4 Myths You Shouldn't Believe About Termite Control

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Termite infestations are a major worry for American homeowners. According to a survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association, 38% of Americans are worried about finding termites inside their home. With fears come misconceptions, and there are a lot of myths being circulated about termite infestations. Here are four myths that you shouldn't believe about termite infestations.

Termites don't live very long

One particularly harmful myth about termite infestations is that termites don't live for very long. It's not true that termites die off in the winter and that their colonies will go away by themselves when it gets cold. In fact, the truth is the exact opposite.

Workers and soldiers have the shortest lifespans in a termite colony: they only live for one to two years. However, the queen can lay more than 30,000  eggs per day, so the lifespan of the workers and soldiers doesn't much matter. The most important member of the colony, the queen, can live for as long as 50 years.

Since termites can live for so long, you need to be proactive when it comes to getting rid of them. While waiting for winter is a valid approach for some other types of pests, like bees, it is not a good approach for termites.

Termites are not a concern up north

It's a common misconception that termites are only a problem in the southern portions of the United States. Unfortunately for Northerners, this is not the truth. The truth is that termites can be found in every single state except for Alaska.

The probability of encountering a termite infestation in your home varies based on where in the country you live, but unless you're in Alaska, the risk is still there. The highest risk is in the southern states (specifically California, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida), but homeowners in the rest of the country are not safe.

Homeowners in the Northeast, Midwest, or Southwest have a moderate to heavy risk of a termite infestation. Homeowners in the Pacific Northwest have a slight to moderate chance, while homeowners in the northernmost states, such as North Dakota, have a very slight chance of getting termites.

Termites do not affect brick homes

Everyone knows that termites eat wood, so it seems like common sense that people who live in brick homes have nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Even brick homes have wood frames, wood floors, wood furniture, or other sources of delicious wood, so all homeowners need to be worried about termites.

While termites don't eat bricks, they can get through them fairly easily. This is because the bricks on the outside of your house are assembled with mortar, a type of cement. As the mortar ages, it dries out, and when this happens, cracks form. Termites can then squeeze through these tiny cracks in your mortar to reach the wood on the inside of your home.

DIY termite control is practical

There are many types of household pests that you can get rid of by yourself, but termites are not one of them. Termites make their homes in hard-to-access tunnels deep within the wooden structure of your home, so it is very hard for you to reach them with insecticides. Another obstacle is that there can be as many as 14 termite colonies per acre, so there may be multiple termite colonies beneath your home. Even if you manage to kill every single termite inside your house, you still need to deal with the many thousands termites that are still beneath your lawn.

Termite control is a process that requires both special skills and special equipment. Do-it-yourself termite treatments will not usually be enough to solve the problem; generally, pest control operators will need to use hundreds of gallons of pesticides to eradicate termites. This process is far too involved for the average homeowner.

There are a lot of myths floating around about termites, and some of them can be very dangerous. If you think you have termites or if you have any questions about them, contact a pest control company for further help. You can also visit sites like http://cavanaughspest.com to learn more. 

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