There are some pest problems where, if you’re very lucky, the infestation may sometimes go away without you doing much. An early invasion of mice into a home, for example, can sometimes be hunted away by the presence of cats.
But there are some pest infestations where, if you leave the issue alone, all you’re doing is allowing that problem to fester, grow larger, more expensive and, in the worst-case scenarios, threaten the safety of residents. A termite infestation is one of these problems and here are the reasons why.
The Food Problem
To understand why termites are such a difficult problem for homes, you need to understand their basic biology. Termites feed on a substance known as cellulose, which is the basis for most plant matter, including wood. In a natural environment, without humans, termites are part of nature’s “clean up crew” that break down fallen trees and dead leaves in forests to both help enrich the soil, as well as clear space so that plants can grow.
However, cellulose is still very much present in the wood that is used to construct homes. This means that when termites make their way into a home, despite the lack of a forested environment, they can easily find alternative food sources that serve them just as well.
The Shelter Problem
Another major issue with termites is that their source of food, wood, is also their home. Other insects, like carpenter ants, choose to live in wood, but they don’t eat it, meaning that they must leave the safety of their wooden colonies and venture outside to look for food to bring back to feed the colony.
Termites don’t have this issue. Their home is their food, and so they have no reason to leave it. Making more room for the colony to grow also helps to feed the colony. This means that once termites take up residence in a piece of wood in your home, they have no reason to leave it, which can also make it harder for you to discover you have a problem.
The Damage Problem
The combination of termites eating wood and not needing to leave means that, potentially, you can have a termite problem for years and never realize it. Unfortunately, at some point, a termite infestation will be impossible to ignore because it will compromise the structural integrity of your home.
A termite infestation in a joist or other load-bearing beam of your home can threaten the stability of an entire home, risking a collapse if the beam or joist breaks. Beyond that, termite damage can’t be easily repaired, since the problem is internal, weakening the inner structure first before you ever see it outside.
This is why if you have termites, you need to deal with the problem as quickly as possible. Ignoring a termite problem means the termites are eating their way through more of your home, causing more damage and decreasing property value. If you don’t want this to happen, we can help. Contact Habitat Pest Control, and let our experienced pest control teams assess your termite situation and take care of it.