Termites can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. At one time they were thought to be extinct in the UK but while not as common as in warmer climates they are still around. No one wants to find they have termites in the walls or on the decking, however, many people don’t actually know much about them, so here are the facts about common myths and misconceptions about these hungry home-invaders:
Myth – A brick house on a concrete slab is safe from termites
Almost all houses have a wooden frame. Your home is not 100% safe just because it is made of bricks and sits on a concrete slab. Termites can work their way to it from the ground underneath. The termites will find the cracks to access the wood.
Myth – They can eat through concrete
Termites are strong, but not that strong. Termites can find their way through cracks in the concrete, not create holes. Once one termite gets through, more and more will follow which will only make that crack larger. These small cracks might not be noticeable at first, they can be detected with professional help.
Myth – Spraying the ground and other outside surfaces of your home can kill termites
Termites live in huge colonies underground, so simply spraying the ground around your home will not protect it. The only way you can eliminate them and protect your home is by killing the colony and, most importantly, the queen.
That’s one of the main reasons that professional termite treatment is an excellent investment. You have to target the entire colony to eradicate your termite problem, and a simple surface-level quick fix is unlikely to make much of an impact.
Myth – My home was treated for termites before construction, so I don’t need to worry about them
Termite treatments won’t last forever. Some treatments only have a one-year warranty with options to extend. However, environmental factors, products used around the house, and the quality of work all influence how long the treatment will last and when you should get it re-done.
Myth – Termites are part of the ant family
This is a very common myth, but termites are not related to ants at all. In fact, they are more closely related to cockroaches. This means pest treatments done for ants will not work for termites, as you need specific treatments for different pests.
Myth – I have termites because they were pushed over to my home from my neighbours
Termite colonies can be huge, with even entire neighbourhoods being eaten by the one colony. The removal and treatment on one house can make the others more active, but termites cannot be pushed from one house to another.
Myth – Termites are pests and have no real purpose
Termites are nature’s recyclers. They break down dead wood in forests and turn it into nutrient-rich soil to help plants grow. This makes them an important part of the ecosystem, and not simply the household nuisance that most individuals experience.
Myth – If the forest is gone, then the termites are destroyed
When a forest is destroyed, termites just become displaced. When displaced, they simply move on and find a new home and food sources. They find healthier eating ground, which could be the foundations of homes in the area. If you are moving into a new home where the land was recently cleared, it’s a good idea to check for termites.
Myth – If there is plenty of decaying wood nearby, termites won’t eat my house
Although decaying wood is easier to chew as it is softer, it doesn’t mean termites will avoid consuming structural timber in your house. The insects continually seek new sources of food to eat and store for the long-term protection of the colony. Also take into account the fact that a house provides a lot more security from the elements than a pile of wood.
Termites can be annoying but you don’t have to put up with them. Learning about them can make getting rid of them easier and can help with the prevention of future infestations.