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The Myths and the Facts about Termites

It is quite helpful in the total eradication of termites nesting in places where they are not supposed to nest (houses, gardens, building, etc) for people to be educated about the myths and the facts about them. This article is written to lay out all the myths invented by fond storytellers and straighten out the facts about them. Although this article does not cover everything, the things included in this article are sufficient to help an average reasonable person how to deal with termites in the most intellectual way as possible.

The Myths

1. Termites are so aggressive that they can destroy houses in months.

This is a clear misnomer because it is a fact that termites need decades before they can make any significant damages to the house. In fact, it takes about sixty thousand termites to finish up a foot of wood in a decade!

2. Black ants and termites are mortal enemies, so black ants can be used to eradicate termites.

Even if black ants and termites are indeed mortal enemies (although no scientific research has actually proven so), it is quite impossible for black ants to eradicate termites because the latter live in nests that are perfectly sealed. The tunnel system of each termite colony is impressively impenetratable that black ants and other insects cannot pass though.

3. Termites that peacefully live in your garden should not be disturbed or they will avenge the end of their peace by attacking your house.

This may seem realistic if we are talking about intellectual animals that have the capability to plan and think. However, termites do not think nor do they plan. They only do whatever it is that they do through a very random process. They dig and only stops when they find water or wood. A termite attack in your house after clearing our termites in your garden does not mean anything else except the fact that you have not successfully cleared out all the termites in your garden and that through random digging, they have reached your house.

3. A mulch or firewood that is infested by termites can cause termites infestation in the place where you next place the mulch or the firewood.

This is surely not true because it is the very nature of termites to die once they become separated from their colony. The number of termites in a specific colony can grow to millions because of the nature of termites to stick to one another. So, once you removed firewood from somewhere it has already become part of a colony, whatever termite that has been brought along with the firewood or the mulch will definitely die.

4. Termites can enter your house though holes on your walls, windows, etc.

Of course, this is quite impossible. First, termites do not have the ability to see, and they only dig their through the ground based on very random methods. While it can be admitted that the possibility of house entry through holes is possible, this possibility remains to be very slim that we can only consider it for theoretical statistics' sake. Moreover, 99% of the time, termites enter a house though the holes that they dug themselves from the ground to your wooden floorings.

5. Holes and dusts are the early signs of termite infestations.

This is definitely not true because termites by nature are very much afraid to break through the surface where they forage for food. If by accident the termite made a hole though the surface, it immediately covers the hole with the material that comes from its stomach. The material is mud-like and dries into perfect cover-up for the hole created. The cover-up is quite strong considering the fact that termites excrete a glue-like substance that serves as a very effective binder.

6. Termites are most attracted to old houses.

It is usually understood that old houses have in fact become old because they are made from very durable materials. Old house made from wood survived that long because they are made from hardwoods which are the least attractive to termites. Modern houses now are built using cheaper materials like soft woods. For this reason, it is more likely for modern houses to be attacked by termites than old house made from hardwood.

7. Termites are so dangerous that they are capable of tearing down one out of four houses in a single year!

This is ridiculous because as earlier said; termites do not destroy houses that fast. With simple deductive reasoning, one can actually see how foolish this claim is. All that you have to do in order to see the misnomer is to imagine how many of your neighbors have termite problems and for how long have you been neighbors. If the claim happens to be true, the termites should have destroyed one house every year. If this is true, all the houses in your neighborhood should have been torn down.

Now here are the things that are true about termites:

1. Termites do not have the sense of sight and smell.

2. While termites and the name white ants refer to the same insect, the latter is a misunderstanding because termites are not white and they are not ants too!

3. Termites only start their nests on the ground. They do not start living in houses on day one.

4. About 3% of all the houses in a termite-prone area are infested by termites. That is, a single house may get infected once in every twenty or thirty years.

5. Based on appearance and specie, termites are more related to cockroaches than to ants. However, in terms of behavior, like ants, termites also follow a caste system.

6. Almost 100% of the time homeowners are able to find and eradicate termites because they are able to make any significant damages. Termites are also spotted by homeowners who do not ever look for them.

7. Termites are not easy to eradicate though termite eradication is never impossible. In fact, most of the termite eradication processes performed always ends up successful.

Michael Rozatoru
termite extermination