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Which Structural Woods Do Termites Prefer To Infest Within Homes

Which Structural Woods Do Termites Prefer To Infest Within Homes, And How Do Subterranean And Drywood Termites Know Which Wood Sources Provide Optimal Nourishment?

Several damaging species of subterranean, drywood and dampwood termites infest homes and buildings all year round in Arizona. Species from both the dampwood and drywood termite groups live in colonies that are contained entirely within single above-ground wood items. Generally, drywood termites establish infestations within sources of sound and dry wood, and this is especially the case when it comes to the western drywood termite, which is the most destructive drywood termite pest species in the country.

Unlike drywood termites, dampwood termites establish infestations exclusively within decayed wood items that have become heavily saturated with moisture. Due to their preference for feeding on rotting and waterlogged wood sources, dampwood termites are not found infesting structural wood within homes as often as they are found infesting open-air wood sources that have already sustained damage from rainwater. Dampwood termites frequently infest wood fences, utility poles, patio-wood, and occasionally, infestations are found in hardwood flooring located above consistently damp crawl space environments.

Subterranean termites dwell beneath the ground where mature colonies can contain anywhere between 50,000 and two million individual termites, making them much larger than the drywood and dampwood termite colonies found within single pieces of wood. Subterranean termite workers generally infest relatively moist substructural wood components that are located in close proximity to their ground-soil habitat. Workers digest moist and rotting wood more rapidly than sound dry wood, but unlike dampwood termites, subterranean termites do not rely solely on moist wood for their water needs, as workers can return to the moist soil in order to hydrate as needed.

Since pest species from all three termite groups feed within interior wood cavities where they remain hidden from view, infested wood usually appears undamaged. However, termite damaged wood will produce a hollow sound when tapped, and the surface of heavily infested wood will collapse in response to exterior pressure. Drywood termite nymphs possess particularly strong and durable jaws that allow them to chew into dense and hard summerwood portions of lumber as well as softer springwood portions. Subterranean termite workers, on the other hand, cannot readily chew into summerwood, and they also have a difficult time digesting hard wood particles. Subterranean termites are usually found infesting sill plates, beams, joists and other moist substructural lumber components near the ground-soil, but drywood termite infestations can be found anywhere on a home’s interior timber-frame or exterior wood paneling. Drywood termite alates frequently initiate new colonies within attics, behind wood siding, and below roof shingles. Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termite infestations are also commonly found in wood furniture.

Have you ever discovered a drywood termite infestation within wood furniture?

 

 

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

The Commonly Overlooked Dampwood Termite Species That Is Known For Damaging Wood Fences And Indoor Flooring

The Commonly Overlooked Dampwood Termite Species That Is Known For Damaging Wood Fences And Indoor Flooring

Nearly 20 termite species have been documented within Arizona, around half of which are known to damage woodwork. The termite species found in Arizona belong to all three groups of termites, which are known as subterranean, drywood and dampwood termites. In the United States as a whole, subterranean termites are by far the most common termite pests of structural wood, as around 80 percent of all infestations reported annually involve subterranean termites. Subterranean termites are also the most common termite pests in Arizona, but multiple drywood species in the state frequently inflict damage to structures as well. The desert and arid-land subterranean termites, and the western and light-western drywood termite species are the most destructive wood-infesting pests in Arizona. However, only one dampwood termite species in Arizona is considered a pest of structural wood.

Paraneotermes simplicicornis, or the “desert dampwood termite,” is not, despite its common name, technically a dampwood termite species, as they belong to the Kalotermitidae family, which are drywood termites. Generally, both drywood and dampwood termite species nest within single wood items located above ground, such as logs, fallen branches, and tree stumps, but the desert dampwood termite species is unique for dwelling within soil where they feed on structural lumber in contact with the ground and roots from both live and dead trees. Since desert dampwood termites can only feed on wood in contact with soil, they rarely inflict damage to structural wood within homes; instead, these termites tend to inflict heavy damage to wood fences, wood posts and dirt-filled porches. That being said, desert dampwood termites have been known to infest wood flooring within old homes that contain lumber components that make ground contact. Swarming alates from desert dampwood termite colonies emerge at around dusk from May through September in Arizona. While these swarms are not necessarily associated with monsoon season, they tend to emerge in the evening after heavy rainstorms.

