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Subterranean Termites

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What are Subterranean Termites?

ubterranean termites are a type of termite known for living in colonies in the soil. They are highly destructive pests that feed on wood, causing significant structural damage to buildings and homes. These termites create intricate tunnel systems underground, which they use to travel from their nests to food sources. The tunnels protect them from predators and help maintain the moist environment they need to survive. Subterranean termites are particularly attracted to wood that is in contact with the soil, such as wooden foundations, decks, and fences.

These termites are among the most destructive termite species due to their ability to cause extensive damage in a relatively short period. They typically consume wood from the inside out, making infestations difficult to detect until the damage becomes severe. Signs of subterranean termite activity include mud tubes on walls or foundations, discarded wings from swarmers, and hollow-sounding wood. Because of their destructive nature and the difficulty in detecting them, subterranean termite infestations require professional pest control measures to effectively manage and eradicate them, preventing costly damage to properties.

Why Are Subterranean Termites at My Property?

Subterranean termites might be infesting your property in Johannesburg for several reasons, primarily driven by their need for food, moisture, and shelter. These termites thrive in environments where wood is abundant and in contact with soil, providing them with a consistent food source. Homes with wooden structures, decks, or fences that touch the ground are particularly vulnerable. Additionally, properties with landscaping features such as mulch, wooden planters, or tree stumps can inadvertently provide ideal conditions for these pests.

Another key factor attracting subterranean termites to your property is moisture. These termites require a humid environment to survive and thrive. Leaky pipes, poor drainage, and areas with consistent water pooling can create the perfect habitat for termites. Even something as simple as a garden hose left running near the foundation or poor ventilation in crawl spaces can contribute to increased moisture levels, drawing termites closer to your home. They build mud tubes from their colonies to above-ground food sources, which helps them maintain the necessary humidity while they travel and feed.

Lastly, subterranean termites are opportunistic feeders, constantly searching for new food sources. They can enter homes through cracks in the foundation, expansion joints, or any wood that directly contacts the soil. Once inside, they can remain undetected for years, quietly consuming wood from the inside out. Regular maintenance and inspections can help identify and mitigate the conditions that attract termites, such as sealing entry points, reducing moisture levels, and removing wood-to-soil contact. Understanding these factors is crucial in preventing and addressing termite infestations, protecting your property from significant structural damage.

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Risks Associated with Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites pose significant risks to property owners in South Africa due to their destructive feeding habits. These termites feed on cellulose found in wood and wood products, causing extensive damage to structural elements of buildings such as beams, flooring, and walls. Because they consume wood from the inside out, the damage often goes unnoticed until it becomes severe, leading to costly repairs and, in extreme cases, the need for major renovations or even demolition. Homes with wooden foundations, decks, or any wood in contact with soil are particularly at risk, as subterranean termites can easily access these materials and begin their destructive activities.

Beyond structural damage, subterranean termites can also compromise the integrity of non-structural wooden items such as furniture, books, and even insulation materials that contain cellulose. This can result in the loss of valuable personal belongings and further financial losses. Additionally, termite infestations can negatively impact property values. Potential buyers are often wary of properties with a history of termite problems, and current infestations can make it challenging to sell a property without addressing the issue first. The presence of termites is often a red flag during home inspections, leading to delays in property transactions and negotiations for lower sale prices to cover potential repair costs.

Furthermore, subterranean termites can have broader economic and environmental impacts in South Africa. The cost of termite control and remediation is substantial, involving professional pest control services, ongoing monitoring, and preventive measures. For businesses, particularly those in the agricultural and timber industries, termite infestations can lead to significant economic losses. Environmentally, the use of chemical treatments to control termite populations can have adverse effects if not managed properly, potentially harming non-target species and contributing to soil and water contamination. Therefore, addressing subterranean termite infestations promptly and effectively is crucial to mitigating these risks and protecting both individual properties and the broader environment.

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What are the steps to Subterranean Termite Control

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Professional Treatments:

  1. Inspection and Assessment:

    • Accend Solutions begins with a thorough inspection of the property to identify termite activity, damage, and potential entry points.
    • Specialized tools and techniques, such as moisture meters and infrared cameras, may be used to detect hidden infestations.
  2. Customized Treatment Plan:

    • Based on the inspection, a customized treatment plan is developed. This plan considers the severity of the infestation, the property’s layout, and the specific termite species involved.
    • The plan includes both immediate treatment and long-term prevention strategies.
  3. Soil Treatment:

    • A common professional approach involves applying termiticides to the soil around the foundation. This creates a chemical barrier that prevents termites from entering the building.
    • Trenching and rodding techniques are used to ensure thorough application.
  4. Bait Systems:

    • Bait stations are strategically placed around the property. These contain substances that attract termites and are laced with slow-acting toxicants.
    • Termites carry the bait back to the colony, effectively eliminating the entire colony over time.
  5. Wood Treatment:

    • In some cases, direct wood treatment with termiticides is necessary. This involves applying chemicals to affected wood or injecting them into infested areas.
    • Wood treatments help protect the structure by making it less palatable to termites.
  6. Monitoring and Follow-Up:

    • Regular monitoring and follow-up inspections are critical to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment and to catch any new infestations early.
    • Accend Solutions schedules periodic check-ups and provides ongoing support to maintain termite protection.

