Dealing with a leaky faucet or plumbing problem is frustrating enough for any homeowner. However, the problem can become double fold when pest infestations ignite due to the excess moisture in the home. This is because all types of pests are attracted to damp environments, which is why they’re commonly found in bathrooms, crawl spaces and more. Needless to say, a broken water pipe or sewage issue can directly correlate to an increased risk of pests in the home. This makes it crucial to always attend to maintenance problems as soon as you have them. Read on to learn everything you need to know about preventing pests and leaky pipes that can cause them in your Eastern Tennessee home!
What Pests Are Attracted to Moisture?
Bugs and insects are drawn toward areas that provide them with their main sources of survival: food and water! The most common pests that are going to be attracted to areas with excess moisture are as follows.
Termites: If a broken pipe has caused water damage in the very structure of your home, you can be sure termites are to follow. Subterranean termites in particular are attracted to moist wood and soil. When there are unattended-to leaky pipes or plumbing issues, you could be leaving your home vulnerable to termites.
Ants: These tiny pests will appear seemingly out of nowhere when excess moisture is abundant. Leaky faucets or spilled water from a pet’s bowl can bring ants out in the hundreds. In addition to your typical house ant, water can be a main attractant to the wood-destroying carpenter ant as well.
Cockroaches: Roaches may be known for their resiliency, but they aren’t as strong as you’d think. Without water for a week, a roach will not survive. Cockroaches also love to linger inside of pipes and plumbing fixtures. An issue can quickly introduce roaches into other parts of the house.
Rodents: Rats and mice alike are always looking for a water supply. Leaky pipes or broken faucets in your crawl space or laundry room can provide a haven for rodents. The last thing you want is rodents scurrying around when you have a plumbing issue, making it important to prevent them.
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Pests & Leaky Pipes
A plumbing problem can cause numerous pest problems. This is because almost all pests are attracted to water. In fact, some will die without a source of water within a few days. If you want to help prevent pests in your home, the best thing to do is keep an eye out for leaks and address any issues right away. Regularly inspect to ensure your faucets aren’t dripping, your drains aren’t clogging, and there are no leaks from your fridge, washing machine, or dishwasher.
Need to Get Rid of Pests in the Kitchen or Bathroom?
If you are noticing a flux of pests after dealing with a plumbing issue, it’s important to take care of it right away. The last thing you want is a full-blown infestation, making it important to contact your local exterminator. At Johnson Pest Control, we will work hard to get rid of any pest problems and provide you with tips to prevent future ones.
This April, we at Johnson Pest Control are proud to celebrate National Pest Management Month. We honor this tradition set forth by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) every year to acknowledge the pest control industry’s commitment to serving the public and eliminating health threats caused by pests.
April is also right around the time that many people start to notice an explosion of pest populations around them. From ants, to termites, to mosquitoes, to bed bugs, there is no shortage of pest activity in the Sevierville area come springtime.
Spring Cleaning to Prevent Pests
This year, incorporate some pest-prevention tactics into your spring cleaning routine. You might notice a pleasantly surprising drop in insects around your home! Here are a few of the ways that we recommend you pest-proof your home for spring:
Keep a neat yard: Tree branches and shrubbery should be trimmed so that they don’t provide an insect access point from your yard to your house. Keep all mulch at least a foot and a half from your foundation. Additionally, limit the amount of yard waste or piles of firewood laying around, or store them as far away from the house as you can.
Limit exposed food and garbage: Ants and cockroaches are both very likely to find any garbage or food that is left out for too long. Sealing your food in airtight containers and taking your garbage out regularly are two important ways to prevent them from taking refuge in your house.
Complete any necessary repairs: Make sure that the make-up of your house isn’t inviting pests itself. Seal any cracks on the outside of the house with a silicone-based caulk. Check for any gaps to fill at entry points for pipes and other utilities. Replace any rotted shingles that could be giving pests a pathway through the roof.
