The Silent Destroyers: A Closer Look at Termites

January 17, 2014

Because they tend to secretly hide and thrive on your home or yard without any immediate signs of damages, termites are often called silent destroyers. Regardless of a home's construction type, they can provide cellulose food for termite infestations.

Termites are detritus feeders. This means they feed on dead plants and trees as well as dead parts of living trees such as wood and wood in the soil.

According to doityourself.com, termites are one of the biggest contributors to home destruction, costing a staggering $1 billion in damages each year.Furthermore, a termite colony consists of anywhere from 350,000 to well over a million workers, soldiers, and swarmers (termites with wings).

A single termite queen can lay thousands of eggs per day and live between 30 and 50 years. That means a queen can recoup her losses and repopulate her colony even after tremendous devastation.

A termites mouth is capable of tearing pieces of woody material. This ability is what causes concern in human dwellings: while termite workers only measure approximately 1 cm to a few millimeters in length, their feeding habits are capable of causing costly damage to property. House foundations, furniture, shelves and even books are all possible feeding sites for termites.

When a colony has matured, swarming termites can be seen around windows and doors. Winged termites are highly attracted to sources of light and are most active in springtime. After mating, these termites locate a new breeding site and create another colony, spreading infestations throughout multiple locations.

Like bees, termites are social. They cooperate to find food, raise young and build and defend nests.

Although they are soft and delicate, they compensate for their weaknesses. They keep their nests moist so their bodies don’t dry out, and they build shelters to protect themselves from predators and the elements.

Also they do big things in small steps. They take tiny bites of wood to use as food, and they carry tiny particles of dirt and waste to build their homes. They also get help from even smaller organisms, like fungi, bacteria and protozoa.

There are plenty of methods for discouraging termites from feasting on a person’s home, but many species have a knack for finding ways around them. Once a colony moves in, it can be difficult to exterminate.

This is why it is always best to call experts when it comes to this problem. Treatment procedures are not just simple spraying because what you are able to see in the house is only a small fraction of their real population.  Their nests are hidden and protected underground so there are specific equipments and methods that are able to control them where they are.

Liquid chemicals used to kill termites are called Termiticides. It is generally applied around the foundations, underneath and around foundations and perimeters and all areas where there are wall and floor joints. Currently, there are termiticides that act as either a barrieror a repellent. There are particular application procedures for both types of termiticides to achieve the best results so it is really best to consult professional pest management operators.

It is important that you do precautionary measures in order to event these silent destroyers. Prior to 1990, there are termiticides that stay on the soil for over 10-20 years or more. But these products are already banned. So expect termiticides to wear off from your house every 1 to 3 years which means you need to get them retreated. Otherwise, you may get your house penetrated by these voracious pests anytime.