Have you ever discovered termite damage on your landscape plants?

 

Kandice Linwright No Comments

The Most Common Winter Pests

Most common winter pests in Phoenix, Arizona

It might not feel like winter outside, but we’re still in the thick of the winter season. And while temperatures are rising above 80 degrees, winter pests are still invading your home getting ready for the warm weather and influx of food.

Some of the most common winter pests are mice, spiders, rats and scorpions.

Mice – A mouse can act like a contortionist, squeezing and bending their bodies to get into houses through openings as small as 1/4 of an inch. Once inside mice reproduce quickly, and before you know it – your house can be overrun with mice. Not only are they destructive to property, building nests and chewing on wood and furniture, but mice present a health hazard through their bites, urine, and feces.

Rats – Slightly larger than the common house mouse, rats are rodents that destroy property by chewing electrical wires and building nests in walls and under appliances and leave a trail of potentially hazardous excrement. Both mice and rats thrive in the many nooks and unused spaces a house offers for nesting.

Spiders – While spiders are often thought of as beneficial pests because they eat other household pests, most people don’t want to share their homes with a bunch of creepy, crawly spiders. One of the most unfortunate things about spiders is that they often enter homes while hunting other pests that have come before them.

Stink bugs – Another nuisance pest, stink bugs don’t transmit diseases to humans or pets, nor do they cause damage in homes. Still, they are unsightly, and like their name suggests, can cause quite a nasty odor in your home. Stink bugs will sometimes leave stains on curtains and walls and can invade your home in large numbers, which they do simply to survive the low temperatures.

So, how can you prevent winter pests from invading your home? First of all, get yourself a reliable pest control professional, like Magic Pest Control. A great relationship with an expert in pest control can make all the difference.

Secondly, get those pest control professionals out to your home once a month. Have our experts seal up your home to keep winter pests away. All cracks, holes and soft wood needs to be patched and replace. All carpeting that doesn’t attach needs to be placed down correctly. All ceiling fans that do not fully cover the hole needs to be repaired.

Thirdly, keep a mindful eye on the floors at night when scorpions roam, and during the day when spiders and cockroaches invade.

 

Kandice Linwright No Comments

Removing a Beehive On Your Own

First off, NEVER, ever try to remove a beehive on your own. This is probably one of the worst things you can do. I can’t tell you how many “beehive removal fail” videos we’ve seen on Youtube where an Arizona resident tries to remove a beehive on their own.

There is simply no safe way to remove a beehive on your own that won’t result in more than a few stings, a potential trip to the hospital, and a spot on the news. If you’re lucky, no one gets seriously hurt.

Articles floating around Google, like the one below, showing you how to remove your own beehive DIY are horrible endorsements of a DIY pest removal option that can get you seriously injured.

If you have a beehive on your property, don’t wait to call in an expert. And I’m not talking about finding a Craigslist advertisement for someone who is unlicensed to come to your home. I can’t tell you how many calls we get from Arizona homeowners who have gone down this route, finding “cheap” beehive removal services, only to be completely let down when the bees return…

And if you don’t remove beehives correctly, they WILL return.

So, don’t do this:

Beehive removal sounds like a frightening prospect, but it doesn’t have to be. You do need to be aware of a few things and follow certain steps in order to have a successful beehive removal.

Note: These instructions are for destroying the beehive. However, because bees are an integral part of nature and food production, humane solutions should be considered before eliminating a colony. Many beekeepers and pest control companies will remove beehives for free, so check your local listings before pursuing this option.

