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Termites are pests also referred to as white ants. Despite popular belief that it is a part of the ant species, this pest is a type of cockroach that dwells in the structures of wooden homes. Termites are also known as the silent destroyers since most individuals see no signs of a termite infestation until the damage has become irretrievable. This is the reason we need to acquaint ourselves about termites so we can learn how to eliminate and prevent them.
FACTS ABOUT TERMITES
Worker termites are blind. They spend most of their time in the darkness, feeding on food and serving the best interests of their colony. Despite their inability to see, they have a heightened sense of smell and direction. They feel damp materials and slowly creep into it to feed. Once they reach the structure of your home, it’s almost impossible to eliminate them fully without professional help.
Did you know that termites never sleep? They chew on wood 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With a million termites in one colony, imagine how many days it could take before their damage gets too extensive. The worst part is, termites can live for 30 to 50 years. No matter how large your establishment is, termites will slowly weaken its structure.
DAMAGES CAUSED BY TERMITES
Termites invade and damage buildings with wooden structures. Whenever they do, the quality and sturdiness of structures diminish. This can be dangerous during calamities. Experts recommend evacuating infested houses because it no longer provides reliable protection from storms.
These creatures also infest crops during harvest season whenever the crops are dry and ready for harvest. Whenever this happens, farmers experience loss. They cannot make the most out of their investment.
Some people who come in contact with termite saliva through inhalation and skin contact could develop allergic reactions and asthma attacks. This also happens when termites bite. Yes! Like ants, they can pierce the skin. In fact, some people experience swelling and rashes around the bite site. Others even need medical attention to relieve these symptoms before they get worse.
SIGNS OF TERMITE INFESTATIONS
People are not aware about the symptoms of termite infestations. This causes the extensive damage they bring to households. To give us insights, here are the common signs of termite infestation:
- Head Banging: Did you know that termites produce noises within our walls? It becomes audible when termites shake their body while they eat or interact with their colony. So, if you hear unusual noises coming from your walls and floors, it could be a sign of a termite infestation.
- Molds: Another sign of a termite infestation is the buildup of molds on your walls and floors. This indicates a dry-wood termite infestation. If this happens, contact a local exterminator so they can inspect the perimeter of your home and spot termite colonies.
- Presence of swarmers: Swarmers are winged termites that fly around or inside the house. These are the sexually mature termites capable of breeding. Female swarmers are the next queens of their own colony. Once they are fertilized, they lose their wings and find a stable home to raise a colony. Males, on the other hand, die after breeding. If you see swarmers, it shows that there is a termite colony nearby. Who knows? The colony could be right beneath you. If this happens, you need to be extra observant to spot the colony and eliminate it immediately.
- Hollow Sound: Another sign of an infestation is the hollow sound of walls when knocked on. It could indicate that the damage is already extensive. Try knocking on your floors and walls from time to time. If some parts sound different than the rest, contact a professional to have it checked.
- Damaged Furniture: Termites can also infest wooden furniture. If you see holes and deformations on your belongings, it could be a sign of a termite infestation. Also, check the paint if it’s starting to bubble. If so, take the furniture out and let the sun’s rays eliminate the moisture. This will kill existing termites inside your belongings.
HOW TO ELIMINATE TERMITES?
Now that you know how damaging termites are, it’s time to learn how we can eliminate them. Here are a few more tricks to apply:
- Vinegar Spray: Vinegar mixed with lemon is an effective termite spray. Use it to clean your wooden windowsills, doors, furniture, and floors to deter pests. Don’t worry, it doesn’t smell as bad as most people think. You can apply it regularly and let the wind blow the odor away. Remember that it isn’t that much effective like other tricks. You can go for other termite spray if the infestation is uncontrollable.
- Wet Cardboard Trap: Since most termites love damp objects, you can use wet cardboard to deceive termites. Strategically place the wet cardboard near infested areas and leave it overnight. If you see termites on the cardboard the next day, burn down the cardboard to eradicate the termites.
- Nematodes: They commercialize these worms to prey on pests such as termites, mosquitoes and garden pests. If you cultivate enough nematodes in your area, it helps control pests without using pesticides. You can save your farm, your garden, and your home.
- Segregate unused wood and papers: Store unused wood and paper away from the house. Use it as a decoy to lure termites away from you. Strategically place these at least 6 feet away from your home to attract termites. It’s a necessary sacrifice to keep these pesky creatures away from your home and garden.
- Ask Help from a Professional: The best way to eliminate termites is by contacting a pest control professional. These experts have the knowledge and ability to get rid of termites permanently. They are equipped with the skills for pest management to promote safety and foster lifelong protection against termites. If you’re facing a severe infestation, don’t hesitate to contact a professional for an effective strategy to eradicate termites for good.
Never underestimate the power of these creatures. Small as they are, they gather their strength in groups. Hence, you need to be more clever by being one step ahead. Don’t just focus on elimination and control. The best way to solve termite infestation is to prevent them in the first place. Regularly apply these pest control methods and never stop learning about termites. This way, you can boost your knowledge about their habits and innovate ways to eliminate them.