The return: what to do when termites come back and re-infest your home

To call termites “pests” is simultaneously truth and an understatement. Most pests are simply dirty—you simply don’t want them in your home. Termites, on the other hand, are destructive on a whole other level: left unchecked, they can destroy your home. As another kick in the shins, a home that has been previously infested by termites is at higher risk for re-infestation. That’s when termites come back for round two.

When termites come back, check roof beams in your attic like this one.

When termites come back for another meal at your expense, call the pros at KY-KO Pest.

In this article, we’ll review the early warning signs of a termite comeback, and what homeowners who have previously had termites need to know. If you suspect that termites have returned, you need an expert by your side. Call KY-KO Pest Prevention for a free termite inspection and termite treatment services here in Mesa and the Phoenix metro.

What you can do to prevent re-infestation

There are several ways in which you can prevent termites from returning. For one, you can remove soil-to-wood contact around your home. Make sure storm drains empty a few feet away from the foundation of your home. Also, eliminate other sources of excess moisture.

During swarming season (typically spring), keep outdoor lights off at night. If you need outdoor lighting, relocate lights to recessed areas of the home and away from doors and windows, as light attracts termites.

These are not guarantees that you’ll avoid a termite re-infestation. But, they do help, and they represent small things that homeowners can do on a regular basis.

Early warning signs of re-infestation

The key to preventing re-infestation is being proactive. By maintaining a termite protection plan and checking your home on a periodic basis for termite damage, you can spot a potential issue before it becomes a full-fledged problem.

Be on the active lookout for the most-common signs of termite activity:

  • Hollowed or damaged wood
  • Blisters in wood flooring
  • Mud tubes
  • Termite droppings
  • Discarded wings

If you’ve had termites before, you might know what some of these signs look like, or where the infestation was centered before. Check that space (foundations, attic, and more) again to make sure that termites haven’t returned to the same place.

Here’s the bad news: if you notice any of the above signs, a swarm is likely already present. However, you may have caught them early. It’s time to call in the pros.

What to do when termites return

When termites want to become your destructive tenants again, you need to do what you did when you discovered them in the first place: contact KY-KO Pest Prevention for our termite control services.

When you work with our termite removal company, the first thing we will do is inspect your home to determine the extent of the problem. We will also look for the presence of other factors that may influence cost and treatment options.

Next, we will treat both the soil surrounding your home and the home’s structure itself. Finally, we will create a barrier around your home to keep termites from reaching your home via underground tunnels.

Call KY-KO when termites come back

If you suspect that you have termites or if you’ve had them before, contact our company for a free inspection.

Termite warranty: Why you need one with your termite service

For homes that have had termites before, the battle isn’t over yet. Termites are stubborn recolonizers. There’s a saying here in Arizona: there are two types of homes, those that have had termites and those that will get them. We’d add a third type of home: those that had termites and now have them again. This is why you need a termite warranty that will protect your home years after service.

A termite warranty can help protect your home against termite reinfestation months or years down the road.At KY-KO Pest Prevention, we offer 1-year termite warranties by default with our termite service. Whether it’s the first time or you suspect termites are back, give us a call for termite treatment. We offer free termite inspections here in the Valley, and our termite experts can give you an honest assessment of any termite activity in, around, or near your home.

Return of the termites

Almost everything termites do is based off of pheromones released by other termites. If you’ve had termite activity in your home in the past, that odor-based form of advertisement is still going to remain up even after you’ve wiped out the original colonizers. Plus, if some termite tubes remain intact, there’s already a pre-built highway for new termites to get where they want to go.

This is often why Phoenix-area homes see renewed termite activity in the months or years following their original termite service.

Preventing a termite comeback

If you want to keep termites from re-colonizing, there’s a few steps you can take to help reduce your risk:

  • Hire the right pest control team: A good termite team—such as the one here at KY-KO Pest Prevention—is going to do the job right, which includes going the extra mile in indoor and outdoor treatment to not only wipe out existing termites, but discourage termites from returning.
  • Ask about sealing entry points: Desert subterranean termites typically build tubes up through the dirt and onto the foundation of the home in an attempt to gain entry. However, ask your KY-KO technician about other points of the home that you can seal. Home sealing is a great way to prevent all kinds of pests from getting in the living spaces and attic of your home.
  • Remain vigilant: Regularly check the exterior foundation of your home for termite tubes. Take a peek inside the attic to look for any activity or tubes between support beams. When in doubt, call KY-KO for a free termite inspection.

What are the benefits of a termite warranty?

