Formosan Subterranean Termites

Formosan Termite Origins and Expansion

The Formosan subterranean termite, (Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki), is an invasive species of termite. Its native habitat ranged from Southern China to Japan to Taiwan. The Formosan termites get their name from Taiwan’s former Portuguese name, Formosa, meaning “beautiful.”

United States Formosan Termite Infestations

Within the last hundred years the habitat of the Formosan termites has expanded to South Africa, Hawaii, and the continental United States. The first recorded appearance of these invasive termites in the continental United Sates was in Charleston, South Carolina in 1957.

Since that first appearance, they have been found in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. An isolated colony of the Formosan termites has even been found in San Diego, California in 1992.

Formosan termites are rarely found north of 35° north latitude because their eggs will not hatch if the temperature is below 20°C (68°F). It is believed that this insect population was introduced to many port cities at the end of WWII by ships returning from the Pacific Ocean Theatre.

Eating Machines

Formosan termites have earned the nickname the “super-termite” because of their destructive eating habits.

There are four main reasons these insects are so destructive:

  • The large colony size. One colony can contain several million individuals, as compared to most other subterranean termite colonies which only contain several hundred thousand.
  • A single colony can have a territory up to 300 feet.
  • A colony can infect a variety of structures, such as boats and high rise buildings.
  • They can eat wood very rapidly. One colony can eat as much as 13 ounces of wood a day, and severely damage a structure in as little as three months.

The Formosan subterranean termites are among the most destructive termites in the world today. These termites don’t just eat wood, they have been known to chew through foam insulation boards, lead and copper sheeting, some plastics, and even asphalt. Once these vicious termites a colony it has not been possible to eradicate them.

Formosan Termite Colony

Formosan termites can build colonies both below and above ground, although they generally live below ground. Underneath the ground the termites build an extensive series of tunnels that they use for foraging. Formosan termites build large nests that are made of carton. Carton is fecal matter that the termites use to build the wall structure of the nest. The colony can live of the moisture from the carton for months. The nests can be both in soil and above ground hidden away in the walls of buildings. These nests can be as large as several cubic feet.

Formosan Termite Castes

A Bug’s Life

Formosan termites have a caste system composed of a king, queen, workers, soldiers, and alates (reproductive winged termites). The king and queen are the primary reproductives in a colony. The queen has a life span of about 15 years, and can lay up to 1,000 eggs per day.

Worker termites provide the food for the colony, tend the eggs, build and maintain the nest, and generally care for the soldiers, larvae, and alates.

Soldier termites defend the colony. Soldier termites can produce a protective poison called naphthalene, which repels ants, poisonous fungi, and nematode worms. Soldier termites are very aggressive and will attack fingers and tools if they are provoked, fortunately their poison is harmless to humans.

Formosan Termite SoldierThey have orange-brown oval shaped heads, and black sickle shaped mandibles. Their bodies are yellow-white and are about 1/5 to 1/4 inches long. Worker and solider termites only live for 3-5 years. Alates breed the colony; they can lay approximately 15 to 30 eggs. Alates are also called swarmmers, and have a tendency to congregate around light from windows, light fixtures, and window sills. Alates are yellowish-brown with golden brown heads, black eyes and two pairs of wings. They are about 1/2 to 3/5 inch long from head to wing tip. Alates that successfully breed will go out to form their own colony and become the king and queen of that colony. Few alates survive the quest.

Fight Infestation

Signs of infestation of Formosan termites are swarmmers at night that are attracted to light, shelter tubes made of soil that are filled with termites when broken open, damaged wood that sounds dull when tapped with a hard object, or nests made of carton. Several ways to fight infestation are to create barriers, fumigate the infected area, and set baits. Prevention is the best tool against termites. A liquid insecticide should be administered to the soil beneath and around the foundation before building begins. Siding and insulation should not touch the ground during construction. Pressured-treated lumber in critical building areas will lessen the risk of termite infestation.

Termites 101 – Know Your Enemy

Recyclers of the forests and jungles, termites provide a service to mankind and the rest of the living world. Termites eat wood, dead wood, not living trees. Microorganisms in their digestive systems break down wood-cellulose into the component glucose which can be used as fuel in termites muscles. Termites are part of the cycle of nature that make this world such a miraculous place.

Termites and Ants

Despite numerous similarities, there are distinctions between termites and ants. Ants have a “wasp waist” between their thorax and their abdomen; termites do not. In termites, the head, the thorax and the abdomen appears as a continuous, but increasing width from front to back. Ants do not specialize in wood consumption as termites do.

