The most destructive wood-infesting pest in the United States is the termite. The more you know about this insect, the better off you'll be. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths, and it is hard to know what to believe. Today, we're going to break down seven common myths about termites and arm you with the information you need to protect your property from these destructive pests.
1. Termites serve no purpose other than to destroy our homes.
It is hard to believe that termites serve any valuable purpose at all. They eat wood. How can that be a good thing? But in nature, it is actually a very good thing. They don't feed on healthy trees. They consume logs, branches, and other wood debris, turning masses of decaying wood into fertilizer for the soil. They are important for our lush, green ecosystem. It is only when they get into our homes that they present an issue
2. Termites are part of the ant family.
When New England homeowners give us a call to look into a termite infestation, often we're told that white ants have been found. This is because termite workers look a little like ants. They have six legs, two antennae, and three body parts. But termites and ants are quite different. Ants subsist on vegetation, honeydew, nectar, and protein sources, such as dead insects. Termites live on cellulose, which is found in wood. But it is not only found in wood. Termites can feed on many other things inside your home. They have been found feeding on cotton fibers, cardboard, paper in books, plants, and more. So don't be surprised when you find "white ants" in a pile of objects sitting on the floor of your garage. It happens.
3. Deforestation destroys termite colonies.
If you live in an urban area, you might think that you don't have to worry about termites. When all the trees were destroyed to create a location for homes to be built, it killed off all the termites, right? Sorry. This just isn't the case. Termites don't live in trees. They live in the ground. And, as we pointed out above, they don't only eat wood. They can feed on many things that contain cellulose.
4. Termite infestations are easy to detect.
If your home has a million termites in it, you would know it, right? You would see them crawling all over the place. You would hear them chewing on the wood. You would start noticing damage? Right? Sadly, none of this is true. Termites are sneaky. They're born with behaviors and characteristics that make them difficult to detect.
Worker termites avoid light and dry air. Together, these drive them to stay hidden from sight. You're not likely to see even a single termite in your home, even if your walls are full of them.
Worker termites are quiet. You can put your ear against a piece of wood that is being eaten by termites and not hear them.
The only time termites become audible is when they bang their heads on tunnel walls in response to a threat. But there are few threats inside the tunnels they create in the walls of a home.
5. Termites can eat through concrete.
We have some good news. Termites are not able to eat through concrete, nor would they want to. But they are able to find tiny cracks in concrete walls or foundations. And it only takes a tiny opening for termites to get into a home.
6. If a house has been treated for termites, you never have to worry about them again.
Over time, termite treatments can wear out. This is because the product breaks down. If your home has had a treatment, it won't last forever. The worst part is that you're not going to know when the product has broken down enough to allow termites in. For the best control, it is important to have ongoing inspections and retreatments as needed.
7. You can get rid of termites on your own.
One of the largest investments you'll make in life is the purchase of your home. Protect that investment with termite control from a licensed and trusted pest control provider, like Big Blue Bug Solutions. If you live in our New England service area, we can help you safeguard your equity from the destructive impact of termites.