DIY Treatments:

  1. Identifying Infestation Signs:

    • Homeowners should look for signs of termite activity, such as mud tubes, discarded wings, and damaged wood.
    • Regularly inspect basements, crawl spaces, and areas where wood touches soil.
  2. Eliminating Moisture Sources:

    • Reduce moisture levels around the home by fixing leaky pipes, ensuring proper drainage, and using dehumidifiers.
    • Keep gutters clean and ensure that downspouts direct water away from the foundation.
  3. Creating Physical Barriers:

    • Install physical barriers such as stainless steel mesh or sand barriers during construction or renovation to prevent termite entry.
    • Seal cracks and gaps in the foundation and walls to block entry points.
  4. Applying DIY Termiticides:

    • Homeowners can apply liquid termiticides around the perimeter of the home as a preventive measure.
    • Follow the product instructions carefully and wear protective gear.
  5. Using Bait Stations:

    • Purchase and install termite bait stations around the property. Check and replenish the bait as needed.
    • Place bait stations near areas of known termite activity for maximum effectiveness.
  6. Regular Maintenance:

    • Keep woodpiles, mulch, and debris away from the foundation to reduce termite attractions.
    • Ensure that wooden structures like decks and fences are treated with termite-resistant chemicals.

By combining professional treatments from Accend Solutions with proactive DIY measures, homeowners can effectively manage and prevent subterranean termite infestations, ensuring long-term protection of their properties.

Accend Solutions is Available 24/7 for Emergency Pest Control including Gecko Control in Gauteng and North-West Provinces in South Africa. 

email: info@accend.co.za

call: 068 474 7303

FAQs on Termite Control (Subterranean Termites)

We know you may have questions about Subterranean Termites in general and how Pest Control for Subterranean Termites work. We have compiled a few FAQs on Subterranean Termites that might clear the confusion. 

1. What are subterranean termites?

Subterranean termites are a type of termite that lives in colonies in the soil. They are known for their ability to cause significant structural damage to buildings by feeding on wood and other cellulose materials. These termites build intricate tunnel systems to travel between their nests and food sources.

2. How can I tell if I have a subterranean termite infestation?

Signs of a subterranean termite infestation include:

  • Mud tubes on walls, foundations, or other surfaces.
  • Discarded wings near windows or doors, indicating a termite swarm.
  • Hollow-sounding wood when tapped.
  • Bubbling or peeling paint, which may indicate moisture or termite damage.
  • Presence of live termites, which are typically small, white to light brown insects.
3. Why are subterranean termites a problem in Johannesburg?

Johannesburg’s climate, with its warm temperatures and occasional moisture, creates an ideal environment for subterranean termites. The city’s mix of residential, commercial, and natural areas provides ample food sources and nesting opportunities for these pests.

4. What should I do if I suspect a termite infestation in my home?

If you suspect a termite infestation, contact Accend Solutions immediately for a professional inspection. Early detection and treatment are crucial to minimizing damage.

5. How does Accend Solutions conduct termite inspections?

Accend Solutions uses a comprehensive approach to termite inspections, which includes:

  • Visual examination of the property for signs of termite activity.
  • Use of specialized tools such as moisture meters and infrared cameras to detect hidden infestations.
  • Detailed assessment of potential entry points and areas with high moisture levels.
6. What termite control methods does Accend Solutions use?

Accend Solutions employs several methods to control termites, including:

  • Soil Treatment: Application of termiticides to the soil around the foundation to create a chemical barrier.
  • Bait Systems: Installation of bait stations that attract termites and contain toxic substances to eliminate colonies.
  • Wood Treatment: Direct application of termiticides to affected wood or injecting chemicals into infested areas.
  • Environmental Management: Reducing moisture levels and addressing structural vulnerabilities to prevent future infestations.
7. Are the treatments used by Accend Solutions safe for my family and pets?

Yes, Accend Solutions uses environmentally responsible and safe methods for termite control. The products and techniques are designed to be effective against termites while posing minimal risk to humans and pets.

8. How often should I have my property inspected for termites?

Accend Solutions recommends annual termite inspections to ensure early detection and prevention. However, if you notice any signs of termite activity or live in an area with a high risk of infestations, more frequent inspections may be necessary.

9. Can I do anything to prevent termites myself?

Homeowners can take several preventive measures, including:

  • Reducing moisture levels around the home by fixing leaks and ensuring proper drainage.
  • Keeping woodpiles, mulch, and debris away from the foundation.
  • Sealing cracks and gaps in the foundation and walls.
  • Using termite-resistant materials in construction and renovation projects.
10. What should I expect during a termite treatment by Accend Solutions?

During a termite treatment, you can expect:

  • A thorough inspection to identify the extent of the infestation.
  • A detailed treatment plan tailored to your property’s needs.
  • Application of termiticides and installation of bait systems as required.
  • Follow-up inspections and monitoring to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment.
11. How long does it take to eliminate a termite infestation?

The time required to eliminate a termite infestation varies based on the severity of the infestation and the treatment method used. Some treatments may show immediate effects, while others, such as bait systems, may take several weeks to months to eliminate the entire colony.

12. Will the termite treatment disrupt my daily activities?

Accend Solutions aims to minimize disruption to your daily activities. While some treatments may require temporary relocation of certain areas or items, most processes are designed to be as non-invasive as possible.

13. What guarantees does Accend Solutions offer for termite control?

Accend Solutions offers warranties and guarantees on their termite control services, providing peace of mind that if termites return within a specified period, additional treatments will be provided at no extra cost.

14. How can I get a quote for termite control services from Accend Solutions?

To get a quote, contact Accend Solutions through their website or by phone. A representative will schedule an inspection and provide a detailed estimate based on your property’s needs and the extent of the termite problem.

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