Your Neighbor and their Termites

Category: Pest Control

Although they play an important role in nature, termites cause more than $5 billion of damage of property damage annually. They eat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are not a pest that should be underestimated. As a professional pest control company that performs termite control services, we often talk to property owners that have a lot of concerns and questions when they find out their neighbor’s house has termites. Here are just a questions about your neighbor and their termites, as well as our responses:
termites

“If my next door neighbor has termites, does that mean that I have termites?”

There is no simple answer to that question. If your next door neighbor has termites, it does mean that there are termites in your area. It is probably a good idea to have your home inspected by a reputable, qualified pest control company. (Or, you may be more familiar with the old terminology “exterminator.”)

termite tunnels on block wall

“Will my neighbor’s termite treatment drive the termites to my house?”

If your neighbor has chosen a reputable pest control company to perform their termite treatment, the answer to that question should be “No”. Most pest control companies today are using “undetectable” termite control materials to perform their treatments. Years ago the goal in termite treatment was to create a barrier which turned the termites away from the structure. However, today’s termiticides are not detected by the termites. This means they will continue to move through the material for a short period of time. As they move through it, the termites pick up the materials and actually carry it back to the colony. Here, it is transferred from termite to termite via their social behaviors. This results in the eventual elimination of the termite colony or colonies that are attacking your home. In theory (and this is not a recommendation), a single termite colony could be feeding on multiple homes, so your neighbor’s termite treatment could actually kill  termites that are feeding on your home if the colony is close enough.

ant vs. termite

“The guy treating my neighbor’s house told me I have termites, but I am not sure.”

An inspection by a Certified Wood Destroying Insect inspector should be able to show you irrefutable proof of termite activity. If you feel you have not been shown proof of termites, or if something just doesn’t feel right, by all means get another opinion. Unfortunately there are still some “old school” pest control companies out there who try to sell termite treatments based upon fear. Also, the sales representatives from some of the bigger pest control companies whose names you may find on the stock exchange are under tremendous pressure to produce numbers, and are sometimes willing to cross the line of integrity in order to keep their jobs.

termite workers in shelter tube

“Should I treat my home for termites as a precaution?”

Unless you have confirmation of termite activity, we do not recommend a termite treatment as a form of prevention. The better option is to add a general pest control service like our Quarterly Pest Control program. This means having a skilled, certified technician performing regular inspections and treatments to your home. They may be able to detect termite activity prior to any major damage taking place. Also, do your best to familiarize yourself with the warning signs of termites such as the evidence of termite swarmers, mud shelter tubes, and how to identify termite damage in wood. If you suspect your have termites, collect this evidence and have a pest management professional examine your property.

If you think you have termites or would like to have pest control services that put an experienced pest management professional on your property throughout the year, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.


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