Termite Season is once again knocking at the door

Termite season will arrive in just a few weeks. When the weather breaks, the termites will begin to swarm. Swarming is when the new reproductive termites take flight looking for a new place to call home. The termite swarm will usually occur on a sunny, humid morning. Termite Swarmers - AlatesOnce the termites have swarmed, they find a mate, and attempt to return to the soil to begin a new life. Most of the swarming termites will die. If they swarm inside a house, they die. When they swarm outside, other predators such as birds, lizards, spiders, and other insects will dine on the termites.

Many homeowners ask what they can do to protect their home. The first step is to have a qualified pest control technician inspect the home. The Bug Man offers a free termite inspection and evaluation. The inspection and evaluation takes between 30-60 minutes, depending on the type and size of home you have. Our technicians are all certified with the State and will provide a detailed report of each inspection, and even photo document any concerns. The next step is to design a gameplay to protect your home. This could include a treatment of the home or we may recommend having the home checked again in 12-18 months. The Bug Man features Termidor HE, America’s number 1 Termite Termite WorkersDefense! And The Bug Man is a locally owned and operated company, established in 2001.

Spring is the time termites swarm, so now is the time to have a checkup.  If your home has not been properly inspected in the past 2 years, now is the time to act.  Don’t wait until you see a problem, be proactive.

Don’t wait, contact The Bug Man today and ensure your house is protected!  We can be reached at 615-217-7284 or email us service@thebugman.us

When is termite season?

When are termites active?  When is termite season?

Termite WorkersTermites are reason for concern, and two of the most commonly asked questions we receive at The Bug Man office are: “When are termites active?” and “When is termite season?”.  In Tennessee, termites are actually active year-round.  We have found active termites in crawl spaces in the winter time when there has been snow on the ground.  Yeah, pretty funny… snow on the ground in middle Tennessee? Ha! That hardly ever happens.  The termites may not be as active, or active outside in the mulch when the ground turns cold but, with our heated homes, the crawl spaces stay warm enough to sustain termite activity year round.

Termite Shelter TunnelsMost people become aware of termite activity during termite swarm season.  In middle Tennessee, this generally occurs in the spring time, between March and May.  This is the time of year when you see the alate termites (the winged termites) emerging from the walls, floors, and ceilings of homes.  Swarm season is The Bug Man’s busiest time for termite work because most homeowners are calling in with sightings of the termite swarmers.  Most swarming termites will die after swarming, as they become a food source for birds, lizards, and other insects and spiders.  And the termites that swarm indoors all die if they are unable to return to the soil in short order after locating a suitable mate.

Termite swarmers are not the termites that homeowners need to fear, but they are a great indicator that you have an infestation.  The termite colony consists of termite workers that consume the cellulose in wood and feed the rest of the colony.  These are the termites that cause the damage to structures.  Our treatments are designed to target and eliminate the colony of termites and protect the structure from future attacks.  The Bug Man treatment of choice is Termidor HE.  Termidor has been proven to last for over 15 years in studies, and we are able to offer a 20 year renewable warranty with our treatments.

When should I have my home inspected?

Termidor HEThe Bug Man recommends having a termite inspection every 12-18 months.  Termite inspections can be completed year round in Tennessee.  During this inspection our certified technicians will inspect all accessible areas for evidence of termites.  We inspect for termite shelter tubes, tunnels, exit holes, wood debris in crawl spaces, and other conducive conditions that can lead to a future termite infestation.  Even with a complete inspection, it is still possible that a structure can have a termite infestation that goes undetected.  Termites can gain entry behind brick, through block, travel behind walls and under floors.  Many of these spaces are not accessible during a visual inspection.  Many times, even the professional must wait until there are visible signs of damage before we are able to locate an active termite infestation.  This is the reason that we recommend treatments on homes even when there is not a current visible sign of termites.  Termite treatment is one of the maintenance requirements of home ownership.  Once a home is under a termite protection treatment and warranty, we continue to perform yearly inspections to ensure the home remains termite free.

