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Termites are one of the most destructive creatures that can infest households and establishments. People believe that termites are cousins of ants. However, they are more closely related to cockroaches, and that they are far more complex than the latter. Some researchers even state that termites have a wider range In terms of diet.
These creatures are fully social insects with a vast range of morphological forms. Like ants, termites live in colonies. They have queens, kings, and worker termites. They also have alates, the sexually mature termites who mate and start their own colonies. However, they do not target human food as ants do. Termites feed on cellulose from wood, cardboard, and other organic material. In tremendous numbers, they can be dangerous to your properties. To understand more about them, here are the most intriguing facts about termites.
Facts about termites
1. You can eat termites!
Did you know that termites are rich in calcium, iron, proteins, amino acids, and many more? These insects may be damaging, but they are the main dish in various countries. Some prefer hunting queen termites because they are the juiciest. However, others prefer the worker termites for a nutritious meal.
2. The largest colony reported consists of 3 million termites
Termites reproduce quickly, especially in optimal conditions. Some colonies reach up to a million population while others reach 3 million. Can you imagine what will happen if these termites infest your house? They could destroy your foundation within months! This is why people have termite control professionals on speed dial. Keen monitoring is necessary to keep termites away.
3. Termites never sleep
This is another scary fact about termites. Imagine millions of insects who work 24 hours a day. Considering their population and their activity level, it’s no surprise they can skeletonize furniture, fixtures, and foundations. This gives you all the more reason to beware.
4. These creatures inflict more than 5 billion of damage yearly
I wouldn’t be surprised if termites cause this much damage. According to experts, the activities of these pests can force people out of their houses because their walls are no longer strong enough to withstand winds and pressure. Can you imagine moving during this dangerous time?
5. Termites communicate through pheromones
Pheromones are odorous chemicals secreted by organisms for communication. Termites, too, have the ability to secrete odors to signal one another when they see food, when they mate, or when they look for shelter. When one worker termite detects the abundance of cellulose in your house, it signals its comrades. This makes you their next target. Expect a colony to swarm your foundation in the next few days.
Now that you know how dangerous these pests are, it’s important to prevent them. While using pesticides without supervision may be effective, it could be dangerous. This is why experts recommend settling for natural methods first. Here are a few strategies you can apply.
How to prevent termites???
- Eliminate sources of excess moisture : Termites are attracted to water and moisture. The more humid your house is, the more prone you are to infestations; and not just from termites! Even cockroaches, fleas, and ants are attracted to moisture. So, check your leaky pipes, repair your faucets, and use dehumidifiers. This way, you can maintain the ideal moisture level at home and prevent pests from infesting.
- Divert water away from the house: Don’t make the mistake of letting the water run through or near your house. If possible, divert canals or waterways away. This helps eliminate the puddles of water and wet soil that attract termites.
- Inspect the foundations of your house: Regularly inspect your house exterior. This includes your walls, floorboards, patios, windows, attics, and basements. If you see discolorations on wood, mud tunnels, or hear hollow sounds, your house could be infested. This gives you the cue to upscale your preventative measures. You can also call a professional to deal with the infestation for you.
- Create a barrier between the foundation and the soil: Termites travel through mud tunnels. To keep them away, install a barrier like a wall of cement or a mesh that separates your foundation from the soil. This keeps termites away no matter how extremely they try to get inside your house. If you can’t add this on your own, contact an expert to do it for you. It shouldn’t take a day, depending on the perimeter of your house.
Indeed, termites are troublesome creatures. They do not only infest, but they also destroy. Without prevention, termites cause peril to your belongings. Apply these strategies above to keep them away. Better yet, call professionals, so they can install preventative measures to keep termites from pestering your humble home.