Pre-Construction Termite Protection

Pre-Construction Termite Protection

Are you having a new home built? If you’re like most Americans, this will be one of the most significant investments you will ever make and one that you will be spending years to pay off, which is why it is vital to consider termite protection “before” your home is even built.

The Danger Of Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites, like the name indicates, are insects that live underground. If you decide to build a home on, or near, these termites, you could be setting yourself up for a heart-wrenching crisis. Here are the reasons why:

  • Subterranean termites are silent invaders. These pests can be go undetected for years while infesting and feeding on homes. These wood eaters come up from the soil and eat channels through the wood of a home without showing themselves until it is too late. When a termite colony matures, it will produce swarmers. But, when this obvious sign of termite infestation appears, a lot of damage has already been done. Even worse, termite swarms don’t last long, and can sometimes go unnoticed when they appear on the outside of a home. This can cause a termite infestation to grow beyond the destructive capability of a single colony.

  • Subterranean termites can already be in the ground where you intend to build your home. These insects don’t wait for a home to be built, then move onto a piece of property. They can already be in the soil, living on dead trees and other decaying wood products, and this fact makes it very important to treat the soil before constructing a home, because the last thing you want to do is have your home built on top of an existing and thriving termite colony.

  • Subterranean worker termites are made for finding your new home. These insects can tunnel through soil as far as the length of a football field in search of an appropriate food source to feed their colony. They are also simple organisms that do not require sleep. They will tunnel and feed 24 hours a day, with no need for rest.

At Russell’s Pest Control, we don’t wait for termites to attack. We offer services that will protect the entire ground surface beneath your new home and stop subterranean termites in their tracks. We also install Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System bait stations to pre-treat your property and kill off any colonies present. With proactive termite prevention, you can know that your property is safe.

Don’t wait for termites to strike. Get pre-construction termite protection from Russel’s Pest Control and protect your investment from these silent invaders.

The Sentricon System: Combining Termite Control And Earth Day Celebrations

Let us at Russell’s Pest Control wish you a happy, though somewhat belated, Earth Day (Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22 in case you didn’t know). Lots of people think that the pest control industry and any event celebrating the earth and the environment are probably at odds with one another. We’re here to tell you that this is simply not the case. And, since it is termite season, let us give you the low down on why the Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System with Always Active Technology is such good news to Earth-lovers around the globe.

The Sentricon System has been given the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, an honor presented by the Environmental Protection Agency for scientific developments that show a marked interest in changing old habits to help reduce the number of hazardous materials released into the world. In the past, the only way to treat a home for termites was to use hundreds of gallons of a diluted chemical around the entire foundation of a home. The Sentricon System completely turned the industry on its head by introducing a method where we can use very small amounts of bait to draw termites into the Sentricon Stations. This means that all of the bait that will be used to eliminate the termite colony is contained in one place, and those stations are equipped with a slide lock on the top so they can’t be opened by a child or by a digging dog.

However, my favorite thing about the Sentricon System is the bait that’s placed inside each station. Most of the time, when you think of a pesticide, you probably imagine that its box or bottle would come with a clear warning on it. We’re used to seeing things like that; in fact, most of us probably have several items in our homes with various warning labels saying things like CAUTION or WARNING. The most potent products get the high-level DANGER rating, which indicates that the ingredients in that item can be deadly if handled improperly. The bait used in the Sentricon System has no such label. Seriously. This means that the cleaner you use to scrub your shower is considered more dangerous to humans than the bait inside the Sentricon System! This is because the bait is specifically designed to target termites. Their digestion process breaks down the bait in such a way that it becomes deadly to them. No wonder the Sentricon System received that Green Chemistry Award!

I’ve got a whole list of reasons why the Sentricon System is an environmentally sound choice for termite prevention and elimination, but perhaps you get the idea already. You can hear more information by calling us at 865.584.8549 for a free termite inspection, or you can visit our contact page.

