Honolulu's Foolproof Guide For Termite Control And Prevention

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Perhaps the most significant financial investment we make is purchasing a home. It requires years of savings to acquire a place we don't have to rent from a landlord. Most people consider Hawaii an earthly paradise, and while many dream of visiting our corner of the world, few can conceive of owning a home here. The fact that you live in Hawaii and own your own home is experiencing the best of both worlds; however, there can be a downside: termites. 

Termites are insidious insects that consume wood for nutrition. These pests invade support structures, wood furniture, picture frames, and walls inside many Honolulu homes. Significant structural problems may occur and result in repair bills costing thousands. 

If you suspect termites inside your home or want to protect your investment, you need termite control in the Honolulu area from Pest Tech Hawaii. The founding members of our locally-rooted business have over 130 years of pest control experience. We are a licensed, bonded, and insured Hawaiian company committed to ongoing technician training and certification. Our treatments use the latest technologies; we customize our termite extermination plans for your situation. 

Mystery surrounds termites due to their elusive nature, so please keep reading to learn the signs of a termite infestation, how we eliminate termites, and how to prevent a future infestation.

What Does A Termite Infestation Look Like?

swarm of termites on the ground

The problem with termites is they don't roam through your house like ants, you won't catch them when you turn on the lights, and you don't hear them scratching inside the walls. Termites are out of sight and out of mind until noticeable damage appears. How do you know if you have a termite infestation? Do you have to wait until the floor gives way?

Although you won't see them walking around the house, the following are early warning signs of termites in a Honolulu home:

  • Mud tubes

  • Hollow-sounding wood

  • Discolored or crumbling timber

  • Pinholes in the lumber

  • Blistering paint or wallpaper

  • Discarded wings

  • Swarmers

  • Frass

These indicators encompass both termite species in Honolulu. In some cases, the indicators are the same, but others are specific to the type of termite infesting your house. So, let's examine each sign to help identify the termites in your home.

Subterranean termites or ground termites invade Honolulu homes. As their name suggests, these insects live in the soil near their food source: damp, rotting wood. Ground termites get their nutrition from the timber and moisture needs from the soil. Because the sun quickly dehydrates them, they create mud tubes to protect them when they travel between their nest and the food source. When ground termites invade a home, these structures are on foundation and basement walls.

Termites eat wood but in different patterns. Drywood termites eat across the grain, while ground termites eat along the grain. If you tap termite-infested timber, you will notice it sounds hollow because they have eaten away the interior. Also, the wood will crumble when pressure is applied. Ground termites cause wood to discolor due to the moisture on their bodies and the surrounding water seeping into the timber; drywood termites may cause the same issue due to the accumulation of frass and debris in the tunnels throughout the wood. 

Drywood termites do not require additional moisture beyond what they receive from wood fibers and the surrounding humid air; thus, they remain exclusively inside the wood. However, one sign of drywood termites is tiny pinholes in the timber with sawdust-like piles of frass on the exterior. Frass is the excrement that they push out of the tunnels. 

When ground termites invade a wall, they eat the drywall and timber but do not penetrate the exterior. The combination of the remaining thin paper layer and moisture from the termites' bodies causes paint and wallpaper to blister, another of the many signs of termites in a home.

When drywood and ground termite colonies mature, the queen produces winged, reproductive male and female termites (swarmers). In the spring, the swarmers leave the nest and coast on the warm air currents for suitable locations to create new colonies. When their antennae detect a fungal odor, they land, discard their wings, mate, and burrow into the wood (drywood termites) or nearby soil (ground termites). Ground termite infestations begin in a rotting tree stump, landscaping timbers, or wooden fence posts and proceed into the home once the initial nest matures. Because light attracts swarmers, you will find discarded wings on window sills and around glass doors when they are on your property.

If you notice these indications of a termite infestation, you need Pest Tech Hawaii. Our trained technicians know all the signs and will identify what type of termite is eating the timber in your home.

