How are Termites Treated?

Homeowners needing termite treatment are faced with needing a costly but necessary treatment. Options for treatment vary, but there are main methods: conventional soil treatment and termite baiting; both are popular and effective.

Conventional Soil Treatment

A soil treatment injects liquid termiticide into the soil around the structure’s foundation. This method forms a continuous barrier around the perimeter. Termites meet their fate by passing through the material or are repelled away from the foundation. A common termiticide today contains the active ingredient Fipronil, which has long-standing, proven effectiveness in protecting the structure from termites.

A small trench is dug next to the foundation. The termiticide is applied to the soil, and the trench is backfilled with the soil. Where a slab such as a porch is next to the foundation, holes (about 1/2 inch) are drilled. The termiticide is injected beneath the slab next to the foundation. The holes are patched after treatment.

In some instances, this presents a problem for the homeowner, as they do not want holes drilled because it negatively affects the appearance of the slab. An example of this would be a patio paved with something other than regular cement or made from decorative pavers. Homeowners may opt to have a termite baiting system installed instead.

A good termiticide lasts for several years in the soil, so long as the soil is not disturbed. Since this method is usually a one-time treatment, many homeowners favor this method. 

Termite Baiting

Termite baiting involves the placement of bait stations installed around the structure. They are usually placed within a few feet of the foundation. In many cases, stations are installed just outside the drip line but as close to the structure as possible.

Termite baiting does not require liquid chemicals, so some prefer this system over conventional soil treatment. It is also considered the “greener” option of termite control.

Termites locate the bait stations by foraging through the soil. The station includes either a “monitoring device,” usually a soft wood, or may contain bait with an active ingredient. The termite colony consists of mainly worker termites, who forage for food to feed the colony. The colony depends on worker termites for its survival. When the workers find the “food,” they mark a trail with a pheromone that alerts the other worker termites of the food source. More worker termites follow the trail, consuming the food and spreading it to the colony by feeding the soldiers, supplemental reproductive termites, and the queen.

Wood Treatment

In some cases, a wood treatment is preferred, where a termiticide is applied directly to wood, preventing termites from consuming it. This method is usually used in conjunction with another treatment method.

The Best Termite Treatment Option

Conventional soil treatments or baiting are used most often, but which is the most effective? It depends. Both treatments are effective, so it comes downs to homeowner preference and conditions around the structure. Regardless, the diligent homeowner will employ a competent, licensed professional.

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Want some guidance on which method to use to protect your home from termites?  Need an inspection?  Read more about our programs, or Call or Text Us at (513) 993-5455. Feel free to text us with questions and photos.  

 

Termite Inspections For The Sale of Your Home

When someone buys or sells a home, the finalization of the sale sometimes gets stalled because of termites, termite damage, or other evidence of termites found in the structure. Therefore, those selling their homes should have their homes inspected for termites early in the process.

Most pest companies are happy to provide a free termite inspection to any homeowner who wants an inspection, regardless of whether they have seen any evidence. However, if you need a termite inspection for the sale of your home, you will need the proper documentation provided.

The Ohio State University Pesticide Safety Education Program explains, “Ohio regulation requires that inspections for wood-destroying insects in a property involved in a real estate transaction be performed by a licensed inspector. The Wood-Destroying Insect (WDI) Inspection license is part of Ohio Pesticide Law and therefore requires the inspector to obtain an Ohio Commercial Pesticide Applicator License. Additionally, the inspector is required to attend a mandatory training provided by Ohio State University Extension before obtaining their license.”

When purchasing a home, it is always recommended to have the house inspected for termites and other wood-destroying organisms. In addition, many lending institutions require that the house be inspected and cleared for termites and other wood-destroying insects.  

The form used to document the inspection is Form NPMA-33, which is the Wood Destroying Insect Inspection Report, which includes reporting for not just termites, but other wood-destroying insects such as carpenter bees, carpenter ants, and wood-boring beetles.  

Certainly, regularly having one’s home inspected for termites (i.e. once per year) is a great idea. However, when the inspection is required for a home’s sale, ensure the inspector is a licensed professional. Ensure the inspector is licensed in Ohio to perform the inspection for a real estate transaction and that a Form NPMA33 is provided.  

Flying Pig Pest Control Provides inspections and control of termites and other wood-destroying insects.  Learn more here.  

