Drywood termites in a home come mainly from other infested structures. They can fly up to 50 feet with moderate wind and more in stronger wind. Without wind, they can fly up to 15-20 feet. Infestations of drywood termites may also come from fences, nearby trees, and anything else made of cellulose close enough to a structure to allow the termites to access it. This is why houses in mostly high-income or newly-developed neighborhoods, where nearby houses are not as close to each other as in other neighborhoods, have a low drywood termite infestation level.
Sometimes these homes may not have drywood termites at all. However, usually houses with neighbors, fences, and infested trees are not more than 10-20 feet apart. As a result, even if you can eliminate all drywood termites from a house, unless all neighbors whose houses are within 50 feet do so as well, your house will be re-infested within a couple of months.
Based on this fact, Prime Termite offered fumigation of an entire military housing complex in the City of San Pedro, Calif., to avoid the need for regular fumigation every 5-7 years. The complex was composed of 120 houses. It was recommended that all houses be fumigated within the same year and, in addition, that the residents of houses on the border of the complex conduct preventative measures. In case no prevention was done on the outer line of the housing complex, the houses located at the center would be in a good state for the next 50-100 years. However, houses on the sides of the complex would start having sporadic infestations from other structures and start showing signs of infestations within the next 10-20 years. By conducting preventative measures on houses on the border of the complex and at the same time fumigating the entire complex within one year instead of splitting it into several years would enable the complex to engage in the procedure once and enjoy a lasting effect of no less than another 70-100 years.
While conducting inspections and treatments, we always tell homeowners that we can offer a much lower renewal rate for them and their neighbors if we check their houses and also treat their neighbors’ houses within a year of performing treatments in their houses. Imagine that your house is located 50 feet or less from four other neighbors’ houses. Now imagine the first scenario: we eliminating the drywood termites from your house only and do not do anything at the neighbors’ houses. Since in Southern California virtually all houses have drywood termite problems, within a year, your house will get re-infested again, being so close to another infested structure. However, if along with your house we also treat neighbors’ houses too, there will not be any termite work needed on your house for a very long time. This does not mean that the house will not need constant inspections for wood-destroying organisms, since there may be others to cause problems, obviously our renewal rate will be much less if this is the case. The same applies to your neighbors. Also, if we were to work on houses within that neighborhood at once, we will save lots of time, since little or no driving would be needed to finish the work in one house and to start the work on the next house. This presents a win-win situation.
To put it more simply, drywood termites come from neighbors’ houses, and it is better to treat yours and their houses together to save money and achieve better control and prevention.
In practice, many homeowners contact us, and also inform any neighbors who might be interested, to schedule their free termite inspections with one or more neighbors. In this case, we give them not only a 60-day price match warranty but also an extra 10% off the price. This benefits everyone, since we may end up saving more on overhead due to efficiency. If you would like to see the referrals of the neighborhoods in which we have worked, please feel free to call or email us. You can talk with your neighbors or allow us to send them mail on your behalf – this generates excellent results.
Subterranean termites come from the soil. When treating your property for subterranean termites, you may end up doing your neighbors a huge favor without them even knowing about it.
Subterranean termite colonies live 5-10 feet deep into the soil. They can live right under the house or anywhere nearby, within 50 feet. They can also live under your neighbor’s house but be infesting and eating your house. Subterranean termites move randomly and sporadically in the soil, looking for cellulose − their source of food. During this process, they track using pheromones to detect what is in their vicinity, which provides an effect similar to the way in which we use a flashlight at night to see in front of us. Once the termites detect cellulose on the house, lacking any other source of food, such as tree roots or embedded wooden stakes in the soil, they will try to access the house for food. Subterranean termites live inside the soil and must be surrounded by soil all the times or they will dry up and die. Thus, they build mud-tubes and tunnel through them to reach the wood of the house. Once mud tubes are built, the colony starts attacking the house and can reach any piece of wood in the house. We have seen houses infested by subterranean termites where entire walls were eaten, and even attics were destroyed.
One of the methods to control these termites is to place a trap, enticing them to go through liquid bait that is applied around the foundation of the house. Once they are introduced to the bait poison, within 2-3 months, the entire colony is poisoned and is eventually eliminated. Now, imagine that the colony is under your neighbor’s house and is infesting yours and their houses. Once the bait is applied to your house, the colony is eliminated, and the damage stops not only to your house but also to your neighbor’s house.