Termites are an extremely industrious and destructive type of insect. There are literally thousands of different species of termites, but in North America they fall into one of several categories: drywood, Formosan, and subterranean. Each of these species has certain traits in common with the others as well as some distinctive characteristics of its own. Termites do billions of dollars worth of damage to private residences each year, so the issue of termite control is a pertinent one all across the country. And contrary to popular belief, termite populations can be found in the north as well as well as the south. In non native areas they are still a threat because they can be transported in building materials or on trucks delivering goods and wreak havoc even in small pockets. An overview of the characteristics of a termite can be read below.
Drywood termites are a pest that actually likes to live above the soil, unlike other species. In homes they have infiltrated, they are usually found in wooden structures such as wood furniture, walls, and floors. Outside they can be located in firewood piles or even in trees, although they usually stay away from those that are not already diseased. Drywood colonies eat 24 hours a day so the destruction they can cause is immense. The trouble is that early detection of this species is next to impossible. By the time physical signs of their presence emerge, it is often too late to save the couch or the framed wall of the house. Professional eradication is necessary just to kill them off, and then major repairs are often necessary.
Formosans are one of the most destructive termite species of all. Trying to eliminate them once they have established their domain is often a colossal struggle. Some scientists studying termites label formosan termites as a type of subterranean species because of their similar characteristics. Colonies of this species can be immense, up to several hundred feet in length. Many thousands of members can all be part of just one colony. Formosan termites are known by some observers as the “super termite” because they have such incredible destructive power. Just a single colony can completely destroy a house’s foundation in only a few months. Quick response to infestation is critical.
This is the species that has by far the largest colonies in terms of numbers. Their membership often reaches into the six figures and can actually grow into the millions, an incredible number. They are opportunistic and not especially picky about what they eat, preferring wood and cellulose based materials but also consuming plastic, fabric and even wallpaper. They systematically destroy areas they infest because of their appetite and willingness to consume different materials. In some areas they are known as ground termites because they build up tunnels out of the ground in order to reach their food. Different types of this broad classification can be found in many different areas of North America.
The Importance of Termite Control
The many different species are hard to shepherd into one category or another because there is so much variety. However, in North America virtually all of them are dangerous to homes because of their eating habits and taste for dead wood. Pest control is essential because it is the only real method we have of dealing with these creatures on any kind of effective level. Home remedies fail to eliminate colonies that can be so numerous and that work so aggressively. It is best for homeowners who believe they have been infested to learn more about termites and contact a non toxic termite control service in their local geographical area.