Does Termite Swarmers Mean I Have Termites?

Winged termite swarmers in your Honolulu property are reproductive, flying termites that create new colonies. A male and female swarmer mates and begins a new nest when they detect a favorable location. 

Ground termites have a well-defined caste system, with the first several offspring being sterile female worker termites. These termites expand the nest by creating tunnels and chambers in the soil, forage for food, and care for the needs of the offspring, queen, and king. The second caste level consists of soldier termites. These nest members have larger heads and powerful mandibles to ward off predators. After about two to four years, the queen produces reproductive swarmers whose mission is to start satellite colonies. 

Because drywood termites live inside the wood, predators are not an issue. Thus, they do not need soldiers or a defined caste system. Instead, immature colony members satisfy the nutritional needs of the king, queen, and offspring. After a few years, the queen produces swarmers that leave the nest.

The presence of swarmers on your property indicates a termite nest is nearby. In the case of ground termites, the nest is likely in a tree stump or rotting wood in the yard; drywood termite swarmers may be from a neighbor's house. Even worse, swamers may be from a nest inside the home or underneath a deck or wood porch. 

Ants and termites both produce swarmers, so it is necessary to understand the difference. Termite swarmers have two pairs of wings of the same length, but the two hind wings of ant swarmers are shorter. Also, termite wings have many pale veins, but ant wings have only a few veins, which are darker in color. Body shape is another distinguishing feature between the two insects. Ants have a narrow waist, but the body of a termite is uniform. Because ants and termites are insects, they have a pair of antennae, but there is a difference. Ants have clubbed antennae, but the ones on termites are straight. 

When you see termite swarmers around your property, you need Pest Tech Hawaii to stop termites before they cause harm to your home.

How Professionals Get Rid Of Termites?

The species and extent of the infestation determine how Pest Tech Hawaii technicians remove termites from homes. Our process begins with an inspection to identify attractants, hot spots, and the type of termites invading your home.

If your problem is drywood termites and the infestation is localized and accessible, we implement spot treatments, but if it is widespread with inaccessible locations, we will recommend tent fumigation. This termite removal method involves tenting the entire house and filling it with gas to penetrate every part of the house. This method requires preparation and time away but ensures the elimination of all termites.

Because ground termites live in the soil and travel to their food source, they require a different termination method. Fortunately, eradicating ground termites does not require leaving the house or additional preparation. We use a product created from oranges known as XT-2000. The active ingredient, d-limonene, is a naturally occurring essential oil. This environmentally friendly product wicks through wood and destroys the termites upon contact. Another tool we use is the Sentricon® System with Always Active™ Technology. These in-ground baits attract worker termites as they travel through the soil. The workers consume the material in the trap and spread it to the group when they return to the colony.

When you partner with Pest Tech Hawaii, the best termite control company near you, you have trained professionals with the tools, knowledge, and experience to remove termites from your home.

The Key To Preventing Future Termite Troubles

Once Pest Tech Hawaii eradicates termites from your home, we recommend implementing these termite prevention tips to avoid a future infestation:

  • Provide proper drainage for gutters, ditches, and low-lying areas.

  • Avoid direct wood-to-soil contact.

  • Repair leaking plumbing fixtures in the home.

  • Enable ventilation in the crawl space, attic, and basement.

  • Relocate firewood 20 feet from the structure and elevate it.

  • Repair window and door screens to prevent swarmer entry.

  • Seal foundation and roofline cracks.

Although these are steps you can implement, we can provide borate treatments in your attic to prevent drywood infestations in the future. As a precaution against future infestations, you should schedule an annual termite inspection from Pest Tech Hawaii. 

Contact us today to learn more about our termite services and request your estimate.

Client Review

happy mother and daughter

We use pest tech for our termite treatment and pest control. Great termite treatment crews and super quick and efficient pest control.  They have the most competitive pricing and not over priced.

Leslene C

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