Termites - The Terror Of Every Home

Termites - The Terror Of Every Home

They’re small yet deadly. They work silently and can destroy your home in a matter of weeks. They’re termites – the terror of every home!

Unless you live in Alaska, your home is a target for termites – one of nature’s most destructive pests. In America alone, termites cause billions of dollars in damage each year. They infest close to a million homes annually.

Termites have plagued man for centuries, destroying plants, houses and other wooden structures. They’re common in tropical countries and there are about 2,000 different species.

These pests have survived over 250 million years and they are always present in the soil surrounding your home. Your lot may have three to four active colonies of termites – with each colony having 100 to over a million termites that are silently destroying your home!

The termites that you often see are the winged insects or “swarmers” that emerge from the colony and fly into the air. These are the new kings and queens that leave the colony in large groups and shed their wings to mate and form new colonies. These adult termites usually fly to windows and are attracted to light sources.

Subterranean termites are the smallest and most destructive of these pests. They live underground in huge elaborate colonies that may house over a million termites. The queen termite may live as long as 10 years and she produces about 50,000 eggs daily!

The termites that do the most damage are the wingless workers. These pests feed 24 hours a day on wood, paper, books, and insulation. They have a voracious appetite and thrive in damp, moist places.

Sometimes you can spot an infestation through the pencil-thin mud tubes workers construct over walls. These mud tubes serve as the termites’ passageway from their underground colony to your home.

Most of the time, however, you can’t see termites since they feed undetected for years, eating away your most precious and largest investment.

“Ridding a home of termites requires special skills. Knowledge of building construction is needed to identify the critical areas where termites are likely to enter. Many of these potential points of entry are hidden and difficult to access. Termite control also utilizes specialized equipment such as masonry drills, pumps, large-capacity tanks, and soil treatment rods. A typical treatment may involve hundreds of gallons of a liquid pesticide, known as a termiticide, injected into the ground alongside the foundation, beneath concrete slabs, and within foundation walls,” explained Mike Potter, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

“In short, termite treatment is a job for professionals. A possible exception would be if a mailbox post, sandbox or other small wooden object not attached to the house was infested. ‘Do-it-yourself’ products, sold to homeowners at retail stores or bought over the internet, will seldom eradicate an existing termite problem,” he added.

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Termite Control