Termite Societies

Each colony of termites has a large queen termite who lays the eggs and thus provides for a continuation of the colony. One or more males hang around to provide fertilization of the eggs produced by the queen. They have little else to do, but they are necessary.

Most of the colony are female workers who scurry around to maintain the nest and eat the wood that provides the nourishment for the rest of the colony. In addition to getting food for themselves, they feed the queen, the males, the soldiers, for the vast population of larvae from which the future generations of queens, males, workers, and soldiers will come. Yes, there is a professional military in many termite colonies, soldier termites with large sharp mandibles and strong head structures necessary for their military duties.

The Different Kinds of North American Termites

In America there are four kinds of termites, drywood, dampwood, subterranean, and Formosan. Most widespread are the subterranean termites which live in the ground near a wooden structure and develop enclosed passageways into the structure. There these termites work under the surface of wooden components which are weakened as the wood is invisibly devoured. Less than a hundred years ago some foreign invaders, Formosan termites came to Texas and spread throughout the Southern States. These Formosan termites are much more diligent than our home grown subterranean termites, and they are therefore more damaging to wooden structures in the United States.

Drywood termites are the kind that live within a piece of furniture. They somehow get enough water from the wood itself to support their life. You might buy an antique and unknown to you it is infested with drywood termites. Once in your home, these can spread to other items of furniture, or the structural wood of your home.

Dampwood termites are the kind of big termites that inhabit the fallen logs in the forests of northern California and the Pacific Northwest. They recycle the fallen wood and provide for nourishment for the next generation of forest growth.

These American termites are a minor representation of the world-wide termite population. Jungle areas produce more wood and they have produced many varieties of termites. Many of these jungle termites have much more complex habitations than the termites in the temperate United States.

The Termite Life Cycle

The queen lays the eggs. Queens are much larger than the mature worker termites in the next. The extended abdomen of the queen termite is an egg factory that keeps going and going. The eggs are carried away by the worker termites to hatching chambers in the termite nest and they are cared for as they are maturing. The males fertilize the female, injecting the sperm into the ovaries, so that the eggs are ejected from the queen already fertilized and developing.

When the eggs hatch they become larvae which need nourishment and tending. In the earliest stages of a colony the queen might feed the larvae, but as the colony gets larger, the workers perform to these functions. After some period of growth the larvae go into the pupae stage where they are transformed into adult termites.

A few of the pupae will emerge as female future queens and fertile males. These will mature with wings and will swarm off to become new couples founding a new colony of termites in another location.

Most of the pupae will emerge as workers to increase the viability of their mother and her mate. These workers adapt to a host of assignments in or near the nest. They scurry around appearing to have some task or another at all times. Still other pupae will emerge as soldiers fully equipped and designed to defend the colony.

Termite Nests and Colonies

As indicated above, there are many kinds of termites world-wide and they have different kinds of dwellings. All termites need wood and water. Take away their supply of either of these and the termites will disappear. All termites prefer isolation from the rest of the world. They like enclosed space and protected passageways.

Many species termites will dwell in the ground, establishing elaborate chambers in loose earth for housing the larvae and eggs. These underground termite nests will have to be close to a supply of wood and they will often have covered passageways between the wood and the living quarters. If subterranean termites find enclosed empty space, they might extend their nest outside the ground area, constructing nests of soil mixed with wood they have processed into a paper like substance.

In Central America and elsewhere large termite nests will be mounted in trees. The termites in the nest will be protected from their predators on the ground, but they have to go down the tree trunk to the food supply on the forest floor.

In Africa, Australia, and other tropical places termites might erect substantial structures, some of them of cement-like materials which the worker termites have processed. Here, numerous queens give rise to millions upon millions of termites in a single colony. These termite nests are substantial structures several meters high and several meters in circumference. In Southeast Asia one such structure had a resemblance to Buddha, and was venerated by the local human worshippers.

The Size of Termites

The newly hatched larvae and even freshly emerging adults are often quite small. As these adult, workers and soldiers, will increase in size. When fully grown such adult workers and soldiers may be Ľ inch in length up to ľ inch. For example, the dampwood termites in Northwest United States might be of the larger type, while the subterranean termites might be in the smaller range. The mature queens in almost all species may be two or three inches in length, most of that being the egg producing abdomen. The males will be larger than the workers, but definitely smaller than the queens.