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Common Spring Pests
Certain pests in the warmer, moister climate of the Sevierville spring. These are three pests to look out for this April:
Mosquitoes: When the temperatures rise in the spring and summer, mosquitoes come back to bother us again. Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water, so covering your pools, spas, and birdbaths and pouring out any unnecessary still water will prevent them from hanging around you.
Termites: They usually remain hidden, but in the spring, termite swarmers in your home are an indicator that there is a colony growing within your walls. Look out for tiny, brown flying insects, or their discarded wings.
Ants: In the springtime, ants will start to capitalize on any food left out or unsealed in your house. They also seek out moisture, so keeping your house clean and properly ventilated are good measures to take to prevent ants at any point of the year.
Professional Pest Management in Tennessee
If the start of your spring has been particularly plagued by pests, talk to your local exterminator about the right plan of action for your home. Our technicians at Johnson Pest Control are trained annually to assess the many pest problems that Tennessee homeowners might have and swiftly deal with them. Contact us today for a free quote before your infestation gets out of hand!
In our area of the South, sometimes it seems like termite damage isn’t a question of “if,” but a question of “when.” Termite swarms are an ever-present possibility for homeowners in Tennessee. But should you be afraid of buying a house with termite damage?
We believe that this is a case-by-case situation, and you’ll have to do some evaluations yourself, considering what you want out of your house-hunting experience.
Is It Worth Buying a House with Termite Damage?
Termites can easily find their way into any home that is left unchecked and untreated, but when damage is discovered early on, the detriment to a home can be minimal. These days, professional treatment techniques are highly effective – in more fortunate cases, removing the termites and restoring the wood should be no problem.
Here are 4 things to look for when considering buying a house with termite damage:
Observable termite damage is inactive and isolated. If there is termite damage, but there are no active termites, there’s a good chance that the homeowner has already dealt with the colony. It’s always a safe bet to ask about what extermination measures have been taken.
Termite damage has not been found in critical parts of the home. Have a house inspector assess if the damaged area is load-bearing, or compromised enough to put anything at risk of collapsing. If the damage is compromising but not active, talk with a contractor about the possibilities of fixing that area before buying.
Active termite colonies that may be in the house are treatable. Termites are just a part of life here, so there’s a chance that that perfect home you’ve found has a little termite problem. If your trusted exterminator can’t put together a clear plan to remove the termites, then you may want to walk away.
The home has a current pest protection plan. If the house has had ongoing pest protection from a reputable company, you can take comfort in knowing that there are guarantees in place for pest assessment and protection. It also shows that the current homeowner takes the condition of their home seriously.
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When Should Termite Damage to a House Prevent You From Buying?
When you buy a home with termite damage, the problems aren’t going to go away without some hard work. Sometimes, the issue can be insurmountable – you might have set time restrictions or a budget that won’t budge. In some cases, the damage might just be too extensive to make your purchase worthwhile. Here are a few signs that you shouldn’t move forward:
If an inspection shows active termite damage and you cannot get an accurate estimate as to how long they have been invading the home, it’s safe to assume that they are occupying more space than you’re aware of. A termite infestation left unchecked for too long gives the pests the best chance to spread.
If termite damage is spread in various parts of the house, there may be cause for concern. It is not an unyielding reason to pass up the house, but you will want to do some serious homework and consultations with experts on the extent of the damage. Multiple damage sites around the house indicate possible colonies in a number of areas of the yard, which could mean that the house is under attack from all over.
If you do not have the patience for fixing up a house, you will probably want to stay away from a termite-damaged home. These projects take time and diligence, and if that won’t work for your calendar, you’ll have to pass.
Who to Call for Termite Extermination
If you are planning on buying a house with termite damage or need termites removed from your current home, we at Johnson Pest Control have a team of experts with years of experience ready to help you through the process. Contact our specialists today for a free quote!
