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3 Reasons Termites Are Difficult to Eradicate

600,000 homes in the United States are affected by termites every year, costing homeowners billions in damages and termite control efforts. These pervasive insects are spread throughout every part of the nation.

If you are unlucky enough to have dealt with a termite infestation before, you already know how hard they can be to face.

Termites are tough little creatures, and it turns out that they have genuine superpowers that make them resilient against attack. Knowing about them can help you understand why they continue to be a big problem.

1. Termites Like to Hide

Even though a house might appear completely normal on the outside, a look beneath the surface can reveal extensive termite damage. A colony can live inside the walls of a home for 8-10 years without being noticed!

That gives them plenty of time to tunnel their way through everything, from the wood in the walls to books, paper, sheetrock, and even wallpaper before anyone knows.

Termites are cryptic, which means they hate to come out in the open. It's like agoraphobia for termites (fear of leaving the house), and it's one of the main reasons they have thrived throughout the world.

But why else do termites hide?

Termites are Completely Blind

Except for the reproductive adults, or "royal family," all termites are completely blind. In fact, workers, soldiers, and juveniles don't have any eyes at all.

This total darkness makes them completely dependent on contact with each other. They become very shy and timid in the open air and are completely reliant on their sense of touch and smell.

They Need Moisture

Termites have very soft bodies, which makes them susceptible to drying out quickly. They maintain high humidity in their underground colonies and tunnels to stay well-hydrated.

Termites can take their home with them!

Well, it's more like they make their home bigger by making above-ground tunnels. In order to keep from drying out and accommodate this fear of open spaces, termites mix dirt with saliva and make mud tubes to travel away from the nest. The sticky mud dries quickly and allows them to climb up the side of a metal pole, explore a sheer concrete wall, and forage for their next woody treat without fear of predators or drying out from the sun's heat.

2. Colony Size

Mature termite queens can lay thousands of eggs every day, so a colony is always growing. Some types of termites have colonies made up of hundreds of thousands or millions of individuals!

Colonies expand their territories as they eat all the available wood in the area and grow larger. One way they do this is by creating another queen to help produce eggs. Sometimes the new queen stays in the original nest, or she creates a satellite nest to expand the colony even further.

Termite queens can be the longest-lived insects in the world, living anywhere from 20-50 years and laying an egg every three seconds. The colony's entire population growth is attributed solely to the queen and her reproductive powers. When you know she's constantly giving birth over decades, it gives new meaning to the phrase, "Long live the queen!"

3. The Termite Superpower

If the termite queen is suddenly killed, the colony can restart itself in a way that is totally unique from bees and ants and is almost like a superpower.

Most termite workers are born with the ability to become reproductive royalty, but the king and queen produce chemicals that literally stop the termites from growing into adults and laying eggs on their own. That means all the workers and soldiers are like babies, underdeveloped and suppressed by the royalty.

So when the queen dies, the suppressive chemicals are gone, which allows one of the workers to grow and take her place.

That's the main reason why termites are so tough to get rid of from your home and why most termite professionals offer yearly inspections to make sure the colony doesn't come back. If even one termite worker survives after the treatments, the entire colony could restart.

Getting Rid of Termites: Professional Termite Extermination

For DIY termite treatments, there are plenty of termite killers you can use against drywood termites, subterranean termites, and flying termites — boric acid, food-grade diatomaceous earth, and termite bait systems are just a few.

However, we don't recommend that you treat termites on your own. You can avoid wasting a lot of time and money by seeking out help as soon as possible. The best way to kill termites effectively and prevent termites from coming back is to call a professional.

Fox Pest Control can be that company for you. Our Pest Pros have all the knowledge and experience needed to restore your peace of mind and control termite infestations.

When you call Fox, you aren't just hiring a pest control company, you're joining a family that cares. So when you think pest control, think Fox Pest Control. Because No Bugs is Simply Better.

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Posted on March 13, 2020.

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