What Homeowners Need to Know about Termites

termimix Most have heard the phrase, ‘being eaten out of house and home’. Usually this means someone has teenagers, house guests, or other individuals who are eating up all their groceries. But what if you were literally being eaten out of house and home? If you have termites that is exactly what can happen. Learning about what termites are, how they work, the damage they cause, and how to prevent and eliminate them can save you money, and maybe even your home.

What Are Termites?

Biologist Dr. Don shares on drdons.net that termites are:
• Six-legged.
• Whitish.
• Sometimes winged.

They can hollow trees, build large constructs, move vast amounts of soil and, of course, eat your home. Termites belong to the same order as cockroaches, “blattodea”, and they can live as long as 3 years. Termites typically travel through the ground until they find wood structures near the base of a home they can invade. And ehow.com contributor Jason Chavis points out, that because termites move locations quickly, if a house in your neighborhood is treated the insects will move to a new home to sustain the colony.

Damage Termites Can Cause

In the Amazon, termites are best known as a favorite snack. But in the US they are known to be the ones snacking- on people’s homes, furniture, and other precious items. TLC.howstuffworks.com describes the different termites you need to watch out for and the damage they can cause.

• Subterranean:
~ Live under ground in groups.
~ Main source of food is wood.
~ They will tunnel up to 150 feet.
~ They cause 95% of all termite damage in North America.

A single colony:
~ Can have up to 1 million members.
~ May eat 15lbs of wood in your home each week.

They eat:
~ Foundations.
~ Support beams.
~ Plastic pipes.
~ Insulation.

Different kinds include:

Drywood

They like:
~ Attics.
~ Door and window frames.

Dampwood

~ Live in damp, decaying wood.
~ Homes with moisture or plumbing issues can be affected.
~ Their damage looks clean and smooth on the outside.

Formosan

~ Most destructive type of termite.
~ Will infest wood and other cellulose-based goods.
~ Invades boats and trees.

Not Getting Gouged When Getting Rid of Termites

An article from realesate.msn.com suggests if you have termite problems, “call in a professional”. The emphatic point they want to make to homeowners is, “It’s one thing to kill termites, it’s another thing to get rid of an infestation entirely”. Finding the right professional is important because you want someone who can get the job done, without running up unnecessary cost. Professionals like Terminix – www.pestcontrol.us have the experience to get the job done right and assess what the National Pesticide Information Center at NPIC.orst.edu recommends looking at as pest controller traits:

• Regulated and licensed.
• Known experience.
• Reputation.
• Value.
• Customer service.
• Safety.

Don’t let bug problems bug you. Insects are part of nature, but knowing what they are and how they may affect you and your home can keep you from having unwanted pests, and unwanted problems.

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