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Termite Inspection Cost vs. The Savings It Brings: Is a Yearly Termite Inspection Worth Doing?

Termite Inspection Cost

Termites. A dreaded word that no homeowner is ever happy to hear. You failed to get that termite inspection cost done the previous year. This is because you thought that everything looked beautiful and you were in the clear. As the days have passed, you realize that it might have been a very costly mistake. Saving money short-term might have just cost you even more long-term.

Termite inspections usually cost between $65 and $100 and most come with a Wood Destroying Insect Report. If termites are found, you are looking at expenses in the thousands. You will need to remove the pests and fix all of the damage they have inflicted.

What are Termites?

Termites are social insects and are known to eat non-stop.They have the ability to chew right through wood, flooring, and wallpaper. They can cause severe damage while going unnoticed. There are over 2000 known species of termites in the world, but they all share the same goal. They silently destroy. Termites consume everything from dry or moist wood, wallpaper, plastics, and even fabrics that are made from plant products.

Termites are active all year round and, as they eat, they tend to leave small piles of wood-colored droppings in the same areas as they nest and feed. These droppings are one of the biggest signs you will see to point to a termite infestation. You could also see small holes in the wood, or rippled and sunken surfaces on your walls. Termites break down the structural integrity of your home and slowly destroy it from the inside out.

How Often Should I get a Termite Inspection?

It is always a good idea to get an annual inspection done on your house and property. Especially if your house is on the older side. For newer homes, you could probably get away with getting inspections done every two years. But to err on the side of caution, it is still recommended that an annual inspection is performed.

You should have a professionally-licensed company carry out the checks. This is because they are the experts at finding the damage that has been caused by these uninvited guests. While you can do the inspection yourself, but remember that you might miss something that a professional would not have overlooked.

It is said that termites can be even more dangerous to your home than a house fire. Further, they are considered your home’s number one threat. Moreover, termites can destroy your structural posts, walls studs, floors, drywall paperboard, carpet, and then move on to attack your furniture.

The most common species that is known to attack homes are the drywood termites. These termites build their nests inside of your walls and stay out of your view. Hiding and causing their damage in secret gives termites years to destroy your home slowly, and it is also the reason why annual inspections are so important.

Drywood Termite

Drywood Termite

Cost of Inspection vs Treatment

The cost to do the repairs to fix the termite damage could wind up running into thousands of dollars; that cost far outweighs the small costs charged for a termite inspection. So, an annual inspection can run a little over $100 a year, depending on the reputable company you decide to hire. Most of the time, these companies will offer a free, initial termite inspection, and then, if termites are found, will discuss the costs and options associated with treatment, removal, and maintenance.

You want to try to look beyond the cost of the initial inspection and look at the bigger picture. Fumigations for homes can run anywhere from $1000 to $4000. You also have the option of other chemical treatments to use around your home.

Some Common Termite Treatments

Repellants are commonly placed in the home and the soil around the home, and this effectively creates a barrier so that the termites cannot invade your home again. Non-repellants are undetectable by termites and are quickly spread within their colony. It is another effective chemical option and will work to decrease the numbers in their population while other treatments can be done.

Termite baiting is a way to eliminate the termites virtually forever. Bait stations are strategically placed around the home underground. The termites take the bait, confusing it for food, and share it with their colony. Before they realize that the “food” is poison, the chemical bait has already spread, killing the termite population.

Weigh the costs of treating your home yourself and getting a professional to do it. While it may initially cost more to have a professional treat your home, it greatly benefits you because they are thorough and usually come with a guarantee. If you do it yourself and miss something crucial, the costs will begin to add up every time you have to go back and treat your house again.

Is the Inspection Really Worth the Cost?

In conclusion, extreme damage to your home could involve considerable costs and repairs. Some of these significant repairs include wall removal and replacement, the cost of the materials and labor, the costs for the permits and inspection papers and the costs associated with removing and repairing any damaged framing. The cleanup and debris removal charges, and even the costs involved preparing the worksite for termite removal and replacement will also begin to add up. You will even see the costs associated with the chemical treatments, fumigation, or baiting stations.

