Can You Ever Get Rid of Termites Completely?

Termites (scientific family Isoptera) have been around for hundreds of millions of years. As part of the ecological system, they are crucial to several natural recycling processes. While they are beneficial for the environment, their presence in residential areas is not welcome. Given that they can cause significant damage to building structures, many homeowners actively attempt to get rid of them. For example, residential pests extermination and removal around Chicago is an effective option for homeowners to handle these vermin before they cause significant property damage.

Getting rid of termites is exceedingly difficult. This is because they’ve developed adaptations that enable them to cope better with pest control efforts.

Managing Termite Infestations

While you find it challenging to eliminate termites from the areas surrounding your home, you can certainly control their population. Effective termite control techniques can help you ensure that your house is termite-free.

Given that termites are not as hostile as other insects like bees, many homeowners are tempted to perform termite control by themselves. Termites can live within a home’s substructure for years without detection. This gives them enough time to cause significant damage. Any effective pest control techniques should account for this fact. It’s always best to enlist the help of professional termite exterminators for optimal results.

Such a professional will thoroughly inspect your property to identify areas of termite colonies. There are many termite species, each with slightly different characteristics. This means that any pest control options will have to account for this. Given their propensity for developing resistance against certain chemicals, it means that identifying a particular termite species is necessary for administering the right treatment option.

For subterranean species like Formosan termites, liquid treatment methods involving sprays and other insecticides are effective. Setting up bait stations–wooden material laced with slow-acting poison to kill termites that eat them– is also effective for such species.

If dry wood termites are the issue, gas fumigation and heat treatment are effective options.

Why Termites are Hard to Get Rid of

As mentioned, it’s very difficult to completely eliminate termites from most locations. A combination of their physical features, adaptation, and certain environmental factors have made this possible.

The following are the reasons why it’s hard to eliminate termites from your home.

Termites are Difficult to Find

Before beginning the process of termite extermination, one must find them. This is easier said than done. Termites have a knack for hiding in hard-to-reach places. They have a strong aversion to being in the open. That’s why, for example, you can have a termite infestation in your attic for years without knowing about it. Another reason for this aversion is that a vast majority of termites–the soldiers and workers tasked with carrying out the everyday tasks of a colony– are blind. Only the adult queen and king have functional eyes. Natural blindness causes them to be extra cautious, only depending on their sense of touch to locate food and each other. Their body structures are such that they’re very susceptible to dehydration due to excessive heat. All these factors mean that termites are always searching for places to hide, making them difficult to locate for extermination.

Incredible Regenerative Powers

Usually, the queen termite is responsible for ensuring a colony’s longevity by laying numerous eggs that later develop into adult termites. This is the way termites replenish their population. As leaders of a termite colony, the queen termite (and king termite) also dictate how the workers and soldiers mature. They do this by producing special chemicals that prevent these other termites from growing and reproducing.

When all the queens and kings of a colony die, the production of this growth-stopping chemical ceases. Without it, any one of the numerous soldier or worker termites can metamorphose into a full queen, resuming regular reproductive duties all over again. This is why it is nearly impossible to wipe out a termite colony because there is an endless supply of potential queens.

Huge Colonies

A single termite colony can have as many as millions of individual termites inhabiting it. This makes it challenging, even for a professional termite exterminator, to kill them all.

Termites also possess incredible reproductive powers. For instance, a single queen termite can spawn thousands of eggs daily, meaning thousands of potential termites are being produced regularly.

Like other insect species, termites can also develop satellite colonies. This means that when a single colony becomes too large to accommodate the ever-growing population, a queen termite can be sent to another location to start another colony– the satellite colony. A house can have several satellite colonies in addition to the main one. This makes it incredibly hard for termite extermination efforts to completely get rid of them.

All in all, even the best termite control techniques rarely kill every single termite in a house, at least not in one go. However, with repeated attempts, the chances of total elimination increase.




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