Protecting Your Biggest Investment: Termite Prevention For Houston Homes
Whether you’ve lived in Houston your entire life or are new to the area, you are probably well aware of the thriving pest population in our city. It doesn’t take living here for long to discover an abundance of pests, both inside and outside. Our climate is the main reason pests love Houston so much. Our hot summers and mild winters, coupled with just the right amount of rain to make it humid much of the year, allow pests to live in relative comfort no matter the season.
Most of the pests that people spend their time thinking about are the ones they see on a regular basis. Mosquitoes, spiders, and rodents are just a few of the pests that occupy their minds and have them making panicked phone calls to their local pest control company. However, it’s the pests you don’t see that can be the most dangerous.
Although you don’t have to worry about termites making you sick, the dangers of a termite infestation in your Houston home cannot be overstated. Termites are alive and well in Houston, and because they stay out of sight, they are often ignored until they’ve caused severe damage to Houston homes.
When you live in Houston, termite control is essential, even if you don’t think you have termites on your property. Termite control in Houston is available from Modern Pest Control. We have over 70 years of experience solving pest problems of all kinds, and we provide the best termite control services in the country.
Why Termites Are The Most Destructive Pest In Texas
There are a lot of pests in Texas. Cockroaches, spiders, ants, rodents, scorpions, fleas… the list could go on and on. So, when a claim is made that one particular pest is the most destructive one in the state, it’s a big claim to make. Are termites really as bad as they seem?
In order to understand why termites are so destructive, you have to understand how termites live and work. They are surprisingly interesting creatures when you take the time to consider their biology, habits, and social structures.
How Termite Caste Systems Work
Subterranean termites are the most common termites in the Houston area, and they are also the termite species that causes the most damage to homes. These termites live in a caste system made up of three distinct groups.
At the top of the caste are the queen, king, and alates, which are all reproductive termites. While the queen is the main egg producer in the colony, with the ability to lay thousands of eggs each day, a well-established colony also has secondary reproductive members that can also lay eggs. This ensures the continuation of the colony if the queen dies.
Reproductive termites are called swarmer termites or alates. These members of the colony are the only termites with wings. They are also the only termites that ever come out in the open air. The swarmer termite moniker comes from the fact that they leave the colony in a large swarm, usually just once a year, to find a mate. Once they have paired up, these termites shed their wings and head back underground to establish their own colony as king and queen.
The next caste in a termite colony is the soldier caste. Soldier termites have blocky heads with big jaws. As you might imagine, these termites are responsible for protecting the colony. They are typically stationed at the entrance and exit holes of nests and respond quickly to threats, either by attacking intruders or repairing breaches in their tunnels and nests.
Finally, there are the worker termites. Worker termites make up the vast majority of a termite colony. Their job is to build tunnels, forage for food, and take care of the young.
How Termite Caste Systems Make Termites So Destructive
Once you understand how a termite caste system works, you understand that the only time you might actually see termites with your own two eyes is when the swarmer termites come out in the open to mate. Even then, there’s a good chance you’ll miss it because the process is relatively quick and usually only happens once a year. If you don’t happen to be in the right place at the right time, you may never know it happened.
Other than the reproductive termites, neither the soldiers nor the workers ever come out in the open. That means that somewhere around 98-99% of the colony forever remains completely hidden and out of sight. That is the primary reason why subterranean termite damage on your Houston property can get so bad that it makes termites the most destructive pest in Texas.
It makes complete sense when you think about it. The job of worker termites ensures that they will spend 24 hours a day, seven days a week, foraging for food. Termites eat cellulose, which is found in wood. If termites are in your house, they will eat through the wooden structures in your house.
While a new colony might not do a lot of damage at first, this colony will grow larger and larger as the months and years go by. Not only will they then have more mouths to feed, but they’ll also have many more workers to cause damage. As this goes on, it all happens inside your walls where you can’t see it. Over time, the tunneling in wooden beams and structural elements of your home will grow, which will weaken these structures, making them unsafe.
Consider the difference between rodents and termites. Rodents are extremely destructive creatures, too. However, the main difference between rodents and termites is that you can usually identify a rodent infestation soon after it appears. Rodents are comparatively large, they make noise, and they leave signs of their presence all over the place. Conversely, termites are tiny; they don’t show themselves, and they can work for years without being noticed. The damage caused by termites can become far more extensive because of how long it can persist before being noticed and stopped.
Everything You Can Do To Minimize Your Risk For Termites
Termite prevention in Houston is a necessity. Our part of the country has a major termite problem, and if you don’t take steps to prevent a termite infestation in your home, it’s only a matter of time before termites find their way inside. While professional termite control is the only way to fully protect your home from termites, the following do-it-yourself prevention tips will help you make your house a little less attractive to termites looking for a new place to live.
First, you must make sure your home is as moisture-free as possible. Although subterranean termites will infest wood that is sound and dry if they have to, they prefer wood that is wet and rotting. To reduce moisture, do the following:
- Make sure that the drainage system around your home works properly to divert water away from your house and foundation.
- Repair leaky faucets and pipes.
- Clean out your gutters seasonally to ensure they don’t become clogged.
- Keep crawl spaces, basements, and attics well-ventilated.
Keeping your house dry and reducing indoor humidity is also important.
Remove Wooden Attractants Outside
While it may seem like giving termites something to infest outside might keep them out of your house, in reality, this doesn’t work. Once termites get in the vicinity of your house, they will eventually find their way inside. Termite colonies can grow to hundreds of thousands of members, and the bigger the colony, the greater the need for food, so they’ll look for it anywhere they can.