As wood-destroying insects, termites are most infamous for infesting and damaging wooden structures. But what about brick, concrete, or stone homes? Unfortunately, termites are still a threat to these types of buildings. This is because there are many risk factors at play when it comes to what makes a property vulnerable to a termite problem. For Termite Awareness Week 2021, the termite control experts at Johnson Pest Control are here to help our Sevierville TN customers understand what may put them at risk for a termite problem. Read on to learn more!
Can Termites Infest Brick or Stone Homes?
It is a myth that termites only infest wood homes. This is because there are many things that are attractive to termites, as long as it contains cellulose. This puts your drywall, flooring, deck, porch, mulch, or even wallpaper at risk of being infested with termites. So while a brick home may be more difficult for termites to enter, once inside, they can still infest many items. For this reason, it’s smart to always work with a professional who can pinpoint what may put your home at risk for termites and keep you safe from infestations.
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3 Risk Factors For Termites
No matter the structure of your home, you could be at risk for termites. The three biggest contributing factors to what makes your home attractive to termites are as follows.
Subterranean termites in particular are attracted to moisture, especially in soil. Standing water or excess moisture will invite termites to take up residence in your home. Always fix leaks, broken sprinkler systems, downspouts, and clogged gutters to ensure you are protected from moisture problems.
Cracks or openings.
Termites will take advantage of structural vulnerabilities, no matter whether your home is wooden or brick. A crack in the structure of your property allows for termites to easily build mud tubes upon it. Frequently inspect your home for cracks and make repairs as needed. Look for other issues that could contribute not just to termite problems, but all sorts of pest problems!
Wood in contact with the soil.
Even homes that aren’t made of wood can have siding, decks, porches, fences, posts, and more that contain wood. Any wood that comes into contact with your home’s exterior is at risk for termites. For this reason, avoid storing firewood on the ground near your property. Remove decaying logs or stumps, and avoid mulch. Trim back trees to avoid branches coming into contact with your home.
How to Avoid the Risks of Termites
Whether you own a homemade of wood or brick, it’s best to work with your local termite exterminator to pinpoint anything in or around your property that could invite termite problems right inside. Contact the termite control experts at Johnson today to learn more!
Although termites are active year-round in Tennessee, their activity is more abundant than ever in the spring months. To better prepare yourself for the coming termite season, it’s wise to learn how to recognize the signs of termites. In doing so, you can prevent your chances of getting a serious infestation. Termites are rarely seen, which is why noticing any of the signs we’ll discuss here means it’s time to call your local termite exterminators. The team at Johnson Pest Control is committed to keeping you termite-free year-round, which is why we’re here to help you learn about looking for signs of a termite infestation.
How to Look for Signs of Termites
Not only are termites rarely seen, they are also oftentimes confused for other pests. This makes it crucial to know how to recognize the subtle signs of their potential presence. The five most common signs of their activity include:
Mud tubes.Subterranean termites nest underground but use mud tubes to travel. These pencil-sized tubes protect the termites from outdoor elements as it blocks out cool, dry air. Seeing mud tubes along the outside of your property is likely the number one sign of termites.
Termite swarms. Every year, reproductive termites (also known as alates and swarmers) will leave their colony to mate and form new ones. Swarmer termites are frequently mistaken for other flying insects, especially carpenter ants. Seeing winged termites in the spring or summer months is a common sign of termites spreading.
Piles of shed wings. After they swarm, the reproductive termites no long need their wings. So, they will shed them! Termite wings are all the same size and translucent in color. After being shed, they can often appear in a pile together.
Termite droppings. As they tunnel through dry wood as well as when they swarm, drywood termites create kick-out holes in the wood. This is when their droppings, also known as frass, can be found. Termite frass most closely resembles sawdust or coffee grounds, and can appear in groups.
Termite damage. Seeing damage caused by termites is indicative of a serious infestation. Damage most frequently appears in wood around the home. Common damage includes unexplained cracks on walls, beams, and rafters. It can cause sagging wood in your floors, as well as hollow-sounding wood. Sometimes wood damage can lead to weakened baseboards and floorboards.
