Q: How do I know if I have termites?
A: There are four species of wood-destroying pests in Northern California: powder post beetles, dry wood termites, subterranean termites and damp wood termites. Dry wood termites are the most common—they leave piles of droppings or pellets near their nests, and they swarm on warm days (swarmers look like red ants with wings). Subterranean termites are ground dwelling and build tubes to access their food. Look for mud tubes or swarmers in the spring months. Subterranean swarmers look like small, black water ants with wings. The easiest way to identity flying ants from termites is to check the wings—if they’re short, stubby and end at the rear end of the insect, it’s a flying ant; if they’re long, tear-shaped and twice the length of the insect, it’s a termite. Hollow wood is also a very good indication of an infestation.
Q: How does the microwave process work?
A: We use visual inspection and detection devices to locate dry wood termite infestations. Once detected, the microwave is directed at the termite nest, heating the area to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Termites are more than 90 percent water, so they boil to death. We also occasionally use low-toxicity chemicals, depending on the species of termite and where the nest is located.
Q: Can any structure be treated with the microwave process?
A: No. If a structure is heavily infected throughout and has been left untreated for years, it should be fumigated first, and then controlled by the microwave process.
Q: Do I have to leave my house during the microwave process?
A: No, you can stay in the building. You just have to stay out of the immediate area where we’re using the microwave system.
Q: Do I have to disconnect my appliances or alarm system during the microwave process?
A: No, the microwaves don’t affect electrical wiring.
Q: I’m thinking of selling my home in the next few years. Will I have to do the microwave treatment again to clear escrow?
A: No. Whether we microwave or fumigate your home, we’ll certify it for escrow purposes as long as it’s under the original or extended warranty. There may be a charge for escrow services.
Q: Do you also fumigate?
Q: Is your warranty the same for fumigation?
A: Yes, if your home is fumigated or goes through the microwave process, the warranty is the same.
Q: What does a three-year warranty mean?
A: Unlike other companies, our warranty is quite simple. Your entire structure is covered for three years against any old or new infestation, regardless of the species or affected area. All service calls during your warranty period are free. This covers the original and extended warranties if renewed after the first three years. We offer limited warranties for spot treatments.
Q: Do you use your own employees?
A: Yes, all work (except tent fumigations) is performed by employees of this company. Each person is licensed, bonded and covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Due to the large number of multi-unit projects we work on, such as apartments and townhouse associations, we also carry extensive liability coverage.
Q: Is there an outside source that provides more information about termite control?
A: The termite industry is highly regulated and monitored due to the potential effects of fumigants on human life. The Structural Pest Control Board, which is a division of the Department of Consumer Affairs, provides extensive information on any company in this industry.
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