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3 Reasons Why Termite Control is so Difficult

Hundreds of thousands of homes in the United States are destroyed or affected by termite damage each year. Billions of dollars are spent every year to repair damages and for termite control. This is especially difficult, considering that termites are distributed throughout the entire nation.

If you have faced down a termite infestation in your home before, you’ll know that termites are tough to eradicate.

But Why Is It so Hard to Get Rid of Termites?

It turns out that termites have a few habits that make them resilient against attacks or treatments, and termites have a certain ability that is almost like a termite superpower.

The more we understand about these creatures, the better able we will be to get rid of them.

1. Termite Hide-and-Seek

Even the most pristine home setup can secretly harbor hundreds of thousands of termites. Termites are so good at hiding, they can eat away at any wooden structure for up to 8-10 years without detection!

Because they can go so long without being disturbed, termites have plenty of time to eat their way through anything they can, from wall studs to sheetrock, books, and even wallpaper.

Termites are cryptic, which means they instinctively hide out of sight. Plenty of insects have learned to keep out of sight, but termites have a few things they do that make them pretty unique.

So Why Do Termites Hide?

Termites are Born Without Eyes

Except for the king and queen and other fully reproductive royalty, all termites are born completely blind and live the remainder of their lives in the dark.

Their blindness makes them totally dependent on contact with one another and the tunnel walls to navigate through the world. They also use their ultra-sensitive antennae to pick up smells and other chemical signals in the air. Their blindness also makes them shy and timid in the open air, which drives them back into their tunnels as soon as possible.

Termites Need Extra Moisture

Termites workers, soldiers, and young hatchlings have extra-soft exoskeletons, which makes it easy for them to dry out in the open air or the hot sun.

Most insects have tough exoskeletons that keep the water inside so it doesn’t evaporate. Insects can die much more easily of dehydration than humans.

Termites Make Tunnels Above the Ground!

Since they dry out so easily, some types of termites keep their underground colonies moist with high humidity. But they don’t just tunnel through the wet earth.

In order to find their way to wood and leave the nest without drying out, subterranean termites mix their saliva with dirt to form mud tunnels above the soil. These mud tubes are like superhighways that allow the termites to explore for wood sources without drying out or becoming exposed to predators.

Mud tubes can climb up the side of a sheer cement wall, a slippery metal pole, or the vinyl siding of a house. They often look like branches that stretch in every direction while they search for the smell of wood.

2. Huge Colony Populations

Another reason termite colonies are tough to remove is the sheer number of termites in a single colony. Some termite colonies can have hundreds of thousands or even millions of individuals!

The termite queen is constantly producing eggs, and some species of termite queens lay as many as 40,000 eggs in a single day!

Sometimes a colony becomes too large to be supported by a single queen, so the queen creates multiple subordinate queens to help with egg production. These queens can stay together in the royal chamber or be sent elsewhere to start a satellite colony, which expands the colony’s territory.

3. Superpowers of Termites

Bees and ants have ways to replace the queen, but none have quite the same unique way of doing it that termites do.

Termite kings and queens produce special chemicals that stop the workers from growing. So if a king or queen termite dies, one of the workers will grow up to replace the royalty that died.

As mentioned, sometimes the queen will allow this on purpose to help support a large colony. But that doesn’t include swarming, which is when the queen sends reproductive flying termites out to start their own colonies.

This is the biggest reason termites are so hard to treat. If even a single termite worker survives, the entire colony could come back in full force. After even the most thorough treatments, many termite professionals check your home every year to make sure the colony is gone for good.

Professional Termite Extermination

Most people try to take treat termite infestations by themselves before they reach out for help. There are certainly plenty of products that you can use for your own termite treatments — food-grade diatomaceous earth, boric acid, and termite bait systems are just a few home-use termite killers.

Keep in mind, we don’t recommend trying to get rid of termites by yourself. If you try to kill termites by yourself, you could end up wasting precious time and a lot of money. Then you could end up paying for professionals to kill termites for you anyway.

Fox Pest Control offers treatments for preventing termites in the future, not just get rid of them right away. Our Pest Pros don’t just have all the tools and experience needed to control a termite infestation. When you call Fox, you aren’t just hiring a company, you join a family that cares.

If you’re afraid you might have problems with termites, call today. When you think pest control, think Fox Pest Control. At Fox, we get the job done right the first time. Because No Bugs is Simply Better.

Posted on March 16, 2020.

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