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3 Reasons Termites are Tough to Exterminate

Hundreds of thousands of homes in the United States are targeted and damaged by termites every year, costing homeowners billions of dollars. These insects are extremely hardy and are spread across every region of the country, (except for Alaska, obviously).

For anyone with experience facing these creatures, it’s not hard to imagine why they’re tough to eradicate.

Why are termites hard to get rid of?There are three main things that make termite infestations especially difficult to remove and to protect against, no matter what area you live in.

The more homeowners knowabout these creatures, the better equipped you can beto face them and get rid of them.

1. Termites are Great at Hiding

Even the most beautiful home can secretly be harboring these destructive insects. Often, termites can live inside the walls unnoticed for 8-10 years before they are discovered and the proper action is taken against them.

That’s an incredibly long time for these fast-acting wood-eaters to chow down on a house! These critters can eat practically anything, from wall studs and ceiling beams to books, paper, sheetrock, or wallpaper.

Unlike some social insects (like bees, wasps, or ants that also live in colonies), termites don’t like to come out into the open, a type of behavior that designates them as “cryptic insects.”

But why are termites so good at hiding?

Termites Don’t Have Eyes

Only the kings and queens have fully developed eyes, which means workers, soldiers, and underdeveloped termites are completely blind.

Termites depend on their senses of touch, smell, and taste to navigate their world, which they do mainly with their highly sensitive antennae. They are extremely dependent on contact with each other and the colony’s chemical signals to know where to go, which makes them very nervous and shy in the open air.

Interesting Fact

Even though underground colony nests are like a labyrinth of extensive tunnel networks, these blind workers and soldiers can find exactly where they need to go without backtracking even once.

Subterranean termites especially create highly sophisticated and complicated underground networks in order to confuse and trap invaders, like ants or rival termite colonies.

Termites Make Tunnels Above Ground

Termites have soft exoskeletons, which makes them prone to drying out quickly in the dry air or the hot sun. It also makes them susceptible to predators, including ants, birds, or rival termite colonies.

Using dirt mixed with their saliva, termites construct tunnels above the ground, which are called mud tubes or mud tunnels. This allows them to connect their underground colony to a source of wood without exposing them to predators or the hot sun.

These mud tunnels can crawl up the side of a concrete wall, metal pole, or the aluminum siding of your house without drawing too much attention to themselves and remaining perfectly protected.

Termites also create tubes that drop down from a high point, which gives them a shortcut back to the ground. They look something like mud icicles or thin stalactites that hang down from ceilings, tree branches, or overhangs.

2. Termite Population Sizes

Colonies are constantly growing, thanks to the never-ending egg production the queen tirelessly puts in. A termite queen can lay several thousand eggs every day, which can result in population sizes rising up to the hundreds of thousands or even millions!

The oldest termite colonies can have multiple queens to support the queen in egg-laying duties. The queen’s chamber in the underground colony can have several queens in it, or the main queen can send under-queens to satellite nests to expand foraging territory.

3.The Termite Superpower

Other social insects, like beehives and ant colonies, have a way to replace the queen when she dies, but none of them have quite the same amazing power that termites have.

In most colonies, termite workers are capable of rising the ranks and becoming a royal with the power to reproduce and start their own colony. The reason they don’t is because the current king and queen produce chemicals that stop the termites from developing fully.

This termite power is the main reason termite professionals inspect for termites infestations every year. If even one termite worker survives, the worker could restart the colony all over again.

Effective Termite Extermination

When faced with a termite infestation, many people’s first instinct is to take care of it by themselves. There are plenty of termite killers you can use that are safe for you and your family — food-grade diatomaceous earth, termite bait systems, and boric acid are just a few of them.

We don’t recommend you try to treat termites on your own. Trying to kill termites without professional products and expertise be a waste of time and money, and you might end up needing professional help anyway.

The best and most effective way to eradicate termites is to call the professionals. Pest professionals have all the tools and experience necessary to get rid of termites in the safest way possible.

Fox Pest Control is here for you to deliver the peace of mind you’re hoping for. Our Pest Professionals don’t just help you with termites because when you call Fox, you’re not just hiring professionals. You’re joining a family that cares.

Posted on March 9, 2020.

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