Thursday, April 29, 2010

Meet the Culprits - Termites


More than 2 million homes require termite treatment each year. You typically can't see them, you can't hear them and frequently only a trained inspector can find signs of infestation. Treatment by the homeowner for the control of termites is virtually impossible. Termites feed on cellulose, a complex chemical in plant cell walls, and they are very important in the natural decomposition of fallen trees, leaves and other plant products.

HOW TERMITES LIVE
  • Termites build their colonies in the soil or in trees or poles, and rely mainly on the soil for moisture

  • A termite colony is large (60,000 to 1.5 million termites)

  • They are made up of several "castes", each with distinct functions and behaviors. These include reproductive (the queen, king, and winged swarmers), soldiers, and workers
Termites live mainly in the ground, searching for wood (food) farther and farther from their center of their colony areas as their numbers grow. Foragers may make underground tunnels or above-ground "shelter tubes" of mud, feces and debris used to search for new food sources and to connect their feeding sites to the soil. They can enter a building without direct wood contact with the soil through such tubes. Termites can enter buildings through cracks, expansion joints, foam insulation below ground, hollow bricks or concrete blocks, or through spaces around plumbing through openings as narrow as 1/32nd of an inch.

The most important step in protecting your property is a thorough inspection by a termite control specialist. If a termite infestation is found, the specialist can design a treatment plan for your property that will control a current infestation and establish a chemical barrier, or baiting system, around the structure to take care of future termite infestations.

Roberts Termite and Pest Control
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