The Bug Man offers a free termite inspection and quote for Termidor HE Termite Protection.  Our certified technicians will provide a detailed written report of findings and quote for Termidor HE Termite Protection Protection.  Our goal at The Bug Man is to educate and provide the findings of our inspection so you have all the tools necessary to make a decision on how best to protect your home.

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Don’t worry… bee happy about beneficial insects!

Children Embrace our beneficial insects. Shouldn’t you?

Children are so fun and curious about bugs!  Little Johnny often doesn’t think twice about picking up a spider by the leg and running to show his mommy. When he shows her his discovery, mom will often scream and run as far away as possible. Johnny will inevitably laugh, uncontrollably, while mom yells “Get that thing out of here!”

Beneficial insects are fun for the children to study and read about

It’s a common story that we hear over and over.  There are so many exaggerated horror stories about various insects: Brown recluse spiders will cause your leg to fall off. Termites will eat your house down to the ground. You will surely die a terrible disease if bitten by a mosquito. Who knows where these stories come from or why. But, they create a fear in some folks that are hard to shake.

The honey bee and other beneficial insects have an important role in our environment

Take the honey bee, for example.   They are the pollinators for our food crops. Their population has been in a steady decline in recent years due to a number of factors such as viruses, parasites, poor nutrition, limited access to clean water and exposure to pesticides. WHAT??? Exposure to pesticides?? Yes, it is true. We all (including us) have a huge responsibility in taking care to protect the honey bee and other beneficial insects.

In the spring you will sometimes see huge swarms of bees in the bushes and flowering trees. Sometimes they will stick around for a few minutes and then be gone. Sometimes they will stay for a few days. It’s easy to grab that jug of bug juice or call an exterminator to get rid of them. But, if they are not in an area that will harm you or your loved ones then it is usually best to leave them to collect the pollen. The additional benefit is that your plants and flowers will be even more beautiful later on.

There are a variety of other insects that are beneficial. Usually, most people first think of ladybugs or the asian lady beetle. Absolutely! Did you know that there are more than 400 species of the lady beetles in North America? There are also lacewings, parasitic wasps, spiders, tachinid flies, pirate bugs (aaaargh!) and ground beetles, just to name a few.

Honey bee gathering pollen: We must protect our beneficial insects.
Honey bee gathering pollen: We must protect our beneficial insects.

Protecting the environment and people at the same time

As a pest control professional, our goal is to protect your home from a pest invasion. If there is a pest problem in your living space then, yes, there is a cause for concern. You will want to eliminate the problem to prevent disease and illness/injury in your family. But, if we can keep your environment safe without having a negative impact on the rest of Murfreesboro, middle Tennessee, and beyond, then we are all winning.

Technician Spotlight – Marcel Deshaies

Marcel Deshaies is The Bug Man technician of the week.

Marcel DeshaiesMarcel is originally from Kirkville, New York, but has made Lebanon his home for 20 years.  Marcel has two sons, Brandon (9) and Steven (10), and enjoys fishing, auto mechanics, and wood working.  His spirituality and love of nature is inspired by his Mohawk Indian heritage.  Marcel’s family is part of the Wolf Clan from the St. Regis Indian Reservation in upstate New York.

Marcel Joins The Bug Man and Services Wilson County

Marcel joined The Bug Man Team in January 2011 after running Advantage Pest Control for 10 years.  In 2011, The Bug Man acquired Advantage Pest Control customers and Marcel joined our team to continue servicing the Wilson County area.  Marcel currently services the cities of Lebanon, Mt. Juliet, Hermitage and Watertown.   Marcel is a licensed pest control technician and has been working in the pest service industry for 17 years.

