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Termites are vicious! It’s the pest that silently invades your home and eats off its wooden foundation. It can cause additional expenses like reconstructing damaged kitchen cabinets or reconnecting beams, or even rebuilding wardrobes.
Termite prevention is no easy work. But knowing about their habits, including where they come from and what type of environment do they live will make it easier for you to think of ways to protect your home from termite infestation. There are two major factors that increase the possibility of having termite problem in house: levels of moisture and the availability of wood. You can examine some parts of your home like the cabinets, bathroom doors, and bedroom dressers for early signs of termite infestations.
There are three major groups of termites. But, generally, they are classified into 2 types of termites: subterranean termites and drywood termites. Let’s take a closer look at each termite species and how they invade your home.
Subterranean termites are the most common type of termite species in Indonesia. These are known to damage a lot of buildings and houses in the country.
Where do they live? These species live underground where it is very moist and damp.
How do they survive? They require a lot of moisture to live, that’s why they create their colony underground. It is also essential that they keep their king and queen’s chamber moist and at a suitable temperature so she can lay more eggs to grow the colony. The preferred temperature of the colony ranges from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius.
How they invade your home? As the colony grows in number, worker termites begin to expand their underground colony, often setting up separate nesting sites as their foraging area expands to gather more food for their growing colony. This is when termites start spreading above ground and into the households. These termites don’t forage in the open as they travel above ground. Instead, they build mud tunnels using dirt, saliva, and sometimes their feces – to lock the moisture in the tunnel so they can survive.
They are, most of the time, attracted to the high moisture in the basement area or the damp foundation of your home to search for new foraging areas. Reducing moisture in your home can repel exploring termites. To control the moisture in your own home, you have to make sure that there are no water leaks in any of the pipes, you have proper ventilation on humid areas at home such as the bathroom or kitchen, you avoid leaving wet areas to dry on its own, and you clean and dry the carpet right away in case you happen to spill a liquid onto it.
The difference between drywood and subterranean is that drywood termites are capable of producing the amount of moisture they need by metabolizing the wood they eat.
Where do they live? Drywood termites don’t require as much moisture as subterranean termites. They can live perfectly fine in hollow wood or structural timber like the ones used for home construction.
How do they survive? These types of pests live and grow their colony inside wooden structures and rarely move out in search of food. The wooden structure they live in serves as their shelter and source of food. The growth and population of the colony depends on the size of the wooden structure they live in.
They also enjoy damp wood caused by a leaking pipe or rainfall and gravitate towards these areas. High levels of humidity and moisture can grow a drywood termite colony extremely fast, causing the colony to mature much faster and do a large amount of damage to your home.
How they invade your home? One way to detect drywood termites in your home is by looking for termite droppings, or frass, on the floor. They make small holes where they can kick out their droppings to keep the tunnels clean and accessible. These droppings are like small pellets and would often have different colors depending on the type of wood the termites eat. These large mounds of frass are clear signs of drywood termites that can be found on most visible places at your house such as your door frames, kitchen cabinets, vanity sets, washroom cabinets, and even your wardrobe.
In early stages, though, termite infestation is hard to detect. It may still not be visible to the eye. It’s better to get your house checked before it spreads widely. Early detection of these silent destroyers will save your home from major repairs of loose bathroom tiles, discolored or sagging ceiling, damaged or hollow-sounding baseboards or wall, drywall or wallpaper holes, and jammed doors or windows.