Swarms of Termites

Many species of termites will go through a mating ritual which becomes visible. Newly matured queens and males will have wings and they will swarm together, the females anxious to find a suitable male with which to mate. When such a match is made, the two will fly off together and establish a new home, maybe in the soil, maybe in fallen log, depending the species and type of termite. This swarming behavior may be the most visible to humans that termites become. Generally, termites want to be invisible, since there are many other insects, birds, bats and other creatures which would like to dine on a termite meal.


Humans will do well to watch for the signs of termite infestation. This may take the form of a strange line appearing on a stone or concrete foundation of a human habitation. When such a line appears, the owners of the house should not ignore it. They should follow the line to where it enters the house. Some of the wood in a dwelling might be more tasty than other types of wood. The writer remembers following such a line in a home in New Jersey. Sure enough it led to a piece of pine wood which was infested by termites.

Termite Prevention

Termite baiting and staking are common methods of control. This involves providing some attractant materials that will lure the worker termites into a place where they will pick up some slow-acting poison. The workers carrying poison will carry it back to the colony and infect the entire group, including the queen, the males, and the soldiers.

To make this procedure work, it might be advisable to plant several stakes around your dwelling in order to find where the termites are and where they are not.. Professional termite control workers can help a lot in planning such a campaign for the protection of your house and other buildings.

Other methods of termite control involving fumigating the soil all around the the buildings in order thoroughly prevent subterranean and Formosan termites from invading any of your buildings.

Termite Tenting and Fumigation

Suppose your house and furniture are completely infested with drywood termites. You may want to fight back with tenting. It is called tenting because your entire house will be covered with a huge plastic tarp. A poison gas is going to be released inside this enclosure. The gas will penetrate every nook and cranny. When the house has thus been fumigated for a couple of days, all the termites will be dead, dead, dead. You will want to remove the fish in the aquarium and any other living things in the house, including you and the kids.

What are Flying Termites?

Flying termites, similar to ants, are often visible during fall and spring seasons. These swarming termites are usually mistaken for flying insects. Reproductive winged termites are also known as alates. They are known to reproduce in warm temperature and it takes only a male and female to begin a new colony. As they mate, these creatures are known to cast off their wings. Flying winged termites are attracted towards light and can enter into homes through visible cracks or holes.

How Big Are Termite SwarmersFlying termites can be differentiated from winged ants on the basis of wings and antennae. Swarming termites have all four wings of same size and straight antennae. The flying ants have arched antennae and different sized wings. Damp wood termites are common in Arizona, California and coastal pacific regions. They breed in damp coastal places and high altitudes and have large brown wings for swarming.

Another common type in America is the subterranean termites. They breed near decayed damp wood, muddy pipes and live in colony beneath the ground. Chemical soil treatment and preventing water leaks can help to control these termites. The dry wood flying termites are visible in the southeast, southwest and parts of California states. Swarming termites in southwest are little larger than those in southeast and have big dark wings. They harm dry wooden furniture, books, floors and shelves. It is ideal to use treated lumber as a cure. Exterminator for this breed includes fumigation and poison injections.

Even though the name suggests that these termites fly, they cannot travel long distances. Hence, if you spot them flying near your home, it could mean that any part of the house or surrounding area is infested with these flying termites. Flying termites are natural agents to recycle decayed and rotten wood back to the nature. This is an impressive task but they could also harm the belongings at home. Hence, it is important to exterminate these pests from homes at the earliest.

Pictures of Flying Termites

Flying Termites subterranean-termite-swarmer

Different Ways to Get Rid of Termites

Getting rid of termites can take a lot of time and effort but ignoring the problem will just lead to more extensive damage to your home. There are many things you can try to do before having to call a professional. Below is a simple list of termite control techniques you can do on your own.

Liquid Treatments

Liquid termite treatments can be sprayed around your home to kill any existing termites as well as kill termites that come into contact with the ones that were sprayed. Termite baits are great for slowly killing off a colony of termites that may be infesting your home.  There are also liquids that mix in with water and kill off termites in and around your home.

Some termite control treatments you can do on your own, while more agressive chemicals require a licensed professional.

Termite Baits

Baits actually leave small amounts of pesticides so that the termites who come in contact with it actually bring it back to their colony and kill off other termites.

Borate termite treatments are more like a coat of paint that is put around the wood in your home usually done while the house is being built.

Termite Stakes

Termite bait stakes are also a great way to both detect and rid your home of termites. You simply stick the stake into the ground around your home and there is an indicator that tells you if termites are in fact surrounding your home. The bait kills any termites that are detected.

Where to Find Termite Control Supplies

All of these products are available online as well as in select retail locations and they are considerably cheaper than having to call a professional in to control your termite issue.

Termite Fumigation

Fumigation is what is done when you call a professional but it is not always able to kill termites there are some species of the that it does not work on.

Steps to Prevent Termite Problems

Some tips to keep them away or keep them from coming include covering any places where stuco, drywall or paint may be chipped, cracked or peeling. All a termite needs is a very small point of entry, it really doesn’t take much. Cover cracks near vents, windows, and roof siding.

Keep your gutters and crawl spaces free of dirt and debris because termites use this as food which in search of new places to eat. If you have to store mulch, firewood, or even wood chips be sure to always store them away from your home to avoid creating a moisture filled environment in which termites will continue to live and just reproduce.

Be sure to watch out for wet wood. Wet wood is easy for termites to chew through. Termites favor easy food sources and constantly wet wood is just an invitation for them to infest that area.

Know When to Call a Professional Exterminator

If you have tried all the do-it-yourself pest control methods and you still have termite problems than it is best to try to have a professional solve your problem.

Natural Termite Control with Orange Oil

For those homeowners faced with a termite infestation, Orange Oil offers an eco-friendly solution for termite treatment. Biologically friendly, Orange Oil is free of the potential risks associated with many of the products used to exterminate termites.

Orange Oil - A Natural Way to Kill TermitesOrange Oil is a completely natural substance made from the rinds of oranges. The active ingredient in Orange Oil is D-Limonene, a naturally occurring chemical found in the rinds of oranges and made available through an extraction process. This same chemical can be found in many common household cleaning products. D-Limonene contains an extremely low toxicity and has gained preference as an alternative termite control treatment for many homeowners and businesses.

Orange Oil, when used for termite control, is applied as a localized spot treatment. This treatment process kills only those termites living in the treated areas. This method of termite control is achieved by drilling holes into the infested wood and injecting the Orange Oil into the termite galleries. Once injected, the chemical will kill both termites and their eggs. Those termites which do not come into direct contact with the chemical will die if they eat wood that has been treated. It is an effective and capable treatment for dry wood termites only. Orange Oil will not kill subterranean species of termites.

There are advantages of using Orange Oil for the homeowner. It does not require that the homeowner leave the home overnight, and there is no risk to plants or animals, and no need to remove them. Foodstuffs and medicines need not be removed or covered. It is not necessary for the exterminator to walk on the roof of the home to treat the premises. The use of Orange Oil is significantly less disruptive to the homeowner than the use of other high toxicity treatments.

There are also disadvantages to the use of Orange Oil as a termite control method. Due to its bio-degradable nature, Orange Oil does not have a long lasting residual effect. This can result in having to treat the premises more often. Some pest control experts recommend the use of a low toxicity residual such as Bora-Care for longer lasting results. At the present time, there exist no definitive studies to determine the kill-rate of Orange Oil on termites. Some experts do claim that D-Limonene has a significantly lower kill-rate than traditional chemicals used in termite control.

Homeowners should consult with an expert on termite control in order to make an informed decision on what products to use. The expert can determine what type of termites are infesting the home, and suggest what treatments would be most effective on the rate of infestation and type of infestation.

Common Sense Termite Prevention Tips

Purchasing a home is a big step in life, and when a new home is purchased this becomes a way for you and your family to express one another. As with anything else that’s good, there are a number of things that can ruin your home and a termite infestation is a big one. Termites can slowly take over the control of a home, and it can take up to five years before the damaged caused by termites is even noticed and that is often too late to save a home.

Watching for Signs of Termite Activity

The first way to prevent termites is to inspect inside and around your home for the evidence that termites are there. Termites can be difficult to find so it’s best to patient when starting your search. The best place to start looking is in the basement. Take the butt end of a screw driver and begin to tap any wood that you see in that area such as walls, floors, and ceiling joists. If you notice that some of the wood you are tapping on is hollow, this could possible indicate a problem, and definitely needs further looking into.

Sealing Holes and Using Termite Screens

If you have looked further into what you discovered in the basement and turns out that you have termites here are a few tricks to keeping new ones out and getting rid of the old ones. The first step is to begin by caulking the outside of your home if you notice any cracks or holes where termites can possibly get in. Use termite screens around holes located around sinks and faucets where piping is coming into your home, termites love water so these are primarily places where they enter the home.

Get Rid of Loose Wood Debris

Next get rid of any wood or debris lying around your home or yard. Termites feed on wood and letting this lay around will keep them in your yard. If you have a fire place and keep a wood pile close to your home, just elevate it off the ground a couple of inches in order to keep termites from getting into the firewood that you will be bringing into your home.

