Recognizing Termite Damage Is the First Step in Eradication

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 14, 2014 | Go to article overview

Recognizing Termite Damage Is the First Step in Eradication


Byline: Metro Creative

Home ownership can be an unending series of adventures, especially for those homeowners who love good home improvement projects. Some projects are fun and improve the value of a home instantly, while others are undertaken to address a potentially serious issue.

Discovering that termites are taking up residence where you live can be disconcerting, but termites are a very common occurrence. Understanding termites and recognizing the signs of damage early on can help homeowners reduce the havoc that termites can wreak on their homes.

Termites are social insects that live together in colonies. These colonies eat nonstop, dining on wood and other cellulose plant matter. They also eat materials made from plants, like fabric and paper. According to the National Pest Management Association, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage a year. Studies show that queen termites can live up to decades under ideal climate conditions while workers and soldiers live approximately one to two years.

While there are many varieties of termites, all are silent destroyers capable of chewing undetected through housing structures. To eradicate termites, homeowners must first identify the insects and then contact a termite management specialist to address the pest problem.

Spotting termites

Termites may not always be visible. Subterranean termite homes are usually formed in soil, where the termites build elaborate tunnel systems that channel through to aboveground food sources. Drywood and dampwood termites may live within the wood they consume and be undetectable until the wood collapses or rots away.

Homeowners often realize they have a termite problem when they witness swarming termites. At this point there already may be a mature colony at work damaging a home.

Swarming, winged termites form in a mature, established colony. Winged termites emerge and fly off looking for mates. Afterward they will locate a new breeding site and form another colony, potentially spreading infestations through multiple locations. …

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