All of these costs don’t even include the amount of stress and financial strain you will be under when you see that skipping your last reasonably-priced inspection just cost you thousands of dollars in damages to your home.

It is always a safe bet to have your annual inspections done. Now, we come back to looking at the bigger picture. You spend a small outlay now in order to have the added confidence later that you have done anything and everything you can to protect your home, your investment, and the very roof that protects you and your family.

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Best Ant Killer – Top 10 Reviews of 2017

The Best Ant Killer

If you are anything like me, the sight of even one single ant scurrying across your kitchen counter sends pulses of rage and annoyance through your entire body. Now you have to figure out what kind of ants these pesky invaders are, where did they come from, and why are they sticking around? Then, you have to go and spend time, money, and energy trying to find the product that is going to work best for you. Well, my friends, I have been in this position more often than not and cannot provide you with a valid explanation as to why these nuisances show up, but I can offer you my review on the top five highly-rated best ant killers that I have tried. Spoiler alert: One of these is my constant go-to and has been my ultimate success, if I were to be completely honest….which I am.

Terra Prefilled Liquid Ant Baits

Terra Prefilled Liquid Ant Baits

First of all, Terra Prefilled Liquid Ant Baits are perfect for either indoor or outdoor use. They take two to three days before they begin to work efficiently, but this is because the ants check in, take the bait, and then spread it to their friends and family. Each pack contains six different bait stations. Further, all of the chemicals are contained inside these stations, so there are no messy poison spills or sticky, messy madness. Additionally, the stations also prevent the bait from drying out.

It is recommended that you use all six baits at a time and strategically place them in the ant's known trails so you can get the full effectiveness of the product. These baits are not a quick solution. It takes two to three days before the results are seen because you have to give the ants time to grab the bait and spread it around. It will eventually reach the queen and kill all of the ants. To gain complete control over the infestation, allow up to two weeks. The baits will remain effective for three months.

One of the main ingredients found in the Terra baits is borax. Borax has a low toxicity for people and animals. However, it is still recommended that you keep them out of your pet’s reach.

Affordability

Finally, one box contains six separate baits and the Amazon price for this box is under $5. You also have the option of bigger packs for even more significant results for just a few dollars more.

​Raid Max Double Control Ant Baits

Second on the list is raid Max Double Control Ant Baits, which are individual child-resistant ant baits that should be placed against walls, along baseboards, under the sink and cabinets, and any other areas you have seen ant activity. Further, the active ingredient in these baits is abamectin. It is recommended that you use all of the baits at once. Take them out of the package and separate them before placing them in the desired locations.

Additionally, these baits will remain active for up to three months but will take a few days before you will see results. The double control formula attracts the ants to the bait and then they carry the bait to their colony and reduces the population before killing them off entirely.

Lastly, Like other ant baits, the toxicity levels are low which makes it safe to use around people and animals. But, as always, you should still try to avoid placing them where your children or pets can get to them.

Affordability

One box of Raid Max Double Control Ant Baits can be found on Amazon for under $10. Moreover, Each box contains eight baits, and you are recommended to use at least four at a time if not all of them.

​Maxforce Bait Stations

Maxforce FC Ant Bait Stations

Third, we've got Maxforce Bait Stations, which can be used indoors or outdoors. They provide quick control over your ant infestation and will start killing within the first six hours, with full control after four days. Additionally, the active ingredient is Fipronil and has a domino effect kill. The bag is resealable to keep the unused baits fresh and away from contamination. Plus, they have an easy peel and stick adhesive for quick and easy placement. It is recommended that you place them along the known ant trails. Finally, use one bait per 100 square foot space. You can easily relocate them if you don't see any activity. This product is useful for most kinds of household ants and should be replaced every three months.

Affordability

One bag contains twenty-four baits. On Amazon, one bag comes in under $30 which is reasonable, due to how many baits you are receiving per bag.

Amdro Bait Stations

Fourth, we've got the Amdro Bait Stations, which can be used indoors or outdoors and are easy to use without any drips, spills, or messes. Place them along the ant trails you have found. The bait attracts the ants who then take it back to their colonies and share it; the bait eventually reaches the queen, and once the queen is dead, the whole mound dies. However, it does not work immediately; you need to give it a few days for the bait to reach the queen. The active ingredient is borax and is not harmful to people or animals, but it is still suggested to keep the bait stations out of reach. These baits are also child resistant, prefilled, and ready to use.

