Frequently Asked Pest Control Questions
Have a pest control questions? Here we answer common pest control questions related to termite control, pest prevention and identifying common pests like termites. Don’t see the answer to your question? Give us a call today at 1.844.896.4868.
- Why are pest living around my house and trying to come in?
- What is the best way to get rid of and help prevent pests in and around my home?
- How often do I need my home sprayed?
- Can my home really be “pest-free”?
- If I choose to have the 5-Star Service, do I need to have the inside treated with each service?
- Where do termites come from?
- How much damage can termites cause?
- Is my home at risk of a termite attack?
- What is a termite swarm?
- How can I tell the difference between a termite swarmer and a winged ant?
- What are the options available to treat for termites?
- Is it necessary to treat the interior of a home for head lice?
- What is the difference between the 5-STAR ADVANTAGE program and the Five Star Service Plan?
Q: WHY ARE PESTS LIVING AROUND MY HOUSE AND TRYING TO COME IN?
A: Common pest like ants, spiders, roaches, crickets, Asian ladybugs, mice, and other “seasonal invaders” require certain elements to survive. They need food, water, and shelter. Most homes have an abundance of these elements inside and out.
Q: WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET RID OF AND HELP PREVENT PESTS IN AND AROUND MY HOME?
A: The first thing is to try to eliminate any conducive conditions that promote pest infestations followed by a professional pest control treatment on the inside and outside of your home. Some preventative measures include:
- Making sure all outside doors are well sealed. If you can see light around or beneath a door, insects or mice may also be able to come in!
- Plumbing leaks or moisture areas – eliminate all moisture sources in or around your home. This creates an environment crucial to pest survival. Fix leaks, seal cracks and crevices, and provide proper water drainage.
- Eliminate unnecessary clutter – around the home and in attics, closets, and basements. Keep stored items in a sealed container or taped up cardboard box.
- Good screening on gabled attic vents, crawl space vents, windows, and doors.
- Keep opened food in storage containers.
- Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables that are not kept refrigerated (this will help control fruit flies).
- Don’t leave dirty dishes out overnight; keep the kitchen and dining areas clean.
- Seal gaps around conduit and pipes that come in from the outside.
- Remove accumulated leaves and debris from the gutters, roof, and foundation perimeter.
- Keep garage doors closed. Make sure the weather stripping is in good shape for a tight seal.
- Keep debris, clutter, scraps, and wood piles away from your home’s foundation.
- Keep excess vegetation trimmed away from your home’s roof, eaves, windows, and siding. This vegetation creates easy access into your home.
Q: HOW OFTEN DO I NEED MY HOME SPRAYED?
A: This depends on the type of pest and the length of time you want to be pest free. Some pest problems may only require a couple of treatments, while others may need a regular service program. Depending on your particular pest problem and the results you desire (long-term or short-term) we can tailor a program to fit your needs!
Q: CAN MY HOME REALLY BE “PEST-FREE”?
A: Absolutely! Our 5-STAR SERVICES programs are designed to eliminate most any existing pest, termite or mole infestation and prevent future pest problems from re-entering your home or business. Click here to view all of our 5-STAR SERVICE options and learn about our unlimited re-treatment guarantee and $250,000.00 Termite Damage Warranty!
Q: IF I CHOOSE TO HAVE THE 5 STAR SERVICE, DO I NEED TO HAVE THE INSIDE TREATED WITH EACH SERVICE?
A: No, in fact, most pest problems start on the outside. If there is an existing problem inside, we will eliminate it with a thorough crack and crevice treatment and perimeter application. Maintaining a pest-free environment will then focus on the outside. With our exterior power spray service, we will treat the exterior of your home including the eaves, gutter line, overhangs, siding, around windows, doors, and all entry points, foundation, deck, sidewalks, mulch, vegetation, and an approximate 5 foot radius around the perimeter. We will eliminate pests on the outside before they have a chance to enter the house!
Q: WHERE DO TERMITES COME FROM?
A: Subterranean Termites come from colonies 3-12 feet deep beneath the ground. The colony is comprised of a king & Queen, workers, soldiers, reproductives, and nymphs. The Queen can live for 20-30 years and can lay an egg every 15 seconds! A well established colony can have over 1,000,000 members. The majority of the members are workers. Workers live between 4 and 5 years and without rest or hibernation forage 24 hours a day for food for their colony. Termite food is anything that is cellulose: dead trees, roots, fallen tree limbs, wood pile, mulch, form boards, buried wood scraps, all lumber, drywall paper, cardboard boxes, etc. Worker termites forage their environment (300-400 foot radius around the colony) for cellulose material, consume it, then return and regurgitate it to feed the colony.
Q: HOW MUCH DAMAGE CAN TERMITES CAUSE?
A: An active infestation from a well established colony can consume 20-30board feet per year! They’ll eat any kind of wood material, from a home’s wood structure to it’s furniture. Each year termites attack about 5 million homes in the United States, and cause over $5 billion in property damage! Termites cause more damage annually than all storms, fires, and earth quakes – and is rarely covered by homeowner’s insurance.
Q: IS MY HOME AT RISK OF A TERMITE ATTACK?