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Inspections for Signs of a Termite Infestation
If you notice any of the above signs of termites, it’s important to reach out for professional help. An experienced termite exterminator knows exactly what to look for when it comes to termites. The experts at Johnson know that termites can be distressing, which is why we are committed to keeping you safe year-round. Contact us today to learn more about the signs of termite infestations in Eastern Tennessee.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your existing insulation or need to insulate a brand-new home, TAP® Insulation is a sound choice. This home insulation product is renowned for many reasons, including its energy-efficient performance and pest-resistant properties. Infused with borate, TAP works to prevent and control pest problems in the household. Because it outperforms traditional insulation, TAP is quickly becoming the go-to insulation option here in Sevierville TN and beyond. The pros at Johnson Pest Control are here to share all you need to know about this industry-leading home insulation option.
How Does TAP Insulation Control Pests?
TAP is prized for its pest control properties. The insulation is infused with a borate product that will prevent and eliminate pests. Some of the pests affected by this insulation product include:
TAP Insulation outperforms other home insulation options on several levels. Not only is it energy efficient, TAP provides superior thermal and acoustic insulation and wards off pest problems in your home. Other benefits include:
TAP Insulation is the only insulation registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
More cost-effective than traditional insulation, TAP is a one-time investment with no need for re-treatments.
TAP can be installed over existing insulation and comes with a lifetime warranty.
As an energy-efficient option, TAP can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 30%.
TAP is environmentally friendly by using recycled paper diverted from landfills to create the product.
This insulation is capable of filling the nooks and crannies that are unreachable with traditional insulation.
How to Get TAP Insulation in Tennessee
Johnson Pest Control is your local leader in TAP installation. Our technicians are licensed and registered to install TAP on top of your existing insulation. To learn more about our home insulations service or to schedule an appointment, call our team today!
Entomologists from Johnson’s parent company, Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021
READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.
To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.
1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:
With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.
“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”
Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.
“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”
2. Mosquitoes on the Move:
Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.
“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”
Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.
3. Bed Bugs:
The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.
“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”
Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.
If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.
4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.
From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.
In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:
Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.
Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”
Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.
5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere
Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.
“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”
6. Pests in the News:
There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”
The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.
“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”
The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.
The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.
“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”
While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.
DIY projects are certainly beloved by many. If you’re planting your own garden or embarking on an art project, DIY is absolutely the way to go. However, do-it-yourself pest control is a bit of a gamble. Store-bought products can occasionally help with a small pest problem, but they’re also often filled with chemicals. DIY pest control is also never a long-term solution to dealing with ongoing infestations or any underlying problems. Here at Johnson Pest Control, we want to help our customers make informed choices when it comes to protecting their homes from pests. Keep reading to learn whether DIY or professional pest control is the best choice for you.
Do-it-Yourself Pest Control
If you have just a spider or two in your home, store-bought and DIY pest control typically can work. However, DIY pest control has several downfalls:
A lot of store-bought products are laden with chemicals that can be dangerous for you, your family, and your pets. Reading the label doesn’t always guarantee the product will be applied perfectly and safely.
At-home remedies rarely work in the long-term and do not prevent future infestations.
DIY or store-bought products don’t come with a guarantee or warranty as often as professional services, meaning you often have to buy more products.
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The Importance of Professional Pest Control
It’s true that professional pest control requires a bigger investment of your time and money, but the payoff is tenfold! A professional has a unique understanding of the habits and behaviors of pests, making them more apt to know the best solution to control an infestation. An exterminator can also work to prevent future pest problems by identifying possible vulnerabilities in your property. Any pest control products are always applied carefully and efficiently for the safety of your family and pets. The biggest benefit of using a professional exterminator is having a custom pest control plan designed to treat your home.
