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Termite Control

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In Florida we are under constant pressure from all types of wood destroying insects. In most cases, the buildings we occupy are our single biggest investment. Selecting the right company is just as important as selecting the highest trained technician for the job. Many companies will not afford you that choice, but with Home and Garden, you get the owner of the company on each and every job. We offer an easy to understand no hassle approach and over 25 years experience at your convenience.


All New Termite Clients will receive our  FREE PEST PREVENTION service 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: In the event there might be damage to a structural support member, such as a floor/attic joist or any support beam, you should consult with a structural engineer. Termite technicians are not usually experts in construction and are not qualified to advise you as to what repairs should be made. They should be well trained and qualified enough to inform you if the damage is structural or cosmetic only. If you are in doubt, call a building engineer and have them inspect!    



These termites live mostly in the soil and their name is a fitting description. Sub, meaning below and Terra, meaning ground. All species of termites develop some ”swarmers,” which is the ones you might see flying. It is nature’s way of ensuring the survivability of the species. Once a colony reaches maturity, usually in 3-5 years, a small percentage of them will develop into black bodied winged termites and leave the colony. This phenomenon occurs with remarkable timing, where as colonies several hundred feet and even miles apart will swarm at the exact same moment. This allows for a better gene pool for the potential new colonies. Typically you might see several thousand reproductive termites swarming, yet their success rate is minimal. Not only must they find a mate, but soil conditions, moisture and a food source are all factors to be considered. There are also a number of predators which will consume the swarmers. Termites loose their wings after swarming so they can easily enter the ground. Without succeeding, they will naturally die in as little as 20 minutes. If a colony is established, the new queen can live 25 years and lay 2000 eggs daily. Once the termites have completed their swarming cycle, they can remain undetected within any structure for 1 year or more.     

There are several different treatment options and most involve applying a protective barrier. Because these termites are within the soil, the most effective method is to apply a product directly to the soil under and/or around the structure(s) being treated. Applying a Borate product is another method, in which the product is applied directly within the walls of the structure. Due to electrical conduits, insulation and not being able to see that the product is reaching the targeted area, it is less desirable than other treatment options.    

There are also in-ground baiting methods which can control this species. Admittedly, there are some benefits associated with this type of method. First, it has a much higher profit margin than does chemical applications alone. Second,  a client could easily be convinced that baiting reduces the amount of chemicals conventional treatment methods would suggest need applied. One would only hope that the client could read the manufactures recommendations that most baiting products should be used IN CONJUNCTION WITH chemical applications. There is some strong wording within these baiting products regarding the types of chemicals which must be used as well.    

Basically there are two remaining treatment methods used to control Subterranean termites. The protective barrier method discussed earlier includes product types which work in an entirely different manner. One product type will actually repel termites away from the structure. Because the termites can detect this product within the soil, they will attempt to avoid it in order to obtain access to their food source, your structure. The idea is to repel the termites away, yet even with the best treatment practices and training, a large percentage of the structures treated become re-infested. That is where a baiting system becomes somewhat more effective. Termites are recruited into “stations” placed into the ground with a piece of wood or similar cellulose material. These stations are monitored and when termite activity is detected, the material is replaced with a slow acting bait. Once the colony consumes enough bait they will expire. This process can take 2 years or longer.    

Another treatment method incorporates a product such as Termidor®, which the termites can not detect. They do not know its is there so they do not try to avoid it. They do not have to eat it, simply by their natural forging within the soil under and around the structure, they come in contact with it. Much like a flu virus, infected termites will then carry the “disease” back to the colony. Within 90 days the entire colony is eliminated. You can not use Termidor® with an in-ground baiting system. Once Termidor®  has been properly applied to the soil, no termite colonies will be present to enter the bait stations.    

SUMMARY: If you were able to follow the types of products used closely enough then you already know which is the most desired method. As a professional with over 25 years experience and having access to any product on the market, the only question remaining is “What product did I use on my home to prevent termites?” Termidor® !    

