Termites ! Where ! What's their Names ?

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Pelican Real Estate

I have been reading an article from my REALTOR magazine about termites.  Did you know that there are two kinds of termites?  Well, I didn't.  There is the Suberranean termite and the Drywood termites. Are you aware of the differance?  Well, I wasn't. I thought they were all the same.  

According to this article written by Melissa Dittmannn Tracy, the subterranean termites are considered to be the most widespread and destructive of the termite species.  And,  they are found in every state except Alaska.  At least this one time, Louisiana is not the only state that has them.  The subterranean termites live underground in colonies which can contain up to two(that's 2) million members.

The Drywood termites live in dry wood.  Attics and crawlspaces are ideal for these little critters. They don't have to have soil to live.  They can even live in your furniture and your hardwood flooring.  I previewed a home that was on the market and it looked like the Money Pit house.  There was a huge and I mean HUGE hole in the wood flooring at the front door.   I find it hard to believe that the owners did not know they had a problem.

Removing old tree stumps and roots that are near your home not only helps prevent termites from invading your home, it also helps to keep your slab from cracking.  Especially if the roots are still living from a tree that was cut down recently.  Also, store mulch,firewood, and wood chips away from the home.  Many people store their firewood on their patio or front porch to keep from having to go out in the cold to get the wood.  It may be worth a little exercise to keep this away from your home.  According to the article which quotes the technical director for Orkin Inc., Ron Harrison, "You don't usually notice them until the damage is extensive."  Termites are known as the "Silent Destroyers". "Termites can enter a home through a crack in the foundation that is as thin as an average business card", says Harrison.

This all would make a good Hitchock Movie.  The termites are coming! Be on the lookout for them.  They can eat up your investment quicker than it took for you to acquire it. 

Buyers, even if a termite inspection is not required in your state, get one anyway.  It may be well worth your money.  Sites you can check out are: www.pestworld.org , Termites101.org and www.hud.gov to check out the "Termite Infestation Probability Zones."  My thanks to Milissa Dittmann Tracey for writing this article and to www.REALTOR.org/realtormag for publishing it.  WE all need to be more aware of this problem since we are living in one of the states that is known to have this problem.  And don't forget about their neighbors, the Powder Puff Beetles.  That's another blog. 

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Ruth Davison

Realtor, GRI, ABR, SRS
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