FAQ's

What are some common signs of termites?

There are many signs of termites, the most common signs are termite swarming in or near your house, small mud tubes at your foundation or interior walls and ceilings, small pellets on your furniture or window sills and damaged wood near the areas of infestation.

How much damage can termites really do?

Termites are serious business for property owners, causing an estimated $5 billion in property damages and repair costs annually. In fact, termites damage more homes than fires, floods and tornadoes, meaning your house might be one of more than 4 million at risk of infestation this year.

How do I know if I have swarming termites or winged ants?

Winged termites have pigmented bodies with broad waists and two pair of wings that are equal in size and shape. Subterranean termite swarmers have bodies about ¼-inch in length. The swarmers quickly shed their wings after a brief flight. Winged ants have pinched waists and two pair of wings that differ in size and shape (front pair is large, hind pair is much smaller). Flying ants shed their wings like termites. Termites have wings that are all the same size. If the hind wings are much smaller than the front wings, you have ants. Collect a few and call Rocky’s Termite & Pest Control, Inc.  to have them identified if you want to be sure.

Termites

  • Straight, beaded antennae
  • Broad waistline
  • Two pairs of wings – equal in size

Ants

  • Elbowed antennae
  • Narrow (pinched) waistline
  • Two pairs of wings – front wings are much longer
How can I identify a termite?

Winged termites have pigmented bodies with broad waists and two pair of wings that are equal in size and shape. Subterranean termite swarmers have bodies about ¼-inch in length. The swarmers quickly shed their wings after a brief flight. Winged ants have pinched waists and two pair of wings that differ in size and shape (front pair is large, hind pair is much smaller). Flying ants shed their wings like termites. Termites have wings that are all the same size. If the hind wings are much smaller than the front wings, you have ants. Collect a few and call Rocky’s Termite & Pest Control, Inc.  to have them identified if you want to be sure.

Ants

  • Elbowed antennae

  • Narrow (pinched) waistline

  • Two pairs of wings – front wings are much longer

Termites

  • Straight, beaded antennae

  • Broad waistline

  • Two pairs of wings – equal in size

I have noticed some pest excrement that has fallen from the ceiling. How can I tell if it is from termites or other insects?

Drywood termites produce small bun-shaped pellets as excrement. This often accumulates on surfaces directly below infested areas. Evidence of activity can include small “pin holes” in the surface of the infested area and the droppings accumulating below. Winged termites, called swarmers, might also be observed. The adult reproductives swarm to start new infestations in other areas of the structure. This usually occurs between early summer and late summer.

Termites are extremely well-organized and persistent in their search for new food sources. Contrary to what one might think, they will eat anything containing cellulose—wallpaper, books, boxes, carpet backing, drywall and furniture—not just wood.

Termites play a useful role in nature, to help wood be recycled to the soil as humus. But when these wood-eating creatures attack wood elements in human structures—like your property—big problems are sure to follow. And they can’t be treated with a can of bug spray.

Termites swarm at various times throughout the year depending on geographical and weather conditions. Subterranean termites are often detected during spring swarm season when billions of winged termites fly from their nests to start new colonies. They usually swarm mid-day, most often when it is sunny and right after a rain shower.

But, just because you don’t see termites does not mean your property is safe from infestation. Subterranean termites live in colonies that can house hundreds of thousands of termites, depending on its age and health. They work 24 hours a day from the inside out and are often difficult to detect since 80 percent of the wood they eat is hidden within the walls.

Colonies can be active for more than five years before the damage is visible. With the capability of a large colony to consume more than two pounds of food a day, having an active colony on your property could equal thousands of dollars in damages. The only way to ensure your property is not inviting termites in is to have it examined by a professional pest control company, like Rocky’s Termite & Pest Control, Inc.

I recently noticed a small mud tunnel on the drywall side of an exterior wall. I knocked it off, but after a few days, the mud tunnel was back. Should I be concerned about termites?

Such mud tunnels are an indication of subterranean termite activity. Because the tube was rebuilt after being broken, the termites are active.

When do termites swarm?

There is no exact way to determine when termites will swarm. Due to the Los Angeles’ constant weather changes, termites might swarm at different times of the year. Most termites will swarm between the months of March-June and September-October during hot, humid temperatures.

