Pests 101: 5 Signs You Have a Termite Infestation

Termites are extremely important to our ecosystem. These tiny critters break down plant matter and release essential nutrients into our soil. However, while termites are great for the environment when it comes to buildings, they can cost billions in structural damage a year. 

This is because colonies of termites also feast on foundations, wood, walls, and plastic pipes, among other things. While you can appreciate their importance from a distance, you don’t want to find these guys anywhere near your home. 

Luckily there are a few ways to tell if you’ve got a termite infestation. Keep reading for the seven signs to look out for to keep termites at bay. 

Termites in the United States

There are tons of termite species, but the most common species in the US, causing a whopping 95% of structural damage, are eastern subterranean termites. This species is prevalent in St. Louis. Subterranean termite colonies can number over 1 million termites. These colonies are also capable of devouring up to 15 pounds of wood in a week! 

Other types of termites in the US include drywood and dampwood termites. The names of these types give some indication as to where they like to live. Subterranean termites will inhabit soil and wood that is in contact with soil. 

Within the colony, termites vary in size and function. Smaller worker termites make up most of the colony. These insects are about the size of a grain of rice and soft-bodied. Soldier termites are slightly longer, with powerful mandibles or pincers. Soldiers are responsible for defending the colony against ants. 

Finally, swarmers are responsible for reproduction. These larger termites have wings and are easy to spot, often drawn to light sources. 

Do I Have a Termite Infestation? 

In order to avoid massive and costly structural damage, it’s important to keep a close eye on your property. However, if you see a swarm of termite-looking pests, don’t panic! It’s difficult to determine the difference between ants and termites as they look fairly similar. Luckily there are a few other signs that are a clear indication of a termite infestation.

1. Termite Swarms

Swarming termites are winged insects in charge of reproducing and forming new termite colonies. Look out for remnants of dead termites indoors and outdoors and live swarms. These swarmers lose their translucent wings fairly quickly once they start flying. This is why piles of wings are a good indication that you may have an infestation.

Pay particular attention to where the termites are coming from. If they’re emerging near the foundations of the building, this could mean trouble. 

However, don’t worry if you see termites far away from building foundations. Remember that termites are integral to the ecosystem as they break down plants and other matter. So if they aren’t close to your home, let them be. 

2. Mud Tunnels

Mud tunnels are long, almost cement-like tube structures that termites build to move from one feeding site to another. These tunnels can run along walls and into foundations or higher up on a structure, depending on the type of termite you’re dealing with.

You can tell if an infestation is active by breaking a small part off of one of the tunnels. If live termites emerge, or you come back after a day and notice that the tunnel has been repaired, that’s a sure sign of infestation. 

3. Pinholes

Similar to shelter tubes, pinholes are tiny holes made by termites to get into the wood. These are usually covered in the same mud-like substance that shelter tubes are made from.

Like mud tunnels, you can also use pinholes to check whether your infestation is active or not. Scrape away the mud covering and wait to see if a termite emerges. You can also take note of the location of the pinholes and determine whether or not the hole is repaired after a day or two. 

4. Visible Termite Damage

In order to see whether or not termites are wreaking havoc in your home, you may have to look a little deeper. If you remove floorboards or look behind walls and see obvious damage connected by shelter tubes, it’s time to act fast! 

While damage will most often begin from the inside of the structure, keep an eye out for any external signs such as sagging in the walls, ceiling or wallpaper, or broken door frames. Wood that has been damaged by termites will be soft and easily breakable.

Once termites are disturbed, they hide pretty quickly, so an infestation may be active even if you don’t actually see one near the damage. 

5. Pellets

Drywood termites are known to push their fecal matter out of tiny holes. These small six-sided pellets accumulate in piles on floors and countertops. If you see piles of tiny, light-colored pellets smaller than coffee grounds, it’s likely that you have a drywood termite infestation, and you need to act fast. 

Get Ahead and Prevent Termites

Even though there are a number of signs, termites aren’t easy to spot. These signs often only become visible when the infestation has been active for some time. This is why it’s important to termite-proof your home from the outset. If you’re in the process of building, a pre-construction treatment is always a good idea to give you extended peace of mind. 

Dealing with Termites: The Bottom Line

Termite infestations are common across the United States and can be easily dealt with once they’ve been discovered. If you suspect that you may have a termite infestation, it’s best to call in a trusted professional for an inspection. If your suspicions are confirmed, a professional pest control service will use the best technology on hand to ensure that the entire colony is eliminated. For more information on termites and other pest control, get in touch today

How Much Does Pest Control Near Me Cost?

