Termite Control Is A Must For Homeowners


In the housing industry in the United States, one of the most destructive pests known is the termite. These insects live in colonies sometimes consisting of hundreds of thousands of individual members. They are often not only very large but also difficult to detect, as many of these colonies are subterranean. The only indication a homeowner might have that any damage has been done to the home the discovery of small piles of residual wood granules somewhere inside the home. In many instances these piles of rubble can be near windowsills and molding. Generally when this is discovered there is already more extensive damage that is completely hidden from view. Each year in the United States it is estimated that upwards of $30,000,000,000 in damage is done yearly to not only homes but also crops in the United States. Because of this impact a whole new industry has developed to combat this threat and that is the industry of termite control. Since the threat to homes is centered on the destruction of wood almost all-home construction is affected. already brick homes are at risk because the framing of all homes, both wood and brick, is done with wood products. There are, however, certain kinds of woods that are resistant to attack. The resistant wood products include turpentine wood, the white Cyprus, and sequoias, but these are not often used in home construction.

One of the shared methods used to curb these pests is with a baiting system. Termite control baits are set up in and around a possible infestation site to lure the workers and soldiers to take the bait back to the colony. The bait is truly a slow acting poison disguised as an insect food source. When the workers discover this “food” the information is passed on throughout the colony, which then takes all the bait back to the colony to satisfy to the other individuals and the queen. In many instances this is all that is needed to mange or take care of the problem. In other instances more drastic steps need to be implemented.

Because baits are generally slow acting in some instances more powerful quick acting poisons are needed. One of the more popular methods to accomplish control in the past was with the application of the chemical chlordane. Chlordane, once discovered, was quickly recognized as a very effective method of eradicating and controlling insect infestations by termites, cockroaches, and other eight-legged pests. In 1988, however, some testing reports indicated that the chemical might cause damage to human health and it was removed from sale to the domestic market. It is nevertheless being manufactured for export however. With the decline in the domestic use of this extremely effective deterrent the only chemical in the market today that is effective is chloropyrifos, which sold under the trade name Dursban. Along with Dursban a number of natural non-toxic product can be used to for termite control but unfortunately they are only good for about five years before reapplication is needed.

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