Something in the basement

Part I

Trius received a call from a kind, older couple regarding what they thought were squirrels nesting in their basement. The couple was in the basement doing laundry and packing away winter items when they noticed pieces of insulation on the basement floor. The insulation came from one of two basement windows which opened out into an exterior crawlspace under their tv room. Although there was no evidence other than the insulation, they figured it was better to be safe than sorry and called for an inspection.

Our technician, Derek, was nearing the end of his day when he received the call asking him to investigate a possible rodent or squirrel in a client’s basement. Derek finished up his service paperwork and review with his current client and headed over to the add-on inspection. Mentally he started preparing for what to look for, and for how to treat the situation. He was prepared to treat whatever he found a few different ways given the material on his truck.

Derek arrived at the client’s house in a few minutes and was greeted at the door by a friendly woman went on to share what she had seen and heard. In addition to the insulation on the floor in the basement, the client added that she and her husband had heard muffled noises coming from under their tv room. Not scratching or chewing. Not scampering or loud thuds. Just the sound of something in the crawlspace under their feet. The description was a little vague, but Derek figured it was probably just a rodent or squirrel moving around down there and went to investigate.

The basement was well-kept, dry, and organized with very little clutter.  In fact, the only thing out of place were the small, yellow lumps of insulation laying on the floor. Because there were only two areas covered with the yellow insulation, narrowing down potential entry points was quite easy. Derek inspected the first area and noticed the piece of insulation fit a hole at the bottom of the window. There was a soft breeze coming through the hole and a faint smell of mildew and dust. He knew the window opened into a crawlspace but was surprised by the breeze. He guessed there must be a fairly large entry point back there to have that much wind come through.

Derek grabbed the bottom of the insulation and pulled it back to see what was inside. He was shocked to see what walked away from him further into the darkness of the crawlspace.

(Find out what Derek saw walking away from him under this client’s house next week…)

New Jersey Termite Swarm Season

New Jersey Termite Swarm Season

As we approach New Jersey termite swarm season, homeowners should be on high alert. Eastern Subterranean termites, the species most commonly found in New Jersey, usually begin to swarm in early spring. Particularly warm and wet winters can result in earlier swarm times, but there is no definitive start date for swarming season. Termites may swarm multiple times in a season, often with a large initial swarm, and smaller subsequent swarms to follow. During swarm season, winged reproductive termites from established colonies emerge from the ground to mate and establish new colony locations.

How do I know if I have a termite swarm?

Swarming subterranean termites are dark brown to black in color with two distinct body parts and translucent wings that resemble fish scales. Eastern Subterranean termites typically swarm during the daylight hours and in very large numbers (think thousands!), making their presence hard to miss. You may also find piles of wings on your front doorsteps or on windowsills if termites have already found a mate and shed their wings.

Winged termites are sometimes mistaken for flying ants, but there are a few ways to tell them apart. Swarming termites have two pairs of wings that are equal in length whereas flying ants have two sets of differently sized wings. Winged ants also have three body parts, unlike termites who only have two. Termite swarmers are also slightly smaller than winged ants and have straight antennae as opposed to the bent antennae found on ants. Still, if you see any winged insects swarming inside or outside your home, it is always advisable that you seek the opinion of a reputable pest management firm to properly identify the pests.

New Jersey Termite Swarm Season

If you see a New Jersey termite swarm, click here to request a free estimate