Termite Facts and Tips for Texans

Many termites swarm around the ground.

Many people love North Texas because of the weather. While it can get as hot as a stolen tamale in the summer, most of the year it boasts comfortable temperatures. Furthermore, the winters are mild and a perfect escape for those who dislike the cold.

Unfortunately, this also makes our area a veritable paradise for pests like termites.

These highly active bugs are common in homes and businesses across North Texas. If you’ve lived here for any length of time, you’ve likely run into termites at some point.

So, if you have termite questions, we’ve got answers. Settle back with your favorite brew and let’s learn about termites how to keep them out of your home or business.

What Is a Termite?

Termites are hardy creatures that love to chow down on the cellulose found in wood, plants, trees, and other organic debris. They live in huge colonies that range from about 60,000 to one million individuals.

In other words, if you think you have a termite infestation, the problem could be as big as all hell and half of Texas.

Like ants, termites live in a colony populated by a queen, run by workers, and defended by soldiers. Interestingly, the termite queen enjoys the longest known lifespan of any insect — 30 to 50 years!

Termites can live almost anywhere and have an established presence on every continent except Antarctica. However, they love the mild weather here in North Texas and are active all year. What’s worse, termites don’t sleep, so they can keep up their destructive behavior around the clock.

Why Are Termites Such a Problem?

Termites chew wood inside of a Texas home.

If you’ve never lived in an area with termites before, you might wonder why people get so up in arms about termites. Live and let live, right?

Unfortunately, in the case of termites, no.

Termites have a voracious appetite, and they are constantly eating, eating, eating anything with cellulose — wood, trees, cardboard, etc. This means that if a few termites find a rich source of wood in your home or business, they’ll soon be having a feast with a few thousand friends at your expense.

In other words, if you don’t do anything about your termite infestation, they will literally eat you out of house and home.

Can Termites Come Back After Treatment?

Thankfully, we have treatments for termites. How effective are they? Talk to your neighbors and you’ll probably run across somebody who is frustrated about an ongoing termite problem that just won’t go away. The problem is most pest control companies only spray a liquid barrier solution that kills termites. It seems quite effective – at first. But termites can burrow a long way underground. The queen and much of the nest are down there safe from the effects of this liquid pesticide.

As long as she is sitting pretty down deep underground, the colony will never truly die.

The Buckaroo Difference

Here at Buckaroo Pest Protection, we think you deserve a long-lasting solution that puts your mind at ease. That’s why we employ the Sentricon® system. Instead of using a liquid solution, we set out bait traps full of termites’ favorite food — with a side of deadly poison. Worker termites will dutifully carry this deliciousness back to the nest and share it with the other termites, including the queen.

These traps can be left for some time to ensure your home or business is safe from termites in the long term. It’s a more effective method that gives you extended results.  

Can You Hear Termites in the Walls?

Termites are constantly chewing and thus they are constantly making noise. You may not hear a single termite enjoying their lunch, but termites don’t eat alone. When a few hundred (or thousand) termites join the party, they make an audible noise.

But chewing isn’t the only sound they make. Did you know that termites are deaf? Because of this, they communicate danger or new food sources by banging their heads against the walls and creating vibrations the other termites can feel. This head-banging sound is louder and more easily detected by humans.

Termites are active 24/7 but you are more likely to hear them at night when the house is quiet.

How to Protect Your Home from Termites?

Three dead termites lay on their backs.

Early detection is key to keeping your home or business from being destroyed by these voracious insects. Unfortunately, this is not easy to do.

Termites often come from underground and are active within the walls. This means that by the time you start noticing signs of termite activity, they have already made a destructive dent in your home or business.

What can you do to protect your investment?

The best option is to reach out to the pros here at Buckaroo Pest Protection. We offer a free in-home inspection to help you determine if you have an infestation. Our expert eyes know where to look and what signs to watch for to detect termites earlier than the average homeowner.

