Termites: The definitive guide and how to eliminate them
If destructive bugs are involved, the termites are ranked number one in the category; and it is that these unpleasant insects do not understand historical constructions or very expensive houses, so they do not hesitate to end everything that crosses their path.
These animals are considered a plague worldwide. In fact, there are more than 2,000 species of termites around the world, some worse than others. In USA, these insects usually cause annual losses of millions of dollars, which makes them a potential threat for a large part of Americans.
Well, if you have a problem like this at home, surely you have seen how annoying these bichillos can be, so, to put an end to the matter, we have brought you a lot of information that will help you better understand what is going on. the thing and put an end to the history of termites.
What are termites?
Also known as white ants, termites are small bugs belonging to the order isoptera. They are identified as social insects, since they live in colonies, and their diet revolves around wood and other materials loaded with cellulose.
Most of these animals live in tropical and subtropical climates, however, temperate climates are also a perfect target for these pests. In United States, a large part of the attacks by termites are led by the subterranean termite, one of the most worrisome species, capable of causing deep damage to buildings.
In general, they make their nests or termite mounds in the subsoil, about 20 or 40 meters from the site where their presence has been detected. These little bugs are reproduced in piles, arriving to create colonies of up to 3 million individuals, and design channels within the wood, which makes them more difficult to detect.
In short, these animals can become a real problem if they are not stopped in time, because they are able to eat a whole piece of furniture or, worse, end up with the entire bases of a construction.
Why do termites appear?
There are several reasons why termites often make an appearance, and one of them has to do with environmental conditions. As expected, these insects are especially attracted to places where they can cover their basic needs, which are: water, food and a warm shelter.
Its presence becomes even more noticeable during the winter season, since the cold and humidity typical of the season hinder the survival and proliferation of these insects, which is why they tend to stay inside homes.
As we have said, termites feed on materials composed of cellulose, such as wood, cardboard and paper, so that if you have construction wood inside your home and in contact with the ground, you are offering them a place for their lodging. In that case, we recommend leaving a 6-inch gap between the floor and the wood, although it would be better if you did not stack this material inside the home or nearby.
Also, old trunks and construction debris tend to attract these bugs, so it is advisable to eliminate them and prefer pressure-treated or naturally resistant wood, rather than the typical wood for building.
To determine if it is a termite infestation, you should look for signs of the presence of these little bugs, such as piles of sawdust or gypsum, raised floors or ceilings and mud passages in the bases of the structure.
Types or species of termites
There are thousands of termite species around the world but the most common and problematic for humans are usually: subterranean termites, dry wood termites and moist wood termites. Let’s see what these little bugs are and what their main characteristics are.
They are considered the most harmful species for the human habitat. Its termite mounds understand a large number of individuals and are usually at ground level, where there is some source of food.
This type of termite can build its nests in wood with humidity of only 10%, either in the frames of doors and windows, in closets or in any other place that has such material. Although their colonies are not as numerous as those of subterranean termites, they are usually quite problematic for humans.
These pests elaborate their nests on wooden objects with an extremely high level of humidity, almost in a state of decomposition, which is why they have been given their characteristic name. These insects do not build their termite mounds at ground level, but they do it on the wood that is disposed in the ground, especially if it is decomposed wood.
Bite or sting of termites
Although the population of termites can cause serious damage to houses and property, these bugs are not known to directly attack humans. Although subterranean termites have a buccal apparatus that allows them to bite people, they rarely tend to do so, since they usually use it to bite wood or other objects loaded with cellulose that serve as food, or to attack other insects which represent a threat.
So, if you experience a termite infestation at home, you should not worry about the fact that they can bite or sting you, but rather focus on protecting the bases of the construction, as they can kill them and make the infrastructure come down
In view of this, it is very important that you contact a pest control specialist, who, after conducting a proper inspection and detection of the problem, will determine the extermination techniques and the provisional measures to be used.
Are termites dangerous?
Although they may seem harmless by the fact of not attacking people, these bugs represent a danger to buildings and, therefore, to those who live inside them.
The termites of the dry wood build tunnels in their colonies, devastating the wood, which causes its internal structure to weaken. As time passes, the problem becomes greater and the wood falls, so these animals can be more dangerous than you think.
