Have you ever wondered about those tiny little pests that can do so much damage to your home? So many people wonder how they ever let termite damage get so severe that they need to have their home tented, rent a room for a few nights, and just think about all the destruction they will now need to contend with? Actually, that’s a typical day in the life of a termite. Why are they so destructive? The answer isn’t quite as simple as you might think!
The City That Never Sleeps
No, we aren’t talking about NYC here. We are referring to a termite colony. Many people don’t know that termite colonies never sleep – not for one moment. They have workers going on 24/7 shifts who continue eating, bringing food back to share and then off to work again. They feed the queen, other workers, the young and they continue eating and sharing nonstop. According to Economy Exterminators in North Carolina, the real problem is that the damage is most often not even detectable until it is severe. They also note that it is not only the dry wood people assume forms the bulk of a termite diet.
Termites Eat More Than You Can Imagine
Another thing homeowners need to know is that termites do not only eat dry wood like that which forms the structure of a home. It actually depends on the type of termite doing the damage. The problem is, they require cellulose as their main nutrient and cellulose is found in more than just dry wood. Extreme termite infestations have found colonies tunneling through:
- Laminate floors (as well as hardwood)
- Kitchen cabinets
- Books on shelves as they eat paper too!
- Cotton clothes
If they happen to find something with cellulose, they will chew it up. With that being said, that is the main reason why termites are so destructive. Sometimes people aren’t aware of all the things termites actually can, and do, eat to see early signs of damage, if there is such a thing. By the time you notice it, it is probably severe.
Prevention Is the Best Medicine
In many older homes the only thing you can do is have a certified inspection before taking any steps to prevent a termite infestation. New builds are a bit easier because you can start taking preventative measures immediately, even before moving in. Those measures include:
- Never using wood chips as ground cover
- Keep firewood away from the house
- Remove dead trees and stumps immediately
Herein lies another problem. Termites don’t only eat dry wood as mentioned above. Some termites prefer damp wood as well and termites can also tunnel underground eating root systems which will often, in turn, lead to the death of the plant or tree above ground.
Whether you suspect a termite problem or not, it is probably a good idea to have your home inspected periodically. This is the best way to work toward prevention of a costly termite infestation. Your local exterminator can help you determine how and when to inspect your home and then establish preventative measures.