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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions.

How do I know I have termites?
There are four (4) wood-destroying termites in Northern California: dry-wood, subterranean, damp-wood termites, and powder post beetles. Dry-wood termites are the most common termites found. About 78% of structures inspected each year are infested with this type. Subterranean come to about 26% and damp-wood and powder post beetles about 2%. Dry-wood termites leave piles of droppings or pellets near their nest. They also swarm on warm days, leaving the nest to breed. Swarmers look like red ants with wings. They have a redhead and a long brown body. Subterranean termites are ground dwellings and build tubes to access their food. Look for mud tubes or swarmers in the spring months. Subterranean swarmers look like tiny black water ants with wings. The easiest way to identity flying ants from termites is to check the insect's wings. If the wings are short, stubby, and end at the insect's rear end, it is a flying ant. If the wings are long, tear-shaped, and twice the length of the insect, it is a termite. Also, hollow wood is an excellent indication of termites.
Can any structure be treated with the microwave process?
No. A heavily infected structure should be fumigated first, then controlled by the microwave process.
How does the microwave process work where it can be used?
Dry-wood termites are found in the structure by a visual inspection and then with detection devices. Once detected, the microwave is directed at the termite nest, heating the area to about 200 degrees. Termites are over 90% water and are boiled to death. There are also low-toxic chemicals used in certain applications depending on the species of termites and where their nest is located.
Do you also fumigate?
What does a three (3) year warranty mean?
Your entire structure is covered for three (3) years against any new infestation (only for the species that was originally found and treated) or what area of the structure the infestation shows up. All service calls during your warranty period are free of charge. This covers the original and the extended warranties if renewed after the first three (3) years. Other limited warranties are also available.
Do you have to be out over night with the microwave system?
No. Treatment time usually runs about 3-4 hours on the average home. You may be at home or return when the job is complete.
Will there be any damage to my roof with the microwave system?
No. HiTech Termite does not walk on your roof with tarps with the microwave system.
Is the big circus like tent used when using the microwave process?
No. Tents like those used in circuses are not used in the microwave system.
I am thinking of selling my home in the next few years. Will I have to do the treatment again to clear escrow?
No. Whether we microwave or fumigate your home, we will certify it in its entry for escrow purposes as long as it is under the original or extended warranty. There may be a charge of escrow services.
If we have to fumigate, is your warranty the same?
Yes. If your home is fumigated or the microwave system used, the warranty is the same.
Do I have to disconnect my appliances or my alarm system?
No. the microwaves do not affect electrical wiring.
Does HiTech Termite use the services of their employees?
Yes. All work performed, except tent fumigations, are by employees of this company. Each person is licensed and bonded, and we carry workman's compensation for every employee. Due to the large number of multi-unit projects we do, such as apartment and townhouse associations, we also carry extensive liability coverage.
I know I can get information on any company through a local Better Business Bureau. Is there any other source that provides more information?
The termite industry is highly regulated and monitored due to the potential of fumigants and their effects on human life. The Structural Pest Control Board, a division of the Department of Consumer Affairs, provides extensive information on any company in this industry. They are located on Howe Ave, in Sacramento, California. They provide information that is not available through any local source.
Is there any way to prevent termite infestation?

Here are some helpful hints from experts:

  • Keep a good coat of paint on all exterior wood.
  • Clear caulking to cracks and wood separations on exterior trim.
  • Cover attic vents with a window screen. (Standard construction puts 1/2 inch mesh, which is good for birds and rodents but not termites)
  • Avoid earth-to-wood contacts under, around, or near the main structure, deck, and patio.
  • Call a licensed termite company before any major damage is done if you see anything that resembles termites.
How to identify termites and how to control them?

Identifying the presence of termites is not easy - they do not advertise their existence. Knowing what types of termites are present is even more challenging. Understanding what to look for makes the job easier, but to be sure about their existence takes an inspection by a trained professional. There are three termites found in California: dry-wood termites, damp wood termites, and subterranean termites. Dry-wood termites live in dry and deadwood. Damp-wood termites live in wood that has high moisture content. After these termites enter a home, they may migrate to dry wood once the moist wood supply runs out. Subterranean termites live underground and build mud tubes to travel into buildings. Controlling termites should be done by professionals.

How do you know if termites are active?

Termites may be present for a long time before their presence becomes apparent. These are some indicators of termite activity. If seen, professional termite control should be done without delay.

  • Discoloration of drywall
  • Minute holes in the drywall
  • Peeling paint on wood surfaces
  • Piles of termite droppings about the size of crushed pepper anywhere in the home
  • Wood that is cracked or crumbling
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
  • Windows or doors that stick
  • Tiles becoming loose
  • Spotting flying termites anywhere on your property
  • Piles of discarded termite wings
  • Termites use mud tunnels to enter the property
How can I prevent a termite infestation?
The later a termite infestation is spotted, the higher the damage and the larger the termites. Regular professional termite inspections followed by appropriate preventive treatments are the only way to keep a home termite-free. The adage of prevention being better than cure is very relevant to termite infestations.
What is the most effective treatment for termites?

That depends on the type of termite and infestation. There are different varieties of termites - in California, the three prevalent species are:

  • Drywood termites
  • Subterranean termites
  • Dampwood termites

We begin the control process by first determining the type of termite that is present. We then work with the homeowner to find the kind of treatment that will be best for residents. For example, for those with health issues, where even the minute residue of normal fumigation may be a problem, we will use non-fumigation methods. Whatever method we use, our industry-leading 3-year warranty will apply to the services we provide.

What are the signs of termites?

There are numerous signs of the presence of termites. Among the most common are:

  • Wood that gives a hollow sound when tapped
  • Blisters in wooded surfaces, especially flooring
  • Minute mud tubes (which the termites travel in) present at the points where they enter the structure
  • Termite wings near doors, windows, and other possible places where termites may enter
  • Droppings, resembling coffee grounds, near wood surfaces

Spotting the signs of termites is not easy, which is why regular professional termites inspections are so necessary for protecting a home.