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Jan 31, 2024

A New Dimension in Termite Control

Rick Monroe

Photography By

Supplied by Hilton Head Exterminators
Liquid treatment and bait stations go only so deep.

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Just about every homeowner knows about termites. They know termites cause more damage to homes each year than all fires, floods, and storms combined. They also know our native species, eastern subterranean termites, come from underground, and by the time homeowners see signs of their presence it is expensively too late.

Hilton Head Exterminators understands termite control. They use tried-and-true methods that protect more homes and businesses than anyone in the region. Because termites never sleep, Hilton Head Exterminators never stops thinking about newer and better ways to prevent termite damage.

The root system of nearby trees can provide a highway into your home for subterranean termites.  Conventional treatments don’t reach as deep as the root systems, making inspection of trees a vital component of a termite control program.

These tried-and-true methods include liquid treatment around the base of the structure and bait stations that can detect termite activity before they can cause expensive damage.

The new dimension in termite control includes trees in the proximity of the home. Of course, trees are made of wood, and if a tree is home to a termite colony, the colony is undetectable to the untrained eye until it is too late. Hilton Head Exterminators knows how to detect termite activity within trees and can apply treatment that can save the tree in most cases. Subsequent to treatment, an arborist should come to determine the internal integrity of the tree.

Termites can destroy live trees from the inside out. Permanent damage often results because it is difficult to detect termite activity within the tree until it is too late.

Even the root system of the tree can provide a highway for termites to enter the home. Liquid treatment and bait stations go only so deep. The roots can allow them to avoid detection, so comprehensive treatment is vital.

Of the company’s expanded termite protection service, Hilton Head Exterminators General Manager Brian DeChirico said, “We take pride in the fact that we never just do the bare minimum. We always want to go the extra mile, and this extra layer of protection for homeowners is evidence of that commitment.” He said their termite inspections include not only a thorough inspection of the home but also the area around the home – including nearby trees – that might pose potential problems.

Visible signs of a termite infestation can be dirt tubes that run up the crevasses in the bark of the tree.

One other hazard DeChirico pointed out is the danger that damaged trees can bring. “Just like in the home, where the internal damage is invisible for the most part, the damage inside the tree can be invisible as well,” he said. “We encourage all homeowners to have a licensed arborist conduct a follow-up analysis after we treat a tree for termites. Only then can we feel confident that the tree will not fall and cause potentially catastrophic harm to either structures or people.”

Exterior bait stations are applied to the tunnels which eliminate the entire colony and stops any further damage to the tree. 

There are some ways a homeowner can tell if a tree has an internal termite infestation. Look for tiny holes at the bottom of the tree just below the soil line. Also, discarded wings or carcasses (especially from the highly destructive Formosan termites) are a sign of an infestation. You might observe small mud tubes coming up from the ground that are the highway through which subterranean termites travel up and into the tree.

“The best option is to have a trained professional inspect the trees near your home to make sure there is not a problem,” DeChirico said. “And if there is a problem, the treatment can be applied and the problem solved immediately.”  

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