Step 1 – Make Sure You Aren’t Allergic

Whether or not you have any other allergies, you may be allergic to bee stings. If you are allergic, the venom in a bee sting can cause serious problems such as swelling of the lips or throat, difficulty breathing, tightness of the throat, vomiting, diarrhea, lightheadedness, and passing out due to low blood pressure. For highly allergic individuals, this can be fatal. If you have experienced an allergic bee sting reaction, then beehive removal is best left to the professionals.

Step 2 – Protect Yourself

When attempting to perform a beehive removal, it’s important to wear appropriate clothing. Professional bee removers wear light-colored and smooth-textured clothing, and you should too. Bees are aggravated by dark-colors and rough clothing.

Look for a beekeeper’s veil and leather gloves for additional protection of your face and hands. A bee smoker can help calm bees and make them less likely to sting. Don’t wear any perfume, cologne, after-shave, or scented deodorant. The bees may confuse your scent with the scent of flowers.

Step 3 – Locate The Beehive

This sounds like a no-brainer, but often beehives are located in out of the way places like chimneys or in the walls. Also check out bird houses, pots, your attic, trash cans, and any open structure where bees can get in.

Honey bees that nest in your walls pose a health problem as well as a danger to the structure of your house. Beehives in the house can hold 20 to 80 pounds of honey. Honey can ruin walls and ceilings if not removed.

Chimneys are prime targets for bees seeking a new location for a hive. Scouting bees look for places to make their nest. If your chimney doesn’t have a protective screen, you may have a beehive inside. When completing a beehive removal, don’t make any sudden movement. Be sure to exercise extreme caution around any suspected beehives. If you see numerous bees flying around in your house, you know bees have nested. Immediate beehive removal is recommended.

Step 4 – Best Time To Perform Beehive Removal

Kill established bee colonies in late winter or early spring when the bee population in the hive is the smallest. You will also want to apply insecticide in the late afternoon. Again, this is when all the bees will be in the hive or nest. Bees sleep in the evening and early morning.

Step 5 – What To Use For Beehive Removal

In terms of chemicals, a good insecticide such as Sevin works. You will need repeated applications in order to kill all the bees inside the hive.

To remove a beehive located inside your walls, tap with a hammer and listen for the bees’ answering buzz. This is where the nest or hive is located. You’ll need to bore a hole (preferably through an outside wall) and apply the insecticide to the hive.

Step 6 – The Process

Once you’ve located the beehive, put on your protective clothing, beekeeper’s veil, and leather gloves. It’s time to remove your first beehive. Spray the insecticide on the beehive. Do this in the late afternoon or early morning as indicated above. Repeat the application several times in order to kill all the remaining bees in the hive. Remove and destroy the beehive to prevent foraging bees from neighboring colonies from moving in.

Dispose of the removed beehive by placing it in a plastic garbage bag you securely tie. Make sure all the bees inside are dead. Then place it in a trash disposal container (with a tight lid) and put out for trash pickup. After the beehive removal, clean the area thoroughly with soap and water. Plug all entrances where bees could gain an entry point. Seal all openings in walls. Install screens over vents and rain spouts. If you’ve bored a hole in an outside wall, seal it up and paint as necessary.

A Chance to See Active Termites and How to Spot Them

A Chance to See Active Termites and How to Spot Them
Termites have been around for millions of years and for good reason.  Once they get started they can quickly grow to be a problem for your home.  Did you know that a primary queen can lay as much as 20,000-30,000 eggs per day. That is why it is important to get rid of the problem as soon as posible  In the time it takes to make the phone call, a hundred new eggs could be laid. Now that’s just the primary queen. There are often multiple queens. Furthermore, each queen lives for 45 years.

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How To Keep Termites From Destroying Your Home

How To Keep Termites From Destroying Your Home

The professional word for these ravenous mash eaters is cryptobiotic: They’re so great at finding the stowaway, you may not know they’re there—but rather they are. The most widely recognized underground assortment settles in the clammy soil in each state spare Alaska. While termites might be useful in the woodland, where all that crunching dispatches dead stumps, when they move from the yard to your home, they can wipe you out. What’s more, think about what: Insurance doesn’t cover the harm. Here’s the way to abstain from transforming your greatest speculation into a creepy crawly gut work.

