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The Positive Aspects of Termites

Making it a Point to Save Termite Race

Every time you see termites around in your house doesn't always necessary mean imminent ultimate destruction. There are other few positive things to it. You just have to creatively work your mind in deducing what are those things that make termites positive in households. One way to do that is to know that since termites feed on wood, if there are any scrap woods in the house, you might as well feed it to them. Just still make sure though that the termites are just around the house and not "inside" the house. Otherwise, it wouldn't be scrap food that they will be feeding on but your entire household. In order to somehow domesticate termites, you have to make sure that they are just nearby. Probably around your crop areas if you happen to have one.

Another advantage of having termites is that they do a lot in cultivating and nourishing the soil such that it will become highly susceptible for crop and vegetation. Termites aerate the soil causing an easy flow of oxygen right in to the vegetations' roots. Termites also make sure that organic materials that lay on the ground, i.e. animal corpse, wood parcels, withered leaves, etc. are easily degraded. Once they are broken down, they will in become minerals in the soil and of course, nourishment to your plants. That's truly better off than leaving animal corpse to rot and stink around your house or leave pile of wood logs around which will eventually become home to serpents and other poisonous bugs. That's truly not a good thing by then.

You see, there are actually a lot of invaluable contributions that termites do to us humans and to the entire ecological system than we readily know. Had we taken the time to research about them, we would have known these advantages and would have probably made a good use of them. Since only a few people know about their advantages, only people have truly benefited from them and at the same time became true friends with termites, while the rest of us, continue on killing and destroying the apparently vermin of the house. There is actually a clear and present danger when it comes to indifferently and nonchalantly destroying termite colonies.

Of course there is an indubitable immediate need to get rid of them when they are inside, but it's absolutely a different story if they are just outside, living peacefully in their colonies and far from the possibility of ever invading your home. If they are just sitting there and if you know that your house is very well treated with anti-termite treatments, you don't really have to go the extra mile of delivering Armageddon to the poor peacefully living termites. You have to be kind to them instead and probably even make use of them like what was mentioned earlier in this article. That way, it is a win-win situation for the both of you, where you and the termites have benefited from each other.

Why Preserve Termites

There are two major things actually why a person shouldn't just go on killing termite colonies and becoming trigger happy about it. One major reason it would destroy the natural order of things, relative to the role of termites in the ecosystem. Second is that the cultivation of a trigger happy attitude will possibly result to the destruction of their species to the brink of extinction. Either of the two things is not good at all. If the termites are eliminated in the system, who knows what sort of disaster will befall upon us when the imbalance will take place.

There are also other minor reasons why one should preserve termites and one of the reasons is because of their advantages to vegetation soil. If you miss that opportunity to use them, you may not be able to benefit from their incentives at all and it would be a sad loss on your part. Another reason is not doing what you really don't have to do. Not only do you exert a wasteful amount of effort, you also strike havoc to peacefully living creatures. God wouldn't want you to do that kind of stuff. Really!

The Amazing Termites

Despite from the fact that they do well in properly cultivating vegetation soils, there are also other things that you should be amazed of when it comes to talking about termites. One of those things that you should be amazed is the fact on how they strive in existence and how they naturally behave in their society.

Yes believe it or not, a termite colony is actually formally called a society. The reason why scientists have considered termite groups as society is because of their behaviors in accordance to their group. Termites infallibly conform to their roles which make them a highly stratified, systematic and organized being, thus making a highly uniformed society. Termites are by far considered eusocial creatures, along with ants, bees, and wasps which all exhibit a very similar organization behavior with termites. Eusocial creatures are actually higher creatures of the entire animal species strata in terms of organization and system. In fact, termites come in first than humans in terms of harmoniously living with each other in a group or society. Human beings really have to learn a thing or two with termites on how to properly organize societies and communities.

Another very amazing termite fact is that despite the common understanding of people to them as destructive creatures, in the contrary, when they are in their natural habitat, they are actually highly constructive creatures. Ironic it may seem but termites are very efficient and effective engineers of their own mound; using only saliva and other bodily liquids, they can create an entire city inside their mound, fully equipped with very specific tunnels and passages that lead to designated areas. A passage would lead to the queen for the reproduction purposes of the colony; another would lead right back into the tunnels of colony construction, while other passage would lead to their food resources.