Education and training and teaching children

Marcel is all about education, training, and teaching children.  Marcel regularly attends training classes to continue his education in the pest service industry, and then puts that education to use when out in the field.  Ants are his favorite pest.  Marcel enjoys the persistence it takes to track the ants down, locate the nests, and eliminate them.  Many times with ants, it can take multiple visits to locate and eliminate all the colonies, and that is what Marcel enjoys.  Of course, Marcel is also skilled at servicing for other pests, such as the spiders, centipedes, roaches, crickets, termites, mosquitoes, ticks and fleas.  He just really enjoys the ants.

pest_controlAnd when it comes to children, Marcel enjoys educating them on why the pests and insects are around, what can be done to prevent them, and the difference between a dangerous pest, a nuisance pest, and the beneficial insects that are found around the home.  Marcel likes when the kids look forward to his arrival, asking “When is The Bug Man coming back?”.

Marcel says he is a problem solver by nature, that his enjoyment for this career is not from just killing bugs, it comes from helping to solve the problems that his customers have with the bugs.  At the end of the day, The Bug Man and our employees all are empowered to help others.

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Termite Activity Found in Murfreesboro, TN

The Bug Man found termite activity in Murfreesboro and surrounding areas.

Termite Swarmers - AlatesTermite season is in full swing here in Murfreesboro and surrounding areas.  Most of the calls we are fielding  this week are in regards to active termite swarms.  We have had calls from Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, Smyrna, Rockvale, and Murfreesboro.  The termites are swarming now that the weather is warming up, the humidity is high, and the sun is beginning to shine.  Termites swarm in order to establish a new colony.  When the termites swarm and leave the existing colony, they fly towards the sunlight in search of a mate.  If the termites swarm outside, they will drift in the wind, land, break off their wings, locate a mate, and return back into the soil to begin a new colony.  But, the termites that swarm inside will usually fly towards windows and other light sources.  They will all die if they are unable to find a mate and return to soil.  When this happens, most homeowners will usually find the swarmer termites and wings around the windows, doors, or lights.  This is an indication that an inspection and  treatment is needed.  Here is Termite Shelter Tunnelsa photo of termite shelter tubes that our technician found in a crawl space at a house in Christiana that had an active termite swarm on Friday.

Swarming termites are not the biggest concern

The swarming termites are not the real problem in a home, it is the worker termites hidden inside the walls that concern us.  Termite WorkersThey are the ones that feed on the cellulose (wood) of your home and cause the damage.  The worker termites are responsible for building the tunnels, feeding the colony, and all of the general duties of the colony,  The workers are the termites that get the work done!  But the swarming termites are definitely a sign that you have a problem!  When you see the termite swarmers, it is time to call The Bug Man.  When our trained technicians arrive on site, they will inspect the home, note their findings, review the information with the property owner, answer any questions, and provide a solution for the termite infestation.  The Bug Man uses Termidor HE for all of our termite treatments.  Termidor has been proven as the best termite solution in the industry, and that is why The Termidor HEBug Man has teamed up with the makers of  Termidor, BASF.

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Termite Season is here in Middle Tennessee

It is termite season in Middle Tennessee, are you ready?

Termite WorkersEvery Spring, as the temperatures warm and the rains fall, a tiny insect wakens.  This tiny insect, know as the subterranean termite, emerges from inside walls, floors, trees, and the ground to make a mating flight and begin a new life as the king and queen of a newly established colony.  In the pest business, we call this termite swarm season!  When this occurs inside a home, thousands of winged ant-like insects begin to fly from out of the wall and towards the windows and other light sources.  Fortunately, all of these will die if they are unable to reach soil quickly.  But what they leave behind are the worker and soldier termites inside the walls of your house.  These are the termites that do the damage, eating the wood that your home is built with.  These are the termites that the homeowners in Tennessee must be concerned with.  But what can you do?