A Wet Season Is A Termite’s Delight

Let it never be said that an East Tennessee season change is anything but unpredictable! Over the last few weeks, we’ve basked in the glow of the spring sunshine and shivered through the return of a late-winter snow. However, one thing that Knoxville residents have done a lot of in 2013 is dodge rain drops. January was an astonishingly wet month, and March also dealt us above-average rainfalls. While Knoxville homeowners may have mixed feelings about this damp weather, you can be sure that one portion of the population is perfectly pleased by all this moisture: That would be the millions of termites that reside in Knoxville, Maryville, Lenoir City, Sevierville, and other surrounding cities.

As we’ve mentioned before, termites thrive in wet environments. Termites are the clean-up crews of our world. They cheerfully consume dead and rotting (in other words, moist) wood that we view as unsightly clutter. Unfortunately, termites aren’t picky about what they eat. You might be glad that they’re busily getting rid of the fallen tree in the back of your property, but you would probably be less pleased to find that they’re hollowing out the support beams in your crawl space.

Because termites are completely moisture dependent, they must make mud tubes or tunnels for themselves so that they can cross spaces above ground. When a crawlspace or basement holds dampness for an extended amount of time, this makes the termites’ job a lot easier. They can chew through damp wood very quickly and access areas that might otherwise be unappealing in dryer times. So, if you have excessive condensation in your crawl space or water pooling near your slab foundation, you are at a greater risk for termite invasion.

We try to make sure that this blog is as full of self-help tips as possible because we want Knoxville homeowners and business owners to be actively involved in preventing unwanted pest invasions. But, termites are tricky. The average person will likely have a hard time spotting termite activity (which can lie hidden inside your walls for an extended period of time), and effective over-the-counter termite treatments are extremely rare.

Because of this dilemma, we at Russell’s Pest Control like to make the termite prevention process as painless as possible. We do free inspections for termites, so you can have professional eyes on your property without having to pledge your first-born as collateral. Additionally, we use the Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System with Always Active Technology.  That’s a long, intimidating product name, but let us assure you that it’s the best termite prevention and elimination system out there. The Sentricon System uses cutting-edge baiting technology to ensure that this product ends up in the mouths of every termite in the invading colony. And, because this system takes advantage of the specific structure of termite biology, we can achieve colony elimination without employing harsh chemicals that could have negative side effects on other bugs or animals in the area.

After just a few more warm, sunny days, the termites are going to wake up and start swarming, and that has potential to add unneeded stress to your already overly-busy life. We can’t make sure that you don’t get stuck in a traffic jam on the way to work or that your dog doesn’t track mud across the kitchen. Termite maintenance, however, is one stressful detail that Russell’s would be happy to take off your plate. Questions? You can always reach us on our contact page.

Sentricon System: Always Active

Last time, in Termite Protection 101, we discussed two well-known, reliable options for termite treatments. Today, however, I want to present something that is exciting in the pest control industry because it’s ground-breaking and new. If you read the last post, you may have noticed that I mentioned a “regular Sentricon System.” Now, it’s time to tell you about the newest type of Sentricon protection called Always Active® from Dow AgroSciences. Let’s go over the differences between a regular system and an Always Active System.

  • In a regular Sentricon System, the stations are pre-baited with wood to intercept the termites before they reach the house. The Always Active System gets its name because it is baited with the product that eliminates the termite colonies all the time. This is possible because Dow AgroSciences has developed denser, more long-lasting bait that can endure long periods underground with no problem.

  • Perhaps you were wondering how long it can be underground? The answer is at least a full year. A traditional Sentricon System is monitored every three months, but an Always Active System requires just one yearly visit. Our technician monitors the stations and inspects the house all in one annual appointment.

If you’re also wondering which features are the same, I can tell you those, too.

  • The Always Active System is still made by the same people who won the Green Chemistry Award with the first Sentricon System. All Sentricon Systems are well-respected because they eliminate the need for hundreds of gallons of products to be put around the home. Bait is only removed from the locked stations when termites eat it or take it to the colony. Always Active works with the same strategy in mind. The bait is designed to affect the termite growth cycle and not to affect other living things around it.