Two-Faced Termites

Termites are two faced creatures on earth. They can be both constructive and destructive at the same time. But they can be more of the other characteristic depending on the given situation or location. But one thing is for certain about termites are that they are indeed endowed with superior survival instincts that have enabled them to live all throughout time. Termites have existed long before the dinosaurs have lived and up to until their species have remained strong, even stronger to the extent that they have virtually outnumbered humans to a thousand to one. Imagine this: The combined weight of all the termites in the world will exceed the combined weights of all the human beings in the world. This is how great their numbers and how overpowering they have become over humans. There are even some cultures in this world to address termite existence with reverence acknowledging them as superior creatures among all the other creatures on earth. Come to think about it, if the entire termite race would take drastic measures to overpower humans, they could very well do so and we'll be swarmed with termites to our deaths. A termite colony alone can destroy a household within only a span of one week, how much more if there will be more than just one colony that will attack? Imagine the entire termite colonies in the world staging an attack to human race. The plague and famine we will have to undergo is just unconscionable.

However, that theory is still highly fictitious and until that time it becomes reality, humans are still the most superior beings on earth and termites are just one of our bug subordinates. Still we have to keep them checked in order ensure the safety of our own household. As we all very well know, they are quite harbingers of destruction and havoc to any residential household. There is still more reason for us to be careful in the presence of termites and when they infest.

Nevertheless, when we talk about termites, there should be two sides we should take into consideration of since there are two sides to a termite’s existence as what was mentioned at the first part. Let us first discuss the negative side of termites in this world and how they detrimentally affect human beings in the process.

Negative Side

Well, this part is a no brainer to us since we all already know how destructive termites can be. But for the sake of a thorough discussion and comprehensive understanding to the nature of termites, it is best that we talk about their negative impact to human habitation and society.

The negative side to termites is that they destroy a lot of things especially if there's a lot of wood in it. Since termites feed mainly on wood, they would naturally devour anything that has wood. Say for example your house. The house in itself contains enough wood to sustain an entire termite colony. That’s why termite infestations could always occur within a residential household.

The property damage that a termite infestation could incur could be quite unimaginable and considerable. If you happen to have mansion for a home, then you might just lose a lot of monetary investments over a termite infestation.

At sometimes, they don't only devour commercial residential households; they also destroy natural habitats like trees and consequentially forests. A massive termite habitation within a forest area could eventually devour the entire place until there's nothing left. You must consider as well that termites don't only feed on wood but as well as many organic materials such as soft parts of plants which are prevalent in forests. This is how damaging termites can get.

According to statistics, the quantitative amount of damage that termites cause every year is greater than all the earthquake, storm, and fire damages combined. Every year, termites incur millions of dollars in losses that if summed all up could potentially be a considerable amount enough to defray a huge portion of national debts.

As of today, there are many innovative ways that are used to deal with termite infestations efficiently; to ensure that every household is safeguarded from any potential termite attacks and to prevent the possible losses to be incurred. It is greatly imperative to use preventative measures like wood treatments before the house is constructed and established. This way, termites will no longer be enabled to penetrate the premises of the household for a very long time. However, treatments will expire and eventually and you would have to renew them. Make it a point to assess the treatment's efficacy after some time since the initial treatment to know whether you would have to apply treatment again or not.

Positive Side

No matter how destructive termites can be, they also have positive sides in them. It's just that we are not normally acquainted with it. However, if we take a closer look at termites, we will uncover as well as unravel the wonders of termite existence. Termites are actually amazing creatures.

Termites are actually highly constructive creatures even if they do destroy tons of wood every time. In terms of building their community they are very amazing constructors. They can build mounds that can reach as much 6 meters high from the ground. And the height isn't the only thing amazing in the termites' mound; the interiors can also be quite an eye-candy to a truly appreciating eye. The passages and tunnels within termite mounds are highly designated that each entry would lead to chambers of particular purpose to a termite colony. And to think that they're only made out of their own saliva. Termites are just simply amazing.

According to recent researches as well, termites are send to be sources of organic biological fuels. Their guts are said to produce compounds that can be used as renewable fuel resource.

The most amazing part with termites is the fact that they are highly organized. They are termed as eusocial creatures of their highly systematic structured system that even surpasses humans.

Termite Statistics

Accurate and up-to-date data on termite behavior, control products and property damages is vital to the industry that provides services and manufactures goods for termite control. The industry works hand in hand with entomologists that specialize on termites in order to produce the best services and products available. These data are often presented through statistics that embody the facts and figures gathered through a series of laboratory and field experiments. This article will talk about these statistics in order to help those who suffer from termite infestation problems understand their situation better.

Statistics on the Damages Caused by Termites

Damages to Residences and Business Establishments

Although termites are supposed to be harmless creatures to humans, the "accidental" crossing for its road to human civilization has resulted to the destruction of a lot of properties. Statistically speaking, termites damage about 600 thousand US homes each year. Multiply that to just ten year and you get a shocking 1 000 000 homes already! It is worth noting too that termites have already been causing property damage for so long that in some countries (like in Australia), termite infestation problems are considered to be as old as their civilization. Imagine that amount of damage.

