Termite threat to our homes and lives!

images (2)Termites though extremely small and tiny creatures have managed to stir us humans into noticing them and acknowledging their existence. The primary reason is the tune of damage they cause which has a direct impact on the economy of the country and thus the humans. Termites attack in groups and feed on any form of cellulose especially wood. This little bit of trivia makes us realize that almost everything around us is susceptible to a termite attack. Termites always seek for moisture filled places and therefore basements and the space under wooden boards are their favorable infestation places. Termite damage often looks similar to water damage. Outward signs of termite damage include buckling wood, swollen floor sand ceilings, areas that appear to be suffering from slight water damage and visible mazes within walls or furniture. Termite infestations also can exude a scent similar to mildew or mold. Dry wood termite infestations may only become apparent after a colony has burrowed so deeply into an infested item that the veneer cracks and the maze-like tunnels beneath become visible. Such damage is common in antique furniture pieces.

images (1)Termite infestations are rampant all over the world. February, March and April are the months when subterranean termites swarm as was experienced   by the clueless homeowners of Orange County as they came home to thousands of termites as was reported by the local pest control agency in Orange county on 2nd Feb,2013. The incident left the home owners scared and shook up as some of them even mistook the termites to be flying ants. This incident was caused by a particular sect of termites which include the young king and queen termites as they set out for mating. These types of termites are distinctly different from the normal whitish “worker” termites. When the conditions are right, the young kings and queens burst out of their nest and begin their short flight. They often follow the prevailing breeze because they are poor fliers. Some break off their wings while still in flight and spiral down to the earth. Others may land and then remove their wings. These kings and queens are not attracted to one another until their wings have been clipped off. They have a very high mortality rate of 97% and only about 3% survive.

imagesCountries like China have been at the receiving end of termite related damage for quite some time now. As the damage done by termites often goes unnoticed over long periods of time the detection of an infection is often in the later stage. Termites have damaged nearly 4,500 houses in the Guizhou province of China. The China News Service reported that since July 2012 termites have been rampant in the Xingyi city damaging thousands of homes forcing the evacuation of 1,700 people. The termites have caused an estimated direct economic loss of about 34 million Yuan ($5.45 million) at the time of going to press in Feb, 2013. The losses must have escalated now. Termites damage homes by eating away at the wood structure thus threatening the structural integrity of the whole set up. Termite infested homes are a life risk. Termite infestations are more severe than any of us give them credit for, as was experienced by a lawyer when he was asked to pay $68 K in damages to another lawyer for concealing termite infestation in his house as was reported on the official website of Campbell Law PC in April, 2013.

These measly creatures are sure causing us a lot of money!!Jamal Shahid of a newspaper in Islamabad, Pakistan reported on 28th Jan, 2013 that Gallery 3 of the National Art Gallery was closed due to termite infestation. The termite infestation was a severe one and being detected at a very later stage forced the immediate closure of the gallery. The art that the gallery houses is worth millions and therefore no risk could be taken exposing it to termite damage. The infestation came to light when the authorities found conical mounds of sawdust under wooden skirting along the walls. The main reason for the termite attack was postulated to be the use of substandard wood used for skirting the frames and gallery railings which is more susceptible to a termite attack. This unforeseen closure of the gallery would definitely amount to huge financial losses as well as the constant threat of precious art getting destroyed. Thus an effective solution needs to be formulated to keep these creatures from causing us any further grief. Avoidance is a better solution than treatment in his case, as it is very difficult to save a piece of wood once it has been attacked by termites. The right and smart thing to do would be to keep them away from our precious wood. This is effectively achieved by Termirepel a non-toxic, aversive termite repellant which keeps the termites away while at the same time not killing them.