Affordability

One box of Amdro Ant baits contains six baits for the low price of under $10. Moreover, you will want to use at least three at a time, placed in strategic locations.

Combat Source Baits

Last on the list is Combat Source Baits, which work through ingestion. The slow-working, but effective traps lure the ants to the bait, and then the bait is shared among the entire colony. These baits kill using a domino effect and will eventually reach and eliminate the queen. Full control can be seen after a few days of use. Further, it is recommended that you place these traps along the ant trails, but relocate them if you don't see any action. These baits remain active for up to three months before it is recommended that you replace them. Moreover, the poison is fully confined in a child-resistant bait, and there are no vapor or fumes, no mess, and no spills. You should also use more than one bait at a time.

Affordability

One box of Combat Ant Baits contains six separate baits for the Amazon price which is under $10

My Recommendation

Based on my experience and my previous ant problems, my suggestion is the Terra Prefilled Liquid Ant Baits. They are reasonably priced, last for months, and pose no harm to my children or pets. You can see them working as well. While they take the bait back to their colony, some don’t make it out of the gel, and you can see the casualties of war. It is a pretty satisfying experience.

I have never personally had a problem with these baits, and I will not hesitate to recommend them to friends and family. I will, however, expand my horizons and try other products available, but I can rest easy knowing that I found at least one, I can honestly say is extremelyuseful in my home.

Related Articles from the Web:

The Best Ant Killer Bait

Carpenter Ant Damage: What to Expect from an Infestation

Carpenter Ant

Regardless of the fact that they’re rather small, carpenter ants can cause some big problems. Rarely seen up close, these sneaky little critters can cause some serious damage to your house before they are even detected.

Are you suffering from a carpenter ant infestation? Recognizing the symptoms and knowing what things to look for can help you prevent massive losses. The following guide will acquaint you with some of the key essentials.

Places in Which the Damage Will Be Most Visible

As already mentioned, carpenter ants can be quite difficult to detect. This is the main reason why you should get in the habit of inspecting certain parts of the property. These are the places in which the signs of damage will become visible the earliest.

Carpenter ants are notorious for attacking primarily wooden structures. Always look for leaks or damp areas. The ants are more likely to attack vulnerable wood that’s rotting due to the passage of time or moisture. They’re much less likely to attempt creating tunnels in dry wood.

Carpenter Ant Damage

Carpenter Ant Damage

Wood that is in direct contact with the ground is also quite vulnerable. Just like in the case of termite infestations, carpenter ant infestations become much more probable if the insects find a direct point of entry into the building’s structure.

When inspecting a wooden structure, you may want to look for carpenter ant sawdust. When positioned underneath a tiny hole, the sawdust is a sign of a recent entry. This is why you should get in the habit of inspecting wooden structures and the exterior of the property on a regular basis.

If ant activity took place some time ago, there isn’t going to be any sawdust indicative of an entry. You may, however, notice structural damage to wooden constructions. As time passes, carpenter ants can do a lot to undermine the integrity of the building. If they’ve been around for some time, the damage could reach epic proportions.

Most Common Types of Carpenter Ant Damage

Now that you know where to look for damage, it’s time to examine the most common problems that carpenter ant infestations cause.

Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t eat wood. Instead, they create tunnels through it for the purpose of moving around. In addition, the ants create nests inside wooden structures, which leads to serious hollowing.

According to a number of insurance company reports, carpenter ants can cause as much property damage per year as natural disasters. If they’re undetected, the structural integrity of a building can be seriously undermined. Repairing the damage could potentially cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.

The signs of carpenter damage will always involve piles of sawdust. These are created because of the fact that the ants don’t actually eat the wood. Therefore, if you notice a pile of sawdust anywhere on the outside or the inside of the property, you can be pretty confident that you’re dealing with a carpenter ant infestation.

