Termites, called white ants in Australia, are those pesky critters that thrive on wood, paper, animal dung, leaf litter and soil. Termites are very organized creatures that produce overlapping generations, divide the labor among the different termite groups take care of the young as a group. Termites thrive in colonies that can number anywhere from hundreds to millions.
A colony of termites typically includes nymphs, soldiers, workers and reproducers of both sexes and sometimes several egg laying queens. A queen has the ability to produce more than 2,000 eggs per day. The king and queen termite mate for life and a termite queen can live up to 45 years.
Because of their wood eating habits, termites can do a great deal of damage to wooden structures. They have the ability to remain unseen as they snack their way through a structure, causing maximum destruction. Once termites have invaded a building they expand their eating habits to include cloth, carpets and other cellular materials.
It is important to protect your house from the devastation of termites. Before purchasing a home, it is always wise to hire a termite inspector to evaluate the structure. It is better to have a heads up before encountering a termite problem rather than after purchasing a house and finding out it will cost you more to remedy the damage.
There are also precautions a building owner can take as a preemptive strike against termites. Woven stainless steel mesh is used over the exterior of the building just above the foundation line. The mesh is too small to allow the termites to get through and the termites will not be able to eat thru the stainless steel.
Termite shields are made of stainless steel and attached around the outside perimeter of a building. It prevents the termites from infiltrating a building and eating it from the inside out. All seams should be filled in and any gaps should be enclosed with ant caps.
There are chemicals that can be sprayed around the perimeter of a building that work to repel termites. Keep in mind termite sprays can only be applied by a licensed termite specialist. There are chemicals that are deadly for the termites but safe forgets.