Have you ever wondered why termites are such a problem? Home inspectors search for them, contractors fear them, and homeowners often don’t really know what to think about them. After all, how can such a tiny insect do such a lot of damage?
Much like bees, termites live in large colonies. When a termite colony sets up housekeeping, they do so in a place that provides plenty of moisture for their needs. Unfortunately, if you have a wall cavity where moisture has been allowed to build up due to leaking pipes, a shower recess, gutters, or broken roof tiles, this is the perfect place for termites to build their nest.
Termites build a central nest around which they construct a colony of underground tunnels that can radiate out 100 yards from the nest. These tunnels allow them to travel safely in search of timber to feed their colony members.
If their nest is somewhere within your walls, where do you think that timber will come from?
You guessed it. Your home.
Termites can travel through an opening as small as 1/8” and can eat through the rubber compound between an expansion joint that adjoins concrete to ground flooring. The can travel under and between flooring to get to the wall framing timbers. They can pretty much get wherever they need to go in your home without you ever knowing they are there.
And once they have accessed the wood that makes up the structure of your home, they begin to eat.
Worker termites digest the wood and then feed the partly digested, semi-solid food to the other members of the colony. This requires a lot of food, and in a very short time, termites can do massive damage to a home’s structure.
They have been known to eat through structural timbers, posts, floor supports, ceiling supports, wall studs, subfloors, drywall paperboard, paneling, carpet, and even furniture.
Termites are hard to detect, but some signs can include discarded termite wings, mud tubes, termite droppings, bubbling paint, and wood damage. If you suspect that you have termites in your home, call a professional immediately to do an inspection. The longer you wait to take care of these insects, the more damage they can do to your home.
Our pest control experts in Broward County and the Miami area are here to help. For more information on keeping your home pest free, check out our website or pest control blog.