I was dispatched to a Whiting residence after the homeowner called Cowleys after observing termite activity inside the frame of a door leading to the garage. Termites, however, are silent destroyers. They stay out of sight, quietly causing slow and progressive damage. There are various signs of termite activity on your property: termite swarms, mud tubes, and damaged wood. A termite swarm is when winged termites swarm to find mates and establish new colonies. Mud tubes are built along a home’s foundation. These are protective tubes that termites use to stay moist because once exposed to air, these fragile insects can’t survive. With this Whiting residence, the homeowner found the third sign, termite-damaged hollowed-out wood. Generally, wood damage is a late sign of a termite infestation that’s best avoided. Since termites eat wood from the inside out, the damage is done.
The homeowner did not want me to drill through her flooring in order to inject Termidor into the soil. This non-repellent and undetectable termiticide is carried back to the nest, soon killing the entire colony. With termites, just like with ants and other social insects, it is ineffective to kill random foraging insects. The only permanent solution is killing the colony. While a soil treatment would have been the most comprehensive way to resolve the infestation, it would have impacted the aesthetics of the home and have taken some renovation work to cover-up the drill holes. Because the homeowner wanted a less intrusive treatment, I instead applied a Termidor foam to the brittle, eaten-away areas of the door.
I’m confident that this solution will be effective, although since it is a more targeted application, the resolution of the infestation may well take longer, and it may provide less protection against a subsequent infestation. The homeowner was aware of this trade-off. Often, pest control must be balanced with other objectives of the homeowner, and the optimal solution must be found based upon the constraints and limitations that we have to work with. For me, as a pest control technician, that is one of the reasons why I find my job so interesting. Every day, I face different challenges and circumstances when figuring the best solution to a particular pest control problem for a homeowner or business.