The damage caused by termites is progressive and difficult to detect at the beginning, so that once it is discovered, the damage may be quite serious. In addition to this, they usually expel fecal matter out of the colony, dirtying the place with their pellets of unpleasant feces.
How to eliminate termites
In case you do not know, a colony of these bugs can kill up to 5 grams of wood per day, which, although it seems little, can get much worse if the proper control measures are not taken.
Well, since termites are a plague quite difficult to eradicate, it is necessary to resort to a treatment contaste, by the hand of experts in the control of pests. Some of the methods of extermination that can offer us are:
It is a kind of traps that are placed at the site of infestation to monitor the presence of the animals. Pest control experts are responsible for periodically monitoring the bait stations to detect the activity of termites. Next, they proceed with the elimination of the colony, which may take up to a year, and then follow up or monitor it to ensure that the problem has been eradicated and there are no signs of reinfestation.
This method involves the injection of biocidal products, applied directly on the affected areas or on the ground, which creates a protective barrier against termites, which covers the entire surface of the infrastructure.
Treatment with tent
It is one of the safest extermination mechanisms that exist. While it is true that fumigation can completely eliminate these bugs, there are those who do not feel comfortable with the application of chemical products in their spaces. Therefore, a good alternative is to use the tent method, using only hot air as a fumigant element.
It consists in elevating the temperature inside the construction to approximately 49 ° C, killing all the termites and their eggs. The heat must reach the core of the wood so that the treatment is really effective.
However, this method is not usable in all areas, however it is much safer than fumigation with poisonous chemicals and can be an excellent option.
There is another alternative and consists in the use of microwave devices, which cause the bodily fluids of these insects to boil, causing their death. It must be borne in mind that this method must be applied directly on the termite mound and can cause certain damage to the wood plates.
Finally, only after experts in the control of pests, specifically termites, have made a detailed assessment of the matter, we can decide which will be the best alternative to eradicate the problem, always based on the recommendations of these specialists. So that, scarcely it is presumed of the existence of these bichillos, first that we must do is resort to a specialist in control of plagues and treatments of the wood, that will help us to get rid of these annoying insects of a good time.
Home remedies to eradicate termites
Well, if the chemicals are not your thing and you prefer to opt for more natural and homemade alternatives, here you will find some effective and easy to prepare remedies that will help you to finish with the annoying termites.
Sodium borate against termites
Sodium borate works as a powerful insecticide and can kill many insects. What happens with this product is that, once the termite eats sodium borate, it is not able to digest any other food, so it can not feed and will die in the absence of nutrients.
To benefit from the properties of sodium borate, you must mix ½ kilo of it along with 4 liters of water, and then apply the mixture on the wooden surfaces where you suspect that there may be termites.
Mix of grape jelly and boric acid
It may seem crazy but it is a pretty effective remedy against these insects. Just mix 3 tablespoons of cat food, 1 tablespoon of boric acid and 4 tablespoons of grape jelly. Take the mixture and spread it in the places where you think there may be termites.
White vinegar and olive oil
Vinegar is another of the most recommended natural repellents for all types of bugs. Prepare a solution with ¼ cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of olive oil. Moisten a cloth with the mixture and pass it over your furniture and wooden surfaces.
More tricks to get rid of termites
In case you can not resort to the home remedies that we have given you, maybe you can use these tricks to get rid of termites once and for all.
Essential oils (whether eucalyptus, orange, vetiver or clove bud) are excellent for repelling insects, and termites are no exception. You just have to put a little oil in a bowl or spray it in the areas where you suspect these bichillos may be.
This plant is great for a lot of things, and it is also great for exterminating the annoying termites. You just have to crush an aloe vera plant and soak it in a bucket with water. After a couple of hours, add in a container with spray, a stop of aloe for every five parts of water and apply on the termite mounds.
Now that you know all about these insects, you will be able to deal with the problem safely and definitively.
Other interesting articles about termites
- 1 Termites: The definitive guide and how to eliminate them
- 2 What are termites?
- 3 Why do termites appear?
- 4 Types or species of termites
- 5 Bite or sting of termites
- 6 Are termites dangerous?
- 7 How to eliminate termites
- 8 Home remedies to eradicate termites
- 9 More tricks to get rid of termites
- 10 Other interesting articles about termites