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Termite Damage Has Always Plagued Americans

Termite Damage Has Always Plagued Americans | Magic Pest Control

Termites are destructive insect pests that cost America billions of dollars in damages each year. The destructive potential of termites is well understood by modern scientists, pest control professionals and even the public. These days there exists many different forms of termite control. Preventative termite control measures are not just taken by pest control professionals, but also by construction contractors. It is common for termite barriers to be installed around the foundation’s of newly built homes. These termite prevention measures have been used for years, and some states are requiring all new homes to include effective termite barriers to be installed during construction. However, despite all the advanced termite control methods being used in America today, termites continue to cause massive amounts of damage to homes all over the country. It is hard to believe that there was a time in America when termite control methods were largely non-existent, but this was the case in the early 20th century and before. In fact, during this same time, termites were hardly understood by scientists at all. Reading early 20th century scientific publications on termites can offer modern readers a glimpse into an America without effective termite control methods.

According to a Scientific American article written in 1920 called Termites of the Temperate Zone, primary school students were told about termite anatomy and the massive amounts of destruction that they had caused in foreign lands. At the time, very little was known about termites, except for the fact that they consume cellulose in wood. Many experts believed that commercial construction projects pushed termites out of their native habitats. However, this belief was challenged after several termite infestations had been found within government buildings located in the nation’s capital.

Termites had made a habit out of destroying important government documents in Washington DC. Eventually this problem became serious enough for the Bureau of Entomology to step in with advice on how to prevent such damages. It was toward the beginning of the 20th century that people realized that termite destruction can occur within any state, and not just coastal states. For example, in 1916, a storm had blown through southwestern Texas. This storm took down several types of wooden infrastructure, while steel-based types of infrastructure remained in tact. It did not take long for experts to notice that the state’s wooden telephone poles, fences and even wooden windmills had blown over as a result of termites nesting within these structures.

Also around this time, more and more homes were being attacked by termites, which prompted reforms in how homes were to be constructed. For example, wood from timber-made homes could no longer make contact with ground soil. For decades, American citizens hoped to prevent termite infestations by focusing on construction methods as opposed to pest control poisons. Luckily, modern Americans are not nearly so defenseless against termite attacks.

If you live in an old home, do you ever question whether or not it has, or has had a termite infestation?

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Top 10 Termite Prevention Tips

Top 10 Termite Prevention Tips | Phoenix Termite Control

  1. Eliminate or reduce moisture in and around the home, which termites need to thrive.
  2. Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and exterior AC units.
  3. Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles.
  4. Replace weather stripping and loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
  5. Divert water away from the house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
  6. Routinely inspect the foundation of a home for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), uneven or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
  7. Monitor all exterior areas of wood, including windows, doorframes and skirting boards for any noticeable changes.
  8. Maintain an 18-inch gap between soil and any wood portions of your home.
  9. Consider scheduling a professional inspection annually. Wood-boring insect damage is not covered by homeowners’ insurance policies.
  10. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.

Termites cannot be controlled with do-it-yourself measures. If you s

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A Court Ruled In Favor Of A Woman Who Hid Termite Damage In Order To Sell A Home | Phoenix Termite Control

A Court Ruled In Favor Of A Woman Who Hid Termite Damage In Order To Sell A Home | Phoenix Termite Control

Imagine finding termite damage in a home that you had just purchased. Such a find would come as a major disappointment to any new home owner. It is for this reason that termite inspections are a must before purchasing a home. Now imagine finding signs of termite damage in your new home after being explicitly told by the previous owners that the home had no history of termite infestations or termite-induced damages. This, of course, is a very different situation, and most courts would find the previous owners to be at fault for not disclosing the home’s history of termite infestations. Sadly, this is not always the case, as one couple from Arizona understands all too well. Losing cases such as these does not occur often, and when they do occur, critics often regard the verdicts as miscarriages of justice, or as misinterpretations of real estate law.