They’re subtle

Termites tiptoe through soggy mulch and soil, while winged ones fly amid swarming season—which is currently. Be that as it may, they settle outside of anyone’s ability to see. An invasion may not become visible until the point that you remodel or an auditor jabs around.

They overshare

Scavenging laborers leave the home looking for sustenance, frequently scored in a warm, moist place, similar to an inadequately vented slither space. They at that point return home to share the ingested products, utilizing an expertise known as “the common trade of gut substance”— net, yet accommodating in conveying poison through a state.

They have a desire for…

Foragers are attracted to rotting wood and plants, a few sorts more than others, and warmed up if conceivable—a board under a releasing high temp water pipe, say. They burrow through the delicate springwood, deserting the harder grain, making the present milder, quick developed wood a genuine termite treat. FYI: Several settlements can flourish in one house.

They eat relentlessly

Eating every minute of every day, they utilize dampness, sharp mandibles, and intestinal smaller scale living beings to hand cellulose over wood, plants, and even paper into sustenance.

They leave confirm

Giveaways incorporate light wood and thin mud tubes, which termites make with spit and bits of wood or drywall; on the off chance that you tear one open and see specialists, you have an issue. Swarmers shed their wings previously tunneling outside of anyone’s ability to see; in the event that you discover shed wings inside, bring in an ace.

They have complex social lives

A detailed standing framework doles out errands: rummaging; bolstering and preparing different termites; shoring up the settlement’s safeguards; and basically increasing. When swarmers discover succulent landscape and shed their wings, they begin reproducing to shape a subcolony or another one. It might take a long time to develop, and afterward it implies inconvenience.

Step by step instructions to Keep Them Out

Remove their nourishment and water

Store kindling no less than 20 feet from the house. Keep up a 6-to 12-inch line between mulch or soil and wood parts of the house; foliage ought to be no less than 3 feet away. Point garden sprinklers from the establishment, and direct downspouts far from the house.

Play it safe

Try not to bring home wood unless it’s been dealt with to kill termites—most new sheets have. Keep vents clear so dry air can flow. Freshen up upper rooms, cellars, and creep spaces consistently.

Go on edge

Fill or fix any passage focuses, from torn blazing to breaks in your storm cellar’s solid. Screen patios, fence posts, and ledge plates for indications of termite intrigue.

Let down your monitor? Contract an ace

Get three offers, check references, analyze fight designs, and read the fine print. Fluid termiticides work by entering the foragers’ stomach related frameworks and traveling through the state when nourishment is shared. It’s a monstrous business, however get genuine: This is your home, not theirs.

Christmas Tree Disposal and Pest Prevention

Christmas Tree Disposal and Pest Prevention

If you haven’t already, it’s time to get rid of your Christmas tree. And, as we toss out those dry, brittle Christmas trees, it’s important to keep an eye out for the many pests that might have been living in that tree during the holiday season.

We don’t often think as Christmas trees as a place for pests like spiders, scorpions and termites to hide out, but here at Magic Pest Control we have received calls for these types of pests living in Christmas trees…especially when they start to make their way out of the tree and into your home as you start taking down ornaments and lights.

Artificial Christmas trees don’t have quite as many pest issues as real trees, but an artificial tree left out too long can attract spiders looking to spin a new web. Here at Magic Pest Control, we have seen a few artificial Christmas trees left our far past the holiday season attracting all kinds of Arizona pests, including cockroaches, spiders and more.

With 33 million real Christmas trees being sold in the USA every year, there could be up to 25,000 bugs living in your Christmas tree.

