Termites, popularly known as ‘white ants,’ have nothing to do with ants. They are a separate species of insects, dating back to the time when dinosaurs dominated the Earth. Termites are detritivores, feeding on dead plants, leaf litter, soil, wood, or animal dung. They recycle wood and plant material and, thereby, play a very important role in the ecological system.
However, they are a threat to human societies. They cause massive financial damage every year, amounting to billion dollars. An entire house can collapse due to poor structural integrity when infested with termites that feed on the wooden structural pillars of the building. Once they invade, they multiply in numbers so rapidly that they build huge colonies in no time, which can get beyond control. They typically feed beneath the surface of wooden structure, and one often only realizes the presence of termites after significant damage has been done to the wood.
Subterranean termites especially are known to be responsible for massive financial damage worldwide. They thrive in places with warm temperatures and frequented by heavy rainfalls. They live deep underground in large colonies of up to 1 million termites. If you see mud tunnels on your walls or on ground, there might be termite infestation in your premises.
Termites are capable of completely damaging the structure and foundation of a building, leaving it in a condition that is beyond repair. If you have wooden flooring, ceiling or walls, they are capable of eating up all the wood. If you notice your wooden floors swollen, buckled or sagging, it is possible that there are termites beneath. Other signs that your wood flooring is infested are hollow sounds upon knocking, easy penetration with a sharp object, discolored lamination, tunnel patterns within the wood, loose boards, and smell. In most of the cases, the termite treatment prevents further damage, but existing damages will have to be repaired. Even if your house is made up of concrete, they can travel through it and attack your wooden furniture.
It is very difficult to determine on your own if your house is termite-infested or what is the scale of the infestation. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not cover property damage caused by termites. Therefore, it is recommended you contact a pest control agency, so they can inspect your premises for a survey, find out the extent of the infestation and take suitable measures before your house is crumbled down to nothingness.
To control subterranean termites, the exterminators might do wood treatment, soil treatment, or baiting. If you are building a new house, you should get the grounds checked by exterminators. Before finalizing a property you’re buying in resale, you should consider getting it inspected by exterminators. There should be proper cross-ventilation in your house. In any part of the structure, wood should not come in direct contact with the ground soil. There should be beams created in between. You should never bring in a piece of furniture into your house, which is possibly infested with termites.
If you try the do-it-yourself modes of termite treatment, it may look initially that you are saving lot of money, but eventually you may end up losing a lot more as the DIY approach tends to be a slower approach and the procrastination will lead to more damage to your property.