A termite warranty is a good investment, not just in practical terms, but for your peace of mind as a homeowner. Realistically, a termite treatment can only last so long—while we use an effective process and EPA-approved chemical for our treatment, its power will eventually begin to fade as the years go on. A warranty protects you against an early return by termites.

With a warranty, any renewed termite activity will mean you can have your home retreated at no extra cost to you.

Take the stress out of the unknown

At KY-KO Pest Prevention, we offer a 1-year warranty by default with all of our termite treatments. We pride ourselves on making sure you can enjoy your home worry-free once our service is completed. Want even more peace of mind? You can extend that warranty by up to 5 years for an additional cost.

Contact us today to discuss your free termite inspection. If we find any signs of renewed termite activity, we can get your house treated and warrantied as soon as possible, so you can get back to living your life without the added stress of termites.

What do I do if I find termite tubes around my home?

Termites are an exceptionally destructive pest. A colony can quickly threaten the overall integrity of your home, causing significant structural damage. One of the tell-tale signs of an infestation is the presence of termite tubes, thin tunnels of mud serving as a pathway from the insect colony to their food source.

But, just what are termite tubes, and how do you go about finding them and dealing with them? In this blog post, we’ll explore the world of termites and provide you with some tips for protecting your home. If you suspect that your home has termites, call KY-KO Pest Prevention for a free termite inspection here in the Valley.

Termite tubes found in the garage of a Chandler home.

What are termite tubes?

Termites instinctively provide themselves with shelter while they work, in order to protect themselves and gain sustenance for their colony while mitigating risks. There are several reasons why they build these practical structures out of saliva, waste, and nearby dirt.

  • To avoid natural hunters
  • To maintain moisture levels by remaining in soil
  • To obtain food in otherwise difficult to reach areas

Moisture is a must for subterranean pests like termites and being hidden from predators is a helpful benefit of using the tubes for foraging for food. Bypassing manmade obstacles is made much easier by crafting the tunnels to go over or around anything standing between them and the wood they require for consumption.

Tubes don’t just adhere to solid surfaces like wood beams or the foundation of your home. Termite tubes are surprisingly strong and can actually be free-standing. Termites will often use free-standing tubes to get to out-of-reach wood beams in your attic.

Can I just remove the tubes?

If termite tubes are dry and crumble on contact, then it is possible that that the insects have moved on. However, this is far from a guarantee. Dried-out tubes may simply indicate that the termites used that tube as a point-of-entry, and are now simply elsewhere inside your home.

Active tunnels will still have busy termites present, or at the very least still be damp. Removing any or all parts of a termite tube will not eradicate the threat. Keep in mind that the tunnels only serve as an outward symptom of a much larger issue beneath the surface.

Here’s the bottom-line: when you see termite tubes, that’s the time to call in the experts here at KY-KO Pest Prevention. Dry or not, tubes indicate termite activity of some kind, and termites are fond of re-colonizing—even if all the former colonists are dead or gone. You’ll need to take an active stand in defending your home against these invaders.

How should I address the problem?

Regardless of whether the tunnels are in active use or not, if you discover termite tubes around your house, the best thing you can do is call in a professional to inspect and diagnose the situation. Here in the Valley, those professionals are found right here at KY-KO Pest Prevention! Contact us today to schedule your free termite inspection.

Termites: Phoenix’s infamous winter pest packs a bite

Welcome to Phoenix, Arizona. In the winter, the weather is gorgeous. Summer pests like roaches and bark scorpions are gone or are in hiding. Sounds like a pest-free paradise, but there’s one pest that it hard at work inside your home this winter: the termite, Phoenix’s infamous winter pest.

Termites in the winter

For those new to the Valley, the concept of having to deal with termites in December might seem ludicrous. After all, in most parts of the country, termites are a summer problem. Let’s review why that’s not the case in Phoenix:

Termites are Arizona's winter pestWhat does “winter pest” mean?

Like most insects, termites are actually a bit more active in warmer weather, and are susceptible to colder temperatures. In most of the country, that means that termites are active in the late spring, summer, and early fall, and then start to slow down with the coming of freezing nights and snow.

We have neither of those things here in Phoenix, and our wintertime temperatures present termites with a tremendous advantage: not only can they still work throughout the summer, but our wintertime highs are perfect for them.

You need to keep an eye out for termites and termite problems all year. But, we call termites a “winter pest” because they’re still active, even when other pests are gone. Your home needs protection, January through January.

How can termites remain so active in the winter?

Our daytime highs in the winter are nice, and our nighttime lows rarely drop below freezing. That’s great termite weather. Even on the nights where things get a little cold, already-established termites in your home are riding out the weather inside of an insulated, warmed space, such as your interior walls or your attic.