Water stains on wood are also a potential sign of an ant infestation. When the structural integrity of the wood is damaged, water will be allowed to soak through and often reach the interior of the house. Since water is entering the wooden structures, it is contributing to the structural damage that the ants have already caused.

When looking for damage, don’t restrict your inspection solely to ground floor wooden structures and ones that are touching the ground. Once a carpenter ant infestation occurs, the insects can spread quickly throughout the property.

In addition, overhanging tree branches that haven’t been trimmed provide ants with an excellent opportunity for access to the house. Likewise, areas where a roof leaks are especially popular among carpenter ants. This is why any inspection needs to be thorough. Start at the ground floor and the exterior of the house, slowly moving your way upward and examining every inch of any wooden structure.

How to Prevent a Carpenter Ant Infestation

It seems that carpenter ants are quite crafty and they can access a property in multiple ways. While this is the truth, you shouldn’t get discouraged. A few simple measures in advance can help you significantly reduce the risk of an infestation.

For a start, pay attention to leaks and water damage, especially when these affect a wooden structure. Remember that carpenter ants aren’t interested in dry wood that maintains its structural integrity. The sooner you deal with water leaks, the less likely an infestation will be.

Using caulking to seal any cracks and around cables is another good idea. The ants could use such crevices to gain access to the property, even if you don’t have wooden structures on the ground floor. Even the smallest of cracks could permit the ants to gain access.

The next obvious step involves controlling greenery around your home. If you have trees in close proximity to the house, you should trim the branches regularly. Another landscaping improvement you may want to consider involves creating a line of gravel installation around the house.

If you use fire for heating purposes, always check the logs for sawdust and other signs of carpenter ant damage before bringing them inside. Remember that the ants are pretty clever. If you’ve cut off access in all other ways, they may still find an alternative for getting inside your house! The same goes for termites and firewood.

Finally, make sure there aren’t any wooden structures in contact with the ground. Concrete piers that are a typical measure against termite infestations can be used quite effectively to deal with carpenter ants, as well.

Overcoming an Infestation

Have you noticed signs of carpenter ant damage, regardless of the fact that you’ve completed all of the precautionary measures? In such instances, you’ll need to act fast in order to control the damage.

Requesting professional assistance from pest management professionals is the best way to handle the situation. The team will treat the exterior parameter of the building, preventing ants from getting inside. In addition, a drilling and treating process will be initiated to exterminate the ants inside the wooden structure.

The products that professional pest management teams use aren’t designed for DIY application. It’s a much better idea to pay a little bit more for professional assistance than to jeopardize your own health and the wellbeing of your family.

Further Resources for Carpenter Ants

Termites vs. Harvester Ants: Learn the Difference Between These Two Insect Species

Termites vs. Harvester Ants

Red-colored and small in size, the harvester ant can easily create its nest in your backyard. But is that too bad? Knowing a bit more about the insect and the relationship that it has with some common pests like termites, will help you learn the answer.

The harvester ant isn’t recognized as a massive pest and, in some instances, it can even be beneficial. However, it’s just one of the many ant species out there. While some ants are known for their aggressive behavior, harvesters aren’t one of them. Instead, they tend to forage for food and, though they may bite, it isn’t a common behavior.

Harvester Ants: A Brief Overview

So, there are three common types of harvester ants – red, California and western. Each one of these species is recognized for its highly specific behavior. One of the most common species in the US is the western harvester ant.

Red harvester ants are the most aggressive of the three species. These are the ants that have been known to sting humans and the sting can be particularly painful. Further, Western harvester ants inhabit mountain ranges. They feed on insects and seeds. The fact that the ants kill other insect varieties makes them particularly important for natural pest control.

Red Harvester Ant Queen

Red Harvester Ant Queen

The Queen

A harvester ant colony consists of a single queen and about 10,000 workers. Further, the queen is larger in size, it can live for up to 30 years, and it’s responsible for the reproduction and the growth of the entire ant colony.

Harvester ants form large nests that look like big mounds. These can reach as large as 53 inches across. The depth of the nest can exceed 600 centimeters (236 inches).