There are signs to look for around your house that may indicate a termite issue during swarm season.  A few of them are:

  • Termite shelter tubes or mud tunnels on the foundation of you house.  These may be found in the crawl space, on exterior foundations, and in the garage walls.  In Middle Tennessee they are usually orange in color, due to our clay soil.
  • Crumbling baseboards or drywall on the interior of the house.  The termites will eat the wood and paper behind the paint, and then the paint will crack or sink in, making it brittle.
  • Swarm castles and pinholes are usually found in the drywall; termites will penetrate through the paint layer in preparation for the swarm.Termite Swarmers - Alates
  • Dead insects that are usually black in color and look similar to ants and or wings.  The termite swarmers will break off their wings after fight before returning to the earth.  They can usually be found near windows and under light sources.

Prevention is the key, and here are a few tips on what you can do:

  • Termites eat the cellulose in wood, so it is recommended to remove all wood debris from around and under your house.  This includes the fire wood.  It is best to move it 10′ from your house and off the ground.
  • Termites need water, and we recommend that all gutters and downspouts are in working order and directing water away from the house.  Make sure you don’t have water puddling under your home.  Keep it dry.
  • Ensure all windows and doors are sealed properly to keep rain and moisture out.  Wet and rotting wood is a favorite of termites.

If you discover signs of termites in Middle Tennessee, what should you do?

Termite Season is here in Middle Tennessee, but don’t panic… Really!  Termites damage homes, but not overnight.  Take a deep breath and relax.  Contact a professional and ask for a Free inspection.  Everyone does these, as it is an opportunity to educate the homeowner and earn your business.  A few questions you will want to have answered:

  1. How long has your company been in business and are you a member of the BBB, Pest Control Association, Chamber of Commerce, and a Quality Pro Company?
  2. What product are you planning to use to protect my home?  We use Termidor HE, as it has the best proven track record of success.
  3. Has the termite technician attended the 3 day Termite Master Apprentice training program hosted by Tennessee Department of Agricuture that regulates all pest control companies, along with company training?
  4. Does the termite service offer a damage repair warranty or just a treatment warranty?

At the end of the day, you must feel confident that the company you hire to eliminate the termites will do the job right, and be there to stand behind their work in 5, 10, or 20 years if an issue ever arrises.

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Free Termite Inspection vs. Wood Destroying Insect Report

Bug Basics: What’s the difference between a “Free” Termite Inspection and a Wood Destroying Insect Report (WDI)?

This question can plagues both a prospective home seller or a potential home buyer. This inquiry is especially confusing to some of our customers because we often talk about our free termite inspection.  What is the difference?

“If your website says the termite inspection is free, then why do I need to pay for a termite letter?” That’s a wonderfully valid question.

Free Termite Inspection & Quote

We offer a Free Termite Inspection & Quote to homeowners that are interesting in knowing the current conditions of their home.  During this inspection we check for termites and conditions that may be conducive to future termite infestations.  We will make recommendations about what you, as a homeowner, can do to ensure that your home is properly protected.  If termites are discovered, we will offer treatment options to remedy the immediate concern and protect the home in the future.  We offer both preventative and curative treatments for termites.  An inspection is not a guarentee that you do not have termites or that you will not get them.  Termite Control Options

We suggest that a person who wants to sell their home should have a pre-inspection done before they put their house on the market. That will prevent any surprises when the WDI report is done.

That’s all well and good and pretty nifty. But what about the mysterious termite letter?

Wood Destroying Insect Report

Is a termite letter the same thing as a WDI? Yes. It is the same. It’s just called different names by different people.

A Wood Destroying Insect Inspection Report (Form NPMA-33) is a report that reports on the current conditions of a structure, at the time of inspection, in regards to particular pests.  It is the official form recognized in the State of Tennessee that is completed and signed by a state certified pest control technician working for a state licensed and chartered company.  Most banks and financial organizations require the completion of this report when buying or refinancing a home loan.

Surprisingly, many home sellers and buyers aren’t told very much about the termite letter. People call us knowing that they need some sort of termite inspection, but they don’t know what to call it or how to get it. And many times people are blindsided by the urgency of the letter or the cost.

