrates as guests. Such invertebrates are beetles, flies, bugs, caterpillars, and millipedes. Just like the relationship between ants and aphids (but certainly not ants and termites), these insects are treated as guests because they are advantageous to the termites. These specific insects are taken as guests because they developed special glands that secrete fluids “licked off” by termites as part of their diet, while they remain protected inside the sturdy structures.

mongoose-termite-hill

Other insects and animals, which are fairly bigger than them, also go to termite hills because they provide warmth, protection, and other things. Examples are meerkats in Africa using termite hills as look-out spots, jaguars and cheetahs treat smaller termite hills as resting spots, and scorpions, lizards, and birds occupying termite hills too. Since the termites are not affected by these actions, they don’t do harm to these animals. This is an example of a commensalistic relationship observed in such setting.

 

Termite hills are one proof of nature’s complexity, and how teamwork with the same goal can lead to a great output. While they are important in the wild, termites simply have no place in the homes of people. Remember to call termite control when you find them trying to build a home in yours!

“Poor Pets”! How To Prevent Termites From Chewing Your Pet’s House

How-To-Prevent-Termites-from-Chewing-Your-Pet's-Home

Let’s face it. Termites will be around longer than we can ever be. Pests are seemingly immortal and impervious to pain! There are just too many of them that it becomes difficult to stop them from disrupting our daily living and eating their way inside our houses and yards. It’s best to use termite control only in extreme cases so while still preventable, stop them from multiplying and destroying you or your bills will multiply and destroy your wallet. It’s annoying but the sooner we deal with them, the sooner we can get back to what we’re doing. But, first things first. Termites love wood. In all the objects that we own, our pet’s house is the one pure, varnished whole piece of wood so seductive to a termites eyes, they would steal it if they can and eat it slowly, savouring every bite. Before it’s too late, here are some ways to prevent termites from chewing your pet’s house. (No, it doesn’t involve a flamethrower).

Eliminate Moisture

Naturalists know termites love moist environments. For them, such a land is fertile and therefore good for growth and breeding. So above all else, make sure your pet’s house is always dry. When it gets wet, dry it immediately. No exceptions or else you might find termites making settlements inside your pet’s house — and like good little warmongers, they would fight to keep the territory their conquered in their tiny little hands.

Use A Cardboard Trap

Cardboards are excellent decoys for which to lure our annoying little critters into. Cardboards look and smell the same as wood. These attributes attracts termites. By lightly spraying water on the cardboard, the smell becomes even more powerful. Place them near a target and watch the termites group together and come closer. Once they are on top of the cardboard trap, pull it down, collect the termites and burn the living daylights out of them.

Expose the Area to Sunlight

Sunlight is for termites as onions are for aswangs and manananggals. It is their one true weakness. Termites literary die when they are exposed to sunlight because of the heat it generates. They can’t stand being hot since they were adopted themselves to darkness. So, to stop them from procreating and strengthening their numbers, expose their homes to direct sunlight.

Using Parasitic Nematodes

Parasitic Nematodes are small worms that typically feed on microscopic creatures such as bacteria and fungi while some groups went further and actually feed on termites. Using these creatures, we are effectively creating a biological war by introducing a predator to creatures who don’t usually have any. This method is very effective in removing stubborn termite infections on any wooden surface.

Using Borates

This is the most common method of prevention. Spraying borates on any wooden surface protects the wood and as a side bonus, unlike most chemicals, don’t harm humans and their pets.

While these methods may prevent further infestation, they are unlikely permanent solutions. The best they can do is to stop termites from overpopulating, but it can’t remove all of them. That requires total fumigation! If you don’t want to pay for fumigation, start preventing before the termites spread. That way, they are discouraged from growing and wrecking your home and your pet’s and your own lives.

3 Questions to Ask your Termite Control Provider

TopBest - 3 questions to ask your termite control provider

When you hire a termite control provider, you want to make sure that your money is worth the service they provide. Getting the best out of your hard earned money is smart and practical, and everyone should practice it. To do this, you have to be thorough is selecting products and service providers. What you can do on your part is to directly ask them things that will assure you that they will satisfy your need. Here are 3 of those things that will surely maximize the use of your money when hiring a termite control provider:

 

1. Ask what method will be best for your pest problem.

Have them tell you all the services they offer, and ask which of these services is the most appropriate for your current pest problem and which will fit your budget best. Do not be shy when asking these things, remember that you are the customer and you hired them to work for you, not against you. Your budget, that is.

 

2. Ask what kind of chemical they use.

The use of chemical is necessary on eliminating pests. In case it is inevitable and there are no other non-chemical option suitable for your problem, what we want is these chemicals to be less harmful. Be sure to specifically ask the nature of the chemical they use like what it is made of, is it harmful for the lungs, is it environmentally friendly, and how it is effective. Having knowledge about this will help you and your family avoid the dangers of having chemicals around your house.

 

3. Ask for advice.

Your local termite control provider will not only get rid of your pest problems, they will also give out important pointers about pest prevention. Sometimes they will tell you these advices without you even asking, and sometimes they won’t unless you ask. So why not ask them while you have the chance.

 

Getting rid of pests that are always there is a good example. You know what I’m talking about, the little but not-so-adorable ants, flies, mosquitoes, spiders, rats and roaches that just won’t disappear no matter how clean your house is. They are always there, all year long regardless of the weather. Sometimes they come in numbers, and sometimes they are alone, but you know somewhere in your house they already built some sort of a colony and they will always keep on multiplying unless you do something about it. Asking your termite control provider on how to prevent them will make you see less of them in the future.