Have you seen more and more pests show up inside your property in the last few weeks? Do you wonder if you’re dealing with an infestation somewhere in your home? If so, then you might be wondering “how much does pest control near me cost?”.

It’s a fair question, and the answer depends on several different factors. It depends on the pest you’re dealing with, the experience level of the pest control company you hire, and so much more.

See below for an in-depth guide to pest control in St. Louis and why you should take careful consideration of the company you hire.

What Does Pest Control Do?

Everyone knows what pest control is, but few have an accurate understanding of what they do or how they get rid of the pests in your home.

Contrary to popular belief, a reputable pest control service isn’t a trigger-happy person looking to kill all bugs on their site. In fact, part of their goal is to only resort to extermination when it’s necessary. Doing so can harm the natural flow of St. Louis nature.

For example, many people call pest control at the first sight of a snake and want the pest control service to kill it. However, the snake wards off rodents, protecting you from finding mice and rats inside your home. For that reason, you’d want to scare off the snake, not kill it.

As you’ll see below, pest control companies offer a lot more services outside of termites, ants, bed bugs, and so forth.

No matter what pest you’re dealing with, the pest control service will come in and inspect your property for any potential threats. They’ll then explain what you’re up against and give you a thorough description of the solutions they offer. The solution you pick plays a heavy role in the overall cost.

What Are the Different Types of Pest Control?

When people think of pest control, they typically think of bugs. But pest control can help St. Louis natives with several other pests that you might find around your house.

Generally, if your home is dealing with an unwanted critter, the pest control service can help you out in some way. That said, here are some of the most common services we face:

  • Cockroaches
  • Crickets
  • Mice
  • Beetles
  • Ants
  • Spiders
  • Rats
  • Ticks
  • Bed Bugs
  • Moles
  • Hornets
  • Wasps
  • Squirrels
  • Fleas
  • Raccoons
  • Mosquitos

What many people don’t realize is that St. Louis has many wildlife laws. It’s always wise to hire a professional pest control service to ensure you don’t break any laws trying to fend off an unwanted critter. 

While you might not think it, STL is home to an incredible amount of wildlife. Many different types of creatures roam because of the lush forests and accessibility to water that helps nature thrive.

Make sure that you contact a pest control service any time that you have an issue. That way, you can shoo the animal off your premises in a way that’s safe for the animal, your children, your pets, and your property.

How Much Does Pest Control Near Me Cost?

Now it’s time for the million-dollar question: how much does pest control near me cost? The answer depends on a variety of things.

First off, what type of pest are you dealing with? The type of pest that you have determines what solutions and products will be used (which affects the price).

Second, how bad is the infestation? Obviously, the more severe the infestation is within your home, the more treatments that will be needed. It will also require the pest control service to schedule several different appointments to gradually get rid of the problem. It doesn’t just happen overnight.

Third, what treatments do you prefer? Depending on the pest, we could have many different options for you to choose from, some that cost more than others.

We’ll start this entire process with a free inspection. That way, we can come to your house and take a look around the inside and outside to assess the situation. Once we have a better idea of what we’re looking at, we can give you recommendations and answer any questions that you have pro bono.

What to Look for in a Reputable Pest Control Service

So, what separates the good from the great in terms of pest control services? How can you be sure you’ve hired the right company for the job.

Here are a few factors that you’ll want to look for in the pest control service you hire:

  1. Customer-First Mindset– A trusted pest control service always puts the customer as their top priority. That includes answering all of your questions, accommodating your schedule, and always being available to help you fend off pests from your home.
  2. Experience and Knowledge– You can tell when a pest control service has the experience and when they’re flying by the seat of their pants. Experience helps you avoid any major setbacks and gradually witness the pests disappear from your home.
  3. Communication– As previously mentioned, pest control is a marathon, not a sprint. A trusted company won’t market their service as a one-time solution. Though you’ll likely see some results right away, the key is leading the pests away from your home long-term.

Find the Best Pest Control for Your Property

Now that you have seen an elaborate answer to your question of “how much will pest control near me cost?”, it’s time to find the best pest control in town.

Be sure to read this article for more information on 5 places you might find wasps at your home and how to get rid of them. 

For more inquiries, please be sure to visit this page to schedule a free inspection and we will be happy to assist you further.