The WDI report is generally accepted by the underwriters for 30 days from the date of the inspection.  After this time, they will usually require a re-inspection.  This is due to the fact that termites are active year round, and the report is only an inspection, and not a treatment.  We recommend having an inspection completed after a closing date has been determined to ensure the report is within the 30 day window.

In Tennessee, many contracts are now written where the BUYER is responsible for the WDI termite report.  This is a good idea, in theory, but can cause a headache for all involed if the home has evidence of prior ermite activity and is currently under a service warranty with a termite company.  If a secondary company finds this evidence, they may recommend a new treatment.  If they do, the seller will need to contact their company for a report detailing treatment, warranty status, and may be requested to perform a secondary WDI Report.  It is usually a better idea to have the company that treated the home to provide the WDI Termite Report, if possible.

A helpful tip for those in need of a termite letter: Contact the pest control company ahead of time to make sure there’s availability in the schedule to get the inspection and the report submitted on time. Even a few days of notice is helpful, rather than a “night before” or “day of” sort of situation.

We highly recommend that our customers call us when it’s time to do a termite letter. Our termite treatment comes with an optional renewable warranty. In the event that termite activity is discovered during a wood destroying insect inpsection, we can re-treat the home if the renewable warranty was maintained on a home that we did the original treatment.

If you have any questions, please call us at 615.217.7284. We hope you’ve found this explanation helpful!

Termite Swarms in Smyrna and Murfreesboro Tennessee

Termites are on the move in Middle Tennessee. They can be identified as ants with wings and can swarm by the thousands.

Termite Swarmers

A Termite Story from March 2011

The Bug Man received our first termite swarm call this week.  This occurred in Smyrna at a residential slab home.  The termites entered the structure behind the refrigerator through a crack in the concrete slab.  During the inspection, we found that the termites have damaged the walls and trim behind the refrigerator.  In this situation, we will recommend a soil treatment to eliminate the termite colony and recommend the damages be repaired.  In this case, the termites where discovered early and only minor damage has occurred.

Termite swarms are usually the first evidence a homeowner will discover when they have a termite infestation.  They are described by many homeowners as flying ants, or ants with wings. A homeowner may also discover mud shelter tubes on foundation walls built by the termites.  These shelter tubes provide a highway between the soil and the food source, and help protect them from predators.  Shelter tubes can be found on crawl space walls, exterior walls, on interior walls and in cracks between moldings.

If you ever experience a swarm of  “ant-like” bugs in or around your home, we recommend that you have them identified by a professional. Termites will usually swarm between March and June in the Middle Tennessee area.  The swarms are triggered by humidity and temperature.  We will usually have a significant number of calls after a heavy rainfall when the humidity levels are high.  Swarms usually occur between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  If you arrive home from work and find large quantities of bugs on the floors and windowsills, this is a good indication that you have experienced a termite swarm.   Catching a termite infestation early is the key to preventing damage to your home.  A trained professional knows where to look and what to look for when it comes to termites.

Termites are still swarming now in May. Here’s a video of a termite swarm in Murfreesboro in May 2011:

We are always here to answer any questions you may have about all your pest needs.  The Bug Man 615-217-7284

TERMITE CONTROL: Answers for Homeowners

The best way to prevent termite damage and infestation is to have your home inspected frequently by a professional. (We are the professionals.) Many homeowners choose to have a termite prevention treatment performed to further protect their home.

I often get many questions about termites, the damage they cause, and how homeowners know if have an infestation.  I have attached a link to University of Kentucky College of Agriculture where they answer many of these questions.  Most homeowners discover termite activity and damage between March and May here in Tennessee.   The best way to prevent termite damage and infestation is to have your home inspected frequently by a professional.  (We are the professionals.)  Many homeowners choose to have a termite prevention treatment performed to further protect their home.  Check out the following link for more information about termite control.

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture