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Is Termite Control Necessary For Homeowners In Nashville?

When considering whether or not something is necessary, it is best to check in with an expert. When it comes to termites, Dave Ramsey recommends proactive termite control to his friends, family, and fans. But wait, Dave Ramsey isn't a termite expert. No. But he is well known for offering sound financial advice and steering his fans toward smart financial decisions, which is what proactive termites control is. Getting insurance for the big things, like your house, car, and emergency health care, makes sense. According to Dave, so does termite control. Join us as we examine a few facts every Nashville resident should know about subterranean termites. Before we get started, remember that the All-American Pest Control service team can directly answer all your termite questions. You can jump to our contact page to schedule a service visit or get immediate assistance with termite pest control in Nashville. With that said, let's look at why proactive termite protection is a good idea. 

technician checking sentricon system

Why Do They Call Termites Silent Destroyers?

When termites start to nibble on your home, you're not likely to know it. Subterranean termites live in the ground where it is dark and damp—two conditions important to worker termites. Let's start by looking at how these two conditions keep termites out of sight and out of mind.

Darkness: A worker termite lives its entire life in utter darkness. It prefers it this way. When worker termites enter your home, they stay hidden in the wood. They won't crawl around on your walls and reveal themselves to you. Worker termites do everything possible to avoid light.

Dampness: A worker termite dries out easily. For this reason, they will bring soil into the tunnels they create in wood. The soil helps to trap moisture and keep worker termites hydrated. You won't find these termites crawling outside their tunnels for long unless there is moisture or high humidity. 

Do you see why they stay hidden? But this is only one part of the reason they're called silent destroyers. Termite workers slowly break wood into tiny pieces of sawdust and consume them. It is a slow process, and they don't make much noise when they do it. You would not likely hear termites eating the wood in your home even if you placed your ear against a timber of wood with termites munching on the inside.

While silent, termites are not undetectable. Dogs can sometimes detect termites. They hear sounds we can't hear, but even dogs have a hard time hearing termites. When trainers condition dogs to locate termites inside structures, they teach them to use their noses, not their ears. Dogs can pick up the smell of methane released by termites and help inspectors zero in on active termites.

So, are termites always quiet? No. Sometimes it is possible to hear termites, but it isn't the workers you'll hear. Soldier termites sometimes bang their heads against tunnel walls to warn of invading predators, such as ants, but before you get too excited about being able to hear this warning sign of a termite problem, you should know that it is rare. It is also subtle. The sound of termite soldiers is usually a gentle rustling noise rather than a noticeable clicking.   

Okay. You can't easily hear termites inside the walls of your home. Is there some other way to detect termites? Yes. It is possible to find signs of termites in your yard and home. Let's take a look at the signs.

Four Termite Warning Signs Every Homeowner Ought To Know

While subterranean termites are incredibly sneaky, they may reveal themselves in subtle ways. If you're aware of these warning signs, you can detect trouble early and avoid termite damage.

  1. Shelter Tubes. Subterranean termites create above-ground tunnels with saliva and soil. The tubes shelter worker termites from the air so that they don't dry out. You may find these shelter tubes on your foundation walls, exterior stairs, concrete piers, and other hard structural materials. A shelter tube often looks like a wiggly mud line. As the shelter tube climbs from the soil to the wood of your home, it may branch several times. Some describe these mud tubes as looking like a branching river or chain lightning. When worker termites create multiple tubes in one location, such as up the sides of a concrete pier in a crawl space, they no longer look like thin lines. Some service professionals have found shelter tube masses more than three feet in diameter!  
  2. Worker Termites. You might see worker termites when you're out in your yard picking up dead branches or moving stacked wood around. But don't expect to see them for long. They quickly disappear into soil and wood. When you see them, you might not realize it. While you may know what termite workers look like, it is easy to overlook them. A worker termite is a mere 1/8 of an inch long. You may see these insects and think you're looking at fat, pale-colored ants. We hope you don't. That brief sighting might be your only warning sign.   
  3. Winged Termites. These are the termites that drive residents to contact a professional. When you see a swarm inside your house, you won't wonder whether or not you have a termite problem. So, why not wait until you see these black, white-winged termites? A termite colony doesn't produce winged termites at first. It takes years for a colony to mature and begin to release termite swarmers. When you see swarmers in your home, not only is it a warning sign of a severe infestation, those swarmers are a late warning sign. We don't suggest waiting to see winged termites. 
  4. Wings. Often, termite swarmers aren't seen at all. A termite swarm doesn't last long—typically only between thirty minutes to an hour. A nest can release swarmers outside of your home, and they can disappear before you return from a trip to the grocery store. When this happens, you may only see wings as a warning sign. Termite swarmers shed their wings during the reproductive process. These wings may be on the ground, on exterior surfaces, or trapped in spider webs. The telltale sign that you're looking at swarmer wings is that they'll all be the same size. Ant wings are different sizes. Ant wings are also more of a yellow color than termite wings. 

Did you notice that we didn't mention termite damage? It is because termite damage is rarely easy to see. Most of the damage termites do is found on the inside of wood. By the time you start to see termite damage, termites will likely have had years to damage your property. That's not a great time to find out that you have a termite infestation.  

I Found Termite Warning Signs; Now, What?

When you find warning signs of termites on your property, it is wise to have a certified termite control professional perform an inspection and offer termite control options. Another way to address a termite problem is to install a solution that provides termite control and detection, like the Sentricon® System with Always Active™. That is what the on-staff termite control experts at All-American Pest Control trust. Why Sentricon® with Always Active™ technology?

  • Sentricon® is backed by more than 60 scientific studies, 30 independent research studies, and over two decades of real-world success. 
  • Sentricon® is an award-winning system widely trusted by pest control industry leaders.
  • The Sentricon® System actively works to eliminate termite colonies that attempt to feed on your property. Worker termites feed on the bait and share the active ingredient with other workers, reproductives, and the queen.
  • Sentricon® provides easy termite monitoring. When termites take the bait in your bait stations, your service professional sees it. Not only does this provide verifiable evidence that your termite protection is working, but your service professional will also alter the bait used when termites enter your property in extreme numbers.

There is no better way to guard Nashville homes against termite damage. If there were, we'd be using it.   

Do I Really Need Professional Termite Control?

We recommend professional termite control for several reasons. First, professional-grade products, like Sentricon®, are not available to consumers. The manufacturer of the Sentricon® System trains and certifies professionals to install and maintain this product so that it always works as intended. Even effective termite control products can fail, which is the primary reason to hire a certified pest control professional. 

Another important reason to get professional termite control is that failing to get control of termites leaves your property at risk. Termites don't total a house overnight. It takes years. When installing an over-the-counter termite control product, it may take months or years to realize that it didn't work as expected.

Let the All-American Pest Control service team help you protect your property from termites if you're in Nashville. Reach out to us today. Our service agents can answer your questions and help you make the best decision for your home and family.


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