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Termite Season

October 07, 20224 min read

"I can say, if I like, that social insects behave like the working parts of an immense central nervous system: the termite colony is an enormous brain on millions of legs; the individual termite is a mobile neurone." - Lewis Thomas

What are Termites?

Termites are small, winged insects that are closely related to cockroaches. They are one of the most destructive pests in the world, causing billions of dollars in damage every year. There are more than 2,000 species of termites, but only about 50 of them are known to cause damage to humans.

picture of termites in wood

Do Termites Eat Wood?

Termites are known for their wood-eating habits, but that's not all they eat. Termites also consume paper, cardboard, insulation, stucco, and even swimming pool filters. In fact, termites will eat just about anything that contains cellulose.

Cellulose is an important structural component of plants, and it's what gives plants their rigidity. Termites have specialized gut bacteria that help them break down cellulose so they can use it for food.

While most people think of termites as pests, they actually play an important role in the environment. Termites help break down dead plant material, which recycles nutrients back into the soil.

Unfortunately, when termites invade homes and other structures, they can cause serious damage. Termites can eat through wood floors, walls, and ceilings, and they can cause extensive damage to the foundation of a home.

Here are five facts about termite damage:

1. Termites cause billions of dollars in damage each year.

2. Termites are responsible for the destruction of over 600,000 homes each year.

3. In the United States, termite damage is not covered by homeowners insurance.

4. Early detection of termites is the key to preventing extensive damage.

5. Termites can enter a home through cracks as small as 1/16 of an inch.

Different Types of Termites

There are more than 2,000 species of termites, divided into two main groups: subterranean termites and drywood termites. Subterranean termites are by far the most common and widely distributed type of termite in the world. They are found on every continent except Antarctica and can cause serious damage to homes and other structures.

Drywood termites are much less common than subterranean termites and are found mostly in tropical and subtropical areas. They live in dry, undamaged wood and do not need contact with the ground to survive.

Both types of termites are serious pests that can cause extensive damage to homes and other structures. Termites are often called the “silent destroyers” because they can do so much damage before they are even detected.

Termites are most often found in areas with high humidity and moisture, such as the southeastern United States. However, they can be found in any part of the country. If you think you may have termites, it is important to contact a pest control professional to have them identify the type of termite and develop a treatment plan.

How To Get Rid of Termites

There are several ways to get rid of termites. The most common method is to use a bait system, which uses termites' natural foraging behavior to lure them into a poisoned trap. Another method is to use a liquid termiticide, which is a chemical that is applied to the soil around a structure to kill termites. Environmental Pest Solutions, a leading pest control company, offers the following treatment options for different types of termites:

For dry wood termites, Orkin recommends whole-structure fumigation. This treatment is usually performed by a professional pest control company and involves covering the entire structure with a tarp and pumping gas into it. The gas penetrates all of the cracks and crevices where the termites are hiding and kills them.

For subterranean termites, Environmental Pest Solutions recommends a bait system, which as mentioned before, uses termites' natural foraging behavior to lure them into a poisoned trap. The bait system consists of placing stations filled with cellulose-based material around the perimeter of the structure. The termites eat the material and take it back to their nest, where it kills the entire colony.

For Formosan termites, Environmental Pest Solutions recommends a combination of baiting and liquid termiticide treatments. The bait system lures the termites into the stations, where they eat the cellulose-based material and take it back to their nest, killing the entire colony. The liquid termiticide creates a barrier around the structure that kills any termites that try to cross it.

Ted Hantwerker

Owner of Environmental Pest Solutions

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