You’ve probably heard the horror stories about termite colonies that have crept in and escaped a homeowner’s notice until a lot of damage has been done. But what do you actually know about termites? Here are a few things to keep in mind and how to protect your own house against termites.
They are Literally Everywhere
There are about fifty types of termites in the US, with thousands more species around the world – there are around 3,000 kinds of termites currently known. These little critters are found on every continent except Antarctica. Pest World says there are over 2.000 known species of termites around the world.
They Don’t Eat Just Wood
Termites will eat books, insulation, many types of fabrics, cardboard – anything with a high enough cellulose content. And they will also chew through plastics or other materials that are between them and that delicious cellulose. They contribute to a lot of necessary decay naturally, but without mitigation can cause over-decay in many species of trees and of course, residential areas and buildings.
They Fit Through Tiny Cracks
Termites can fit through cracks just, .03 inches wide! As much as a penny is thick. While they don’t eat concrete, brick or glass, they can readily find tiny holes through them that will give them access to what they want – warm, damp, cellulose.
They Have Their Own Pests
Ants hate termites. Some ants are pests in and of themselves, so you may not want to keep them around, but if there’s an active ant colony nearby, you have less chance of having termites. Some kinds of ant will even carry out full-scale invasions of termite colonies.
They Won’t Go Away on Their Own, But Are Not Impossible to Get Rid Of
Unlike other insect pests, termites have not developed a resistance to pesticides. It’s hard to get rid of them without professional pest control services or special termite services. Spot treatments only manage one spot and often don’t get rid of the entire colony.
They Are Most Active in Spring
It’s warm, there is a lot of rain, and they are working to recover from winter. Termites are the busiest and colonies put on the most growth in springtime.
When Not in Your Home, they are Useful
Termites clear fallen trees and leaves. They help decay debris that has fallen in the woods, working it into the soil and enriching and aerating it. This helps the live trees and plants grow strong and healthy.
Termites can be hard to see, but Spring is a time to become more observant – winged termites emerge and look for places to start new colonies in the spring. If you see any winged termites, have your home evaluated to see if you are developing a problem. Schedule an appointment today!