Vigilance, they say, is the price of security. Sub terrestrial termites are a recurring potential menace to one's house. Rather inconspicuously, one may find small mud tubes on doors, windows or furniture, and before one knows it, the termites have made their entry.
One way to prevent the termite menace is constantly monitoring their habitation and infestation. Termite bait monitors are quite effective in this regard. The simple monitors lure termites by using termite food (eg. wood, cardboard, paper) mixed with potent lethal substances.
To use these baits, one has to carefully place monitoring stations consisting of wood (preferably softwood though termites will feed on hardwood baits too) or cardboard pieces in the soil close to your house. Placement of the baits is very important because the aim is to ensure that these subterranean insects will be lured into accepting the bait. The monitors should be placed at regular intervals on the wooden structures and areas that are most susceptible to a termite attack or when one suspects have already been infested by termites-this is to ensure that the baits will definitely be discovered.
With several years experience advising clients on termite treatment and all kinds of pest control in New Jersey, F&F Termite & Pest Control can help you detect termites and get rid of them. Contact us to discuss your termite treatment requirements and can discuss organizing an inspection to evaluate the most appropriate treatment method.
After sometime, the temptation might be too much for the termites and they begin to eat the baits. They make multiple tunnel-like excavations in the wooden pieces and build worm like pencil thick mud tubes on them. The appearance of live termites the mud tubes indicates the existence of a termite colony. This monitoring process is a kind of pre- baiting.
Baits can be placed both above and below the ground level.
Below ground level termite baits
The deeper into the ground the baits are installed, the greater are the chances of locating the termites. Also, increasing the number of stations increases the chances of locating multiple colonies of the termites. Here, it is important to note that finding termites using below ground level stations is a lengthy and a time-consuming process no matter whether you use soft wood or hard wood as the bait.
Above ground level termite baits
You can install termites baits above the ground level provided you can identify the area infested by the termites. It naturally follows that these baits are placed directly in the path of the termite tunnels. Also, the effects of the above ground stations are more rapid as compared to the below ground installations because the process does not depend on random guesses as to where the colonies are located.
The placement of the baits also depends of the weather and season. Termite discovery is maximum during spring and summer and the chances fall during late fall and winters.
Identifying live termites
Termites make multiple tunnel-like excavations in the wooden structures and build worm like pencil thick mud tubes on them. If you scrap the mud tubes with the pocket knife, you will find rice grain sized insects. The creamy white ones are the workers and the ones with the darkened heads are the soldiers. Besides the soldiers and workers, there may also be kings and queens. Reproductive kings and queens are 1/2" long, winged and black or brown in color. Workers are sterile and usually hidden within the infested wood. They are 1/4" long, wingless and white.
Examine these mud tubes and if you find them dark in color, it indicates that they have been recently built. If they are wet, it means that the termites are still there.
If the mud tubes are dry and have no cracks or damage, this too indicates the presence of the termites. Hit the tubes lightly with the knife; the tubes will shatter and they may reveal the wings of the insects. This is a fair indication of their next phase of development.
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