Furthermore, constant protection with the Sentricon® system ensures that new colonies are stopped in their tracks before they can turn your home into an all you can eat buffet.

Cost to Repair Termite Damage?

It might seem incredible, but termites are highly destructive. One small colony (60,000 individuals) can completely chew through a 2 x 4 in just 5 months.

And that’s a 2 x 4, a strong piece of wood. Imagine what they can do to softer or thinner wood or wet materials.

The costs to repair termite damage are high. It is estimated that in the US alone, termites cause about $30 billion in damaged crops and buildings. The average termite infestation in US homes ends up costing about $3,000 in damages.

What’s worse, most homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover termite damage. Insurance companies see it as your responsibility to protect your home from these critters.

Stop Termites in Texas

Protect your home or business from hungry Texas termites. Call us here at Buckaroo Pest Protection for a well-rounded solution that will stop termite problems before they start. Count on fast service and lasting results for the Plano and McKinney metro areas.

Termites: Debunking DIY

 

Over the last few months we’ve explored how important it is to take proper preventative measures when dealing with an active termite infestation. We’ve discussed the dangers termites pose to both your families and homes, as well as common termite behavior and effective professional treatment methods. Now we’d like to discuss something that may be coming into play now that Covid-19 has kept up locked in our homes for the last few months. What do we really know about all of these Pinterest, DIY home remedies that are out there and how effective are they long-term?

 DIY or do it yourself home remedies are becoming a popular method preferred over the use of industrial grade chemicals to treat pests in and around homes. We can understand that the idea of using these chemicals throughout your home may worry you because of how harsh they may be around your family and furry friends. Let’s explore some common remedies found online and determine how effective these treatments are.

 Here at Buckaroo Pest Protection we aim to make sure your families are safe and do not recommend the use of these home remedies. It’s important to understand that though these remedies may seem effective, they’re not typically long-term solutions. Products such as professional grade liquid barrier treatments or systems like Sentricon, provide a much safer and permanent alternative for your home, family, pets and children.

 

  Borax Treatments

 This home remedy is typically meant for outdoor usage and comes in a variety of methods to try and quell the progression of an active termite infestation.  This remedy requires you to either use the powder alone or mix together Borax with water and/ or sugar to create a spray solution or small balls to place around your home. This method is not something that could be effective in the long run because of how termites burrow deep underground or within the walls and woodwork of your home. Buckaroo Pest Protection aims to rid both your home and the environment surrounding it from termites while using products that can be used inside and outside your home.

 Though this borax method may be effective in killing termites on the surface, it’s highly unlikely that it will reach far enough down to eliminate the rest of the nest. Some of these methods require a more hand on consistent approach where you would have to repeat treatments quite often to see results. This is primarily ineffective because you would have to constantly replace powder or reapply a spray solution that won’t kill off the rest of the colony. This would only provide temporary relief and will not hamper the further development of the termite colony.

 

Diatomaceous Earth Treatments

 This product comes in the form of a white powder and is commonly sought out as a popular treatment for termites, bed bugs and other pests. This product is safe for human use and consumption and is commonly used as a health supplement. To kill termites indoors or outdoors, it’s most effective applied directly to the termites to dehydrate them and prevent them from molting. This method could be effective short term but will not do anything for the termites you can’t see or reach within or underneath your home.

 As termites prefer damp environments, this may be an effective method to dry out moisture rich areas outside of your home but will not target the heart of the colony. The most important method to termite prevention is to directly make contact with the queen and the bulk of the colony. This will prevent any future development within the colony and will effectively take care of the infestation. An important thing to consider is that the methods we use at BPC prevent the recurrence of infestations and ensure the protection of your home. 