Learn more about Termidor® here:  http://www.termidorhome.com/    



Drywood termites live within the wood itself. They are able to obtain enough moisture and sustain the colony without contact with the soil or other water sources. They also swarm in a similar manner as the Subterranean termites, however they are more likely to invade a wood frame structure verses concrete block or stucco. When these termites do swarm they will enter a structure at a wood joint or crack. The best method at preventing an infestation is to keep exposed surfaces painted, sealed and/or caulked. Some companies will offer prevention programs by either treating the attic and/or under-structure with a liquid application(s), however these measures have very little impact at preventing termites. This is largely because exterior surfaces are painted/sealed, exterior walls are filled with insulation and similarly so is the attic. If a termite colony is detected early enough, prior to swarming within the structure being treated, then a spot or area (liquid) application might be an option worth considering. Reputable companies will not issue a guarantee with spot treatments or limit retreatments to one year, however it may buy you some time and in few cases, kill the colony. Once the termites have swarmed within the structure, tent fumigation is the best method of treatment. This is because you or even a highly trained technician does not know where else the termites might have infested. They can and do invade wood furniture as well. We advise you to closely inspect any new or used furniture prior to purchase and if any unusual holes, saw dust or material which looks similar to ground pepper is seen, the furniture should be inspected  and/or  treated. Small wood items, such as picture frames, can be treated simply by wrapping them in black garbage bags and placing them in the summer sun for several hours or by freezing.    

There are methods other than tent fumigation which will control drywood termites. Just a few include the use of liquid nitrogen (freezing) and heat, however humidity is a factor which must also be considered. Laws regarding the use of fumigants also varies from state to state, so your best bet is to contact your local agriculture extension office and inquire as to what methods are available in your area.      

Learn more about Drywood Termites and tent fumigation here:  http://www.dowagro.com/ppm/vikane/    



Wood surfaces which are exposed repeatedly to moisture can and will develop wood rot fungus. Even pressure treated lumber will deteriorate over time. In most cases, treatment is not required if all of the damaged wood has been replaced. We recommend that you schedule a free inspection and prior to the technician arriving, remove the damaged wood and save it for inspection and allow the technician to also inspect the exposed area(s) for other wood destroying insects before repairs are completed. If the damage is, lets say from a plumbing leak, the leak has been corrected and upon inspection the technician has indicated the damage is cosmetic only, then treatment would be recommended. Once wood rot fungus develops it will continue to grow and do damage even after the leak has been corrected, provided the fungus has not been treated.    



I was first taught that carpenter ants are not a wood destroying insect because they do not eat wood. This is true, that they do not eat wood, they will however hollow out otherwise perfectly sound wood to build a nest. In most cases, carpenter ants prefer wood which has wood rot fungus because it is easier for them to nest within. In most cases a highly trained technician can determine over the phone if a nest is nearby your home or not. As with many insects, flying carpenter ants are attracted to lights at night. If you are seeing only the winged variety, usually just one or two a night, then most likely there is nothing a technician can do other than to recommend placement of a bug-zapper outside or that you turn off the light at night. These ants swarm in great numbers, depending upon the region, all over your entire neighborhood and very likely would fly right over any chemical barriers applied.    

In most cases an inspection alone will not reveal where carpenter ants are or might be nesting. If you are seeing activity such as ants scouting (walking) or large numbers flying inside a building, then treatment is required. They usually have multiple nest sites, in or around the base of trees, shrubs or any landscape material including junk stored outside. They can also nest within a structure, either in the attic, sub-flooring, walls and just about anywhere else you can imagine. About 90% of the time having the exterior treated is all that is required. If this type of application does not eliminate the ants, then dusting/treating the attic, the under-structure and/or interior is warranted. Rather than over kill and over charge a client, we go for the obvious area of concern first (outside). Due to the nature of carpenter ants, you will not have them living in the attic (for example) if they were not first established on the outside of a structure.    



Those already mentioned are the most prevalent within our service areas, however there are also Carpenter Bees, Powder Post Beatles, Old house Borers and more. We strongly recommend that an inspection be done on your property at least every 5 years as a precaution, once a year if there is a known history of activity or at anytime you suspect a problem. Many times we can determine over the phone if a free inspection is needed or not.      




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