Remove wooden attractants outside by:
- Storing firewood a safe distance from your house, at least 20 feet away.
- Stacking your firewood on top of a non-wood platform.
- Avoiding direct wood-to-soil contact for things like fence and deck posts.
By taking a look around your property and seeing what you can do to protect any wooden elements you have, you can help minimize your risk of a termite infestation.
Seal Entry Points
Little cracks in your foundation or tiny gaps around your windows or doors are all that swarmer termites need to gain access to your house and start their own colony inside. Sealing every entry point you can find, no matter how small, can help you minimize your chances of ending up with termites in your house.
When Is It Time To Call For Professional Termite Control?
Ideally, the best time to call for professional termite control is before termites get into your house. Many people take a “wait and see” approach to pest control of any kind. The thinking is that if there aren’t pests in your house, you don’t need to waste money on pest control. However, the other way of thinking is best summed up by the famous saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
By taking action before termites get into your house, you can ensure that they never get inside. Although getting termite control prior to an infestation will cost you money, it will cost far less than the amount it will cost to repair all of the damage to your house that termites can cause if they get inside. Think of preventative termite control like you would insurance. You pay a little now to ensure you don’t have to pay much more later. Because most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover termite damage, getting a termite control system installed and maintained is sort of like buying an insurance policy specifically for termites.
Termites cause an estimated five billion dollars in structural damage to homes and businesses in the United States every year. If you want to avoid becoming a part of that statistic, you need to take action before termites get into your house. However, if you have reason to believe that termites might already be present in your Houston home, all hope is not lost. Modern Pest Control is the termite expert near you who will help you with all of your termite control needs. From prevention to elimination, our termite services are designed to keep termites out of your Houston home for good.
How The Professionals Treat Termites In Houston
When your house is at risk of a termite infestation, which it is for as long as you live in Houston, only the best termite treatment in Houston will do. You don’t want a termite control service that may or may not work. You want guaranteed protection. That is why you need Modern Pest Control working for you. We only use the best, most trusted methods of termite control to protect Houston homes from termites.
At Modern Pest Control, we use the Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System. Not only is Sentricon® the number one termite baiting system available, but it also maintains the strictest standards of excellence for pest management professionals. In order for pest control companies to use the Sentricon® system, we have to undergo comprehensive training on an ongoing basis, as well as pass annual service excellence reviews. Only then do pest control companies receive the title of Certified Sentricon® Specialist and the ability to install and maintain the Sentricon® system. Modern Pest Control is one of less than 4% of pest control companies in the country to become Certified Sentricon® Specialists.
What is the Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System, and how does it work? It is a bait system for termites that over 90 studies have shown to be effective at eliminating entire termite colonies. Unlike liquid treatments, it is minimally to completely non-invasive to your home, and it is the only termite product that has received the Presidential Green Chemistry Award. This is awarded for products that use environmentally responsible chemistry.
The Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System works through the use of bait stations. We will install these into the ground at regular intervals all around the exterior perimeter of your house. Since they are placed in the soil, we don’t need to dig around or drill into your foundation like we would need to with a liquid treatment. Furthermore, if termites are already present in your house, we also have above-ground bait stations that we can place in interior locations to ensure your termite problems become a thing of the past.
The bait used in Sentricon® bait stations has been scientifically proven to be preferred by termites over wood cellulose. When worker termites find the bait, they will not only bring it back to their colony but will also alert other worker termites to its presence. The termites will continually come to the bait as a food source, not only for themselves but for all of the other termites in the colony, including the young termites, the soldier termites, and the reproductive termites, even the queen.
The bait in the Sentricon® system works by preventing termites from molting. In order to continue to live, termites have to molt throughout their life cycles. If they can’t molt, they will die. As soon as the termites eat the bait, it’s only a matter of time before they are eliminated. However, since the effect is not immediate, it gives the worker termites time to bring the bait to all of the other termites in the colony. Over time, the colony will get smaller and smaller until it is completely eliminated.
Because our bait is so attractive to termites, our bait stations are the best way to prevent termites from getting into your home. Termites that are in the area of your home will go to the bait instead of to your house.
After we install the Sentricon® bait stations, we will continue to maintain them. By checking the bait levels, we will know when termites are present in the vicinity of your house. This allows us to monitor their activity and make sure they don’t end up inside. Our maintenance includes refilling the bait stations when needed.
There are many pest control companies in our area, and plenty of those companies provide Houston termite treatments. However, when you want the best termite control, you want the Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System, and when you want the Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System, you want it installed and maintained by Modern Pest Control.
Modern Pest Control has been serving Houston and the surrounding areas since 1952. With over 70 years of pest control experience, we stay true to our name by continually training our service professionals and improving our methods to ensure you receive the highest quality services that deliver the best results.
Our termite control services are the perfect example of this. We want our customers to receive the best termite protection available, so we take the time to maintain our standing as Certified Sentricon® Specialists. When you choose Modern Pest Control, you choose to have your home protected by the best termite protection in the country.
Whether termites are already eating their way through your Houston home or not, termite control is an absolute necessity for your property. Without termite protection, you can expect termites to find their way into your home sooner rather than later, but you might not discover them until the damage they’ve caused is severe.
Contact Modern Pest Control today to request your termite inspection. We’ll visit your home, go over your needs, and provide you with the outstanding service you deserve. Termite protection is just a phone call away. Call Modern Pest Control to get started today and to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Houston.