How To Keep Termites Away From Your Home

By Mommy Donna and Kib - August 16, 2019

Pest control is one of the things that homeowners do not put a budget in maintaining a home.

I AM ONE OF THEM.

We only call a pest control company when there's already an infestation in our homes when in fact it can be prevented if we schedule a maintenance check on a regular basis.

Recently, I just called a pest control company to check out the termite infestation in our home.  I noticed that there is a mud trail in our dirty kitchen area.  I tried to 'disturb' the trail and true enough, there are termites.  I called my mom about it and she said to immediately schedule a termite treatment in our home.

During treatment day, the pest control company (Sir Vokz Pest Control) checked the area where I saw the mud trails.  The staff drilled holes on the ground and pumped chemicals on each hole.  Inside the house, the staff sprayed chemicals on the wood fixtures (stairs, baseboards, cabinets) in our home.  

However, the pest control company had to go back after several days because the master's bedroom was not checked during their first visit.  I cannot open one of the drawers and saw mud trails as well.  It was a shocking sight when the drawer was finally opened because the termite colony was inside the drawer.  That drawer was immediately brought outside the house and the chemicals were sprayed all over it to kill the whole colony.  It really looks hideous!  Before the pest control company left, we were instructed to clean up the master's bedroom after 24 hours so that the chemicals would seep in the wood.

Pest control people said that the termite problem in our house is not so bad compared to the termite treatment they did in other houses.  While it damaged my mom's cabinet, but overall, the whole house was spared from the terrible damage.

I asked a lot of questions to the owner of Sir Vokz Pest Control about the procedure because I do not want to have this kind of problem in the future.  


Below are the things that a homeowner must take note of on having a termite treatment and prevention at home:




HOW TO DETERMINE IF YOUR HOUSE NEEDS TERMITE CONTROL:

Mud trails.  This is the most obvious sign that there is a termite infestation in your home.  The mud trails will lead you to the colony and where the termites are heading.  When you try to disturb the mud trails and saw live termites, don't hesitate anymore, schedule an appointment with the pest control company.

See the mud trails?  It's on the corner


Wood furnishings are hollow.  Termites eat the insides of the wood so it is not obvious at first sight that it has already been infested by termites.  When you try to poke or knock on the wood and it sounds hollow, expect that a termite is there.

Pumping chemicals inside the hollow parts of our stairs

Some of our baseboards were also infested with termites


Wooden cabinets cannot be opened.  This is a clear sign that a termite colony is living inside the dark cabinet.  There is a build-up of moisture and mud inside the cabinet that is why it is hard to open.  My mom's cabinet has to be opened forcefully because of this and it looks gross.

Mom's cabinet.  I already threw the clothes inside this drawer because I saw termites on it.  The cabinet on the top of the photo is the one that can't be opened due to termite colony inside.


QUESTIONS TO ASK TO THE TERMITE CONTROL COMPANY:

Kind of treatment/chemical to be used.  It is very important for you to know first what is the treatment plan in your home.  Ask all the questions that you have during the assessment/check-up.  

There are basically two types of termite treatment method: drill method and bait method.  The drill method is when the pest control company drills holes all over the perimeter of your home (around 18inches deep).  You need to move your things during drilling (holes should be aligned with each other.  After all the holes have been drilled, a chemical will be pumped to each hole for about thirty seconds.  The holes will be sealed with a small amount of cement.  

Drill method.  Look how long the drill bit is


The drill method is cheaper than the second treatment (bait method).  If you chose this method, it is very important to know the kind of chemical to be used.  The most common chemical used has a strong smell that can last for a week or two and might also endanger your pets.  The odorless chemical is a bit pricey but it's safe for dogs and humans.  I opted for the odorless type because I worry about our dog.  

To know if the chemical used is safe, check the color marker at the bottom of the bottle.  The bottle that has a green label on it means it is not harmful to the environment.    The bottle with yellow label on it is harmful to the environment and usually the one that leaves a strong smell after the treatment.  

Green means environment-friendly and pet-safe

Mixing chemicals to be pumped inside the holes

Mixing chemicals in a small drum



There is another alternative, the bait method.  Several boxes with powdered chemicals serve as food for the termites are strategically put around the house.  The soldier termites will eat the powder and feed the queen termite.  Eventually, the termites will lose its teeth and will die of starvation.  The pest control company will visit the house after three months to check the boxes to see if there's a need to add more "food" or not.  The pest control company will continue to visit your house until the termites are all gone. 

The box used in bait method


The bait method is the most expensive termite treatment.  This is ideal for condominium units because drilling is impossible and for those people who don't like drilling around the house.  Furthermore, the bait system does not create so much dirt and dust after the treatment.

Price.  Pest control companies have a standard rate (minimum of Php15,000 for a 200sqm property) depending on the type of treatment and how big the property is.  

Each treatment has a warranty of one year.  It means that if there are still termites during the year, the pest control company will go back to your home for check-up and treatment at no extra cost.  

WHAT TO DO DURING TERMITE TREATMENT:

Expect that the house will be messy.  If you opt for the drill method, expect that there will be dust and mud after the treatment.  In addition to that, some of the furniture and appliances need to be moved during drilling and spraying so you need to put it back to its place after the pest control company has left.

For the bait method, although it won't be as messy as the drill system, you still need to rearrange some things in your home because the area where the box will be placed should be kept untouched for months until the termites are gone.

Keep all your valuables.  The pest control company will not be liable for the valuables lost during the treatment, so make sure that all your valuables are well-kept and away from sight.


TERMITE CONTROL TIPS:

Yes, there's a way to make your home termite-free!

Keep your house active.  It means that you maximize each room in your house.  Open cabinets, rearrange furniture, pick books from the shelf are some of the activities that you should do to keep the termites away.  Termites do not like noises, so if the house is active, it won't invite termites in your home.  

Spots in the house that are dark and untouched are the places where termites start to breed.  My mom's clothes cabinet is tidy and orderly, but since I didn't open it, termites bred on that area.  After the treatment, I will just leave the cabinet doors open so that lights will pass through.

Turn on lights.  Termites breed in the dark, so turn on the lights on certain parts of your house every now and then.  Termites hate light.

Have a home check-up every five years.  This is a preventive measure, don't wait for your house to be infested by termites before calling a pest control company.


After reading my blog, please try to check your whole house if it needs to be checked by a pest control company.  I highly recommend Sir Vokz Pest Control because they're knowledgeable and transparent.  Sir Vokz Pest Control is based in Quezon City but it can reach you anywhere you live.  They might just charge extra for transportation but I can say it's really worth it.





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