When it comes to termite control, Betts has the experience and knowledge you need to eliminate termites and keep them from coming back.
Termite Control Information
We perform a termite and wood destroying insect (WDI) inspection to determine if visible evidence of termites and other wood inhabiting insects are present as a condition of certain real estate transfers. In Kansas, HUD/FHA secured mortgages are the most common transactions to require WDI inspections. However, having a WDI inspection on any property is a good idea as the cost of a termite treatment is far less expensive than any repairs caused by termite damage. HUD requires that a qualified representative holding a state-issued pest management license perform the WDI inspection. During the inspection, any visible areas of the structure that are readily accessible are inspected. The inspector will need access to interior and exterior foundation walls (ex. basement, crawl areas, garage). If evidence of an infestation is found, it is noted on the proper forms. An average WDI home inspection is ordered by the purchaser and takes approximately one hour to complete.
Does the report guarantee there is no infestation?
There are no guarantees! It is important to understand that the WDI report is based on the visible evidence in readily accessible areas of the structure. There are some areas that cannot be seen, including inside walls, under carpeting or behind insulation. Other areas may be inaccessible for inspection, such as low crawl spaces and cramped attics. Because of this, the possibility exists that an infestation may remain undetected in these kinds of spaces. However, these areas are noted and identified in the WDI report.
What if evidence of infestation is found?
Any evidence discovered in the inspection is noted in the report. Because termites come and go from a feeding area with changes in temperature and moisture, it is most prudent to treat a structure with evidence and/or live termites viewed, unless under warranty with a licensed pest control company. This assumes the licensed pest control company is monitoring the evidence year to year to verify no further infestations of the evidence area has occurred. Betts Pest Control offers corrective treatments for wood destroying insects. A proposal to eliminate infestations will be provided to speed up the closing process. A warranty and continuing preventative maintenance programs will be made available to the home buyer as applicable to the particular pest situation.
What if damage from wood destroying insects is observed?
Structural damage caused by termites and wood destroying insects is disturbing to find and damage may be superficial or extensive. Betts Pest Control’s expertise is in detecting and identifying pest activity. Our professional termite/WDI inspectors are not qualified to determine if the structural integrity of a building has been affected. Therefore, we recommend contacting a carpenter/structural engineer to determine the need for possible repair.
Examples of wood destroying insects
- Termites – Evidence is most often found in the form of mud tubes on or in wooden structures such as floor joists, sill plates, wall studs and rafters.
- Powder post beetles – They are often found in damp crawl spaces, old damp basements and in barns. Evidence usually consists of very small holes with a fine powdery sawdust streaming from them.
- Carpenter ants – Evidence includes coarse sawdust (frass) coming from behind siding, along sill plates, around window and door frames, and in attics. Insect parts in the frass is a sign of carpenter ant activity. Dead carpenter ants are often found in spider webs, which is a sign of activity.
- Carpenter bees – These bees routinely chew round, half-inch holes into wooden fascia boards, window and door frames, and even into cedar deck wood. Typically, coarse grain, unpainted wood is most susceptible to attack.
By consulting the professionals at Betts Pest Control you have taken the first important step. Today, effective treatments can eliminate current termite infestations and protect your home from future invasions. Termite control is a site-specific process that requires:
- Experience and training to recognize signs of termite activity.
- Understanding termite behavior, construction practices, structural features, types of soil, water drainage patterns and climate to identify for your home’s vulnerable spots.
- Specialized knowledge, equipment and tools.
- Products available only to licensed termite professionals.
Termites should be taken seriously and treated immediately.
- In the U.S. termites cause an estimated $5 BILLION DOLLARS in damage to structures per year.
- In the Wichita area we are most affected by subterranean termites.
- These subterranean termites live below the surface of the earth in a nest or colony.
- A single colony can range from thousands to millions of termites.
- Termites forge through the soil building tunnels looking for food (wood) and water.
- Termites can not survive exposure to sun and air but build tubes of mud and saliva to connect their soil trails with food sources.
- Termites can enter homes through cracks in concrete and openings as small as 1/16 of an inch.
- Workers lead other workers to food via scent trails.
- Workers share food with the queen and other colony members who cannot feed themselves via a regurgitation process called trophallaxis.
- Reproductive termites from an existing termite colony can start a new colony in the neighborhood.
- More than one colony can live near a home.
The colony is made up of a caste system (social order) including the King, Queen, Worker, Soldier and Winged Reproductives also known as Swarmer termites — each of whom have their own specific job in order to make the colony survive and grow.
She lays eggs, as many as one every two seconds depending on conditions. A queen will gradually grow to become much larger than when she was swarming with other young females and males. To support the massive egg production the queen may grow as big as a person’s thumb. Most queens will live to be 30-50 years old.
A king termite’s job is to fertilize the queen’s eggs and to release caste controlling pheromones.
Worker termites do just that — work. All the work in the colony is handled by the workers. They take care of the queen’s eggs and the young after they hatch.
In an average size colony worker termites will build foraging tunnels ranging as far as 300 feet from the colony looking for food (wood) and water. Upon finding a food source the worker termite will gorge itself then return to the colony and regurgitate the food to all the other members of the caste. This is how the colony is nourished and grows. As a result, wood structures get eaten up or damaged by termites.
