FAQs on Termite Protection

I live in a block home. Do I need to worry about termites?

Termites can attack any home because they can easily get in through tiny cracks and crevices located in, under and around your home. Then they seek out the wood or cellulose products inside the walls, attic and other areas of your home.

The subterranean termite gets in underneath the home through tiny cracks in your home’s slab and foundation. Drywood termites get in through empty nail holes, cracks or openings in wood and through openings in the eaves.

What kind of termites can invade my home?

Subterranean Termites live underground in colonies. They get inside your home through small openings like cracks in concrete and seams around pipes located underneath your home. A single colony can encompass between 500,000 to over a million termites. More importantly, there can be several colonies per acre of land.

Drywood Termites get into your home primarily through small cracks in unprotected wood, or even nail holes. They embed themselves inside wood, eat the wood from the inside out, grow their colonies, and spread to other areas. Drywood termites require very little moisture to survive and, unlike subterranean termites, require no contact with the ground.

Formosan Termites are primarily found in areas close to the coast, but have moved into urban centers in the Southeastern United States. Unlike subterranean termites, Formosan termites can also infest living plants, and live above ground in carton-like nests. They can cause major structural damage in just six months and can completely destroy a home in just two years.

Other wood-destroying insects include Powderpost Beetles and Old House Borers. Powderpost Beetles attack everything from wood flooring to furniture and typically attack hardwood materials. Old House Borers attack softwoods (pine, spruce & fir) and are occasionally found in newer buildings.

What’s the difference between an ant and a termite?

There are three ways to distinguish a swarming termite from a swarming ant:

  1. Antenna: A termite has a straight antenna; an ant possesses an elbowed antenna.
  2. Waist: A termite has a broad waist; an ant’s waist is pinched/slender.
  3. Wings: Both pairs of wings on a termite are equal in size, while the second pair of wings on an ant is shorter than the first pair.

Ant and Termite

If I don’t see termites around my home, does that mean I don’t have a termite problem?

No. In fact, you may never actually see termites because they live in the ground or potentially in the walls of the home. They can enter homes through cracks and openings as narrow as 1/64th of an inch (about the thickness of a dime). Termites forage among food sources and share their finds with others in the colony. They work 24 hours a day, destroying your home from inside the wood. Chances are, you’ll see no evidence of their work until it’s too late.

Which treatment method is the most effective to protect my home from termites?

The “best treatment” depends on factors that are unique to your home, your termite problem and your personal situation:

  • Soil Treatments. Usually applied directly to the soil under and around your home. This treatment sets up a barrier that eliminates termites once they come in contact with the material. Massey Services utilizes Termidor® Termite Defense as our termite soil treatment.
  • Bait Systems. Designed to eliminate entire termite colonies in and around your home. Termites find and eat the bait, then share it with other members of the colony. Massey Services is an authorized operator for The Sentricon® System and we use it to provide continuous baiting against termites.
  • Wood Treatments. A stand-alone, preventive treatment, or in conjunction with one of the other methods listed above. The wood is treated with an effective borate product, and termites either avoid the treated wood or feed on it and are eliminated.

All three methods are highly effective when applied, installed and serviced correctly.

How long does it take to eliminate a termite colony?

Depending on the treatment employed, it can take from a few weeks to several months. There are several factors that affect the timeframe, so make sure to ask your Massey Services termite professional about the specifics related to your property.

Do I really need to worry about continued treatment after the colony’s been eliminated?

Keep in mind that there are potentially millions of termites within a colony, and there could be several colonies per acre at any one time. Once a colony has been eliminated, another one could easily establish and invade your property. To protect your home, Massey Services provides a variety of ongoing protection plans to suit your situation.

What is a termite swarm?

A termite swarm occurs when male and female winged termites exit the colony on mating flights, to start new colonies. Subterranean termites usually swarm between January and April while drywood termites swarm during the summer months. In both cases, the time of the swarm depends on where you live and the weather. Most people become aware of termites after they swarm inside the home, which signals that   there is a termite infestation in the walls or ceilings. Swarmers emerge from small holes made by worker termites and the swarm will last about 40 minutes.

Why do I need to have my home inspected to determine the cost of Massey’s Termite service?

No two homes or two termite problems are exactly alike. That’s why we inspect your home – inside, outside, over and under. Only then can we create the right program for you. Your home is unique and our detailed inspection is free.