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Industry Overview: Pest Control

Posted on August 29, 2017 by Suzanne Carroll

The Bay Area’s moderate climate and abundant green space make pest control a year-round problem. At any given time, residents may find their homes overrun with insects such as termites and fleas or confronting trespassing animals like mice and rats. While many are eager to eliminate potentially harmful pests, there are also concerns about the effects of pesticides on people and pets. In this article, we’ll demystify the pest control industry by defining key terms used by professionals, providing tips for a pest-free home and answering frequently asked questions about eliminating pests.

Key Terms for Pest Control

Broad spectrum: Something that affects a wide range or large number of organisms. In pest control, Read more

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Tip Sheet: 3 Types of Termites and How to Deal With Them

Posted on July 07, 2016 by James Florence

Many people assume there’s only one kind of termite, but in reality it’s not that simple. In fact, there are three different types of termites found in the Bay Area, which is why it’s good to know how to identify and deal with each.

1. Dampwood termites
If you find dampwood termites in your home, there’s good news and bad news. The good news: since they only eat damp, rotten wood, they’re actually doing you a favor. The bad news: damp, rotten wood means there’s some kind of leak in your home. Once you’ve fixed the leak and removed the rot, the termites will go away. Read more

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How to Prevent a Termite Re-Infestation

Posted on October 01, 2013 by James Florence

If you’ve had a termite problem in the past, the last thing you want is another one. While treatments such as Orange Oil and fumigation may successfully eradicate a termite population in your home, they offer no guarantee against re-infestation down the road, which is why it’s important to take preventative measures. Consider the following tips:

Thoroughly paint and seal exposed wood
One of the most basic preventative measures you can take to protect your home against re-infestation is to make sure any exposed woodwork (both exterior and interior) is thoroughly painted and/or sealed. Things like exterior rafter tails and siding should be coated with paint and sealant to effectively protect the wood from termites. Read more

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How to Identify and Stop Termite Damage

Posted on February 29, 2012 by Matt Solis

When it comes to dealing with termite infestations, prevention is always the best policy. Regular monitoring can prevent up to 90 percent of termite damage, so watch for telltale signs of termites and have them exterminated before they get too out of control.

One of the most obvious signs of a termite infestation is the presence of earthen tubes (also called migratory tubes) outside your house. These tubes are the result of termite swarms during the spring and fall, when it first starts to rain. Another thing to watch for is irregularly shaped piles of a powdery, brown substance protruding from your structure’s framing—usually in attics and crawlspaces or on windowsills.

There are several steps you can take to prevent termite damage and sustain an effective termite treatment plan throughout the year. Read more

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Be a Dry Rot Detective

Posted on July 13, 2011 by Chris Bjorklund

Years ago, I paid for a half-baked paint job where none of the prep was done properly. It’s sad but true. According to Greg Kuzmicki, owner of Solidarity Painting, a Diamond Certified company, many painters take shortcuts, costly ones. For example, some paint right over dry rot they because they simply want to get paid and move onto the next job. The homeowner pays later when wood fungus spreads causing mildew and mold to grow. Termites live on this stuff.

It’s best to catch dry rot early. Before hiring a painter, do a little inspection yourself by checking siding, window trim and uneven surfaces. Poke in a nail or a screwdriver, and if it goes in more than one-quarter inch, Read more

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Where You Store Your Firewood Matters

Posted on January 12, 2011 by Chris Bjorklund

Many people make the mistake of storing their firewood outside directly up against their house. John Kunkel, owner of Termite Police, a Diamond Certified company, says that’s the worst place to put it. Termites are attracted to any kind of wood, and can easily move from the firewood right into your siding or foundation from that woodpile. It’s much better to store your wood away from the house, perhaps in a shed.

Here’s another tip from Mr. Kunkel. If you live in an old house, and you set firewood down on the hardwood floors, beetles might move right in with the wood. Once these beetles start feasting on your floors, you will need professional help to eliminate them. Read more

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What Can I Do About a Stump Under My House?

Posted on July 11, 2010 by Chris Bjorklund

These kinds of questions come up all the time when you’re managing a household. Do I need to buy new tires yet? Should we replace the furnace now, or can we wait another year? And the latest one, do I have to remove the stump under my house? I called a Diamond Certified company for the answer, John Kunkel, owner of Termite Police.

This pest control expert explained that you no longer have to excavate the stumps. It’s better to treat the stump with chemicals that poison termites. The termites ingest the poison, carry it back to the colonies, and that eliminates the problem.

So when you have a question and you need an expert answer and some help, Read more

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