Pest Facts: Moles

When moles damage lawns, they become of great interest to homeowners.  Understanding moles are key to controlling them.  Listed below are mole facts regarding the habits, diet, and control of moles in the lawn and landscape.

General Information

    • Adult moles are approximately 5-7 in length, have a hairless, pointed snout, and weigh about three to five ounces.  They have paddle-shaped feet, suitable for digging in all types of soil.
    • Moles may appear to be blind.  Their eyes are covered by fur.
    • The gestation period of moles is approximately 42 days.
    • A female mole produces 2-6 young per litter in the spring.
    • The mole’s den is located 12 to 18 inches below the surface and consists of irregular chambers about the size of a quart jar.  They construct both deep and shallow tunnels.  The tunnels seen at the surface are only part of a connected tunnel system.
Moles - Paddle-like Feet
Moles have paddle-like feet with large claws, which are suitable for digging in all soil types.

Mole Habits

  • Moles don’t hibernate. In the winter, they go deeper when the ground is frozen. In the Cincinnati area, the ground is not frozen for most of the winter.
  • Moles can enter the property throughout the year, even after the property has been mole-free for some time.
  • Moles do not create “holes.” Instead, construct tunnels and mounds in the yard and landscape, causing lawn damage by pushing up the soil.
  • Moles mate in the spring. Employing mole control in the winter is a great idea because if the mole dies in the winter, it won’t mate in the spring. According to our experience and research, dead moles cannot reproduce.
  • Moles are active throughout the year.  Mole activity near the surface is less prominent during when the ground is frozen at the surface or during periods of extreme cold, heat, or drought. Moles are more active near the surface after rainfall or watering.
  • Moles are solitary creatures that come together only to breed.  After they leave the den, they spend their lives alone and are very competitive.
  • Moles rarely come to the surface.  When they do, it is usually by accident, as they prefer to stay beneath the surface, unexposed to the elements.

    Underrgound Mole Tunnel
    Moles create tunnels underground, about 1.5-2 inches in diameter. Some tunnels are deeper, while others are closer to the surface, where they push up the soil, causing frustration for homeowners.

Mole Diet

  • Moles are “insectivores,” not rodents. However, while they eat insects (such as ants and grubs), their main diet is earthworms.
  • Moles primarily eat earthworms. Moles are also known to eat white grubs and other insects, but the vast majority of their diet consists of juicy, delicious earthworms.
  • Moles rarely consume roots, bulbs, and other plant material.  Rodent such as voles and deer mice are usually the culprit when damaging plants.
  • Moles consume 70 to 100 percent of their weight each day.  They need that much food to produce energy since they spend ample time burrowing beneath the surface.

Controlling Moles in the Lawn and Landscape

Mole Bait in Active Tunnel
Not all mole baits are effective in controlling moles. Effective mole bait is in the shape of the mole’s natural food source – the earthworm. Poisoned “peanuts” and other grain-based bait is not effective in controlling moles.
    • The key to controlling moles is to identify active mole tunnels. Moles create both active (tunnels they use over and over again) and probing (tunnels they create and rarely re-enter) tunnels throughout the yard.
    • Before employing mole control, first stomp down all the mole tunnels. Check the tunnels after a couple of days to see which tunnels have popped back up. Then you will know which tunnels are active.
    • The best methods of mole control is trapping and baiting.  When baiting, use only bait that mimics the natural food source of moles – the earthworm.  The active ingredient bromethalin, which is effective.
    • Electronic devices placed in the lawn have been proven ineffective in controlling moles. Trapping and only certain baiting products/methods should be used for controlling moles.
    • Repellants are ineffective against controlling moles.
Electronic mole device
Electronic mole devices that are designed to repel moles have been proven ineffective. Only trapping and proper baiting methods provide proven control.

Damage Caused By Moles

Mole Damage - Mounds
Moles cause damage to lawns by creating mounds and tunnels
  • Moles live almost underground, creating a vast network of interconnecting tunnels. While much of their tunnel system is well below the surface, they frequently create tunnels just below the surface where they cause visible damage to the lawn and landscape.
  • If you have holes in your lawn and landscape, the offender is typically a rodent such as a groundhog (larger holes), chipmunk, mouse or vole.  Moles do not create holes that expose them to the elements above ground.
  • Mole mounds are formed when moles push up soil to the surface from underground runways.  When moles tunnel deeper under the surface, they excavate the tunnels by pushing the dirt up to the surface, creating tunnels so they can move about more easily.

