Monthly Archives: February 2014

Termites Invade Tampa Bay

It’s that time of year again.  It’s almost like clockwork. The weather gets a little warmer, the Florida State Fair comes to town, The Strawberry Festival begins….and another yearly event….termite swarms!!!  Termites are swarming NOW, especially in Eastern Hillsborough Counties, like Valrico, Plant City, Riverview, etc.  We’ve seen some pretty big swarms this year and we’re expecting more to come with the warmer temperatures.

So, what are  Subterranean Termites?  What do they look like?  And why do they enter your home in the 1st place?

What Are Termites

Subterranean Termites are small organisms that live in underground colonies with as many as 1 million members.  They work & eat 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  When subterranean termites search for food above ground, they may enter a house through small cracks or joints in the foundation, or by building shelter tubes along foundation walls.  These tubes are super-highways connecting the underground termite population with aboveground food sources.

Why Do Termites Like to Eat The Wood in Your House?

  There are a few things that help keep termites alive and in your home – water, cellulose and shelter. Cellulose is what makes up dead wood.  When there is no more cellulose underground, they look elsewhere for sources of nutrition,  which may lead them to your home.

Termites will eat any type of wood, as long as the wood is dead, and most houses have plenty of dead wood for termites to feast on. Stumps, mulch, and other wood debris are a perfect meal for a hungry termite. If termites get into the foundation of a home and into the wooden structure, they can cause severe damage.

Signs You May Have Termites

Subterranean Termite Swarmers...usually found around windows and doors

Subterranean Termite Swarmers…usually found around windows and doors

 

 

Termite mud tubes going up a garage wall.

Termite mud tubes going up a garage wall.

 

Termite mud tubes, exit holes and blistered wood in a baseboard

Termite mud tubes, exit holes and blistered wood in a baseboard

The 1st signs of termite infestation a homeowner generally sees, are the swarmers and their discarded wings around window sill and door frames.  See the 1st picture above.

When looking for termite evidence, walk around the exterior of your home and look for signs of mud tubes going under siding or on the exterior foundation wall.  If you have a crawl space under your home, you’ll have to inspect the piers and brick foundation from under the house.

Check for mud tubes along garage/carport walls like the middle picture above.

Inside, check around door frames, window frames & baseboards for blistered wood, mud tubes and exit holes like the 3rd picture above.

What You Can Do About It

More times than not, termites will find sources of water to begin their search. Eliminating these water areas is the best way to defend your house from termites. Make sure that water is always drained away from your home, not toward it. Clean your gutters often to be sure that water is running away from the structure.

Removal of fire wood, old fencing or fence posts and construction wood around your home or near your home’s foundation can deter termites as well. Mulch should not cover the foundation line of your home keeping the “way in” away from the termites that might be near your home. Also be sure that the wood areas of your home are not exposed through cracks and seams in the foundation.

If you suspect you have a termite issue or if you just want to make sure you don’t, give our office a call @ 813-935-7554 and I’ll send 1 of my highly trained technicians to your home for a FREE inspection.

Yours for a pest-free home….

I Guarantee Your Home Will Be Subterranean Termite Free for 5 Years….or I’ll Refund Your Money!

 “OUR EXCLUSIVE IRON-CLAD, NO WIGGLE ROOM, SIMPLE, STRAIGHTFORWARD GUARANTEES.”

Basically, I guarantee you will have a subterranean termite-free home or I’ll retreat it for free and refund 100% of your initial investment.  You will not find ANY company willing to match these guarantees.  Here are the details:

 GUARANTEE #1:  If, after 120 days of your first treatment and up to day 1825…that’s 5 years, we uncover a new colony of live subterranean termites—we will REFUND YOUR ENTIRE INITIAL INVESTMENT. (Termite warranties must be paid and up to date)

GUARANTEE #2:  If, during any year thereafter, we uncover a live colony of subterranean termites, we will retreat your home for FREE—EVEN IF YOU SELL THE HOME AND MOVE OUT!

 Frankly, there’s no way on earth I could afford to do this—unless I was successful at making homes just like yours subterranean termite-free and at keeping customers for life.  Which I am.  I have the most experienced technicians in the industry…personally trained by me, the best equipment, the best materials and I have My Unique 19-Step Treatment System That Simply Leaves Subterranean Termites No Place to Hide!!

So, take note: There’s no fine print here.  No “weasel clauses”.  No attorney language.

I guarantee your home to be free of live subterranean termites PERIOD!

Call my office @ 813-935-7554 and schedule your FREE 57-Point inspection with 1 of my highly trained technicians.  You’ll be glad you did!

You can also request a FREE inspection of your home by going to http://chetspest.com/contactus.html

Yours for a Bug Free Home…..

 

Cooler Weather Drives Rats In

How Rats Enter and Damage Your Home

Tuesday I received a call from a frantic homeowner because they were hearing noises in the attic.  They couldn’t sleep Monday night because of noises in the attic…combined with the thought they had something living in their house.

So, I went to the house Tuesday afternoon for an inspection and this is what I found:  (watch the video below)

Needless to say, after I showed the homeowner this video, they were shocked at the amount of damage the rats had already caused and we started our trap and seal program that day.

Interesting Rat Facts

Rats are active mostly at night. They have poor eyesight, but they make up for this with their keen senses of hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Rats learn and explore constantly, memorizing pathways, obstacles, food and water, shelter, and other factors of their environment. They quickly detect and tend to avoid new objects and new food sources. Thus, they often avoid traps and baits for several days or more following their initial placement.

Rats can gain entry to structures by gnawing, climbing, jumping, or swimming through sewers and entering through toilets or broken drains.  As the video showed, they  jump from tree branches hanging over the roof right into the attic.  They travel along electric & phone wires connected to the home.  They also climb gutters and air conditioning pipes to gain access to the attic.

Rats can squeeze beneath a door with only a 1/2-inch gap. If the door is made of wood, the rat might gnaw to enlarge the gap to gain entry.

How to Spot a Rat Infestation

Here in Florida, rats are active throughout the year.   Once rats have been spotted in the yard or landscaping,  it is only a matter of time before you find evidence of them indoors, unless your home has already been rodent proofed.  Even then, you want to make sure the prior proofing is still in tact. 

Inspect your yard and home thoroughly several times a year.  Look for these signs of rat infestation:

  • Rat droppings around dog or cat dishes or pet food storage containers
  • Noises coming from the attic just after dusk
  • Pet bringing home dead rats
  • If you have fruit trees on the property, look for evidence of gnawed fruit
  • Grease/smudge marks against walls, pipes, roof lines and beams
  • Nesting material behind boxes in garage
  • Rat droppings in your recycle bins

If you have any of these signs of rat infestation or if you just want to make sure you don’t have any rats, give our office a call @ 813-935-7554 and I’ll send one of my highly trained technicians to inspect your home FREE of charge.

You can also request a FREE inspection of your home by going to http://chetspest.com/contactus.html

Yours for a Bug Free Home…..