Get to Know Your Enemies: Termites
An Inside Look at Nature’s Property Destroyer
Termites are destructive pests. These tiny ant-like wood-eating pests can run havoc on any property. Every year, they cause more damage to property in the U.S. than all the natural calamities combined. It is important that you conduct pest control for termites as early as possible. Their colonies can grow very large at a quick pace. If left unchecked, an infestation can spiral out of control, causing serious property damage to your home or business. Therefore, you must regularly look for the signs of a termite infestation.
Termites Eat Wood 24/7
There is no doubt that termites are hardworking pests. They work 24/7 without taking a break and they aren’t short-lived like other pests. A regular worker termite may live up to two years and the queen may last for decades. Once a termite infestation begins in your home, the colony can keep growing for years. The queen termite lives and keeps laying eggs for 20 years at a stretch.
The Real Problem in Detecting a Termite Infestation
The biggest problem in detecting a termite infestation is a lack of apparent signs. Termites work silently in the dark. They eat your furniture, foundations, and other woodwork from inside. Once they finish eating all the wood, they start eating fabric, paper, and virtually anything made from plant material. This is the stage where the infestation becomes visible. However, by this time, it is already very late. The wood in furniture, foundations, walls, and floorings would have already been eaten by them. It is important that you know your enemy clearly and the damage it can cause.
The Four Types of Termites
Although scientists have discovered more than 3,000 termite species to date, there mainly 4 types that trouble those living in the U.S.
These four types are:
These termites concern us the least because they live on damp wood. They eat dead and decaying trees. You will rarely find these termites in your home. However, they can be eating a fallen tree or utility pole next to your home and work their way inside.
Dry Wood Termites
Dry wood termites can cause structural damage to your home. They like to feast on the support beams, pillars, and other heavy wood. From your furniture to the wooden flooring, everything is their food. These termites are very hard to detect, as they do not create mud tunnels. They spend their entire lives inside wood and eat it from the inside. If this termite is inside the wood in your house, then you are in real trouble; expert termite inspection for complete removal is the only option.
This is one of the most dangerous species of termites. They can feed on virtually anything ranging from wood and fabric to plastic and wires. If there is an attack of this termite on your home, then your beams, sub-flooring, foundation, insulation, and even the plumbing pipes are in danger. These termites do not leave even the living trees and shrubs alone. They enter your home through the soil and make their colonies underground. You will need the best termite treatment, including soil treatment, to get rid of the infestation. Other options for termite removal include fumigation and termite spray.
Formosan Termites—The Invaders
These are the invasive subtype of Subterranean termites. They come from outside America and present an even more serious danger. Although these termites also eat the wood at the same speed as the subterranean termites, the problem is with their number. Their colonies are huge and they can be in thousands upon thousands. Within a span of six months, they can cause serious structural damage to your property.
Why Identifying the Type of Termite Is Important
The difficulty with termite removal is that different types of termites live in different environments. From food habits to habitats, everything is different. Clear identification of the type of termite infestation is the key to effective control. Wrong treatment will not only increase your cost but may also render further treatment ineffective.
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