Help and Information

Need professional help controlling moles?  Flying Pig Pest Control has decades of experience controlling moles.  Begin here:

Mole Damage in Lawns – What to Look For – Check out this article to help identify mole damage in the lawn and landscape.  This article with a video will help any homeowner who has questions when trying to identify the presence of moles in the lawn and landscape.

Live in the Cincinnati Ohio area and need help controlling moles? We can help!

For more information about moles, check out these external resources:

Effective Mole Control – Ohio State University Extension

Moles – PennState Extension

Controlling Nuisance Moles – University of Missouri

Moles and Their Control – University of Nebraska Neb Guide

How to Tell the Difference Between Moles and Voles – Clemson Cooperative Extension

 

Mole Damage In Lawns: What to Look For

Many people spend significant time and money beautifying their lawns, working hard to showcase their beautiful, green, healthy turf. Then, they wake up one morning, coffee in hand, and peer out the window. To their dismay, they freak out as they see their lawn torn up, dropping their java on their beautiful carpet. Their turf has been under attack, unraveled like a cheap sweater.  

Hello. I’m Paul, and I am here to help you. Today, I will help you avoid making mountains out of molehills. As the Boss Hogg of Flying Pig Pest Control, I want to pass on some valuable information to help you identify what is tearing up your yard.  

The mounds and tunnels may have appeared overnight. It can take only a few hours for this damage to occur. It often happens so fast that the unsuspecting homeowner has no clue that the invasion is coming.  

The culprit: moles. Or maybe just one mole. Maybe two or three or more. One mole, however, can create hundreds of feet of tunnels in just one day. With its paddle-shaped feet and digging claws, the mole can tunnel even through the densest clay. When the mole is close to the surface, it pushes up the ground, creating raised tunnels. When the mole burrows deeper, it may excavate the tunnels by depositing dirt on the surface, forming mounds.  


 

We often get calls from frustrated homeowners who see what they believe to be moles. Some correctly identify mole damage, while others do not. Need a diagnosis? Here is your identification guide.

Mounds and Tunnels

First, understand that moles create only tunnels and mounds. They do not create “holes.” Therefore, there is no such thing as a “holey-moley.”

Mole Mound
Moles create mounds by excavating soil.

Moles that are burrowing deeper below the surface cannot push up mounds, so they excavate the soil by pushing up dirt at a 45 degree angle.  When they are just beneath the surface, they form tunnels as they travel.

Mole tunnels
Moles that are close to the surface create tunnels

Diagnosis, Negative:

Now here are some examples of what are not moles:

We often get calls from homeowners saying that moles have torn through their mulch, creating tunnels throughout the landscape, and pushing up the soil and the mulch. In most cases, this is moles. However, when someone calls and says that moles have invaded their mulch, creating holes everywhere, it is something entirely different. Sometimes people mistake holes from chipmunks and other critters as moles. To learn more about what may be causing the holes, see this article by Purdue University.

Holes in landscape bed
Holes created in landscape beds are often caused by critters such as squirrels and raccoons

One homeowner saw chimney-like crawfish mounds in his yard. Crawfish can be found in portions of lawns that are essentially a “wetland” throughout the year, usually near a pond or other water source.  

Crawfish Mound
Crawfish create mounds, but they are unlike mole mounds. Note the hole in the top of the chimney-like mound.

Moles can be controlled by trapping or baiting. Some traps are more effective than others, and the same applies to mole bait. Some baits are completely ineffective, while others, when properly applied, achieve great results. If you live in the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area, we can help! Learn more about mole control and our programs here.

Additionally, you can call or text us at Call or Text Us! (513) 993-5455. Feel free to text us with questions and photos.

Mosquito Facts

Mosquitoes are among the most annoying pests in the world. However, in the United States, they are more of a nuisance than a health risk, as they may be in other parts of the world.

Fortunately, not all mosquitos transmit diseases. As vectors of disease-causing agents, they can be deadly. In the United States, we do not have the problem of mosquito-borne illnesses as many other countries experience. To most people, mosquitos are more of a nuisance in the United States, as they can turn a good summer activity into a painful experience.