Because of the vastness of the damage that termites cause, roughly $5B is spent for termite eradication and control on a yearly basis in the USA. This much money is enough to feed the marginalized sectors of Africa for almost a decade! However, because of the termite infestation problems, this money is spent on termite repellent products, termite control services and repair of properties being damaged by termites. Moreover, according to the statistics released by the USDA or the US Department of Agriculture, about $1B to $2B is spent on repairs alone.

Damage to Farms

Termite problems are more prevalent in farms and other agricultural lands. Even though termites feed on dead plants for cellulose, when this food source become scarce, termites will begin to feed on living plants and in the case of farm lands, these are the crops that they grow. Termite control in farms is more expensive because two factors: (1) the area to monitor is very vast and (2) chemical control in difficult to use because crops also respond negatively to some chemicals. According to the USDA, about $30B is spent on termite control and eradication in farmlands throughout the country.

Statistics on the Different Termite Treatments and Control Products

Termites indirectly damage nature and compromise human health too. Apart from the actual and immediate damage that they can cause to properties, because of their presence, humans are forced to use toxic chemicals throughout their properties just so they can be eradicated.

These chemicals can greatly compromised human health and at the same time destroy the ecology of nature. Approximately 2 million US residences are subjected to termite treatments that make use of chemicals yearly. Most of these usages happen before the construction of the house or the building.

Termite control companies or contractors treat the very soil that will become the foundation of the house (this method is known as repelling because by treating the soil, you make it unattractive to termites thus "repelling" them from coming any closer). The alarming fact about this process is that the house or building being constructed will be literally sitting on a "toxic waste land". Many problems have risen because of this practice (see my article on the banned termiticide called Chlordane), but people are forced to do it still in order to avoid future damages caused by termite attacks.

On Treatment Costs

It should be noted that termite treatments vary from each other depending on the type of treatment used, the area that is to be treated, the materials used in the construction of the property and of course, the reputation of the company rendering the service.

The "reputation" factor is a tricky thing. It can be compared to how certain consumer electronic gadgets are priced: Apple, Sony, LG, Samsung, etc. The price of the product is greatly affected by the reputation of the company because in the world of services and manufacturing of goods, companies often gain good reputation after years of establishing the quality of service or products that they can provide. The same is true with termite control.

Reputable companies would definitely advertise about their advanced equipments and well-trained personnel. These things affect the pricing of the treatment so much. However, it does not mean that the other not-so-popular companies cannot compete with the quality of service that the high-end companies can provide. But statistically speaking, it was found out that these popular companies offer get the greater bulk of the market.

The type of treatment and the kind of termiticide used are also key elements in the pricing system of the services. For example, common termiticide products that have already gained the approval of the public will most likely be more patronize. Termidor, a very popular US termiticide brand proves this assertion. According to statistics, this termiticide is applied to about 3.75 million residences in the United States since the day that it was released in the market.

On Termite Inspection Costs

The statistics related to the cash spent on termites are not only limited to the damage and the actual treatment used, termite inspection also share a good amount of income for the termite control industry. This is because not all homes might be really infested by termites, but all homeowner's are most likely anxious about having termites in their houses. So, these homeowners tend to hire inspectors (who they pay) just to see if their homes are termites free. This adds up to the entire income that the termite control business gets. In short, the fear of a possible termite infestation is also making money apart from actual presence of termites.

According to statistics, only 3 of 5 houses inspected for termites need professional treatment. This means that 2 homeowners pay for termite inspection although they do not necessarily have to. Overall, this is the main reason why termite control companies offer termite inspection services apart from their actual termite extermination service.

Wishing you a termite infestation free summer in 2011,
Your favorite exterminator,
Michael Rozatoru :)

Treatment Options for Termite Control

Both subterranean and dry-wood termites are extremely destructive. Waiting for these pests to leave your home is just a waste of time. There is only one reason for a termite to leave the colony; to create a new one.

To deal with these pests, consider the following suggestive measures as treatment. Commonly these measures include Fumigation of Structures, Introduction of heat, Direct Chemical Treatment, Electronic Induction Method.

Termite treatment tips before going further

The mating and pairing of Alates as king and queen is just the beginning of future infestation. To prevent further infestation problems do these simple preventive measures:

- Find those cracks and open crevices in your homes and seal it.

- When your paint bubbles and begins to peel off, repaint and add new paint coats.

- Use screens for your foundation vents and even on your attic.

- Clean any suitable food materials for termites away from your home like dead trees, rotten lumber or firewood.

