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3 Abilities that Make Termites Tough to Treat

Termites affect thousands of homes throughout the United States, causing $5 billion of home repairs and termite control measures.

It can be tough to get rid of termites, especially considering that termites are spread throughout every state of the U.S. (except Alaska).

If you’ve faced down a termite infestation before, you know just how difficult it can be to treat termites, even when you use your own termite killers.

But these little critters can cause problems for even professional termite treatments and termite extermination efforts. Don’t worry, though, termite professionals know what makes them hard to exterminate and know how to get around it.

Why Are Termites So Tough To Exterminate?

Turns out these insects have pretty amazing abilities that make them difficult to spot, hard to hunt down, and able to make a strong comeback, even after concerted efforts to kill termites.

1. Termites are Great at Hiding

This problem is easy enough for professionals to solve, but the average homeowner, unfortunately, is at a major disadvantage. Termite damage can remain hidden in the walls for 8-10 years before anyone notices the infestation!

This gives termites plenty of time to feast on their favorite foods, from wall studs to sheetrock, wallpaper, books, furniture, and certain kinds of wall insulation. All types of termites eat wood or plants, from subterranean termites to drywood termites and dampwood termites.

So How and Why Do Termites Hide So Well?

Termites Hide Because They’re Blind

Only certain kinds of termites have fully developed eyes — the king and queen, and flying termites that emerge once a year to leave and start new colonies elsewhere. All workers, soldiers, and other termites are born blind and live their entire lives in the dark.

Their sightlessness makes them especially shy and timid when they’re in the open, so many species often move cautiously in the open and scurry back to the tunnel as soon as they can.

Termites Need Moisture

Most insect exoskeletons are tough enough to keep their body water from evaporating, but termites have soft bodies that easily dry out in the open air or hot sun.

To survive in dry climates, some species keep the humidity level high in the underground colony nests, and others only burrow into damp wood.

Mud Tubes

Subterranean termites are the most pervasive species in the United States and require contact with the ground to survive. They build mud tubes — dirt mixed with their saliva — to explore outside the nest and traverse tricky terrain.

Mud tubes, or mud tunnels, dry quickly and cling to sheer metal poles, vertical cement walls, and even slick vinyl siding and look like mud vines branching toward a source of wood. When termites reach tall tree branches or ceiling beams and need a quick route back to the ground, they make tubes that look like mud icicles or thin stalactites.

Mud tunnels allow termites to make a quick getaway and forage safely away from predatory eyes and the hot sun.

2.Termite Population Size

Termite colonies grow incredibly fast and can have millions of individuals. The termite queen is constantly producing eggs, laying as many as 40,000 in a single day!

As mentioned before, mature colonies also produce flying termites that leave and create their own colonies. But sometimes the queen produces another queen to help her with egg production. This under-queen either lives with her mother in the royal chamber, or she makes a satellite colony nearby to expand territory.

3. The Termite Superpower

All social insects — bees, ants, wasps, etc. — have a way to replace their queen if she dies, but none do it in quite the same way termites colonies do.

In most species, the workers have the ability to outgrow the ranks and become royalty with the ability to reproduce their own colony.

So, if even one worker escapes a predatory attack or professional treatments, that worker could grow into a king or queen, find a mate, and start the entire colony all over again. This is why many termite professionals offer yearly inspections, just to make sure the colony is gone for good.

Rely on the Professionals

Most people’s first instinct when facing an infestation is to treat it on their own. There are plenty of safe products to use around your home that might help — boric acid, termite bait systems, and food-grade diatomaceous earth are just a few. Some homeowners end up calling professionals anyway, wasting precious time and money in the process.

For that reason, we don’t recommend trying to treat termites on your own. It’s best to call a pest professional you can rely on to inspect and treat them for you. You’ll want to find someone who cares about you, understands the situation, and restores your peace of mind with an effective treatment plan.

Fox Pest Control can be that company for you. Our Pest Pros have the knowledge and experience necessary to make your home safe and comfortable again.

When you think pest control, think Fox Pest Control because we get the job done right the first time, so call today. Because No Bugs is Simply Better.

Posted on March 9, 2020.

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