Everything You Wanted to Know About Termites

Termites have been munching away on wood for decades. From the subterranean species destroying people’s homes, to the African termites that build mounds taller than men, there are about two thousand know termite species in the world. Termites have been dubbed as the “silent destroyers” because of their ability to chew through wallpaper, wood and even flooring undetected.

As termites feed primarily on wood, it is necessary to have some basic termite information or they may damage your property.

All about Termite and Termite Control

Admittedly, termites are a notorious species of insects. They are wood eating insects that belong to the order of the roaches called Blattodea and fall in the family of Isoptera. Isoptera is an insect group which some say dates back more than a hundred millions years. Termites as a species are very devastating due to the fact that they can live so long and have colonies which can multiply with very little food.

There are three major types of termites found in the United States: damp wood, subterranean and dry wood. Termites range from a quarter to half an inch in length. However, the queen and king are larger, capable of reaching over an inch long. On the other hand, the workers are soft-bodied and pale colored.

Termites feed on trees and dead plants. They get their nutrients from cellulose, an organic fiber present in plant matter and wood. Usually, termites live in soil, decayed trees, wooden structures and fallen timber. However, habitats vary among species as some termites prefer different amounts of moisture.

What Can You Do to Help Protect Your Home?

If you are on a tough termite mission, you must beware of certain things in order to be successful in controlling termite infestations. Firstly, you must know how to appropriately implement termite extermination.

Most importantly, you should know what entices them to nest on you property. Termites are sensing creatures and can find access to your property through open areas like utility pipes, concrete blocks, foundations and cracks on walls. Dampness is a major factor that attracts termites to your property.

Inspect your home frequently to prevent termite infestation. Termites need water to survive, so ensure there are no water leaks at your premises whether inside or outside. Pay attention to leaks and drips and replace old, leaking taps.

Hire a professional and licensed pest control specialist. Schedule regular home inspections to eliminate any termite worries and ensure protection of your home.

Shocking Facts about Termites

Before battling the termites in your home, it is very crucial that you get to know your wood eating enemy.  The more you learn about termites, the more you’ll understand them so you can formulate better strategies to eradicate them completely from your property. Consider these important facts:

  • Did you know that termites cause more than five billion in property damages annually
  • Termites are among the oldest insects. They are related to cockroaches and have been in existence for over two million years.
  • Termites’ queens live for about twenty five years and can lay eggs every fifteen seconds.
  • Termites are busy bugs that don’t sleep. With all the nest building, burrowing and tunneling, they work around the clock. Believe it or not, they can go for two years without any sleep, which is their average lifespan.
  • When they aren’t eating through your home, they are actually very useful bugs. They help decay plants by munching through fibers such as wood.
  • Most termites don’t see. As they live in dark nests for their entire life, most of them are blind. The only termites that are able to see are the reproductive ones that have to fly out to find mates and start new colonies.
  • When a termite in a colony is alerted to a threat, they bang their heads against the wall of the nest to alert other termites of the danger.
  • Like many other creatures in the animal kingdom, termites use pheromones (chemical cues) to communicate. These chemical scents allow them to know who has been where and why and allow for a more orderly society.
  • Soldier termites defend the colony against intruders. They use their big mandibles to decapitate intruders such as ants. For the termite species with no soldiers, the workers and nymphs act as the defenders of the colony.
  • In the United States, there are forty one species of termites identified. Termites are found on all states, except in the state of Alaska
  • Termites are extremely clean and fastidious. Funny enough, they spend a considerable amount of time grooming each other. Interesting, huh?

Conclusion

Termites may be fascinating creatures, but you don’t want them anywhere near your premises. They are dangerous and can cause thousands of dollars worth of property damage to your home by eating through your wooden erections. If you suspect you have termites, call a licensed professional.

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