Fumigation of Structures

This method is mostly preferred because most infestations occur unnoticeable and hidden especially when termites build more than one nest and created large colonies in your house. Even if you find it difficult to locate the termite nest, structural fumigation is very effective.

The process of fumigation includes the envelopment of your home with a tent followed by the introduction of a fumigant containing an active ingredient like sulfuric fluoride. In a form of gas, fumigant reaches even the most inaccessible part and smallest crevices of the house that termite might be nesting.

Other known fumigant is the methyl bromide but banned nowadays because studies shows that it contributes ozone depletion. Sulfuric Fluoride becomes now the primary gas fumigant for dry-wood termites in the United States.

Here are known sample of fumigant brands containing Sulfuric Fluoride with approval for residential use; Master Fume by Target in 2009, Zythor was introduce in the market in 2005 by Ensystex II and Vikane of Dow AgroSciences since 1961. On the other hand, food facilities, commodities and mills use other fumigant with sulfuric fluoride content under the brand of ProFume from Dow AgroSciences also.

The innermost part and the inaccessible portions of the house serve as possible escape route for the termites. In this case, fumigants proved to be very effective because fumigant in a form of gas will be evenly disperse to reach and penetrate even the most tightly concealed crevices that are possible nesting place of termites.

The gas when inhaled by the termite break down in a form of fluoride and sulfate that disrupts the metabolism of termites causing death. Normally its takes about three days before all of the termites will die and it's not alarming to see living termites after fumigation.

The Sulfuric fluoride as a termite fumigant is nonflammable and will penetrate your walls and reach the termites within. Once the tent is removed, the fumigant disperses rapidly and leaves no residue therefore it doesn't damage household electronic devices.

With considerable drawbacks, sulfuric fluoride at high temperature decomposes rapidly forming a corrosive acid. But not to worry about that because professional fumigant handlers knows it very well and ensures that all your heating devices and sources are turn off before the fumigation process begins.

Introduction of heat as Treatment for Termites

The process is almost the same as gas fumigation; the house will be covered with tent but instead of using fumigant, the introduction of propane heaters will be used. By doing so, expert will blow hot air at considerable temperature reaching up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Termites have no ability to control its body temperature which is suitable only to moderate temperature. Definitely termite cannot survive the sudden change of extreme temperature killing its eggs and the termite itself. But similar to fumigation, the process leaves no residual protection which protects your home against future and new termite attacks. Both treatments are meant to control present and active infestation of termites.

Direct chemical treatment

This is to ensure that your structure will be more resistant to any termite attacks by applying chemicals directly to the wooden fixture or by simply putting chemicals on ground that will serve as a barrier. Chemical treatment will be costly due to the chemical compounds and large quantity being used.

The chemical barriers will be applied around the house to prevent termites from entering the protected vicinity while direct application of chemical on woods discourages the termite attack on the poisoned wood.

Direct chemical treatment on the other hand is not that costly if available resources will be utilized. For example, used engine oil from our cars and motorcycles can be used instead of buying factory made chemicals. This used-oil is after all a waste but in the process, we are helping nature by recycling.

Just apply the used-oil directly on the wooden surfaces like your fences and other wooden fixtures. The oil will penetrate the wood and in this way preserving it. The three benefits of using used-oil for wood treatment are the following:

- Color of wooden fixtures and surfaces applied with used-oil will be preserved and gives it a darker tone effect creating an impression of a hard wood quality.

- Used-oil treated woods will be more water resistant due to its oily properties protecting wood from possible weakening and breakage.

- Recycling of used-oil is not just cost-effective but also a nature-friendly attitude.

Electronic Induction Method

Electronic Induction is limited when termite controlling is involved. Experts must administer the electronic treatment correctly and identify accurately the exact location of termite nest for the reason that electromagnetic and electrical energy poses limited reach.

The use of handheld electronic devices and powerful electromagnets will be administered accordingly. Magnetic interference disrupts the termites' correct identification of earth's magnetic fields that causes confusion of direction causing the termite to leave the specific area with disturbed magnetic fields. This method can only be effective if the nest is identified correctly and visible.

Placing electronic magnets exactly on the nest will force the termite to abandon the specific area and prevent further building of new mounds.

Termite treatment tips before going further

The mating and pairing of Alates as king and queen is just the beginning of future infestation. To prevent further infestation problems do these simple preventive measures:

- Find those cracks and open crevices in your homes and seal it.

- When your paint bubbles and begins to peel off, repaint and add new paint coats.

- Use screens for your foundation vents and even on your attic.

- Clean any suitable food materials for termites away from your home like dead trees, rotten lumber or firewood.

Michael Rozatoru :)
termite extermination