Monday, 6 June 2016

11 Things you Need To Know About Termites

Termites can hide and thrive in your backyard for a long time before you ever see any signs of damage. It is for this reason that the phrase “silent destroyer” is used in relation to termites. They feed on cellulose-based materials. These include dead trees and plants and wood in the soil. All homes, unfortunately, have an environment that can make cellulose food available for termite infestation.

When a termite colony matures, swarming termites will be seen around doors and windows. This is because they are very attracted to any source of light. After mating, they will then locate a different breeding site and go on to create another colony. Within a short time they will have spread over multiple locations, causing substantial damage in their wake.

To protect your home against termite infestation, tou need to learn as much information about termites as possible. This article will discuss 11 things that you need to knpw about termites.

(1) What are the main types of termites?

Knowing the termite type goes a long way in knowing the remedy to use. There are two main types of termites: Drywood and subterranean termites.

(a)Drywood kind of termites
These termites live within the wood; therefore no soil contact is required for them to keep moist. The cellulose found in the wood is their source of nourishment. They need minimal moisture to survive. Holes on walls, wood or ceilings will give you evidence of their presence.

You can prevent these termites from thriving by using treated lumber when constructing or coating any untreated or exposed wood with oil.

(b)Subterranean termites
They mostly live in the ground by building mud tubes and constructing carton nets that consist of soil as well as wood that has been cemented together with feces and saliva. In order for them to thrive, they need a lot of moisture from the soil or damp wood. Their diet is mainly cellulose from wood. They mostly live in the soil but can also be found above the ground if there is enough moisture. Protective mud tubes that are ascending from the ground or protruding from walls can give you evidence of their presence.

Treating the soil with termicide before construction is the best way to prevent these termites from causing damage later.

(2)What do termites need to survive?

There are four things that termites need in order to survive. These are food, shelter moisture and optimum temperature.

The food can be provided by the wood materials used to build the home, while moisture comes from stagnant water or air conditioners. Pencil-sized mud tubes are the protective tunnel that keeps the termites moist. These tubes normally run vertically outside or inside the foundation of a building.

(3)When are termites most active?

Although termites are not visible all year round, they can continue to cause damage throughout the year. During the cold season, subterranean termites will move deeper underground in order to access the warmth that they need to survive. It is still possible to find termites in your home during the cold season. Termites that have found shelter and food in the home’s foundation will not be as affected by harsh conditions on the outside.

(4)When is the most termite damage done?

A termite colony takes between two and four years to mature. Once the colony has reached maturity stage, it has a population large enough to cause substantial damage. If the colony continues to go undetected, the damage rate will accelerate as the number of workers continues to multiply.

(5)When do termites appear?

A lot of people think that the prime season for termites is when they are seen in swarms. However, if termites have infested a house, they will continuously cause damage, regardless of the weather. Most of the subterranean termites will be seen swarming on a warm day when there are calmer winds just after a rainfall.

(6)How long is the termite season?

Since termites are active throughout the year, there is really no specific length or peak to their season. In colder months, termites may not be as active as in warmer months, a home’s warm and consistent temperature is enough to keep them warm and comfortable at any time.

(7)How fast do termites spread?

Termites spread continuously and in perpetuity. This can be due to human activity like people who may be transporting infested wood. Also, once or twice every year, colonies produce flying termites which then spread those colonies further. So if your neighbors discover termites, you need to get your home inspected as well.

(8)What is a termite swarm?

Swarmers are termites that come out every year to start new colonies. A colony does not typically start to produce swarming termites until it is fairly mature and has been established for a while. A swarm of termites in your home could be a sign that the termites may have been there for at least five to seven years.

(9)Are termites a danger to humans? 

Generally termites are not a health risk to humans. Although this is the case, they are one of the most difficult insects when it comes to trying to control their spread. This is why as a home owner, you are advised to report should you see any signs of termite activity.

(10)Getting rid of Termites 

(a)Subterranean termites
Specialists treat this type of termites by applying termicides to soil under and around the house. In some cases termicide is applied to the infested wood surface or injected into the wood directly.

(b)Drywood kind of termites
Experts treat infestations through heat treatment or gas fumigation. They inject the termicide directly into the wood that is housing the colony.

(11)What is the best time to treat termites?

There is no specific time for termite treatment. Treatments are supposed to be performed any time infestation signs are discovered.


Prevention of termites, as is the case with all other insects, is better than cure. So keep all gutters clear and direct any water from downspouts to flow away from your home. Also do not allow soil to accumulate against the siding of your home. Finally, pay close attention to all crawlspaces and dirt-filled porches