 

 Wet Cardboard Method

 This method may seem effective because it’s the perfect termite bait. Termites love damp environments and feed on cellulose which makes this method pretty top tier in terms of gourmet termite food. Unfortunately, this method requires you to wet cardboard and leave it out in the open. This may draw termites out from hiding, but it won’t kill them and requires you to remove the termites from your home to dispose of them. Another risk involved with this method is the unintentional spread of termites throughout your home. This may bring termites out from hiding but will also encourage them to explore areas they may not have touched before. We definitely do not recommend this method because it doesn’t take care of the problem at all and can make things worse.

 

 Orange Oil Treatments

 A bottle and a glass of orange juice Description automatically generated

 This method is considered to be the ‘bees knees’ of DIY treatments for Drywood termites. This treatment has to be applied as a spot treatment and can damage the furniture or wood it’s applied to. Why create unnecessary damage to your home? Though this is effective in killing termites, doesn’t target the heart of the colony or ensure that all of the termites in your home will be killed off. Like the other methods above, this does not provide a long-term solution and may be more costly in the end. This is also a poor treatment to use because you may have more than one type of termite in your home and this would only be effective for Drywood termites. 

 

 Long-Term Solutions are KEY

 DIY treatments may seem more cost effective and easier to implement than a structured prevention plan, but we want to remind you of the effectiveness of our methods. Most diy treatments are not long-term solutions and tend to allow for termite colonies to keep coming back. We at Buckaroo Pest Protection aim to provide your family and home with a treatment plan that takes care of the infestation for good.

 These professional treatments such as the usage of liquid barrier solutions and systems like our famed Sentricon©, ensure that your home will stay protected no matter the change of season or rise in temperature.  It’s important to consider professional treatments over traditional diy methods because they may pose a higher risk to your family or cause damage within your home. Though we understand that pest control services may be pricey, they’re an important and essential investment toward the long-term protection of your home.

 Feel free to give us a call at (469) 598-0560 or click here to sign up for a free professional home inspection or information regarding our services. Check out our latest promos! For current covid-19 related updates click here to view a message from our company.

 

Roach 101

Calling all Roaches…

Would you be able to tell what type of roach just went crawling by?  There are actually 4600 different species that roam around human habitats.  Don’t worry…only 5 species are more common to the general public.  You may recognize the names as American, German, Brown-banded, Oriental and Smoky brown.

 

Where did they all come from?

Cockroaches date back to historic times and are one of the hardiest insects.  Think twice if you want to move to an area where cockroaches do not exist.  They can survive in a wide range of environments – from the tropics to the Arctic.  Even though they can live in the Artic, they prefer warmer conditions.

Many species live in log piles, leaf litter, and dark refuges making the kitchen and bathroom cabinetry with the drains and pipes the perfect hiding spot giving them access to food and water.  However, a cockroach can live for more than 2 weeks without water and over a month without food.  Cockroaches can populate quickly with the female producing from 300-400 offspring in a lifetime with an average lifespan of 1 year.

Cockroach Diet 101

What do cockroaches live off of?  American cockroaches will eat plants and other insects.  Other types of cockroaches feed on almost anything; soap, glue, toothpaste, sugary starchy foods, wallpaper paste and book bindings.  As they crawl through dirty areas they are tracking the bacteria and germs into our homes.  They contaminate food by shedding their skins which can cause allergic reactions especially in children.  Roaches are known to carry over 33 kinds of bacteria including E.coli and Salmonella.

Prevention is the Key!

How do I prevent or control roaches?  Control methods range from baking soda (has not been found to be effective) to garden herbs including catnip, mint, and garlic.  The most effective practice is to keep good sanitation.

  1. Clean, clean, clean – especially kitchen and bathrooms.
  2. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink.
  3. Seal bags of opened cereal, crackers, etc. in the pantry
  4. Take out the trash frequently – keeping it as sealed as possible
  5. Seal entrances around utility pipes and ventilate crawl spaces to prevent moisture buildup.

Self-help applications can appear to be helpful, however, if an infestation is evident – a licensed pest control professional may need to be called in for a thorough inspection and chemical treatment.   Call Buckaroo Pest Protection for more information or to get on our schedule for a free inspection.