Unlike bark scorpions—who partially hibernate because their prey is gone or inactive—termites don’t rely on other insects for food. Their food supply is there when they want it, in the form of your home’s structure and wood beams.

What is the best way to deal with termites?

You need to keep an eye out for the signs of a termite infestation. If you even remotely suspect you have termites, you should give our team a call for a free inspection and let us know what you’ve found. Our technician can look in all kinds of places for evidence of termites.

Beyond our professional assistance, there are things you can do to make your home less friendly to termites. Termites are attracted to wood that is at ground level, and that can include firewood—popular here in Phoenix during the winter. Try to keep wood inside your home, and away from inside spaces. Use wood regularly to prevent outdoor exposure.

 

Call KY-KO for your free termite inspection

Give yourself an early holiday present: the peace of mind that comes with knowing the truth about termites in your home this winter. If you have termites, dealing with them effectively and early can save you a lot of headache later on. If you don’t have termites, our technician can walk you through steps on how to watch out for signs of them.

To get started, contact KY-KO to schedule your free termite inspection. You’ll be glad you did. Termites are not a winter pest to be trifled with.

Signs of termites: Here are the things you need to look out for

Every homeowners knows that a termite infestation inside the home is bad news. Termites can cause major damage and headaches. Saving your property requires vigilance and early detection. You need to know the major signs of termites in your home—especially during the mild winters here in Arizona, when termites remain active.

If you suspect that your home is playing host to termites—or you observe any of the signs of termites listed below—schedule your free inspection with the pros at KY-KO. When it comes to termites, it’s often better to be safe than sorry.

Signs of termitesThe 5 big signs of termites in your home

Here are the five big signs of a termite infestation in your home during the winter. If you see any of these telltale signs of termites, you should immediately call our team.

1. Mud tubes

The most visible sign of a termite infestation are the mud tubes they create. These tubes, primarily made of dirt, help the termites move to their food source. The tubes protect the termites and maintain a humid and warm environment for the storage of food.

There are two places where you should keep an eye out for tubes:

  • Your foundation slab: Check the outside of your foundation slab periodically. Subterranean termites cannot eat through the slab, so they have to travel up it via mud tubes to get to the frame of your house. If you see distinctive mud tubes here, it’s time to call KY-KO.
  • Your attic: Termites like attics here in Phoenix because they’re a source of accessible, exposed wood in a relatively undisturbed place. Look for mud tubes branching out between beams: this is how some termites travel from beam to beam.

Keep in mind that other mud tubes might be out-of-sight and out-of-mind behind walls, furniture, or parts of your garage. The best way to know for sure whether you do or do not have termites is to call KY-KO for your free inspection.

2. Audible tapping

In heavily infested areas, you can hear an audible tapping. The tapping sound is made by the soldier termites as they tap their mandibles on the wood. This is to signal other termites that the colony is occupied. LISTEN TO AUDIBLE TAPPING

If you hear audible tapping, you should contact a professional termite extermination company immediately for inspection and extermination of the termite colony.

3. Tiny holes in the wood

Look at the wood beams in your attic or elsewhere where you can see them. Are they exhibiting signs of tiny holes or other damage? That rarely happens naturally. More likely, it’s the work of termites. 

Termite tubes found in the garage of a Chandler home.

However, you may not always see holes in wood. That’s because termites work from the inside-out, carving their way through wood without breaking back out to the surface. In that case, you need to keep an eye out for…

4. Hollow wood

Since termites eat away the interior of wood beams before breaking through to the surface, you can sometimes tap on the wood to hear if it’s hollow inside. If the wood cracks, that’s an obvious sign that it’s been weakened by an infestation.

5. Termite droppings

Finally, look for the debris that termites leave behind. This can include both droppings and something called “frass” — basically, the wood debris that termites leave as they bore through the wood in your home. This will look like a pile of dirt or very fine wood shavings. The droppings of termites can also resemble tiny pellets.

Call KY-KO Pest Prevention for your free termite inspection

The day you notice termites in your home is already well past the point of their entry and damage. But, with effective termite service from KY-KO Pest, you can stop these destructive insects and limit their ability to harm your home.

BLOG: REASONS TO HIRE KY-KO FOR TERMITE SERVICES

That’s just one of the reasons you should call KY-KO. The other? Our free termite inspection. It’s the logical place to start if you even half-suspect you have termites, and our certified and experienced technicians can verify the problem and then work with you on a plan of attack.

To get started, give KY-KO a call at (480) 964-8900 or contact us online.