DIY Pest Control vs. Professional Exterminators
Having a pest control plan in place is a smart idea for maintaining the health and safety of your home or business. Instead of spot treating pest flare-ups with unreliable DIY pest control and store-bought products, a pest control company can work with you to learn how to avoid infestations for good. To learn more, the team at Johnson is here for you!
Spring is almost here in the Sevierville area, and many people are welcoming the warmer weather. Unfortunately, with the spring season comes the pest season. This time of year, many pests that may have been less active in the winter have a resurgence of sorts. To prevent the many types of pests that will likely look to invade your Tennessee home, it’s important to implement some pest prevention measures into your spring cleaning routine! Read on for top tips from the experts at Johnson Pest Control.
Spring Pests in Tennessee
While many of the following pests are active all year long, they are particularly in action starting in the spring months. There are five pests in particular that create trouble for property owners every spring: ants, stinging insects (wasps and hornets), stink bugs, termites, and rodents! Spring is simply the start of the pest season and can last well into the summer if pest control isn’t implemented right away. By safeguarding your property now, you can help lessen the risk of getting an infestation as pests become more and more active.
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5 Spring Cleaning Tips for Pest Prevention
With so many people planning to clean their home for springtime anyway, it’s the perfect opportunity to implement pest control measures. For the best chance of making your home unsavory for pests, try the following tips:
Tidy up! Clean under furniture, wipe down surfaces, and inspect areas of your home that need some fixing up.
Clean your windows and doors thoroughly. If you find any cracks or crevices make sure to securely seal them.
Deep-clean your carpets and rugs. Vacuum, shampoo, or even steam-clean the surface.
Sanitize and clean your kitchen with a focus on your appliances. Crumbs and spilled liquids welcome all types of insects and pests.
Remove debris from your yard, and trim any shrubs or tree branches away from your home. Clear out your gutters and downspouts.
You Have Pests in the Spring—Now What?
Sometimes pests are inevitable, especially this time of year. For your best chance at controlling active infestations and preventing future ones, the exterminators at Johnson can help. Our team will work with you to develop a custom pest control plan suited to the needs of your property.
With spring upon us here in Sevierville TN, swarming insect season is coming! The most dangerous insects to be wary of this time of year are termites and carpenter ants. These two wood-destroying insects are commonly mistaken for each other in the swarmer stages of their lives. Although they are similar in appearance and habits, there are a few key differences to be aware of. Read on for tips from the experts at Johnson Pest Control for how to tell the difference between these insects.
How to Tell the Difference Between Termites & Carpenter Ants
It can be difficult to tell apart termites and carpenter ants in the swarmer stage. It’s important to look at the size of their wings in proportion to their bodies:
Carpenter ant swarmers: These are black in color, with some species having slightly red coloring. Carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antenna bent at a 45-degree angle. Their wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue, laying over the posterior of the ant. Carpenter ant swarmers are bigger than termite swarmers!
Termite swarmers: Usually, termite swarmers are black to brown in color and measure 3/8″ long including the wings. Their wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color. Their wings may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body; this is the best way to differentiate them from carpenter ants.
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Termite Damage vs. Carpenter Ant Damage
Termites typically cause more damage than carpenter ants. Some of the things to know about these wood-destroying insects include:
Termites make their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, under siding, porches, or any structure in contact with the soil.
Established termite colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day.
Carpenter ants establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into normal wood, insulation, or wall voids.
Excavated termite galleries appear to have been sanded. For the most part, carpenter ants do not create the extensive damage termites do.
Wood-Destroying Insect Extermination
Without a doubt, wood-destroying insects cause a lot of damage for property owners. However, termites can cause much more damage in the same period of time as carpenter ants. Regardless, it’s important to enlist professional help for either of these insects. At Johnson, our termite exterminators will conduct a thorough inspection on your property to determine whether you’re dealing with carpenter ants or termites. From there, we will work to exterminate these wood-boring insects with the most effective, fast-acting treatments!