A: Unfortunately yes! Missouri is known as a heavily infested part of the country. It is said that homes are literally built on an ocean of termites and that it’s not a question of if you’re going to get them it’s when! Worker termites actively foraging 24 hours a day all 12 months of the year. They constantly search a 300-400 foot radius around their colony for food (wood). There can be in excess of over 1,000,000 workers in one colony and up to 20 colonies in one acre of ground. Termites can forage up to 30 feet in depth and gain access through a crack 1/32 of an inch. Once a colony has been established 3-5 years the queen will produce reproductive members nick-named “swarmers”. These “swarmers” are actually new kings & queens of a future colony that they are trying to establish.
Q: WHAT IS A TERMITE SWARM?
A: A phenomenon that annually occurs when a mature termite colony produces reproductive members for the purpose of developing additional colonies. Most termite swarms occur in the spring (March-May) when the temperature and humidity are right for the colony. These “swarmers” leave the colony, follow the underground trails made by the workers, and emerge from an area where there is an active infestation. Swarmers are usually black with two pairs of long wings (equal in length) which are about twice as long as their body. They are not strong fliers and when swarming outside will ride the wind as they disperse form the origin of the swarm site. Upon landing they shed their wings, search for a suitable mate, and dig themselves into the ground to start a new colony. A termite swarm can consist of thousands at one time and a large colony may swarm several times in a single season. If you experience a termite swarm, you have an active infestation from a mature colony. Call or schedule an appointment with Steve’s Pest Control, Inc. for a no charge termite inspection and estimate!
Q: HOW CAN I TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TERMITE SWARMER AND A WINGED ANT?
A: It’s very easy to identify an ant from a termite if you know what to look for: 1) Termites have two pairs of wing that are equal in length. Ants have two pairs of wings but they are unequal in length 2) Termites wings are about twice as long as their body. Ants wings are just a little bit longer than their body, 3) Termites have an un-segmented body. Ants have a segmented body (“pinched waste”) with a head, thorax, and abdomen’ 4) Termites have curved antenna. Ants have elbowed antenna.
Q: WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO TREAT FOR TERMITES?
A: First, we highly recommend that this is something that requires a professional service and strongly suggest not trying to do this yourself.
Permanent Termite Solution
Simply put there is a permanent and a temporary solution available. The PERMANENT SOLUTION is to eliminate the entire termite colony – not just individual termites. Total colony elimination is achieved with The Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination System manufactured by Dow AgroSciences. Dow AgroSciences has the only system proven to eliminate Eastern Subterranean Termite colonies and is supported by the research from 30 independent universities and the U.S Department of Agriculture and over 70 published papers proving total colony elimination.
The Sentricon System has been on the market for over 17 years (since 1995) and has protected nearly 3 million structures including the Statue of Liberty, the White House, the Alamo, and other national treasures. Colony elimination is achieved by worker termites consuming cellulous material treated with an IGR know as Noviflumuron. Worker termites consume the treated material, take it back to the colony, and share it with the others. Once consumed, termites will no longer be able to produce Chitin, can no longer molt (along with other needed bodily functions), and will suffocate and die. Each Recruit HD bait devises contain approximately 140 grams of active ingredient and can eliminate millions of termites!
Above ground bait stations are also installed on any active above ground infestations allowing us to have termites consume the IGR the day we get started. Once termites start feeding on the baited material, it usually takes 1-3 months to confirm total colony elimination.
Once the initial colony has been confirmed eliminated, the Sentricon System delivers constant protection from a future colony by having the property surrounded and by continued service and inspections; think of it as a termite burglar alarm system! Other benefits include: no concrete drilling, no trenching and uprooting landscaping, and no pesticide applications! Sentricon is the most environmentally friendly option as well and has the Presidential Green Chemistry Award.
Steve’s Pest Control, Inc. has been an Authorized Sentricon Operator for over 16 years and has installed over 5,000 systems in Central Missouri. We are so confident in the performance of the Sentricon System that we offer A full $250,000.00 Termite Damage Warranty when we install and provide 24 months of continuous service with this system (annual service renewal required)! Click here to view additional information about The Sentricon System.
Temporary Termite Solution
The second option is to provide TEMPORARY CONTROL by injecting a liquid termiticide material around the foundation of an infested structure. This method will kill termites if they forage into the “treated zone” and depending on the material used may have the ability to also affect others by contact (not more than 20% of the actual colony). This method is much more intrusive and requires: concrete drilling, trenching and possible landscape disruption, and the use of hundreds of gallons of liquid pesticides.
A realistic length of control time and residual life of most materials in a “field environment” is around 5 years. A re-treatment guarantee is standard procedure following this method of treatment. Most liquid treatments have a re-treatment guarantee for one year and may extended annually provided a full termite inspection is performed by the original service provider. There is no manufacture’s claims or scientific research with any liquid termiticide stating colony elimination.
Q: IS IT NECESSARY TO TREAT THE INTERIOR OF A HOME FOR HEAD LICE?
A: In most cases a professional extermination is not necessary. Prescribed shampoo treatments and/or over the counter products containing insecticides are the normal procedures for treatment of Head Lice. Since all eggs and nits may not be killed with one application, two or more treatments may be needed to obtain total control. Please read and follow the label directions for the use of these products. It is also important to wash and dry clothing & bedding on the hot setting of your machine.
Q: What is the difference between the 5-STAR ADVANTAGE program and the Five Star Service Plan?
The difference is termite control coverage. Both treatment programs include five treatment plans within a 12-month span that are designed to protect your home from invaders such as ants, mice and other typical pests. But with the 5-STAR ADVANTAGE plan, termite control using the Sentricon termite control system is also applied. There are no additional visits to the home with the ADVANTAGE plan, simply this added termite coverage.