Termites are small creatures that live in colonies. They are known for their tunnelling and their ability to create mounds. There are many surprising things that attract termites. Here are five of them.
What Do Termites Feed On?
Termites feed mostly on cellulose, an organic component found in wood, plants, and a variety of human-made materials such as paper, cardboard, and cotton fibers.
So they consume these things to obtain the cellulose they need and then break it down into a healthy meal. Because of the protozoa and bacteria in their stomach, termites are one of the few organisms that can digest cellulose.
Some homeowners may believe that their house is safe since it is built of hardwood. Termites, on the other hand, may consume both soft and hardwood.
Drywood termites like dry wood, while subterranean termites prefer softwood (such as that found in your home frame, structural timber, floors, or furniture).
Dampwood termites love wet, rotting wood (such as tree stumps or logs) and are thus seldom seen in dwellings.
These 5 things attract termites to your home.
There are several things in your house that serve as an open invitation to the termites to make their way into your home. However, these five things are the main culprits behind attracting termites to your home.
Termites are attracted to dark, moist environments where they can find protection from predators. This is why you will often find them in basements, crawl spaces, and other areas that are not well-lit or frequented by people or animals.
In fact, one of the ways termites find their way around is by leaving a trail of mud tunnels. This helps them travel from one place to another without being seen owing to the darkness in such areas, as mentioned above.
The point is that termites are attracted to darkness because it makes them feel like they’re invisible and can go undetected. This is why termite tunnels are often found in dark, secluded areas.
Termites are attracted to warmth and will often build their nests in warm areas. This is why infrared cameras are often used to find termites in walls – they emit heat that the termites are drawn to.
Most cities like the ones in Arizona are brutally hot, and this is a major factor in termite infestations. Termites are attracted to warmth, and when the temperatures outside reach a certain point, they will start to swarm.
This is why it is important to keep an eye on your home’s temperature and take steps to prevent termites from invading.
Owing to the fact that termites thrive in warm environments, keeping your home cool will help to keep them away. Low temperatures will kill termites very quickly, so be sure to keep your home below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Termites need moisture to survive and thrive. This is why they are generally spotted near sources of water, such as in basements, crawlspaces, and around leaky pipes or roofs. It is absolutely necessary to keep your house dry and free from moisture in order to deter termites.
Make sure you fix any and every leak in your home and watch out for excess humidity. Termites also need a warm environment, so make sure your home is well insulated during the winter.
In fact, termites are so attracted to moisture that they will infest a home if the environment is conducive to their needs. Protecting your home from moisture is one of the best ways to deter termites.
This can be done by using proper roofing and drainage systems and maintaining a regular HVAC routine.
Cellulose (Plant-Based Material)
Cellulose is a sugar molecule that is found in plants. It is the primary component of plant cell walls and is what gives plants their structural support. Termites are attracted to cellulose because it is an easy source of food for them.
This component makes up the cell walls and produces the stems, leaves, and branches to become strong. This helps the plant to stand upright and resist wind and other environmental stresses. Cellulose is also a good source of energy for termites.
Termites are attracted to it because it is a food source for them. If you have any of these materials in your home, you may be at risk for termite infestation.
This means that if you have a corner or a storage room filled with cardboard boxes, which are filled with paper, there is a high possibility that there will be termites. Termites eat cellulose, so they are drawn to these materials.
One of the many things that attract termites is moisture. This can be anything from water leakage to landscaping timbers that are placed on the ground and can develop moisture.
Termites will also feed on cellulose, which is found in wood, so they are often drawn to wooden structures and objects.
This means that landscaping timbers, which are often left outside in the rain and sun, make a prime target for these pests. It is essential to be aware of this and take steps to protect your property from termite damage.
It is also necessary to install them properly so that the termites cannot gain access to your home. There are certain things you can undertake to help prevent this, such as using treated lumber, installing a barrier, and keeping the area well-maintained.
Signs of Termites and Termite Damage
There are three main signs that homeowners should look for when trying to determine if they have a termite infestation. These are swarms of flying insects, mud tubes, and damaged wood.
If the owner of properties notices any of these signs, they should consult a professional immediately as the damage caused by termites can be extensive and costly to repair.
Let us learn about these signs in detail.
As the warmer weather makes its way, there will be opportunities for termite swarmers to attack your property. The Eastern Subterranean Termite is the most frequent termite in our region.
These termites are the most common and widespread termites in North America. They are gregarious insects that live in soil or wood and have high moisture needs. Therefore they must maintain some form of soil contact unless unusual conditions exist.
Termites destroy more homes each year than lightning or fires because they feed on cellulose from wood and wood byproducts such as paper.
The National Pest Management Association suggests that termites inflict over $6 billion in property damage every year.
Owing to the size of the colonies, termites in several service regions may often continue to attack a property 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with no hindrance from the weather.
Swarmers of eastern subterranean termites are 3/8″ long, with somewhat milky wings and a few visible hairs. When not in use, the two sets of wings are almost identical in length and breadth and rest flat over the abdomen.
Wings may range from virtually transparent to smokey black. After swarming, wings are torn off at the wing base, leaving a little basal remnant known as the wing scale.
Termite swarmers are not to be confused with ant swarmers. Ant swarmers feature a constricted waist, front wings that are longer than rear wings, and an elbowed antenna.
Many individuals make the mistake of mistaking termite swarmers for ant swarmers, putting their houses in danger. If you are unsure, contact a pest control specialist to determine what species of bug it is.
Mud tubes are long, thin tubes that termites create as they travel between their underground nest and the food they are eating.
These tubes act as a sort of protection from predators and the elements. Termites will also build these tubes around the time they release swarmers in order to increase their chances of finding a mate and starting a new colony.
If you see mud tubes on your property, it is likely that you have a termite infestation.
Damage to structure and belongings
A homeowner’s worst nightmare is discovering damaged wood, yet the quality of the wood tells us all we need to know.
Subterranean termites transport mud into the wood with them in order to maintain moisture levels and eat along the grain.
You may split this mud up to examine if there are any live termites within to see whether the region is actively being fed on.
If the mud has entirely dried up and become brittle, that location may have been abandoned in favor of more favorable locations.
A pest control expert can investigate this evidence and tell you whether there are still active termites in the area, as well as what alternatives you have. Depending on the extent of the damage, further structural repairs may be required.
Other indicators of termite presence are less visible. Other indicators of termites include broken boxes with dirt inside, picture frames that have been eaten, bubbles in the paint, and wood that looks to be intact but feels hollow when pressed.
Hopefully, now you must have understood what the things that will bring the termites to your house are. The easiest way of making sure that you do not make way for these pests in your house is to avoid these five things that we discussed in the content of this article.