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By: Steve Lum
Termites cause up to an estimated billion dollars in damage to homes in the US every year. These pests are difficult to detect and eradicating them requires a professional termite control company. The potential for serious damage is so great that virtually every homeowner’s insurance policy requires regular termite inspections and preventative treatments.

What is a termite?

A termite is a small, rather soft-bodied insect which has survived for over 50 million years. There are nearly 3000 different species living in every temperate region on the globe. They are a social insect, meaning that the live in large groups that form a cooperative nest. Nests can be large structures above ground, low-lying mounds, underground nests, or a nest found within the wood they use for food.

A nest consists of three “castes” of termites: reproductive, soldier, and worker. One male “king” and a female “queen” are responsible for all reproduction. Soldiers defend the nest from invaders, typically ants and other termites. Workers dig the tunnels, gather food, feed the others, and care for the young.

The termite’s main food is cellulose. This tough compound is found in plants. It is what gives trees and shrubs their structure. Termites can be beneficial in the right places. They clean up the dead wood from rotting trees and plant life. However, they cannot tell the difference between the tree stump in your yard and the wood used to build your home. This is why finding a good, green pest control company is so important.

How to Detect and Infestation

Most homeowners call a Melbourne termite control company when the somewhat disturbing first sign of termite infestation is seen: swarming. Termites that have entered the home find their wings and begin to fly around the house, looking for a place to begin a new nest. Fortunately, they are not very good fliers and swarming doesn’t last very long.

Other signs of an infestation can be detected by a professional pest control specialist. Mud shelter tubes about the size of a pencil are used to travel above ground. These are usually found along the foundation of a home. Damage to structural wood usually follows the wood’s grain and termites will often like the damaged wood with soil. This gives termite damage a characteristic look. Regular inspections are vital to keeping termites at bay.

Eradicating Termites

If an infestation occurs, a termite control company should be employed to eradicate the nest. Unlike ants and other pests, termites cannot be controlled with household sprays or chemicals. These may kill the few you can see, but millions more are buried safely within an underground nest. Your pest control specialist will first determine whether or not termites are the problem. Other species, like Florida carpenter ants, also eat and damage wood. If he finds conclusive evidence of a termite infestation, he will then take measures to eliminate them. There are three basic ways to get rid of termites: baits, repellants, and termaticides. Baits are cellulose materials soaked in pesticides. They are taken back to the nest and fed to other termites, including the king and queen, killing them and cutting off the reproductive cycle.

Repellants keep the termites from entering a treated area and colonizing it. Termaticides are chemicals that kill termites. For the health and safety of your family and pets, it is important to find a reputable and green pest control company like Slug-a-Bug to apply this method.

In Melbourne, termite control is termite prevention. Regularly scheduled, preventative treatments can help keep the tiny termite from causing large scale damage. Find a company like Slug-a-Bug that you can trust to keep your home free of termites.

Article Source: http://slugabug.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/understanding-termites-for-better-termite-control/

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