Mosquitoes are vectors, or transmitters, of several viruses that can cause severe disease and even death in humans. In the United States, The West Nile Virus, St. Louis Encephalitis Virus, LaCrosse Encephalitis Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus, and Western Equine Encephalitis Virus have caused illness and death.

There are about 60 different species of mosquitoes in Ohio, but only a dozen or more species are a public health concern. Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito, and Ochlerotatus japonicus, the East Asian bush or rock pool mosquito, are two in particular.

Let Flying Pig Pest Control Protect You From Mosquitos
Asian Tiger Mosquito

Where do mosquitoes breed?

Mosquitoes breed in areas of standing water. Therefore, eliminating standing water is the most critical step in reducing and potentially eliminating mosquitoes in the area.

There are several places around the home where mosquitoes breed, many of which the homeowner may not be aware of. Some areas of concern:
Any standing water – puddles, stagnate ponds and creeks, tires, buckets, other containers.
Improperly maintained gutters – keep your gutters clean and free-flowing.
Catch basins that alternate between wet and dry.
Areas where floodwaters naturally collect, such as streams and stagnate ponds.

What do mosquitoes eat?

Adult male mosquitoes feed on honeydew, plant sap, and nectar. Females are attracted to warm-blooded animals, but some female species feed on honeydew, plant sap, and nectar. Purdue University states, “Female mosquitoes detect carbon dioxide emitted from warm-blooded animals over long distances. As a female flies upwind to a host, other cues play a role, including vision, moist air currents arising from a host, and specific odors emitted by a host.”

Some mosquito species feed nearby (about a quarter mile or so), while others have been known to feed several miles downwind from their habitats (See the Cleveland Clinic article, Mosquito Bites).

How do mosquitoes “bite”?

Male mosquitoes do not bite. Female mosquitoes, the blood-feeders, “bite” and suck blood for reproduction; they require the proteins from blood to produce eggs. They have a long mouth part called a proboscis, a long “needle” extending from their head. The proboscis pierces the skin, sucking blood, while injecting saliva into the bloodstream. Therefore, when a mosquito “bites,” it is piercing and sucking. That sucks.

When secreting saliva into the bloodstream, the “body registers the saliva as an allergen. Your immune system then sends the chemical histamine to the area where the mosquito bit you to remove the allergen from your body. Histamine is what causes your mosquito bites to itch and swell. Most people have a mosquito bite allergy” (See the Cleveland Clinic article, Mosquito Bites).

How do mosquitoes spread disease?

As a blood-sucking vector (a living thing that carries diseases between animals and humans; ticks and fleas are also blood-carrying vectors), mosquitoes carry infections through the blood they acquire. It transmits the disease when it secretes its saliva into the blood.

A female mosquito will feed on a person or an infected animal and passes the disease on when it bites. The female mosquito is also known as a sip-feeder, which means she acquires blood from multiple sources, which increases the likelihood of spreading infection.

What attracts mosquitoes to bite people?

Some people get bit by mosquitoes more than others. There are several reasons this may be the case. Wearing dark-colored clothing tends to attract more mosquitos than light-colored clothing. Wearing perfume can attract more as well. Emission of CO2, Blood type, and body temperature can also play a role in attracting mosquitoes as well.

Mosquito Facts:

  • Only female mosquitoes bite.
  • Mosquitoes typically lay eggs in standing water. Eliminating any sources of standing water around your home is an excellent start to reducing the population. Bird baths, buckets, water, and creeks that have standing water are all sources of breeding sites.
  • Mosquitoes can detect carbon dioxide from 75 feet away. They are very sensitive to CO2, which attracts mosquitoes to humans.
  • Mosquitoes are responsible for the deaths of more people than any other animal on the planet. Not sharks, lions, or Big Foot. Mosquitoes.
  • One study showed that a full moon increases mosquito activity by nearly 500%.
    Worldwide, there are over 3500 species of mosquitoes, 176 known species in the United States, and about 60 different species in Ohio.
  • “Mosquitoes find hosts by sight (they observe movement); by detecting infra-red radiation emitted by warm bodies; and by chemical signals (mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and lactic acid, among other chemicals) at distances of 25 to 35 meters” (www.mosquito.org/page/funfacts).
  • The average lifespan of a mosquito is two months.
  • Female mosquitoes lay up to 300 eggs, usually at night.
  • Mosquitoes feed not only on humans but other animals such as birds and frogs.