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3 Things that Make Termite Control Hard

Termites damage 600,000 homes in the United States each year and cost residents about $5 billion in termite control! These critters have found their way into every region of the country.

Termites have a few abilities — almost like superpowers — that make them able to dig in and stay in. Arm yourself with the knowledge and tools you need to make sure to save yourself thousands of dollars in repairs and related expenses.

1. Termites Hide Very Well

Termites can stay in a home without detection for 8-10 years! This gives them way too much time to destroy every inch of your home they can. And they'll eat anything before they're caught, from wall studs to ceiling beams, furniture, books, paper bags, books, wallpaper, and even sheetrock.

So What Makes Termites So Hard to Spot?

Hide and Survive

Termites simply don't like to be out in the open, a characteristic of what are called cryptic insects. In fact, in order to keep themselves from coming out in the open, Termites eat wood from the inside out and spend the majority of their lives safe in the colony's tunnels.

Termite Blindness

Living life isolated from the outside world may seem extreme, but not when you don't even have functional eyes. All termites are born completely blind, and workers, soldiers, and juveniles don't develop any eyes at all, (except for king and queen termites).

This blindness makes them very reluctant to come out in the open, and if they have to show their faces, they're very motivated to hide again. Their blindness also makes them highly dependent on contact with each other and their sense of touch for travel and communication.

Their highly sensitive antennae also become vital to their survival, since they use them to smell a wood source and communicate with chemical pheromones.

Moisture Dependency

Many pests, like ants or cockroaches, rely on their hard exoskeletons and a waxy cuticle to keep their body water from evaporating, which would result in dehydration and death. However, termites lose a lot of body water in the open air, which makes them dependent on their moist tunnels.

Because of this, subterranean termites and other types of termites build mud tunnels, like little superhighways above the ground to help them travel from their underground colonies to a wood source without exposure to the dry air, hot sun, or predators.

2. Huge Termite Colonies!

Depending on the species, termite colonies can have population sizes reaching the millions. This is due mainly to the royalty — some queens can lay several thousand eggs per day, which allows a colony to constantly grow.

Some queens are so overburdened by laying so many eggs, she produces a subordinate queen or two to help produce eggs. Some of these queens might be sent away to expand colony territory in a satellite nest.

3. The Termite Superpower

All social insects — honey bees, ants, and wasps — have a way to replace the queen if she suddenly dies, but no other insect colony does it in the way termites can do it.

In most species, every termite worker has the ability to become a king or queen one day. The current termite royalty produce special chemicals to stop the workers and soldiers from growing, which means most of the colony lives their entire lives as essentially underdeveloped termite babies. When the termite king or queen dies, the chemical isn't stopping the colony anymore, and a worker grows to replace the queen or king. Only termites have this specific, powerful ability.

That means that if even a single termite worker survives a predator attack, professional treatments, or another cause of massive casualties, the entire colony could restart itself within a year or two.

This is why termite professionals sometimes offer yearly inspection programs and monitoring, even after a rigorous termite treatment application.

The Best Method to Get Rid of Termites

Plenty of homeowners would rather try to get rid of termites or other pests on their own. They might find products to kill termites, such as boric acid, food-grade diatomaceous earth, and termite bait systems, which are just a few examples.

We don't recommend trying to get rid of termites on your own, though. Many people who try it just end up calling a pest professional anyway, and we would rather that you don't waste any time or money.

The most efficient way to get rid of pests for good is to call a professional. Pest management companies have all the tools needed to inspect for termite infestations and kill termites for you.

You obviously want a company that can deliver excellent termite control. But what sets Fox Pest Control apart is our ability to restore your peace of mind and to teach you how to protect your home from future damage.

Our Pest Pros will be with you every step of the way — when you call Fox, you're joining a family that cares.

If you're worried your home has a termite infestation, contact Fox Pest today! Because No Bugs is Simply Better.

Posted on March 13, 2020.

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