Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Termites 101: A House's Worst Nightmare That Needs to be Eliminated

Termites have never been a part of my life until after I got married and lived on our own. I remember when I was younger, we had this problem on our house but it didn't have too much effect on me until we had our own house to take care of. 

Just recently, we've had our fair share of termite attack at home and I must admit, this has given me so much stress in the last few weeks! Let me share with you a few important things that I have learned about termites that might be of help to everyone who is struggling with these creatures. By the way, we are dealing with the subterranean termites as they are the ones responsible for destroying houses.

Each termite is part of a Colony
This is a sad but true. Whenever termites are discovered in your home, this means that there are thousands of them that are working together to gather food (eating your wood at home) to sustain its colony. For us to further understand how much termites we are talking about, a colony has a queen who lays eggs as much as 30,000 per day (it's not a typo nor an exaggeration). The members of a colony are as follows: King and Queen, soldiers, workers, alates, reproductives. The deadiest of them all? Worker termites as they are the ones who are in charge of feeding the entire colony - they are the ones who set out and look for food - wood in your house.

Termites could enter you house undetected
As they are tiny creatures that can go through 1/8 the size of the crack, they can enter your house walls and remain undetected for a long period of time. Unless you see mudding (trails of soil on your wall), you will never suspect the existence of termites. Also, do take note that concrete houses are susceptible as cracks cannot be avoided. 

Termites love damp and quiet environment
The first area where we had infestation was the cupboard area then followed by the powder room. Normally, we don't really go to this part of the house prior to termite infestation discovery so it really had an effect.

If there is a construction nearby, Watch OUT!
As termites live underground and they love quiet places, tendency is, they will be disturbed of ongoing construction causing them to move to another location where it is more peaceful. Our termite infestation started when the started repairing our drainage and worsened when a building started constructed just 30 meters across the street.

How do you kill termites?
There are actually a couple of ways to prevent termites from entering your home. The traditional method used is the barrier method where prior to building the house, these liquid toxins are spread all throughout the surface of land. However, when the structure has already been built, what they normally do is they drill the floors and inject liquid to be absorbed by the land underneath. This is a good way for prevention of termite attack however, if termite infestation has already been confirmed, it may not be easy to kill them as tendency is, they will be avoiding the toxins and will find another place to enter/exit your house and this was when a new technology that was introduced to us to proactively kill termites. 

Baiting system is the another technology that was introduced to us and by the explanation and the method that was used, we were very much interested and after 2 months, we decided to try this out to check whether termites in the house will totally be eliminated.

What is a baiting system?
This is actually a technology that has existed for a while. What they do is that when termite infestation is confirmed, this box of bait is installed in walls of your house and this specific box contains wood ingredients (that serves as baits) that termites could not resist. Instead of looking for more wood to eat, they prefer to go to the bait and eat its contents. Other than the wood component, it also contains an active ingredient that will eventually kill the termites. 

What makes baiting system effective?
The active ingredient used here will not take effect instantly as this attacks the termite's molting process as the toxic prevents the termites from shedding its skin. With baiting system attacking their growth, the colony is not aware that what they actually eat attacks their growth - which makes baiting system successful and not harmful to humans as we do not molt as we grow older. Since worker termites actually bring food back to their colony, tendency is most of them will be infected and when the colony members start to die, the remaining ones will have a hard time in sustaining the colony - and it collapses afterwards

We are currently on the second week of our baiting system and will be posting updates on the progress soon. 

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