Some common pests hiding in your Christmas tree:

  • Mites
  • Sawfly
  • Aphids
  • Spiders
  • Adelgids
  • Bark Beetles
  • Praying Mantises
  • Pine Needle Scale

Pest Prevention:

  • Vigorously shake the tree before bringing it into your home.
  • Look out for bird nests, since they may contain parasites such as mites and lice.
  • Spruce spider mites appear as tiny red and brown dots when shaken out of Christmas trees.
  • Some Christmas tree hitchhikers are Spiders, Cinara Aphids, Bark Beetles, Mites & Psocids (Bark Lice).
  • Insects brought into the warmth of a home behave as though spring has come and become active again.
  • Cinara Aphids and their eggs are often hidden down inside the lower branches of Christmas trees where they are hard to find.
  • The Praying Mantis and Gypsy Moth will lay eggs in Christmas trees. Look for the walnut-sized tan egg masses. If you find any, remove them.

The types of bugs living in your Christmas tree will differ depending on the type of tree and location. The major insects include: adelgids, aphids, bark beetles, mites, praying mantises, psocids, scale insects, spiders, moths, sawflies, weevils, bark lice and webworms.

When you go to toss out your Christmas tree, clean the area where the tree was standing thoroughly. If you should still find pests, call Magic Pest Control immediately.

Kandice Linwright No Comments

Termites Hiding in Plain Sight

Termites Hiding in Plain Sight

Termites aren’t always easy to find. From rotting wood to water stains, strange lines on the garage wall to cracks in the foundation of your home, termites can hide in plain sight.

From Gilbert to Phoenix and Glendale, termites are invading the valley. They are causing millions in damage every year, and your home could be next.

Today, let’s talk about some of the places termites like to hide in plain sight…

Rotting Wood: When the mornings are dewey and moist, and water droplets form out of thin are and attach themselves to your car and grass, it’s easy to see some rotting wood along the trim of your house and think, “That’s perfectly normal. I’ll take care of it later.” Unfortunately, the longer you wait the more termites will invade your home. If you have rotting wood in your home, you have a termite problem…I can pretty much guarantee it.

Paint Chipping: Another tell tale sign of a termite problem is paint chipping along the wood of your home. Either on the wood trim around your roof, doors, and windows or the pain on the inside of your walls, these are all signs of a termite problem. Paint chipping could mean that the wood underneath that paint is moving, Moving would, disturbed wood, is a tell-tale sign of termites.

Hollow Trees: If you have any trees of firewood on your property, you probably have had termites, or you currently have a termite problem. It’s difficult to tell if termites are invading your trees unless you look closely. Any frass on the ground or sawdust could be a sign of termites hiding in plain sight. If you were to cut a branch off of one of your trees and notice termite tubes within the tree itself, you have a termite problem.

Oddly Shaped Designs: I drove past a home the other day with oddly designed lines running up from the patio roof to the bedroom window. Initially, these designs looked like water lines, perhaps left over after some house cleaning or heavy rain. Maybe you’ve noticed these strange lines on your foundation, the inside of your garage or the outside of your home? These strange lines are not water stains or dirt stains, they are termite tubes….termites hiding in plain sight.

If you think you might have a termite problem, call Magic Pest Control immediately.

Kandice Linwright No Comments

Heavy Termite Season Hitting Arizona

Heavy Termite Season Hitting Arizona

We have been seeing an influx of termite infestations here in Arizona. From Gilbert to Phoenix and Glendale, termites have invaded the valley. Part of the problem is that homeowners aren’t being diligent enough to seek out termite symptoms and signs of a termite problem until it’s too late.

Termites will hide within the walls of your home, but there are nearly always signs and symptoms of a termite problem.

Today, let’s talk about some of the termites that might be living in your home right now, and what to do about it…

Subterranean Termites

This termite species is extremely common in southern states and hotter climates. Subterranean termites live in underground colonies with as many as two million members and are also found in moist, secluded areas above ground. They build distinctive tunnels, often referred to as “mud tubes,” to reach food sources and protect themselves from open air. Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive termite species — their hard, saw-toothed jaws work like shears and are able to bite off extremely small fragments of wood, one piece at a time. Over time, they can collapse a building entirely, meaning possible financial ruin for a homeowner.