Back in 1982, a married couple, Warren and Gloria Hill, purchased a seventy two thousand dollar home. The couple visited the home several times. During one of these visits, the couple noticed a ripple in the home’s hardwood floor that resembled termite damage. After asking the seller if the damage was caused by termites, she answered “no”, and claimed that water damage had been responsible. Although, the buyers recognized the ripple as being consistent with termite damage, they trusted the seller, as a termite inspection had already determined the home to be free of termite activity during the entirety of its existence.

Shortly after the deal closed, the new owners discovered a manual that the sellers had left behind in a drawer. This manual bore the title: Termites, the Silent Saboteurs. This unsettling find made the new owners suspicious, so they decided to dig up the home’s old inspection reports. The old reports confirmed that the home had been infested with termites several times since it was built. The suspicious ripple also turned out to be termite damage that had been inflicted while the sellers inhabited the home. The new owners quickly filed a lawsuit, but they lost after the judge ruled that the sellers had no duty to disclose the past termite infestations. In fact, the new homeowners were even forced to pay for the seller’s court costs, which amounted to one thousand dollars. This ruling ran contrary to precedents that had been established in previous Arizona cases. Not only that, but this case is also often cited by legal experts as being an error in judgement, as the sellers were bound by law to disclose the past termite infestations to the buyers.

Have you, or someone else you know, ever had to attend court over undisclosed termite damage to a home?

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How Do Violent Conflicts Between Termites Influence Their Lifespans?

How Do Violent Conflicts Between Termites Influence Their Lifespans?

Termites are relatively understudied insects within the field of entomology. This is somewhat surprising given the significant economic costs associated with termite structural damage. Termites in the United States alone cause billions of dollars each year in damages. You would think that a greater scientific understanding of termite behavior would be desired in order to more effectively combat these destructive insects. However, termites are regarded with widespread disinterest, as there are many other fascinating insects in the world that capture the curiosity of academics and scientists. Although termites may not be the most interesting of insects, the fact that termite queens can survive for a longer amount of time than any other insect species is worthy of attention. A recent study examined how intercolony conflict between termites can influence the lifespan of queen and king termites. Additionally, the study authors were able to determine how warring termite colonies resolve conflict after the death of each side’s royal pairs.

For the study, researchers collected Z. n. nevadensis termite species from the wild. These termites spend much of their lives in trees where encounters between different colonies are common. The researchers placed two different colonies into artificial arboreal conditions in order to gauge intercolony behavior. Since termite colonies vary drastically in age, encounters between two colonies of the same age is not the norm. When two termite colonies of the same age made contact in the lab, violence soon followed. The subsequent conflict resulted in the deaths of a royal pair from one colony while the royal pair from the other colony survived. The remaining workers and soldiers from the defeated colony were eventually absorbed into the victorious colony. When colonies of different ages were introduced, the older colonies killed off the younger colonies entirely, leaving the royal pair and all of their worker and soldier offspring dead. It was also found that termite queens would die unusually young if they had survived previous intercolony conflicts. The reason for this is not clear, but researchers believe that the queens may have died young due to injuries sustained during previous skirmishes. In general, colonies that are relatively large will live for a longer period of time than smaller colonies.

Have you ever seen a termite queen in a Zoo or even in the wild?

10 Tips To Prevent Termites From Damaging Your Home

Gilbert Termite Control Experts

10 Tips To Prevent Termites From Damaging Your Home!

  1. Eliminate or reduce moisture in and around the home, which termites need to thrive.
  2. Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and exterior AC units.
  3. Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles.
  4. Replace weather stripping and loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
  5. Divert water away from the house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
  6. Routinely inspect the foundation of a home for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), uneven or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
  7. Monitor all exterior areas of wood, including windows, doorframes and skirting boards for any noticeable changes.
  8. Maintain an 18-inch gap between soil and any wood portions of your home.
  9. Consider scheduling a professional inspection annually. Wood-boring insect damage is not covered by homeowners’ insurance policies.
  10. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.