What do I do if I want to buy a home or condo with termites?

The best thing to do in this situation is to have you or your real estate agent give us a call. We will send an inspector out to the property and give you a detailed report based on a thorough termite inspection. In the report you will find a diagram of the house or condo as well as the findings and the recommendations for each individual finding. A work authorization contract will also be attached with the report, should you choose to do the work with us.

Are HOA’s responsible for fumigation or termite treatments?

When it comes to condos, the HOA is responsible for any infestation on the exterior of the unit or in common areas. The owner of the condo is responsible the interior. If you own your home, always ask your HOA.

Who is responsible for handling escrow repairs?

When it comes to condos, the HOA is responsible for any termite or dryrot repairs on the exterior of the unit or in common areas. The owner of the condo is responsible the interior. If you own your home, always ask your HOA.

What are the necessary steps for fumigation preparation?

When preparing for a fumigation (tenting), you should put all the contents of your refrigerator in special Nylofume bags that will be provided by your fumigation company. Medications of any kind should either be taken with you when vacating the home, or you can place them in the special fumigation bags for safe keeping. It is very important that any pets (including Fish) be relocated until it is safe to re-enter your home. The same applies for any plants inside your home. Before any fumigation takes place, try to clear as much shrubbery (including rose bushes) away from the house as you can. The reason for this is because when a tent is being placed on a home, they might have to stretch the tarp out to the point where it might have to cover some bushes. And when gassed, they could die. If you can’t remove the shrubbery, then we suggest that you water your bushes continuously. That could help them survive. Always keep in mind that no person, plant or pet of any kind or species should be left in the house while it is being fumigated. Your fumigation company will call the gas company for it to be shut off the day prior to fumigation. Your gas will be turned on after the tent comes off.

What are the necessary steps for termite treatment preparation?

When it comes to a termite treatment; it is always advisable that you not be around the technicians or in the immediate area where the treatment is taking place. This is for your own safety. Some products are stronger than others and will cause breathing discomfort. Also, if a treatment is set to be done on wall where you might have shelves or boxes, it is important that they be removed prior to the treatment. This will allow the tech to work more efficiently and freely. Also, if there are any pets such as cats and dogs, it is recommended that they be secured so they do not come in contact with any tools or chemicals.

What is fungus & dry rot?

Fungus and dry rot are wood attacking organisms which consume organic matter. Fungus or dry rot produce spores which are like tiny seeds that are distributed by wind and water. Moist areas will support fungal growth and dry rot. To minimize dry rot and fungus, it’s helpful to keep your roof in prime condition and keep all exterior wood primed, painted and properly caulked.

Is dry rot termite related?

Dryrot refers to the decay of timber in buildings and other wooden structures caused by certain fungi. It would appear to be a paradoxical term seemingly indicating decay of a substance without the presence of water. Dryrot is a weakening of wood caused by one of several species of fungus. The fungus digests the parts of the wood that give the wood strength and stiffness. Weakened wood is typically somewhat dry, hence the name dryrot, and brittle and may have a blocky appearance. Dryrot usually results from too much moisture in contact with wood. The dryrot fungus has the unusual ability to transport water from wet areas to dry areas allowing the fungus to grow in relatively dry wood.

How do you treat for fungus & dry rot?

Fungus and dryrot damage must be completely removed and replaced. If any fungus or dryrot wood is left behind, the problem will continue to spread. The moisture condition must also be fixed to provide a permanent solution. Rocky’s Termite & Pest Control’s carpenters are highly skilled in all aspects of construction. If you have dryrot or fungus damage, Rocky’s Termite & Pest Control will always work to correct the moisture condition. When wood is replaced on the exterior of your home, it will always be primed to provide maximum protection against future fungal attacks. We will also paint any primed areas to match your home for an additional fee. We will recommend all other corrections that are needed to stop fungus or dryrot that was noted during your inspection.

What is no tent termite treatment?

A no-tent termite treatment varies from company to company. It is the action of either, spraying or, treating certain areas of your home, instead of having a crew put a tent on your home. Treatments like these usually happen when an infestation is minor, and where the chemicals being used can reach the termites.