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Termite FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get termites?

There are many circumstances that can lead to a termite infestation in your home. Some of which you can control and others that you can not.

Subterranean termites look for areas where wood contacts the earth. However, a direct earth to wood contact is not necessary for this type of termite to infest your home. Sometimes just a crack in your foundation is enough for this species to find your home and begin destructive damage.

Drywood termites usually land on your home during swarming season (late summer through early fall). A male and female start a family in the wood members of your home and live happily ever after (unless you call CVA).

Most termites species are assisted by the conducive conditions mentioned above. Other conditions that are conducive to termite infestations are: excessive moisture conditions, faulty grades, cellulose debris in the subarea, etc.
Check your home regularly to avoid opportunity to invite termites into your home. Better yet have a professional inspection done at least every two years.

What can I do to prevent a termite infestation?

Making sure that many of the conditions mentioned above are ‘absent’ from your home is a great first step. This means checking your home to make sure there are no areas where wood is touching the soil, ensuring you correct any excessive moisture conditions ( like plumbing leaks ) promptly and keeping your home well painted and sealed helps a great deal. Also, having a regular inspection at least every couple years helps by having a professional advise you on areas you may be able to work on.

How can I be sure that I don’t just have flying ants?

Ants and termites are quite a bit different (if you know what you are looking for). Ants have very defined body parts. The head, abdomen and thorax are very well defined. Also, ants have elbowed antennae. Termites are mostly head and the abdomen and thorax are almost one and their antenna are slightly curved. 

Additionally, there wings are very different. Ants have two pairs of wings of unequal size, where as termites have wings of all equal length. 

Google ant vs. termite for photos on the net.  

I no longer see evidence of termites, does that mean they are gone?

If you have had the home treated by a professional termite control company, yes. If you have not done anything about a known termite infestation, not likely. Why? Depending on the type of termite infestation you may have, the evidence you see may just indicate that the infestation has moved on from the area where you noticed them, or the swarming season may have ended. We find that most homeowners feel if they stop swarming ‘they must be gone’. The truth is the swarming members of the termite colony are gone, however, the workers and the queen are still at home savoring your home’s framing. The best way to make sure your home is not a termite’s meal is to order a free inspection today!

How long can I wait before I should take care of my termite problem?

Not long. Termites eat 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
To better gauge how much time you have we provide the following info on how long you may have.

Subterranean termites:
These termites have extremely large colonies and if your home is the only source of food they have, they can do a lot of damage fast. Don’t wait if you have these.

Drywood Termites:
This colony starts off a little slow but they tend to snowball. If you are seeing substantial amounts of droppings, your inspection report indicates infestations in several areas or you have swarms of these termites in your home, the colony(ies) may be large and well established and require immediate attention. Swarming indicates they have very likely been in your home at least four years.

Formosan Termites:
If you have been told you have these termites. You may not have a choice. These are the most dangerous and destructive termites found in the U.S. They can literally eat you out of house and home in no time at all. They are very, very rare but they must be exterminated immediately.

Dampwood Termites:
Because of the nature of this type of termite, infestations can usually be controlled by correction of conditions which are conducive to its infestation. Eliminate the cause and they should go away. Did we mention the are the biggest termites found locally?

Don’t wait. Termites have big appetites.

Why do I need a termite inspection to sell my home?

Generally, State laws require that sellers disclose any problems that a home may have. Termite and wood destroying organism problems are included. So, a ‘wood destroying organisms’ (termite) inspection is required. State laws do not generally require that you do anything about the problems, just that you disclose them. However, the ‘Golden Rule’ ( the one with the gold ($) rules) comes into effect on the sale of the home. The lender will usually require that wood destroying infestations and/or infections be eliminated, before they fund the loan. So, unless the home is free of the above, they will not fund the loan. Thus the need to correct the problems before escrow will close.

I am selling my home, when is the best time to have my home inspected?

Before you agree on a selling price. Often agents may wait until you are in escrow to order a termite inspection. This is pretty typical and if you know there are termite problems and you have budgeted for them, you should be o.k.. However, if this is not the case and you want to know if you will incur any additional expenses after you get into escrow (sellers are usually required to take care of any termite problems), get an inspection before you negotiate a price. This is especially important if you are upside down on your mortgage or are on a tight budget. Order a discounted inspection for escrow/real estate purposes on our Realtors page.

Why should CVA inspect or treat my home?

CVA prides itself on having the most informed customers in the business. We think our website is a testament to that fact. Read our Guiding Philosophy and our Mission Statement. They represent what CVA Exterminators stands for, strives for and believes. Unlike many other companies in our industry which tell their customers little about what they do, how they do it, or why they do it. We realize that informed people make better decisions and usually they are happier with the decisions they make. We like to think our customers are informed and very happy with our work.

A wood destroying organism inspection (often referred to as a termite inspection) should be conducted on homes every few years as part of a home maintenance plan. Termite inspections are conducted by licensed inspectors with a specific license designation for wood destroying pests. This license is different from the one a general pest professional who deals with other household pests like ants, spiders and rodents. Though some individuals may have both licenses, be sure your inspector is properly licensed. A wood destroying organisms inspection will look for termites and other wood destroying insects like carpenter ants, carpenter bees, various species of wood destroying beetles as well as infections cause by wood destroying fungi. Additionally, inspections disclose conditions which may be conducive to wood destroying pests or organisms such as termites or dryrot. If you suspect a wood destroying organism problem due to strange droppings or wood shavings or damaged wood, call for a professional inspection. Limited inspections are offered by most companies at no charge, however, comprehensive inspections are usually provided at a nominal fee.

Beware of companies offering free inspections, these are usually offered by sales organizations which send commissioned sales people who have been trained just enough to pass a licensing test, yet have little practical experience in providing effective solutions. Always ask your inspector how long he or she has been licensed.

Is dry-rot the same as termites?

Dry-rot is caused by a wood destroying fungal infection. It is not an insect like a termite, but it can do just as much or even more damage to your homes wood. Typically, there is a moisture conditon present that has contributed to the fungal infection. The infection is like a wood cancer, so it must be cut out. In some cases it can be treated with special chemicals that may be able to kill or at least slow the progress of the infection. Only appropriately licensed individuals can apply these materials. If your selling your home, dry-rot or fungal infections are considered the same as termites and are categoriezed as a Section 1 finding. If a clearance is required, then all dry-rot conditions must be corrected.