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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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