Mosquito Outbreak Manila: 5 Facts About The Mosquito Scare

Mosquito Outbreak Manila: 5 Facts About The Mosquito Scare

What should you know about the mosquito outbreak in the Philippines?

  1. Mosquito bites transfer a variety of deadly diseases such as dengue, malaria, chikungunya, and zika virus.
  2. The mosquitoes that transmit these diseases are females.
  3. Mosquitoes can sense you through heat.
  4. Mosquitoes can breed in small bodies of water.
  5. Among others, Malaria remains the world’s deadliest mosquito-borne disease.

Though the intense heat of the summer sun means that it’s vacation time, there’s a danger that must be avoided as well. The additional heat and humidity attracts mosquitoes to suck your blood. You should be very careful about this and with good reason, too. How scary are mosquitoes? Read on to discover 5 facts about the big deal with these pests.

More so, if you’ve got mosquitoes circling your home, you should definitely call pest control in the Philippines ASAP!

Fact #1: Mosquito bites transfer a slew of deadly diseases

Dengue, malaria, Chikungunya and the Zika virus are just some of the viral infections mosquitoes transfer to humans. The scary part is that there is no known or specific cure to any of these diseases. For yellow fever and Chikungunya, medical experts can only treat the symptoms, not the source. All they can probably do after that is pray and hope for the best.

In order to understand these diseases further, here’s a brief discussion to help you with:

  • Dengue

Dengue is the most viral mosquito infection that Filipinos struggle with, and while the fight against this disease may be challenging for the government and the people, it can be said that the Philippines have, at least, reduced the population of people who gets easily infected with this viral infection.

Basically, dengue is transmitted by mosquito species such as the Aedes aegypt and Aedes albopictus. Its symptoms include: joint pain, high fever, rashes, headache, muscle pain, swelling of joints, nausea, fatigue, and vomiting. These signs appear within 3 to 7 days after the mosquito bite.

  • Chikungunya

Chikungunya is widely known as a mosquito-borne disease that’s particularly similar to dengue in certain points. From the species of mosquitoes that transmits the disease to the signs and symptoms that appears as one gets infected with it. However, unlike dengue, Chikungunya differs in terms of the severity of the disease. While the joint pains may appear incapacitating, it is not as fatal as the latter.

  • Malaria

Malaria, alongside dengue, is a serious disease that the Philippines has been battling with for several years now. Fortunately, the efforts of the government has been resulting in positive numbers, comparatively lower than that of the earlier years.

Basically, malaria is a disease rooting from a single-celled parasite called protozoon belonging in the family of genus plasmodium. The reason why malaria is prevalent in the country is that, mainly, the four main species of this parasite – Plasmodim falciparum, plasmodium vivax, plasmodium ovale, and plasmodium malariae – are all present in the Philippines. Now, the female infected mosquitoes of Anopheles specie transmit these parasites to people through bites.

Commonly, malaria symptoms appear in high grade fever that recurs every after 2 to 3 days. After the fever, the infected person will experience lasting chills, and as it subsides, he/she will experience marked sweating.

The common problem with malaria is that it develops into anemia and kidney and liver failure. However, at difficult times, this can also develop into cerebral malaria.

  • Zika Virus

Zika virus is yet another terrible mosquito-borne disease that threatens the life of newborn babies. It is transmitted by the mosquito specie Aedes aegypti, and is spreading across various countries around the globe. Unfortunately, as of writing, there is no vaccine nor cure for Zika virus, hence it is considered a pandemic in progress.

This virus causes developmental issues and even death to babies, which for one includes the neurological disorder where the babies are born with small heads.

Fact #2: The mosquitoes that transmit these diseases are females

This isn’t really a scary fact, but more of an interesting tidbit you can take home after reading this article. It is the female mosquitoes (not the males) that drain your life juice. Why? These femme fatales need your blood to fertilize their eggs before laying them in the water. And if they’ve come from really dirty, unsanitized places, you are vulnerable to the diseases mentioned, in fact #1 the moment their proboscis comes into contact with your skin. Yikes! It’s time to pull out that mosquito repellent and rub it thoroughly over your exposed skin areas.

Fact #3: Mosquitoes can sense you through heat

Just like The Predator in the Alien vs. Predator films, mosquitoes are able to track their victims through their heat sensors located on the tip of their antennae, not via eyesight.

Their vision, by the way, is very poor; hence, the reliance on their sensors. Once they get within 10 feet (or 3 meters) of their target, they home in like heat seeker missiles. The efficiency of their sensors increases by a factor of 3 when the environment’s humidity is very high. This means they can sense you from 30 feet (or 6 meters) away. That’s also why mosquitoes suddenly come out of the woodwork to play during the summer season.

Another way they can sense their next victim is through the carbon dioxide we exhale and our scent. If you want to avoid this, wear light-colored clothing like white and yellow when you go out. And make sure you wipe your sweat regularly.

Fact #4: Mosquitoes can breed in small bodies of water

That means unclosed water pails, tanks, and even puddles after a rainstorm. If you want to decrease the chance of mosquitoes in your home, make sure you don’t leave water undrained from faucets, sinks, tubs, or uncovered in the case of pails.

Fact #5: Among others, Malaria remains the world’s deadliest mosquito-borne disease

Today, Malaria is considered to be the deadliest mosquito-borne disease with more than a million people dying from it every year. While it may only start as a fever, chills, and a flu-like illness, it may result to serious diseases when left untreated. Even more, into death. Hence, immediate action should be taken into account as one notices these particular symptoms.

Key Takeaway

Hopefully, these facts will better prepare you for dealing with mosquitoes during the summer season. If you know any other interesting facts about these winged pests, feel free to share your info in the comments section below.