CAN WE MATCH THE MIGHT OF THE TERMITES?
Please do not underestimate these tiny insects. Individually, they do not look like much, and it is possible that in the past, chance encounters with them resulted in you letting them go. After all, what is an insect that is just 4 to 15 mm long can do to you?
In a group, however, termites are very destructive. So destructive, in fact, that if left unchecked, they can leave a family homeless. They can easily destroy residential and commercial buildings. Silently. Quietly. If hypertension is the “silent killer”, then the termites are the “silent destroyers”.
The effects of termites in the economy
These insects, however small they are, have been causing billions of dollars in structural damage to houses and buildings each year in the United States alone. $ 1.5 Billion is the estimate, in fact. They attack the structural wood in our homes and feed on it. They also eat paper, boxes, important documents (they do not care if they are important), your favorite books, and even insulation. All termites consume cellulose-based plant materials, which is the reason why all our homes and buildings are a rich source of food for termites. All homes can provide cellulose food for them.
And of course, we have not even mentioned the cost of having to exterminate them. Americans have spent additional millions of dollars more for their extermination.
Overview of termites
There are more or less 2,000 termites species worldwide. In the United States, 40 of these species to thrive. Looking at them individually, they definitely do not seem much. They are just small, measuring about 4 to 15 mm in length. They have segmented bodies, 3 segments to be exact. These 3 segments are known as the prothorax, mesothorax, and the metathorax. Attached to each segment is a pair of legs. A termite has no narrowing at the waist, and are rectangular in shape. They have antennae attached to their heads, four wings, and are transparent, or light creamy color. The soldier termites are blind and use their antennae to sense vibrations, touch, taste, and odor.
How do we know if termites are present in our homes if they are so silent?
There are sure-fire ways to find out if you have termites in your home. If you already have an infestation, it would be almost impossible to get rid of them yourself. Getting the services of a professional is the best way to go. Of course, you would not want just any professional. When it comes to saving your home, you naturally would want the best pest control management in North Carolina, just to be sure.
Below are some of the signs you need to watch out for to know if you have termites already:
- Check on your structural wood by tapping on it. If it sounds hollow, there probably are termites there
- Mud tubes on walls or wood beams
- Frass, or termite droppings, that are visible
- Actually seeing a termite crawling around the house.
- Discarded termite wings can be seen scattered around
Are all these 2,000 species found in the United States?
The good news is no, not all of the 2,000 species of termites are in the United States. Here in America, only 40 species can be found. Yet, it does not make them less destructive. There are enough termites out there to cause $ 1.5 Billion in structural damages each year.
We can further cut down the list to just 4 types: the subterranean, Formosan, dry wood, and damp wood termites.
- Subterranean termites – Subterranean termites are notorious for being the most damaging type. Next, to the Formosan termites, they damage structures faster than any other termites. Subterranean termites’ nests are usually in contact with the soil. They have mouthparts with sharp teeth and strong jaws which allows them to eat cellulose-based materials, like wood, books, and paper. They like to live in dark places with high humidity. Discovering their presence is tough because they damage the inside of the structural wood while leaving the outer casing intact.
- Formosan termites – Formosan termites damage structures faster than any other termites because of their sheer numbers. They are very aggressive. They measure about 1/2 inches in length. Their nests can contain millions of their kind. \
- Dampwood termites – They are attracted to wood that is damaged by water, thus their name. They are much larger than the subterranean termites when it comes to the size of their bodies. Dampwood termites prefer to live in places with high moisture.
- Drywood termites – Drywood termites have large mandibles with teeth. They have two sets of wings and are 12 mm long. Unlike all the other termites, dry wood termites nest in wood, not in soil. Their nests are located mostly above ground. They infest dry wood like lumber, furniture, and dead limbs on trees. Drywood termites eat wood by cutting across its grain, giving it a chamber-like pattern. Some of these chambers are filled with fecal pellets. From time to time these dry wood termites would expel these fecal pellets outside through small openings, which actually gives away their presence to us.
Purchasing a termite-free home
Buying their own homes is a dream for everyone. If you are looking to buy a used house, exercise due diligence. Is it a safe neighborhood? Is it near very important establishments like hospitals, churches, marketplaces, etc.? Is it a flood prone area? And is the house termite-free?
Full disclosure of sellers is important, but the buyer needs to be careful too. You may simply request for a Wood Destroying Insect Report, a very important document that tells us if there are already damages made on the wood structures of a building caused by wood destroying insects, or if there are no damages nor pests yet. You can get an expert to inspect the house, but you cannot just get an expert since the law requires all pest control companies to be licensed by the state. In this case, the best name to trust is Go- Forth Pest Control Company. Go- Forth has a well – trained, highly efficient team who can help you get a Wood Destroying Insect Report.
Differentiating termites from ants
It is best to know the difference between the two insects. Many people are confused with these two. One particular species of ants, the carpenter ants, are just as destructive. This way you would know the kind of treatment you will need.
Both insects burrow into the wood. They have the same size, and both come out during spring to mate. Termites though, eat the wood while the carpenter ants do not.
The bodies of ants have a narrow waist, while termites have rectangular bodies. Both have two pairs of wings. A termite’s wings have the same length, while an ant’s wings have shorter hind wings compared to the forewings. The antennae attached to the ants’ heads are bent, while termites have straight antennae. Ants are reddish brown in color, while termites are transparent, or light to creamy in color.
Can we prevent termites from infesting our homes?
Definitely, we can prevent them from attacking our homes. For starters, remove wood piles and keep them away from your immediate vicinity. Do not allow wood-to-soil contact. Clean around the house. Termites are attracted to dirt. Termites like damp places. If there are leaky pipes and faucets, make sure to fix them at once. Make sure there is good ventilation to decrease moisture. Termites thrive on moisture. Make sure you have good airflow in your home.
Seal cracks and crevices, and repair broken seals in the foundation of the house. When doing this, use 16-grit sand. This will help block off all possible entry points for these termites. You may also put sand around the foundations of your house because termites have trouble crawling on the sand
Unfortunately, if there are termites already in your home, there is nothing much you can do. IT would be time to call in the best pest control management in North Carolina.
Go-Forth is simply the best
Go-Forth Pest Control is a family owned commercial service solutions provider of modern pest control services and techniques, using the latest and most advanced technology in the business, making our service to you more efficient, safer and more convenient. We have a team of expert professionals who can provide the best pest control services to residents and business establishments all throughout North and South Carolina.
We bring in a new and fresh approach to the pest control industry, using family-friendly and pet-friendly methods of extermination that caters to your specific needs. Our expert experience in exterminating pests like cockroaches, wasps, weevils, mosquitoes, mice, flies, termites, ants, and spiders can really make you say goodbye to these pests in your home. You may check us on Facebook or Google us to see what our satisfied customers have to say about us.
Go-Forth Pest Control has earned the trust of residents and businesses in North Carolina for more than 50 years. For more information, or to set an appointment, just dial 336-841-6111. Our friendly operators are standing by.