  • Something else that remains the same is the warranty. Both Sentricon Systems come with a damage repair warranty, meaning the repairs are on us if the termites get past our defenses.

  • The cost of the Always Active System remains very comparable to the standard system. It may cost slightly more to install because more product is used up front, but the annual renewal fees run in the same price range of $280-$380.

Is the Always Active Sentricon System for everyone? No, it’s not necessarily. Some people like to have that quarterly check-up to hear from their technician that everything is all right. The traditional Sentricon System is a fabulous product and is not in any way outdated or declining. But, there are some people who could really benefit from a yearly service. If you have dogs that need to be put up any time a technician is around, Always Active could be for you. That would save you four days every year of rearranging your schedule to get the dogs put away. People who live in gated areas often appreciate the convenience of a single service so they don’t have to leave their property open multiple times a year. Rental property owners might feel the same way. There are any number of small, personalized scheduling issues that could make this system the right choice, and the presence of bait 365 days a year makes the upgraded system a popular change, even if scheduling isn’t a problem.

We have discovered that people have a lot of questions about this new treatment option, and we are happy to discuss those at whatever length is needed. Give us a call or contact us online if you want the scoop on Always Active.

Termite Treatment Options

Last time, we discussed what you should know about termite swarms so that you’ll be aware if a band of hungry neighbors moves in. This time, we should probably discuss your options if you do encounter termites or if you want to prevent the encounter from happening. Today, we’ll consider the top two types of termite treatments.

The stand-by treatment that most people are familiar with is a liquid treatment. This method involves treating the soil around and under the foundation of the house with a product that kills and/or repels termites. If termites approach the property from underground, they will want to avoid the area because of the liquid perimeter. There are many different products that can be used for this type of treatment, and the type of product will control the price. At Russell’s Pest Control, we usually use Termidor® to rid a home of a termite infestation. Here are some things you should know about a Termidor treatment from Russell’s.

  • This is one of the most trusted products on the market, and, depending on conditions around the home, can reliably protect a home for up to ten years.

  • When we complete a liquid termite treatment, we warranty the property for a year. If a building owner finds termites again during that time, we’ll eliminate those termites at no additional cost.

  • After the first year, the homeowner can choose to extend that warranty. We’ll continue that same control warranty for a low annual rate (usually $150-$250,* depending on the size of the home).

  • We’ll also conduct yearly inspections so that you can be sure a professional is on the lookout for signs of termite activity around your home.

Liquid termite treatments are good, but they’re no longer the premier choice for termite coverage. Now, the number-one option is called the Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System (which is trademarked to Dow AgroSciences). That’s a long name for a cleverly simple system, so let’s break down how the Sentricon System works.

  • In a regular Sentricon System, bait stations containing some tasty wood are placed around the outside of the building. Those stations are monitored every three months by our technicians for signs of termite activity. This perimeter is important since the goal is to intercept the termites before they get to the house.
  • When termites are found, the wood is replaced with a type of bait that termites absolutely love. The termites begin to gather the bait and share it with the colony since it tastes better than wood. Once the bait is brought home by the food-gatherers, the whole colony is eliminated as they feed.
  • The Sentricon System comes with an upgraded repair warranty, which means that if termites are found in the home while it’s protected by Sentricon, Russell’s Pest Control will eliminate the termites and pay for any damage that they caused. The homeowner continues the monitoring and warranty by paying an annual renewal fee (usually $280-$380,* again depending on the home’s size).
  • Again, Russell’s will conduct yearly inspections for termite activity.

This concludes Termite Protection 101, but there’s still lots more information we could share. If you have questions about termite treatments, ask them before you make treatment decisions. Free inspections have no obligation; you can get the answers you need without a big fuss.

*These prices are for average-sized homes, so obviously very large homes are going to cost more. However, all termite pricing from Russell’s is based on linear footage, NOT square footage. This means we care about the footprint around your roof line, no matter how many levels you have. We will not penalize you for having a multi-level home.