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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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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Things to Consider: Termite Protection for Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs

If you or someone you know has a swimming pool, consider termite protection, because termites are attracted to water.We recently received a call at The Bug Man office from a customer who discovered termite damage in the vinyl lining of their swimming pool.

“But termites eat wood,” you reply. “They don’t eat plastic. Why would they eat the liner?”

Termites are able to sense when there is water on the other side of a pool liner. So, if they are desperate enough, they will eat through the liner to get to the water.
The damage caused by termites to pool liners is often gradual. People may not suddenly notice it. However, they may see that their water gets a little low sometimes, yet think nothing of it. Eventually, they may also find tiny little holes in the pool liners. The tiny holes likely came from termites eating the lining to get to the water.

Pools that don’t use liners are not immune to termite damage. Due to a number of factors, and the GIANT source of water, many pools are at risk.

Closely related items in this conversation are hot tubs. They too are a source of water and are often covered with wood.

In case you’re not that familiar with the lifestyle of a termite, their colonies are forever on the hunt for food and water. Many pools and spas are built with wooden framing at the bottom or underneath the vinyl. Lots of pools and spas have a wooden deck surrounding them. The combination of wood touching the ground and a huge source of water inside is quite dangerous.

So what should you do if you had no idea that you needed to protect your pool and hot tub from a termite attack? Well, we recommend inspecting your pool and/or spa to check for damage.

However, we cannot do a termite treatment or an inspection on a pool if it is full of water. We can only do an inspection and a treatment during the construction stage, or if the liner is being replaced. If you’re in the Rutherford and Wilson county areas of Middle Tennessee, we can come out for a free termite inspection. You can call us at 615.217.7284 or email us at service@thebugman.us. We would be happy to provide you with a free quote and a treatment plan.

Your pool and hot tub are for your enjoyment. They are not meant to be a termite buffet.

If you know somebody who has a pool or spa, please inform them that they may need termite protection. Lots of people are unaware that termites target pools and spas. It’s easy to share this article on Facebook, send out a quick tweet or email it to a friend or family member.

For more information on termite protection offered by The Bug Man, visit our website.

Got questions? Please post comments below. We’ll reply as soon as we can.

Termite Tips: Simple Fixes Make a Great Defense

Like a helpful friend, we want to share these tips with you for termite protection. A few simple fixes could save you thousands of dollars.”Hey, Jess!” she said with glee. Tori hadn’t seen her best friend in a week. She was excited to catch up. “Thanks for coming over. Ready to go for a walk? Or do you need any water or anything?”

“Nah, I’m good,” Jess replied.  “Already got a water bottle. Let’s jet.”

“Ok,” Tori said with a smile. “Let’s go out the back door. The street behind my house is less busy than the one in front. You know me. I can’t even walk in a straight line. Don’t want to run into any cars.”

Tori dug for the house key in her pocket. Jess–in the market for new lawn furniture and always imagining ways to upgrade her own back yard–scoped out Tori’s brand new in-ground pool and fire pit. As she was gazing around the yard, she noticed a pile of firewood.

“Hey, Tor. You shouldn’t store that firewood on your back porch.”

“Why not?” Tori replied, still fumbling around with her house key.

“Termites.”

“Huh? What?”

“Storing firewood near your home is an open invitation to termites,” Jess explained. “So are those leaves in your leaky gutters.”

“I never knew that!” Tori exclaimed. “I wish someone would’ve told me.”

As your helpful friends–who happen to know more than a little about termites–we’re here to tell you a few things that you may not know about termite prevention. Please look at these tips on how to set up a line of defense. Special thanks to Termidor for the list.

  • Don’t attach wooden trellises to exterior walls
  • Keep wood debris, scrap lumber, sawdust and firewood away from your home
  • Don’t bury wood near your home
  • Remove infested trees and stumps
  • Repair leaking faucets and water lines, both inside and outside
  • Fix leaky roofs and gutters
  • Don’t allow leaves to accumulate in gutters or drains
  • Grade soil (meaning, make a natural downhill path) so that water–including condensation from your air conditioner–runs away from the foundation of your home
  • Cover at least 90% of the soil in crawl spaces with plastic sheeting
  • Keep wood siding, stucco, and form board at least six inches away from the ground or mulch landscaping

Subterranean termites are particularly evil. They are evil to the tune of $5 billion dollars of damage every year, actually. Many homeowners think their homes are safe because they don’t see any termite damage. However, for peace of mind and for protection, it’s best to call a professional to get an inspection. The Bug Man offers a free termite inspection and a customized termite treatment plan.

For more homeowner tips, read our blog on pest prevention for you home.

Ant Season? Termite Season?

Tell me folks, is it ant season or termite season?

Is it Bugs season or Daffy season?

“Duck season!”
“Rabbit season!”
“Duck season!”
“Rabbit season”

Remember Looney Toons? Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck used to argue back and forth about which hunting season it was. And ol’ Elmer Fudd was befuddled by all of the crazy commotion.

Similar to Bugs and Daffy, it’s the time of year where you could find yourself saying:

“Ant season!”
“Termite season!”
“Ant season!”
“Termite season!”

In our previous blog, we talked about how ant-like bugs swarming in your house can actually be termites. To help you identify termites easier, check out the information below:

* Winged ants have two pairs of wings. The front pair is larger than the hind pair. Termite wings are the same shape and size.
* Ants have antennae that appear to have elbows. Termites have short, straight, beaded antennae.
* Ants have long, segmented bodies. Termites have short, stubby bodies.
* Both pests vary in size and color.

When you encounter pests in your home, don’t be befuddled. Call the The Bug Man. We will help you identify exactly what “pest season” it is.

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