Signs of a Termite Problem

Symptom of Termite: Discarded Wings

What To Look For: Wings all of the same size (look like tiny fish scales) shredded near an entry point to your home.

Swarmers are usually winged and as a part of their behavior, they usually discard their wings in places like windowsills, doors or in cobwebs.

Symptom of Termite: Mud Tubes

What To Look For: Mud tubes are usually built by Subterranean termites, which are the most destructive species. As they move out from their colony in search of food, they build mud tubes to provide moisture. These mud tubes are often found near the foundation of the home, so those places should also be checked regularly.

Symptom of Termite: Wood Damage

What To Look For: Termites often eat wood from the inside out thereby making the wood soft. The damage may not be visible on the outside. The wood’s surface might still appear smooth even if termites are causing damage from inside. So if the wood sounds hollow when tapped, it may be because termites are eating the wood from the inside.

Symptom of Termite: Cracked Paint

What To Look For: Swarming drywood termites can enter through very tiny openings. Always try to cover up cracks in the home’s foundation, near roof siding, vents and windows. If your paint is cracking, it means there is moisture build up in it which could be as a result of either water damage or termite problems.

Symptom of Termite: Frass

What To Look For: As Drywood termites infest wood, they leave behind wood-colored droppings called frass. You can prevent this by keeping gutters and crawl spaces free of debris and cellulose materials so that termites don’t use them as sources of food.

Symptom of Termite: Noise

What To Look For: Some species of termites, like the soldier termites, usually make loud noises while eating or while trying to sound alarm to warn others of impending danger. The soldier termites make a banging noise with their heads on the wood to serve as an alarm to alert others. So if you tap on a piece of wood where you suspect termites, and you hear a loud banging sound, then there is termite infestation in your home.

Halloween Pests and Ghouls

Halloween Pests and Ghouls

Happy Halloween! There are all kinds of scary, morbid, even creepy, crawly elements to Halloween evening. But, it’s the pests that live in your walls, in your attic, along the trim of your home, in your basement or your trees or your foundation…those are the pests you’ll want to keep an eye out on this Halloween.

So, which pests are the most dangerous on this Halloween Eve?

Termites: 

Termites are destructive little creatures that chew walls to the extent of crumbling the whole structure of a building. They cause severe damages every year.

These dangerous insects are silent and difficult to detect. Even though these creatures can’t destroy concrete, block or brick foundations, they can, however, enter a Gilbert house through small cracks in the foundation gaps.

The structural support of a house made of wood can also be affected by termite infestation. The subterranean termites on their way to the ceiling can destroy the walls. The brutality of losses from termite attack depends on the value individual places on items there were destroyed.

Scorpions: 

Scorpion prevention in Fall looks much like scorpion prevention throughout the year. The twist is that many Gilbert and East Valley homeowners don’t realize that scorpions are still active in October, and looking to invade your home as temperatures begin to drop.

Scorpions can pack a nasty sting, and it can be particularly dangerous for anyone who is even slightly allergic. There are a few scorpions that pack particularly dangerous stings: the Arizona Bark Scorpion and the Striped Bark Scorpion. The Arizona Bark Scorpion is found in Arizona but most of the other scorpions in the state are not very dangerous unless you have an allergy. If you happen to run across scorpions when you least expect them and get stung, don’t panic and apply these first aid techniques before seeking medical help.

Conclusion

There are all kinds of pests, hundreds, in fact, that might invade your home on this Halloween evening. So, as you’re handing out candy, be sure to clean up the mess!! The day after Halloween is one of the greatest days of the year for ants, scorpions, spiders, birds, rats, cockroaches, and every other kind of pest who love sugar, or feed of bugs who love sugar.

You’re not the only one with a sweet tooth this time of year…