Termites infest over 5 million homes in the U.S. every year and cause over 5 billion dollars in property damage annually! Termites cause more damage annually than all natural disasters such as: fires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, storms, etc. However, this damage is rarely covered under home owners insurance.
The professionals at Menninga Pest Control are experts in termite biology, inspection and treatment, and have performed thousands of termite inspections in central Iowa.
Why Inspect for Termites
There are two types of homes: those that have termites and those that will!
Termites are around-the-clock eating machines! Termites naturally break down plant and wood material. In Iowa, there can be as many as 20 termite colonies in one acre of ground and up to 1 million members per colony.
When you eventually notice termite activity, serious damage may have already occurred. In fact, the average repair cost once termites have been discovered is between $3,000 and $11,000. The most common termite species in central Iowa can consume the equivalent of approximately 5–15 feet of a 2×4 per year!
Colony Elimination vs Termite Control
The Sentricon® System delivers proven colony elimination! There have been extensive field tests overseen by the EPA, the U.S Department of Agriculture, research conducted by 30 Universities, and over 70 published research articles proving that The Sentricon System consistently eliminates termite colonies. Colony elimination is also clearly stated on the manufacture’s label.
Liquid Barrier Treatments are designed to only kill individual termites–ot the entire colony. No manufacturer of any liquid termiticide claim colony elimination. The EPA approved labels do not state anything about colony elimination merely “termite control” and “termite management.”
Permanent Solution vs Temporary Solution
The Sentricon System provides a permanent solution by eliminating the entire colony(s). Sentricon bait stations are installed around the entire perimeter of the building and contain a cellulous material that termites have been proven to prefer dramatically over “regular” wood. Each station has enough bait to kill millions of of termites! Always Active™ bait devices are present all the time and have a durability life of 3–5 years.
Liquid Barrier Treatments provide only a temporary solution. When a liquid treatment is performed, pesticide is injected in the soil around some or all of the structure which only kills individual termites. Depending on the product used, termites have to come in contact with the actual barrier or other infected termites to die. Materials like Termidor, Premise, I-Maxx Pro, etc. can be transferred to other termites in a limited area only. Research conducted by The University of Florida, and several other universities, have demonstrated that pesticide transfer normally only occurs within 2–5 meters from the treated area. The most commonly used liquid materials have a half life of approximately 140 days and are only required by the USDA Forest Service to provide control (in a field environment) for 5 years.
Length of Time to Get Results
The Sentricon System starts eliminating the colony immediately when termites are introduced to our above ground (AG) bait stations. When live termites, active damage, or live mud trails are present, we can use AG stations to dramatically speed up the time it takes to eliminate the colony by installing AG bait stations to these live areas. Once 28 days of termite feeding has occurred, there has been enough consumption to eliminate the colony and, if the last stragglers of the colony have not been eliminated at this point, those affected termites do not have the capacity to cause further damage! In fact, we have thousands of customers here in central Iowa that have confirmed total colony elimination within 90 days of bait consumption.
Liquid Barrier treatments once again, don’t eliminate the colony and are only designed to “control” or “manage” the colony. According to the manufactures of most of the commonly used termiticides, it can take up to 90 days to achieve “termite management.” Within a few years, the applied materials will decay and will need to be re-applied.
Which Method is the Least Disruptive?
The Sentricon System is the most non-intrusive solution. Installation of Sentricon requires no concrete drilling, no trenching, and no disruption of landscaping. Sentricon bait stations are carefully installed (usually every 8–10 feet apart) around the building’s perimeter including around decks, patios, small storage sheds, nearby stumps and wood piles, and any other nearby food source. All Sentricon stations are numbered, locked and tamper resistant, and are graphed for location. All stations are inspected on a regular basis by a Sentricon Authorized Professional.
Liquid Barrier Treatments can be very intrusive. The manufacturer’s label requires hammer-drilling all attached exterior concrete every 12–18 inches to treat the soil beneath as well as interior concrete drilling in areas where termites have gained access. This can result in pulling up carpet, drilling through tile, linoleum, etc. When drilling concrete there is an added risk of damage to water, gas and sewer lines, air ducts in the slab, etc. After treatment is administered, the drilled holes are plugged and patched with cement. Patched drill holes will be visibly prominent and often, over time, become an eye sore.
Best Long-Term Protection
The Sentricon System provides on-going protection for future colonies. The Sentricon system acts like a termite burglar alarm. As long as Menninga Pest Control provides continuous service, we’ll find a future termite intrusion before it gets to the house and destroy the colony! With Menninga Pest Control and The Sentricon® System featuring Always Active™ technology, you’re always protected – 24/7!
Liquid Barrier Treatments only provide control. Once the treatment has been performed, your building becomes the termite monitor! When you or your service provider discovers that termites have once again re-infested and are causing possible damage and you are still under warranty, you’ll receive a “spot treatment” in the area of the re-development. It is inevitable that a liquid treatment will decay and re-treatments will be necessary.
Which Option has the Best Warranty?
The Sentricon System service by Menninga Pest Control has a life-time warranty with a paid annual renewal. From the beginning, if any other termite protection is ever needed at any time during the course of our service, it will be performed at no additional charge. Once Menninga’s has provided 2 years of continuous service, there is also a $250,000.00 termite damage warranty that is in place. Our termite warranty and protection will transfer to new ownership and may be renewed indefinitely!
Liquid Barrier Treatments traditionally have a 1 year re-treatment only warranty that may be extended an additional 4 to 9 years (depending on the service company) with annual paid renewals. If these renewals are paid within 30 days of the anniversary date of the initial treatment, a re-inspection will be performed and the warranty is extended another year. If live termite activity is found, a re-treatment in the area of the infestation is performed. If the termite treatment warranty is not renewed within 30 days of the due date, it will expire and end. Just because a company offers 5 to 10 year warranty doesn’t mean the treatment lasts that long! It means that when termites are discovered re-infesting the structure and you’ve paid the annual renewals, a spot treatment will be performed in the area of the re-development. It a violation of federal law for a service company to issue a warranty beyond 1 year without an annual termite inspection.
Since dealing with a termite infestation is an inevitable fact of life, termite protection is highly recommended. Here are some tips that will help to prolong an infestation:
- Make sure your soil grade allows moisture to drain away from your house or building
- Have 2–4 inches of the buildings foundation extend above the soil grade so that the brick and other siding does not contact the soil grade
- Eliminate cellulose close to the structure. This includes: mulch, woodpiles, landscape timbers, foam boards, wood scraps
- Avoid deck post from extending beneath the soil grade
Even after doing everything possible to discourage a termite attack, it will likely happen eventually. For that reason we recommend Menninga Pest Control and Sentricon to stop the destruction before it ever starts!