Termites are possibly the most all time famous household pest, but can you separate fact from fiction with these notorious invaders?
Myth #1: Termites serve no purpose; they simply exist to destroy.
Termites may be destructive to Tulsa homes and businesses, but they are anything but useless in the grand scheme of things. They are good for agriculture, because their underground tunnels help with root drainage, and their saliva breaks down minerals in the soils that can help provide nutrients to plants. However, just because they can be helpful for “Farmer Joe” doesn’t mean you want to deal with termites inside your home.
Myth #2: Termites are part of the ant family.
While they certainly look similar to ants, and many people mistake one for the other, termites are actually in the same family as cockroaches: Blattodea. Regardless, they function like ants in many ways, using an effective caste system in their colonies to divide and conquer large swaths of territory below ground. Workers build tunnels and gather food, while soldiers defend colonies from larger insects. Their reproductive alates act just like queens in ant colonies, churning out whole generations of termite grubs in a matter of months.
Myth#3: Deforestation destroys termite colonies.
Because they eat wood, people assume that termites nest and colonize primarily in woody areas. As such, they think that removing the trees will remove the termites. But these grub-like bugs actually live below the ground, and they can feed off of plenty of wood and fibers found beneath the surface of the earth. Termites can even thrive in desert environments, where trees and bushes aren’t seen for miles. That’s what makes them such an abundant source of protein for people and animals in dry parts of the world.
Myth #4: Termite infestations are easy to detect.
Unlike carpenter ants or other wood-boring insects, termites are masters at staying hidden. Their poor eyesight and underground lifestyle mean they keep to the darkness, and they don’t leave surface holes in the woods that they eat through. Most of the time, property owners only spot termite activity when they are making repairs or additions to structures. By then, it is often too late.
Myth #5: Termites can eat through concrete.
While termites are certainly industrious and ever-toiling insects, they cannot chew through stone and concrete. Some people think because they spotted signs of termites in their concrete basements, or near the stone foundations of their home, that termites chewed clean through. Really, these tiny insects have chomping mandibles that are indeed powerful enough to eat through wood, but they also tunnel through soil to dig around obstructions in their way to make it inside.
Myth #6: If a house is treated once, you’ll never have to worry about termites again.
In truth, many people hold this misconception about pretty much any kind of pest treatment. But it’s just wishful thinking. In a perfect world, one treatment would be enough to keep termites out for good; but only frequent and robust treatment by professionals can offer total protection. Big results require a big-time investment, which is why paying the pros ends up saving in the long run.
Myth #7: Non-wooden structures are safe from termites.
People with old brick homes or modern metal-and-concrete dwellings think that they don’t have to worry about termite infestations. The truth is that even these properties can get termites, since, again, they burrow into soils and can squeeze through small cracks in stone or earth. Household materials like furniture then become the target of termites.
Myth #8: You can get rid of termites on your own.
Colonizing insects are some of the toughest to get rid of. That’s because there are so many ineffective methods and products that don’t kill the reproductive members of a termite colony. Only proper professional treatments are guaranteed to completely protect your property from termites. Not only can the experts at Mid America Pest Control eliminate existing pests problems, but we’ll also keep working with you to make sure the problem never returns. Contact Mid America Pest Control today!