These ants are particularly common during the summer, regardless of the specific species. They don’t enter houses often but can be drawn to a property when they can’t find an alternative source of food. Further, this is the only situation in which pest control is going to be needed. Otherwise, harvester ants don’t pose a serious danger or a nuisance.

Some Information about Termites

While ants are recognized as hard workers and praised for the complexity of their nests, termites are seen purely as pests. Due to the fact that these little insects consume cellulose, they can cause serious structural damage to houses that feature a wooden construction or other wooden elements.

There are many different kinds of termites, all of them being equally damaging. A few of the most common species include dampwood, drywood, subterranean, conehead and desert termites. The name of the species gives us a little bit more information about its habitat and its dietary preferences when it comes to choosing a source of cellulose.

Termite

Subterranean Termites

Termites rank among the most damaging pests in the U.S. Termites and similar pests cost property and crop losses of approximately 30 billion dollars every single year. A homeowner who deals with a termite infestation will be forced to spend an average of $3,000 on repairs.

The actual amount of damage that a termite colony can cause depends entirely on the amount of time that the infestation remains undetected. The type of termite and the size of the colony will also be determining the speed at which wood is going to be destroyed.

Termites vs. Harvester Ants

Some homeowners may have difficulties determining whether they’re dealing with harvester ants or termites. This is particularly true for the winged members of each species. There are a couple of important differences that can be used to make the distinction.

Termites are recognized for their straight antennae and two pairs of wings that have the same size. Flying harvester ants have curved antennae and front wings that are longer than the back ones. Also, ants are narrow at the waist, which isn’t true for the termites.

If you’re incapable of telling the difference, call a pest control company. The sooner you identify the type of pest you’re dealing with and take measures against it, the more limited the property damage is going to be.

How Harvester Ants Can Be Beneficial for Dealing with Termites

As already mentioned, harvester ants are known for collecting seeds and fruit pieces. These are brought inside the nest and stored for consumption later on. This is the primary source of food for these ants. While they do collect seeds, the quantity is small enough not to affect crop production. This is one of the main reasons why most farmers don’t really have a problem with having harvester ant nests on their property.

Whenever the quantities of seeds and fruits decrease, harvester ants will look for an alternative source of food. This is when they’ll usually begin attacking termites. Ants are recognized as one of the primary termite predators. They play an important role on controlling the size of termite colonies or destroying them altogether.

Termites vs Ants

If termites are available in the area, harvester ants (and other ant species) will prey on them. In such instances, the termites that the ants have killed could represent approximately 50 percent of the forage that the colony would use as a food source.

Thus, having a harvester ant colony in your backyard may be a good thing. Keep in mind, however, that the ability of the ants to destroy termite colonies will depend entirely on the size of both colonies. If the termites outnumber the ants, the little soldiers will be incapable of getting rid of the colony in its entirety.

In conclusion, you should never rely on ants alone to get rid of termites for you. Instead, choose a quality pest control service. While you wait for ants to get rid of termites naturally, your property could get damaged beyond repairs. The faster you act the less money you’ll have to spend on overcoming the damage.

Exterminators will also figure out whether any measures are needed to control the ant colony. This is particularly important for larger colonies and ants entering the house in search of sugar or similar sweet produce. A professional will typically carry out a thorough inspection in order to figure out which course of action will produce the most satisfactory results.

white-ants-image

Termites Vs Flying Ants – Knowing the Difference Can Save You Thousands…

Termites and ants are both fascinating insects that boast impressively organized and extremely productive colonies. However, they can cause damage if they infest areas where humans live or work. In order to get rid of or deter insects, it is important to know what species one is dealing with as they can have vastly different reactions to different attempts to clear them. This can be difficult when creatures share a striking resemblance. This article "Termites Vs Flying Ants"  will attempt to differentiate between the two insects based on their physical appearance and characteristics, their behavior and nest hierarchies and their interactions with humans.

Read also: Do Termites Have Eyes?

swarm of flying ants
termite image

What do they look like?​

The most obvious physical characteristic to look for when identifying a Termites Vs Flying Ant is the shape of their bodies. All termites have straight waists. This means that there is no obvious difference in size in the middle of their bodies. Ants, however, have a cinched waist, similar to wasps. They get quite thin in the middle where the top and bottom of their bodies meet. Because of their tiny size, it may be hard to tell, but the antennae differ on the two insects.

