The termite: more than just an insect, this is a true pest – one whose thought instills terror in the hearts of many home-owners… most notably those whose homes are made essentially of wood. The real destructive power of termites derives from two essential aspects: their covert nature, and their highly efficient societies. Termites live in colonies that can be comprised of thousands – sometimes even millions of individuals who always work together for the common sake. The materials they feed mostly are dead plants: leafy litters, animal excrements… and most notably wood. The same kind of wood that’s used to build many of our homes; given their vast numbers and group efficiency, a colony of termites can quickly being to deteriorate wooden materials, and cause serious structural damages over time.
Why Termite Infestations are Hard to Detect
While it can take several years for termites to bring about irreversible structural damage, the real problem is that people usually won’t realize they have a termite infestation until it’s too late. Rather than nesting in the wood (such as for example carpenter ants), termites live on the ground, and feed on wood. This is something you should keep in mind because any kind of wood that’s in close contact to the ground becomes a potential entry point for a termite infestation. After gaining such entry point, termites will literally keep eating away from all connected wood, until a building or structure eventually crumbles and nothing remains but saw dust. Also, since they eat away the wood from the inside – oftentimes homeowners won’t notice they’re being victims of a termite invasion until it’s too late; there are however some signs you can watch for such as little muddy shelter tubes they tend to build in order to keep protected while traveling between the soil and their wooden food supply.
Warning Signs of Termite Infestation
If your house is built with a considerable percentage of wood, you should learn to keep an eye out for the subtle signs of a termite infestation, most notably those mud tubes they build to travel around in – but also watch out for shed wings and suspicious droppings. Also, wood that’s getting damage from the inside by termites usually produces a hollow sound when you knock into it with a hammer. Remember that when a piece of timber shows noticeable signs of termite damage on the surface, quite likely it’s already been eaten up all the way from the inside. If you ever spot any sign of termites near your home, don’t think twice: call an exterminator straight away for a professional opinion.