We all know that termites are bad, but did you know that termites cause five billion dollars in property damage each year across the US? However, despite their prominence and notoriety, there are still a lot of myths floating around these insects. In this article, we’re going to address some of these myths and dispel them.
Myth: Termites belong to the ant family.
Fact: Although termites and ants can sometimes be Confused for one another, they are actually completely different insect groups. Termites belong to the order Isoptera and the family Formicidae. Ants, on the other hand, are part of the order Hymenoptera. In fact, termites are more closely related to cockroaches, than they are to ants.
Myth: Deforestation destroys termite colonies.
Fact: Termites can move to other food sources if forests are destroyed. These other food sources can include human settlements of course, but termites can eat anything that contains cellulose, which is plentiful throughout nature. This is what makes them so hardy, and what allows them to be so successful as invasive species when they are transplanted across different continents, climates and ecosystems.
Myth: Termite infestations can be easily detected.
Termites are silent pests that invade homes without very few outward warning signs. This allows them to cause significant damage before they are even noticed. On top of that, termite workers and soldiers will never leave the colony or the wood that they infest, adding an extra layer to their secrecy. The only time you see termites out in the open is during mating season, when winged male and female termites set out to start a new nest. It’s usually at this point, when swarmers show up in the home, that homeowners realize that there is an infestation.
Myth: Termites have no purpose. They exist only to destroy.
Fact: Although termites can destroy homes, they also serve a very important purpose in nature. Termites are a natural recycler, helping to reduce dead wood and trees into fertile soil that allows other plants to grow. They are only a problem if they invade residential areas. Otherwise, they are an integral part of our ecosystem.
Myth: Professional extermination is no longer necessary. DIY termite treatments are better than professional ones.
Truth: Do-it-yourself treatments against termites, while effective, will not yield the same results as a professional treatment. On top of that, some control methods cannot be implemented DIY, or if they can be, it takes a lot of experience to implement them right. If you would like to know more information about termites and your treatment options, contact us today.