Vancouver Termite Control
Termite Removal Tri-Cities
Westside Pest Control are your lower mainland experts in Termite control. Our step by step calculated approach to inspections and treatments is second to none.
Our guaranteed termite treatment methods are minimally invasive and safe for your family and pets.
How To Identify Termites
Termites and their destructive feeding habits are one of the few experiences that can catch a homeowner or building owner off guard. Let’s take a closer look at the most common type of termite on the west coast, the dampwood termite so you can identify them and locate the source of infestation:
- Any significantly damp and rotting wood
- Naturally important role ~ breaking down large sources of cellulose
- Social insect living in colonies (few thousand to millions individuals)
- Mass nuptial flight in April, May and also end of the summer
Nursery areas can also be found in the wood of structures. These areas can be as far down as 3 to 6 m below ground level. Because subterranean termites can get moisture from the soil they can attack any dry wood or other source of cellulose within foraging distance of the colony.
Besides wood structures, termites will attack untreated fence posts and attached boards, utility poles, and any other food sources such as cardboard, paper, fiberboard in, on, or close to the ground.
Where a wood source is not in contact with the soil, workers will build earthen ‘shelter tubes’ over concrete foundation walls or in cracks in the concrete
Three Castes of Termites
Although less common here than with our southern neighbours, termite infestations are more common than many people living on the west coast of BC and other parts of the province realize. It is helpful to take note of the different castes and different species of this little pest that we need to be aware of here in British Columbia.
These winged termites have straight antennas, 4 pairs of wings and can be roughly 25 mm long. These male and female adults are the swarmer termites. When a large amount of termites are spotted outside the colony, what is witnessed is usually a termite swarm. During this nuptial dance, the swarming reproductives find mates. After the fun has been had, the potential queens fly off in hope of starting new colonies. Some queens are capable of producing over 10,000 eggs a day.
Sterile, wingless and blind, worker termites make up nearly 90-95% of the colony and are the providers and foragers of the nest. Without worker termites, the termite colony would essentially fail. The worker’s job is to care for the colony members: the termite eggs, termite larvae or nymphs, secondary reproductives, soldiers and the king and queen. These guys feed upon the wood structures of the home – flooring, beams, joists etc. However, these little pests will also feed off anything that contains cellulose.
Soldiers are typically bigger than workers — they can be as large as 20mm and have distinctively shaped heads. With the help of their protruding mandibles and pinchers at their front, soldiers will defend the colony from attack. The soldier works hard and will rush to ‘plug’ any broken mud tubes, fill walls or any other areas of the nest that has been disturbed. Interestingly, soldiers don’t actually eat wood and will rely on the workers to feed them because of their large, powerful mandibles (jaws).
Their name comes from the damp and at times decaying wood they utilize to locate their colonies. Most common along the pacific coast and larger than subterranean termites, these critters do not typically nest in soil and are most common along the pacific coast – with several species across North America.
Reproduction & Life Cycle
Dampwood termites will produce relatively small colonies in moist wood such as recently cut logs and in the living sections of dead trees – although within ideal conditions, these colonies can become quite large.
Swarmers will start a colony of dampwood termites — once they have found a suitable piece of wood, they make a chamber and ensures that the colony is sealed. Once they have covered up entry holes with their own feces, they are ready to begin the mating dance — within about two weeks, the queen will lay about 12 eggs and the colony is officially founded.
What’s the Damage?
Dampwood termites can weaken homes and other properties by hollowing out support beams – leading to pricy repairs and a lot of stress. These pests are secretive in nature — in other words, they love to hide — making this particular variety difficult to detect in the early stages. Unlike subterranean termites, these pests do not usually burrow in soil and attack wood directly.
Signs of Dampwood Termite Infestation:
- Wood decay
- Leaks that create excessive moisture in the home
- Discarded wings (alates) (termites drop them when they find a good place to nest)
- Fecal pellets which are elongated and round at both ends
Drywood termites are uncommon in BC and can vary in size, averaging around 3/8 of an inch long. Unlike Subterranean termites, these guys actually nest inside the dry wood they infest. These pests are lower maintenance than dampwood termites and require less moisture — without the need to dig mud tubes or have direct contact with soil. One sign of drywood termite infestation is the creation of ‘kick-out’ holes – they eject their excrement through the wood, leading to their six-sided frass (feces) that is about 1mm in length and resembles a fine grain of sand.
Drywood termites often re-infest the same place when swarming and fly directly into wood. They are likely to target window frames, attics, molding and doors.
Although less common on the Westcoast than dampwood termites, subterranean termites can be found frequently on the Sunshine Coast, The North Shore and occasionally in Metro Vancouver. Treatments can be very intensive given the insects nature of keeping below structures. One of the common places to find Subterranean Termites is below old buildings that were constructed without concrete foundations, using only wood frames directly in contact with soil. Drilling and injecting foam in the sub floor is usually required for treatment. In severe infestations, sections of the floor need to also be removed for successful termite extermination.
Creamy white to dark brown or black in colour, these critters have antennae, are long and oval in shape and approximately 1/8” long. Subterranean termites commonly live in wet soil where they can avoid temperature extremes and obtain moisture.
Habits & Habitat
Subterranean termites build specific tunnels or ‘mud tubes’ to get to food sources and for protection from the open air. They love to feed off of wood with their sharp scissor- like jaws and go at it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! They also love to feed off anything that has cellulose. You’ll find these guys living in underground colonies and in moist secluded areas above ground where they construct a number of scattered nests.
How To Get Rid Of Termites
Trust The Termite Removal Experts
Westside Pest Control provides effective treatments for Termites in condos, townhomes, detached homes and commercial spaces. Our knowledgeable and friendly technicians will walk you through the assessment/treatment process and will answer any questions you may have.
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- Area should be cleared by old wood such as stumps, roots etc.
- Site should be well drained
- Crawlspace and basement should be kept clear of lumber, firewood etc.
- Outside structures (fences, planters, railings,…) should be well separated from the houses
- Do not stuck firewood beside the house
- Please see the link above for more
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Termite Prevention Tips
6 steps for effective Termite prevention at home:
- Avoid accumulation of water near the foundation of the home
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the home
- Termites love moisture! Reduce humidity inside the home through proper ventilation of basements, attics and crawl spaces
- Replace any damaged wood
- Keep gutters and downspouts clean
- Remove plant materials, mulch or leaves away from the foundation of your home
How Do I Treat Termites?
While you should leave termite removal to the professionals, knowing the methods they will use can help you in understanding the best ways to treat the problem and help prevent it from recurring.
One popular termite-removal method involves treating the soil around your house with an insecticide. Wood can also be treated directly if termites are inside.
Termite baits are strategically placed around your yard to lure termites in. Once there, the termites are covered with a slow-acting insecticide or insect growth regulator. They then return to the colony and poison the other termites.
- Foam agents can be injected into areas liquid pesticides can’t reach
- Dust agents can be applied in areas where foam or liquid aren’t practical
- Fumigation kills all of the termites in an area but won’t prevent their return
- Don’t disturb soil once it has been treated with termite-preventing chemicals