Termite antennae stick straight forward while ant antennae go out sideways and then bend forward. Another potentially distinguishing physical of Termite Vs Flying Ant characteristic is color. Termites can range from white, orange, brown, and black, while most flying ants are black, brown, or red. The termites in the nest that do not reproduce do not have wings. The ones that do reproduce have four wings that are all the same size and are almost twice the size of their bodies. Flying ants also have four wings; however, ant’s wings are large at the front and short at the back. They are also smaller, about the size of the ant’s body.

Behaviour 

The behaviors and nest hierarchy also differ in the two insects. Termites are closely related to cockroaches, while ants come from the same family as bees and wasps. Both termites and ants (and some species of bees) start new colonies through the phenomenon of nuptial flight. During this event, the young, fertile ants will fly away and find a suitable place for a new nest. Once they find it, they will mate and start a new colony. Although both come from massive nests or colonies, termites have a fertile king and several fertile queens. Ants are more likely to have one fertile queen and several fertile males. Both termite and ant queens have incredibly long life spans. A termite queen can live up to 50 years, while some ant queens can live up to 30.

Development

Termites develop through a process called incomplete metamorphosis. This means they go from egg, to nymph, to worker. After this, some termites develop further into soldiers, then alates (termites with the ability to reproduce) then a very select few further mature into queens. Although research is still ongoing on how the caste system works in an ant colony, the larvae moults directly into what caste the ant will belong to. So a queen or fertile male does not go through several cycles, they are simply born into their caste. There are many different types of both ants and termites. Both are spread throughout the world but thrive in a warm, damp climate.

white ants image

Read also: How Do Termite Spread?

What Do They Eat?

Both termites and ants are considered pests in some instances by humans. Termites eat dead plant life, which is actually extremely beneficial to the planet; however, they can become a problem for humans when they begin to feast on manmade objects made of wood or other semi-soft materials. Termites can cause extreme damage to any wooden structure or piece of furniture in a very short time frame. Because termites will eat from the inside out, the damage is often indiscernible until it is too late, as well as ranging from difficult to impossible to repair. They can also cause damage to trees and as an extension, farmers crops. Termites have also been known to eat paper and drywall in homes, also causing damage.

Ants do not eat wood; however, certain types of winged ants will build a nest in wood which can prove to be equally destructive. Because of the massive size of their nests, ants can also invade people’s homes, as well as restaurants and hospitals and become a huge nuisance due to the difficulty of getting rid of them and infestation of food and beverage product. Ants also can be a pest in agriculture. Whether on a farm or in the garden, ants can be a death sentence for plants, even though they don’t eat plants themselves.

Aphids

Ants encourage the presence of aphids on plants. These aphids then feed on sap and secrete a sweet syrup that the ants love to eat. In exchange, the ants protect them. Unfortunately, aphids are considered one of the most destructive plant pests on the planet. Finally, ants are considered pests to humans because they can deliver a painful bite or sting. Although they are regarded fairly harmless, ant bites are unpleasant and if a yard is infested with them, it can make the space difficult to enjoy for both adults and children alike.

Although somewhat similar in appearance, it is possible to differentiate between Termite Vs Flying Ants.With a quick visual inspection, an obvious difference in the direction of their antennae the size of their wings and the shape of their bodies is noticeable. Also, it is important to note that termites have a strong association with cockroaches and ants are related to wasps. Termites mature through incomplete metamorphis, meaning that they will develop through several stages before reaching their final form. 

Ants, however, develop immediately into one of the different classes within the nest. What’s more, while both can be destructive, termites eat wood while some species of ants nest in it. Termites do not bite or sting people while different species of both winged and wingless ants do. Finally, while most termites feast on dead plant matter, ants can be extremely damaging to live crops by promoting the presence of aphids.

Related Articles on the Web:

Winged Ant Versus Termite - Iowa State University Horticulture & Home Pest News

Flying Ants and Termite - North Carolina State University

​Ants in Home Lawn - PennState Agriculture Department

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