Wood is an amazing building material. This single plant has given us the building blocks of our greatest structures. And yet this amazing plant is not invincible. Water, weather, lightning, and other hazards can damage or structurally compromise trees, wood and beams. And among these dangers, termites have to be listed. So when you are getting your home inspected, what are termite inspectors looking for? Termite inspectors look for four different signs of termite activity including mud tubes, collapse of damaged wood, winged termites, or live termites found during construction.
Most termites found in homes in the Oklahoma area are eastern subterranean termites. And, as their name implies, they must stay underground. They are very susceptible to drying out, so they build mud tubes up the side of structures and trees in order to find food. Once they find cellulose, they will harvest it and bring it back to the colony all in the safety of these mud tubes. The only time that they come out is when reproductive termites emerge to create a new colony. These termites are unique because they have wings. If winged termites are found in your home, a colony is likely hidden inside.
WHERE ARE THEY LOOKING?
Because termites are found in the ground, this is the first place a quality Oklahoma pest control inspector will look. Structures in Oklahoma are basically of two different foundation types. There are slab homes and crawl space homes. Slab homes are built on a large slab of concrete. Most modern homes built in this state are these type. Crawl space homes are raised two to three feet from ground level and have a gap underneath the house.
Both of these foundations have different considerations. Often, slab foundations have expansion gaps filled with a flexible material for hot and cold expansion. These gaps can leave space for foraging termites to get into your home. Sometimes these concrete slabs will crack, also leaving an opening. These insects can get through 1/32” gaps, so any crack is a possible entry point. On crawl space homes, it is important to get underneath the home to inspect as much as possible. Sometimes these crawl spaces are too small for anyone to fit, so it can only be done thoroughly if the house is properly maintained.
INSPECTIONS FOR BUYING OR REFINANCING A HOUSE
Here in Oklahoma, most banks require state forms in order to finance or refinance a home. These forms can only be filled out by a licensed Oklahoma exterminator licensed specifically for termites. There are two forms here in Oklahoma called ODAFF-1 and ODAFF-2. These forms are sometimes called WDI for wood destroying insects. They not only cover termites, but also carpenter ants and other wood destroying insects.
The ODAFF-1 is used in every inspection. It is the form that lists and describes the initial inspection of the home. In this form, your Tulsa exterminator will describe any ongoing damage found with a diagram showing the location, any potential issues such as wood in contact with the ground, and any evidence of previous treatments. If corrective measures are required, than this is where ODAFF-2 comes into play. Once all the corrective measures are in place, the inspector will come back and reinspect, and then issue an ODAFF-2 stating that the house is free from any wood destroying insects and potential wood destroying insect damage.
ANTS VS TERMITES
In the spring, love is in the air for mother nature. And termites are no exception. Mature colonies will seek to reproduce themselves. They do this by creating alates, or reproductives. These termites have wings, and in the spring, will leave the colony to swarm with alates from other nearby colonies. They will pair up as king and queen, find a suitable spot, and begin to burrow a new colony.
These reproductives can be a dead give away for a termite infestation in your home. If they are released in your home, their dead bodies or their detached wings can be found in window sills. If you find them, it’s important to identify the difference between flying ants and termites. Ants have three distinct sections, each separated by a waist, or narrow section. Termites have straight bodies. Termites have two wings that are the same length as their bodies. Ants wings have two different sized wings.
Most Tulsa pest control companies focus on two treatments. These treatments are liquid and bait treatments. Liquid treatments are common in Oklahoma and are endorsed by the Department of Food, Forestry and Agriculture. This treatment uses liquid pesticide to form a barrier around the home using trenches and drilling holes to inject the liquid pesticide.
Of these two treatments, bait stations are the newer. It consists of installing a stations into the ground all the way around a structure. When termites are foraging, they will find these bait stations first, and then take the pesticide back to the colonies, eliminating them from the inside. This kind of treatment is more of a preventative one, but some Oklahoma pest control companies are using them as treatment. Regardless of how they are used, TermMax Pest Control will give you an extensive and renewable warranty protecting your home against further damage.
FINDING A REPUTABLE TULSA EXTERMINATOR
Being that termites in Oklahoma are found underground, it can be difficult to determine exactly where and what kind of damage they are causing. This being the case, even the best pest control companies can make mistakes. But a reputable Tulsa pest control company, such as TermMax Pest Control, will give an extensive termite free guarantee. In fact, with our termite bait stations, you can renew that termite free guarantee every year as long as you own the house! Its important to find a pest control company, like TermMax Pest Control, that will put its years of experience behind every installation and guarantee. Call TermMax Pest Control today for a free estimate. We are here to help!