Keep the Area Around Your Home Dry

Also keep things as dry as possible. Termites like to hang out in dark, damp places and need moisture to survive. Keep a check for leaks underneath faucets and around water spickets because leaks can attract termites to your home. When watering plants around the home, make sure you aren’t spraying water onto anything that is wood or anything a termite would consider a tasty meal. Always keep your gutters clean. Water and debris often collecting these and can be a huge feeding ground for termites.

What to Do If You Find Termites

There are also a number of different sprays and fertilizers that you can put in your yard to keep termites out of your yard if you notice that your termite infestation isn’t diminishing with all of these tricks. Always keep an eye on the place termites can enter the home, and check around your home for the possible invasion of termites before they do serious damage to your home and cost you and your family lots of money.

Termite Detection and Control with Termite Stakes

In areas that are susceptible to termite activity, proactive measures need to be taken so you can identify termite activity quickly and early.  Before you experience difficulty with termites or even an infestation, termite stakes should be considered as an early warning detection and control method.

How Do Termite Stakes Help You Find Termite Activity?

A Termite StakeTermite stakes are hollow plastic stakes that are placed at intervals around the perimeter of a home and around the yard.  When termite stakes are first placed, they are filled with a removable wood block core. This wood helps monitor for the presence of termites.  As termites dig along, they will run into one or more the termite stakes.  You will have to place a number of them around the yard to make sure the termites find them.

WA Termite Stakehen they termite encounter a termite stake, they will start eating the wood inside.

And that’s how you find them!  You monitor the stakes for any wood that has been partially eaten away. And that will help you notice related termite activity.

It should be noted, that to be effective the stakes have to be monitored and checkered regularly to see if there has been any termite activity.

Termite Stake Placement

Termite Stake PlacementThe stakes are placed around the home to form a type of perimeter.

Usually, 10 to 20 will be needed around most homes.  Larger homes will obviously need more and smaller homes may be able to get a way with fewer (although that’s not really recommended).

After you have a good perimeter, extra stakes can also be placed strategically around the yard to help give additional range to your termite detection.

How Do Termite Stakes Kill Termites?

Once you find any termite damage to the wood in your termite stakes, you move from detection to elimination mode.  The wood in the termite stake is replaced with a wood block treated with termiticides or insect growth regulators.  These are slow acting pesticides that do not kill a termite immediately.  A termite worker will gather the chemicals in the stake will take them back to their colony, just like they wood any other wood.  As the worker feeds the wood to the other colony members, they too become infected with the chemicals and eventually the entire colony will be killed. If insect growth regulators are used inside the stakes, this will cause abnormal development within the termites which will kill them over time.

The benefit to this method of termite control, is that it can kill the entire colony.  The slow acting poisons make sure that the termicides spread to all the members of the colony, most importantly the queen termite.

When Will Termite Stakes NOT Help?

If you already have a termite infestation in your home, termite stakes won’t help you.  Termite stakes are designed to help you deal with termites finding their way into your home, but once they are already there, placing stakes won’t kill them.  Termites that have already found a major source of food won’t be building as many exploratory tunnels, so they are less likely to find the stakes.

Continuing Use After the Problem

Many times when you have had a termite problem in the past and already taken care of them, termite stakes can still be used afterward as an ongoing preventative measure. You will want to keep you termite stakes in place to help detect any future termite activity.  This lets you know it is time to deal with termites again of if you need to employ more effective methods of controlling the termites.  Installing termite stakes is more cost effective in preventing termites than when finding serious damage later.

Termite Stake Kits

Termite Stake KitTermite stakes can be installed by a pest control company or you can buy and install them yourself with a handy Termite Stake Kit. One popular kind is The Termite Home Defense System made by Terminate and sold under the brand Spectracide within lawn and garden insecticides. This is sold in boxes with 20, 40 or 60 stakes in each box. What type boxes you need will depend on the square footage being treated. Termite stakes are easy and cheap to buy online.

Some termite stake kits are rather fancy and include a ground drill and alert of termite activity with a popup indicator if there is termite activity.

Termite bait systems generally run around $75, for a kit with 20 stakes in it.

The success of termite baiting and stakes requires careful installing, monitoring and replenishment of bait. Ongoing monitoring will also be needed of the entire structure. With proper and efficient preventative measures, termites can be stopped with termite stakes before they are able to do any damage.

