What Are Termites and How to Deal With Them


Termites are wood-munching creatures that seemingly wouldn’t go away. While we’re quite annoyed by them, they actually are fascinating insects. Today, there are currently four thousand known species o them, but only about 10 percent are actually referred to as those that can cause structural damage to property, crops, and forests. Termites are known to thrive in decentralized and self-organized systems. Although they’re very small, they actually have some kind of caste system in their community, with three classes named by scientists as the reproductive class, soldiers, and the workers.

During maturity, the queen termite is able to produce a maximum of two thousand eggs per day. The soldiers on the other hand, as the term suggests, carry the responsibility of being the primary defensive units of the entire society. They’re the ones that defend the colony against predators like ants. The worker termites are the ones that cause damage to your property. They forage and store food and brood and nest maintenance. They have the ability to digest cellulose, which is a component of wood. Hence, they’re usually found in lumber and infested wood.

Damage Caused by Termites

There are two common types of termites found in a typical home like yours. These are the subterranean colonies and the drywood termites. Aside from the two, you might also dealing with dampwood and Formosan termites, but they’re not as common though. The subterranean termites are going to form their nests underground. They have the ability to build tunnels, using them to make their way above the ground to look for food sources. Drywood termites on the other hand are going to inhabit their food source. It means they’re the ones you find in the wood in your walls, ceilings, and floors. Since cellulose is found in many materials and things at home, damage caused by this type of termites won’t be limited to the structural components. You may also be seeing damage in your shelving, carpeting, books, insulation, and furniture.

On the other hand, since subterranean termites will burrow under your property, structural damage isn’t noticed right then and there. You only see there’s an extensive destruction when it already is obviously seen.

The Warning Signs

termites burrowingThere are certain warning signs that you learn how to detect in order to keep the damage to a minimum. You need to check the outside premises to see if there are any swarming and flying insects that are exiting from the underground. It means that they may be nesting below your property. This is a sign that you have drywood termites. If you see swollen ceilings and floors as well as buckling wood, those are signs of termite damage. There also might be slight water damage in some instances. If you happen to smell something that is similar to mold or mildew, then it may also mean there are undiscovered termite-damaged areas in your home.

Performing Easy Prevention

Never allow plywood, lumber, and other wood stuff to lean against your home for extended periods. This will be looked upon by termites as a kind of invitation to lunch. Likewise, damp wood is quite attractive to them. Therefore, you shouldn’t be building structures using wood base that sits directly on the ground. Also remember that treated lumber may be a mild deterrent but termites will still munch on them if they’re very hungry.

When building a new home, there are so many things you can do in order to prevent termites from coming in. For instance, you may use lumber products which are termite resistant. An example is resinous wood types. Meanwhile, other wood products can be injected with chemical deterrents. You may also use termite control chemicals and spray them into the framing members before the installation of wall coverings. Termite barriers may be created around the home while constructing. Barriers are usually composed of chemically treated synthetic blocks, treated insulation, or treated soil.