Termites In The House vs The Garden

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We share this planet with a massive variety of other living creatures, from the enormous elephants of Africa that are a favourite with young and old, similar to tiny micro-organisms that exist in the oceans where we have barely begun to explore. We co-exist with our chosen pets in our homes – be they cats, dogs, birds, fish, or others – but we also co-exist with pests rather than pets!

Household pets come in many forms and sizes in the USA. Raccoons can be a pest, as can squirrels, rats, and mice. Cockroaches are a significant problem in some parts of the USA, and ants are common pests. This article looks at one of the most commonplace, damaging, and difficult to eliminate pests of all – termites. What are termites? Why do they come into our homes and gardens, and how can we get rid of them? The answers are right below, so we’ll begin by explaining what a termite is.

What Are Termites?

Termites are insects of the order Isoptera. There are more than 2000 species of termite on the planet. However, three types of termites are the primary pests in the home, and we’ll talk about them in detail in the next section. Termites of all kinds feed on cellulose. They can find cellulose in plants, including trees; hence it is present in the wood. Termites eat wood, and this is where the problems begin. 

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The termite colony expands rapidly around the Queen and her Kings. Oddly, they are the only termites who can see – the worker termites have no eyes. The Queen can lay many thousands of eggs every day. So, what begins as a small colony can very rapidly become a huge one. 

Termites can cause extreme damage to wood – including wooden framed homes and other buildings – surprisingly quickly. It is estimated that termites across America cause $5billion worth of damage per year. We suggest you run an internet search for an exterminator near me if you suspect you have a termite infestation, whether in the garden or the home. Which are the termites you need to worry about?

Which Type of Termites are Household Pests?

No, we know the cost of the damage termites does. We need to look at the three types that cause the damage: the Subterranean or Ground, the Drywood, and the Dampwood. Each name gives a clue to their preferred place of living, so here’s a bit about each one.

  • The Subterranean Termite builds its colony underground. Found throughout the US, they are present mainly in the warmer areas. These termites burrow as much as 150ft underground to see the appropriate wood. Bear in mind that an average colony will number around 1 million termites. Between them, they can eat as much as 15lb of timber in a single week. That wood could be a vital part of the foundations of your home. This type of termite is responsible for 95% of the damage done by insects.
  • Drywood Termites are most commonly found in Southern California and the South-East states of the USA, where the climate is perfect for them. They build their colonies inside the wood and eat it from the inside out. In the home, you will find them indoors and door frames, window frames, and the wood structure in attics. Your door frame may look great, but inside it could have been destroyed by termites.
  • Dampwood Termites are attracted to damp wood, so buildings with moisture issues will be their ideal home. They also eat from the inside, so again your wood structures could look fine but be about to crumble away. Dampwood termites are widespread along the Pacific Coast.

There is one other destructive type which is the Formosan Termite. Found mainly in Louisiana, these insects have arrived in the USA from China and the East and thrive on live trees. However, they are considered the most destructive type of all.

Can I Eliminate Termites with DIY Methods?

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There are many products claiming to eradicate termites and other pests in the home. Try them by all means, but it is often the case that an infestation of termites is eradicated by DIY means with little success. Like many people, you look to an expert when you are not familiar with the job that needs doing. I strongly recommend the services of a professional pest control expert for the best and most effective results. They will know the proper methods and have the right equipment to rid your home or garden of termites.

How Do I Know If My Place Has Termites? 

It can be tough to detect a termite colony in your home or the garden. The first thing to do is to look for obvious signs of insects burrowing into either the wooden furnishings of your home or any wooden structure or simply logs that you have stored in the garden.

It’s also worth knowing that, contrary to popular belief, the termite is a flying insect. Termites often arrive like a swarm in the spring or the fall, so look out for clouds of tiny insects as they may be termites. The best course of action to be sure of is to bring in the experts who will survey your home and advise you on eliminating any termites found. 

Are Termites Safe in the Garden?

To clear up the title question, we suggest termites are as troublesome and potentially outdoors. We’ve seen how quickly they can collectively destroy wood, so your garden furnishings can suffer severe damage. Talk to your local pest control experts now to be on the safe side and regularly check for termites on your property.

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Posted in Guides & Care Tips