Terminate Termite Stake Kit

The stakes have to be monitored and checkered regularly to see if there has been any termite activity.

Termite Mud Tubes

Termite mud tubes are a clear sign that subterranean termites have established an infestation. Termite mud tubes are often found under crawl spaces and in basements of infested homes. These tubes are protective tunnels termites use to travel from below ground into the wooden structure they have begun to infest. This tubing usually starts from the ground as a single tunnel and branches outward into multiple tubes as it climbs the basement wall. This hollow tube is built by the termites out of mud, feces and saliva. Subterranean termites maintain their colonies underground and use these tubes as access points to reach the wood they are using as a food source.

A Termite Mud TubeA tube can be broken to determine if there is an active termite presence in the tubing. Inactive tubes are dry, brittle, and break easily. Termites will also repair the broken sections of tubing if it is actively used. Mud tubing indicates an active infestation; however, the absence of mud tubes is not an accurate determination of whether a structure is infested. Tubes can be hidden from view in cracks or behind siding. Structures should always be inspected regularly, but if a mud tube is located, immediate professional inspection is highly recommended.

What are Termite Inspections?

Termite inspections are carried out for residences and businesses to insure that there are no termites present on the property. The inspections are carried out on a regular basis so that the termite damage can be caught as early as possible. The inspection is a complete inspection of the entire property around where termites like to reside the most.

What do inspectors check?

Inspectors check for termite damage on all wood surfaces under and above the house. Basements are popular places for termites to reside, so they are checked as well. All walls of the exterior of the house are checked as well as underneath a house. Pier and beam foundation houses are some of the most susceptible houses to termites because of all the wood foundations.

How often should a termite inspection occur?

Depending on the area, inspections should occur anywhere between once and year and once every five years. It is important to have frequent inspections so that the damage done to the house and foundation is minimal so that the cost of repair, if necessary, will not be extreme. If you have had termites before, and treated them, it might be a good idea to get an inspection six months after the treatment to make sure everything worked properly.

How much do they cost?

Termite inspection cost varies with the size of the property and where the home is located. The average cost for an inspection is anywhere between $100 and $200. This fee covers the inspection, the report, the cost of labor, transportation, and any other fees associated with the inspection. Of course if termites are found, then the cost to get rid of them is much higher. A termite treatment program often costs over $4000. This is why it is a good idea to have frequent inspections to avoid even larger treatment costs.

Is there a time of year that is better than others?

Termites are more active during temperatures that are above 50 degrees. Usually they move to new places during the spring. The best time to get a termite inspection is late spring or early summer. This is the time that the termites are likely to be the most active. If you live in a termite prone area, then having a termite inspection in the fall and having another in the spring is the best way to stay clean.

How to Choose a Termite Extermination Company

Understanding Your Problem

Whenever you are hiring an outside expert to solve any problem, it is always important to have at least some understanding of the basics of the problem on your own so that you can be sure that the work is done right and at an appropriate cost. In the case of a termite infestation, it is common to feel a certain amount of anxiety concerning the prospect of serious damage to your property and to rush out and hire a termite extermination company immediately. However, the best medicine for these types of fear, and you will feel much more in control of your problem if you simply spend some time researching termites and getting a rough idea of how extensive of an infestation you might be dealing with. Even if it turns out that you have a serious termite problem, you will find yourself able to have an intelligent conversation with the exterminator over your treatment options as opposed to feeling that you are entirely at their mercy for a problem that you do not properly understand.

Discuss Termite Extermination Options with Multiple Companies

Once you have collected enough information to understand what you are dealing with, it is time to start taking the problem on. The first step is to obtain multiple consultations from termite extermination companies for different treatment options that they recommend. Unless you have a very serious termite problem, you will likely find that the different termite exterminators offer a wide range of different treatments, some of which are more involved than others. Once you have a handle on the different courses of action that the exterminators recommend, you can continue to your research and decide which treatment makes the most sense for you. This will probably narrow down your potential termite extermination company down to just a few options.

Check References and Reviews of the Companies

Unfortunately, not all termite extermination companies were created equally, and you are much better off going with a company that will get the job done right the first time then by simply choosing the lowest priced quote you can find. Most companies should be able to provide with some references from customers that you can contact, as well as other information that you can take into consideration, such as how long they have been in business and the size of their operation. You may also be able to find service reviews from previous customers through internet forums and local product and service review sites. Once you have learned a little bit about the reputation of the termite extermination company that offers the most sensible extermination service, you will feel confident in trusting that you have made an informed choice in finding an expert to tackle your termite infestation.