Termites are economically important pests. They cost U.S. property owners billions annually, and yet most U.S. residents don't know all that much about them, particularly in areas where they're not perceived to be a serious threat. Oklahoma City falls into what is considered the moderate zone. While termites aren't as bad here as they are from Southern Texas to North Carolina, they're not a threat we should shrug off either. The first myth we want to dispel is that termites aren't a threat in Oklahoma City. These insects can, and do, destroy homes here. If you don't take steps to protect your property, you could find yourself paying thousands of dollars to correct issues these insects have caused. Let's take a look at a few more termite myths you should be aware of if you live in Oklahoma City.
Myth: Termites won't damage structures on your property if you give them something else to eat.
If you've ever watched ants target a food source and consume it entirely, you might think that termites do the same thing. They do not. Termite workers continue to look for food even when food sources have been found. Sure, one worker termite will recruit other workers to feed on a food source that it has found, but only a fraction of the colony will devour that source. A termite colony can feed on your home as it eats a pile of branches, a stack of firewood, your fence, your deck, and many other food sources on your property. These food sources need to be removed or protected. You should never create a food source in the hopes of luring termites away from your property. This will actually increase your termite problems. When a queen realizes there is more food for her colony, she'll produce more workers. That is definitely not something you want to do.
Myth: Termites eat through concrete.
You might think this is true. When termites are found in your home or business by the millions, with no visible sign of entry, it can definitely make you think that these insects can eat through concrete. What is really happening is that worker termites come up through the soil and find tiny cracks in foundation slabs and foundation walls. They're drawn to explore these cracks as they would a pile of rocks or cracks in a boulder. They move through rocks below and above ground. When they go above ground, they bring soil with them. Slowly, bit by bit, they work their way up through the tight spaces in stone until they find wood sources. While these insects would definitely prefer easy access to rotting wood in the soil, they are wired with behavior patterns that help them find food sources above ground as well. This is why they find their way into the wood of man-made structures, even when there is no wood-to-soil contact.
Myth: If a house has been treated for termites once, you never have to worry about them again.
Wouldn't this be great? Unfortunately, termite control products break down over time. The active agent in the wood of pressure-treated lumber won't last forever. Termiticides injected into the soil are going to lose their effectiveness over time and eventually leave your property vulnerable to damage. Termite control requires supervision, evaluation, and retreatments in order to guard against termite damage.
Myth: Termite infestations are easy to detect.
In Oklahoma City, the termites we deal with are subterranean termites. This type of termite does not create frass for you to find inside your home, and they don't damage your window and door frames like some termites do. They get inside subflooring, wall studs, structural beams, and other softwood. You can have millions of termites feeding on the wood in your home and never see a single termite. Even the most obvious warning sign (the appearance of winged termites) often goes unnoticed. This is because termites swarm for less than thirty minutes. In this short time, they find a mate, shed their wings, and disappear into the ground. The wings that are left behind are usually found in dark voids underneath structures where they can't easily be seen. This is where swarmer termites prefer to mate. In a short period of time, these wings are consumed by microorganisms and all traces of swarmer activity disappears.
Myth: Property owners can deal with termites on their own.
It can seem like a good idea to purchase termite control products and perform your own termite control, until you realize that all of the energy and money you invested did not prevent your property from being damaged. This happens far too often. It is best to have a certified termite control professional handle this important job.
If you live in Oklahoma City, reach out to Guaranteed pest Services of Oklahoma for effective and guaranteed termite control. The structures on your property are your equity. Secure your equity with termite protection you can trust.