Just hearing the word “termite” probably fills you with dread. While some people around the world have no problems using termites as a protein source in their meals, termites in this country tend to mean one thing: structural damage. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a termite exterminator keep watch over your home and other buildings on your property.

Sure, other insects might bother you because they look disgusting and freak you out. Others might pose a health concern to you or your family. But termites are the ones that can cause extensive damage to your home, damage that might go unseen for years until there’s a significant structural problem. Let’s learn a bit more about why pest control services in the Hingham area are so important when it comes to exterminating termites.

What Are Termites?

While termites might look quite a bit like ants, they’re not. In fact, ants and termites are bitter enemies in the wild, with ants often coming out on top. Termites are actually closer to cockroaches than ants, which makes them even worse to most people.

Termites aren’t just one creature. In fact, there are more than 3,100 species of termites identified so far across the globe. If you take human interests out of the equation, termites are actually incredibly helpful to the environment. Termites are detritivores, which mean they recycle detritus such as dead wood and animal feces. Essentially, they’re excellent recyclers and composters.

Why Are They So Destructive?

You might be surprised to know that most termite species aren’t harmful to human dwellings. In fact, of the more than three thousand species, only 183 are known to cause damage to human habitats. And of those 183, only 18 are in America. Still, if you need a termite exterminator, it really doesn’t matter how few of them are destructive…you want the ones in your house taken care of as quickly as possible.

Termites are so destructive because they use wood as a food source. They harbor protozoa and microbes in their guts that allow them to break down the cellulose in wood and turn it into energy. Unfortunately, wood-frame houses are the most common type of building in the country, and the 2 x 4s used to construct your house aren’t really any different from dead logs that termites would normally digest. To them, dead wood is dead wood.

Termites cause extensive damage throughout the world to human-made structures, including homes, garages, decks, outbuildings, and even hardwood trees. It’s estimated that termites cause about five billion dollars in damage in the United States each year.

What Can Be Done?

You can’t just “wait termites out” until the nest goes away. Termite queens just so happen to be the longest living insect in the entire insect kingdom, living for more than 30 years!

In our next blog we’ll discuss the signs to look out for when it comes to termites. While there are some things you can do, the best course of action is to call a professional termite exterminator to have them inspect your buildings in Hingham, Dorchester, Westwood, Weymouth, and the surrounding areas. Give us a call today!