Swarmers are winged reproductive termites. The breeding season for termites is dependent upon warm temperature and humidity, typically during rainy seasons. The termite colony will build a shelter tube to the surface of the ground or a high point within a structure. A few to as many as thousands of winged reproductive termites will emerge. This is the most visible sign of the existence of termite colonies in the area. A swarm of flying termites will consist of newly matured males and females with the intent of starting a new colony as they will pair off in couples, find a suitable place to nest and start laying eggs, beginning a new colony.
Methods of Termite Treatments
Sentricon is a termite colony elimination system. This is a baiting system developed by Dow Agro Science. Baits are placed in the ground around the structure being protected. The bait is housed in a bait station that has a locating device which allows the station to be covered with mulch, rock, etc. and still be found at the time of inspection one year later. Bait is not poison — it has no hazardous material label. Sentricon Bait has an enzyme in it that does not allow the termite to grow new skin. Termites molt their skin similar to a snake, so if there is no new skin, the termite dries up and dies. Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination System takes advantage of the termites’ natural behavior to kill the colony slowly and thoroughly. In their random continuous foraging, worker termites find Sentricon stations in the soil and then do two important things:
- They lead other workers to the food source (bait).
- They gorge themselves with the bait, return to the colony and regurgitate food (bait) to other members of the colony.
Recruit termite bait contains Noviflumuron, a unique insect growth regulator that prevents termites from molting, a process basic to life. The termites share this bait until the colony is eliminated. Termites love the taste of Recruit termite bait.
- Fast bait delivery
- Always in the ground and immediately available to termites.
- A proactive line of defense.
- Active ingredient — Noviflumuron, proven effective in eliminating termite colonies.
- Enough bait in one station to eliminate an average colony.
- Spread from termite to termite throughout the colony.
- Sentricon bait is preferred 4 to 1 over wood in palatability tests.
- Sentricon is the only termite control product to ever receive the Presidential Green Chemistry Award.
Make sure your home is protected. Don’t wait for a termite swarm, don’t leave your home at risk, prevent future termite damage with the number one brand in termite protection. The Sentricon System is proven to prevent termite colonies in an environmentally responsible, less disruptive way.
Sentricon Informational Videos
Liquid termiticides are applied as a water-based solution and are pressure-injected into the soil along foundation walls, creating a long-lasting treated zone around the structure. This entails drilling through concrete slabs adjoining the foundation (i.e. garage floors, porches and patios). Mortar joints in brick and stone veneers that are below grade are also drilled, treated, and patched. The unique chemistry binds to the soil and will not get washed away with rain or sprinkler system water.
Betts Pest Control uses a non-repellant termiticide. Termites cannot sense it, so they tunnel through the treated soil becoming exposed to the active ingredient. In certain structures, this a very effective method of termite elimination.
In the Wichita area, termiticides have a maximum life-expectancy of five to six years. Structures treated with liquid termiticide should be retreated in five to six year intervals to provide continuous protection.
Betts Pest Control is equipped with trained and licensed personnel and products to perform residential and commercial termite pre-treatments.
This is a liquid termiticide treatment of concrete slab sub-strate (sand, gravel, etc.) and of soil and sand backfill around the exterior of the structure, creating a long-lasting protective treated zone between the termites and the structure. Sub-strate should be graded, leveled and compacted as not to be disturbed after application of chemical. The unique chemistry of the termiticide binds to the sub-strate and doesn’t get washed off with water, but if the treated soil/sub-strate gets moved, the chemical will move with it.
As an alternative method to termiticide, pre-treat Betts Pest Control has the Sentricon Baiting System available.
If you have a water well, you can receive termite treatment, even if a house has a well inside the foundation walls. Betts Pest Control can use two different methods to safely treat for termites.
- Baiting Method: With a revolutionary method called “Sentricon” which utilizes bait to kill the termite colonies. The Sentricon® Termite Baiting System has no restrictions around wells and no risk of pollution to the well.
- Liquid Method: A liquid treatment may be possible for a partial treatment, but depending upon the construction of the home, there is a very high probability there will be areas that cannot be pressure treated and therefore, the home will not be completely protected from termite infestation.
Treating around water wells does have some limitations due to ordinance 7.30.050 from Sedgwick County which states:
The property owner shall be responsible for meeting the following requirements: The separation distance between wells and soils or foundations that have been treated or pre-treated with a sub-surface pressurized application of a termiticide shall be a minimum of 25 feet.
This ordinance makes the pressure injection of termite chemicals to soil within 25 feet of a water well a liability issue. The treatment itself is not against this code, but it will make the water well illegal, which will be the responsibility of the property owner. There should be a written notice to a homebuyer that their well may not meet the Sedgwick County Health Code after a termite treatment of this type.
This means that any soil areas covered in concrete (such as porches, patios, garages, and basement floors) cannot be treated within 25 feet of the well. The most common point of entry for termites in our experience has been porch/patio areas, as the sand holds moisture, the slab acts as a blanket, insulating from excessive temperature changes, two factors critical to termite existence.
The Kansas State Pesticide Law dictates that if a pest control company cannot treat every foot of the property according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and the State Code, the invoice and or contract must clearly state that it is a partial, spot, or limited treatment.