3 Bug Superpowers You Wish You Had

Think your favorite superheroes own all the coolest super powers in the business? Well, think again because a lot of pesky insects have skills and supernatural abilities that will put them to shame! But unlike our favorite superheroes who save the day, these bugs use their powers to pester us (if not downright harm us). No need to worry, though, because we have our trusty termite control buddies who we can count on to save the day!

So while they’re battling bugs on your behalf, it’s best if you learn as much as you can about your nemesis in your home. For starters, below is a list of bugs and their inherent superpowers:

 

Cockroaches

Special Ability: Incredible Healing Powers

cockroach

Cockroaches are probably one of the nastiest bugs in the face of the planet. And the mere presence alone of this bug will make any macho man jump, squeal or even cry out of fear. That, in its essence, is such an amazing super power already!

Now a number of researchers have continuously studied the brains of cockroaches. Their studies led them to discover that cockroaches’ brains contain nine antibiotic molecules, making them capable of rapid healing. Take note that these particles are far more superior to the ones we use as antibiotics today. No wonder they can manage to survive in the aftermath of nuclear explosions!

 

Bees

Special Ability: Superb Communication and Navigation Skills

bee

Many perceive them as one of the scariest flying entities to ever exist because of a notion that they can sting us to death. But did you know that they are one of the most intelligent insects in the animal world? That’s because they have extraordinary navigation skills despite their limited eyesight. They also have very sophisticated means of communication. As a matter of fact, honey bees communicate with each other through a routine called a ‘waggle dance.’ With this, they tell each other where the food is located or which spot is best for building their colony. However, the dance is extremely advanced and it is done with great finesse and perfection.

Honey bees also know that the earth is round, and they use this knowledge to locate certain food sources. Aside from that, they can calculate angles very easily just by reading their waggle dances. And to top it all off, they navigate their surroundings through other means like remembering visual landmarks and taking into consideration where the sun’s position is. With special communications and superb navigation skills like these, they’ll make superb super secret agents.

 

Locusts

Special Ability: Superior Flight Powers

locust

Locusts are revered as one of the most adept pilots in the insect world. And if you think that Superman is the most amazing flying superheroes, well think again! Locusts are far more astonishing.

For many years now, scientists have been studying these insects’ techniques when it comes to flying. Their research shows that they don’t use a lot of thrust and lift when flying – and yet they can still sustain a steady flight rate. And even in climates with high temperatures and strong wind currents, they can still able fly with relative ease. They can travel vast distances without wasting too much energy and stamina. And they have the capacity to twist their wings during flights, allowing them to preserve and control the quantity of lift they generate.

 

Sometimes, the smallest of creatures have the most wondrous capabilities. And as presented above, bugs should definitely not be taken lightly because they possess powers mere humans like you and me can’t ever have – much to our envy!

 

3 Insects That Are Surprisingly Helpful to Humans

It’s undisputed that insects are universally regarded as gross and useless. Thus, upon seeing them, peoples’ first reaction would be to call pest control to clean them out. That’s standard practice, but sometimes over-killing insects can lead to unfortunate results. As insignificant as they may seem due to their small sizes and reclusive nature, some insects have their uses. Many function as prey to other animals, while others may be plant or soil cultivators. They infrequently act as predators as well – oftentimes their prey consisting of their fellow insects (contributing to the culling of their own population) or surrounding plant life. Either way, they contribute to the natural ecological balance and are liable, to a degree, for the survival of other organisms that are higher up the food chain.

That includes us humans.

That being said, here are three insects that actually aid our survival, indirectly or not.

 

Bees

bee

The importance of bees is one that should not be taken for granted. Their Honey Bee variation is best known for providing us with their sweet honey, a universal culinary staple that began in ancient times – even before sugar’s introduction in 700 AD – and it remains one of the most widely consumed natural food products to date. Its usefulness is not limited to food, though. Honey is also known to be able to treat coughs when mixed with lemon and ginger, heal minor bumps and scrapes due to its antiseptic qualities, and even cure hangovers through speeding up body metabolism by jumping its fructose levels.

Honey isn’t all they contribute, though; bees are also responsible for pollinating a lot of plants we regularly consume, such as apples, plums, asparagus, and especially almonds which heavily rely on pollinators. In fact, it’s even said that bees are responsible for one out of every three bites we eat.

 

Spiders

Modified by CombineZP

Unlike bees, spiders are a little harder to ignore. They don’t swarm like bees (which is good), since one spider is usually enough to freak anyone out. These eight-legged creatures are notorious for possessing deadly venoms, although the truth of the matter is that there are only a handful of species that pose a true threat (Even less so because antivenoms are always readily available for those unfortunate enough to get bitten).

That said, spiders are only really dangerous towards their prey which usually consist of other insects, mostly those smaller than themselves, although there are also spiders who prey upon their fellow arachnids. They’re actually nature’s version of pest control; their ecological niche is almost always exclusively in charge of keeping the other bugs in check. But like most animals, they’re prey as well, and spiders are an important food source for many others such as birds, lizards, and frogs. There are people who consume them, too. In Cambodia the Thai Zebra Tarantula, nicknamed the “edible spider”, is a fried specialty snack popular both among tourists and locals.

 

Ladybugs

ladybug

Easily identifiable by its round shape and bright, red back covered in spots, the ladybug is every gardener’s favorite insect, their presence bringing comfort to people from as far back as the medieval times. In fact, their Lady Bug moniker is derived from their long winded title, “The Bug of Our Lady,” which it got for being thought of as a blessing from the Virgin Mary.

They’re widely regarded due to being primary predators of aphids (plant lice), yet they also prey on other pests such as mealy bugs or spider mites. They are active predators, often actively searching for food from dusk till dawn. This aggressive hunting in combination with their swift reproduction rates allow them to wipe out a huge number of their prey in a given area within a short period of time, allowing farmers to cultivate their crops undisturbed. It also helps that, like the bees, Lady Bugs are drawn to bright flowers and contribute to their pollination.

 

The next time one of these insects come up to bother you, don’t be so quick to eradicate them; remember that they have a purpose and will be better off being relocated somewhere else instead.

Mao’s Four Pests Campaign and its Consequences

 

Nobody likes living in a house riddled with vermin. Yet sometimes it simply can’t be helped. Despite our advanced technology and knowledge with regards to pest control, it’s still a grand feat to have and maintain a fully pest-free home. However as annoying as they can be, pests do have a purpose – nature, with all its locusts and flies and rats, is as good as it is. Human intervention, although with good intentions may sometimes end in catastrophe, as seen here.

 

Mao Zedong’s Anti-Pest Program

four pests campaign

During the 1950’s the People’s Republic of China was still fresh from decades of war and bouts of famine or sickness. Fatigued from the constant turmoil, the Chinese longed to get back on their feet and transform their country from an agrarian nation into a Marxist, (communist) industrial powerhouse that would be capable of rivaling the world powers of the time and bridge the economical gap they were suffering. In order to kick-start the major change, Chinese leader Mao Zedong implemented the “Great Leap Forward” plan in 1958, and with it came the “Four Pests Campaign.”

 

The Great Leap Forward Backfires

The Great Leap Forward, meant to be the program that would elevate China’s status, proved to be its downfall instead. The plan’s concentration on industrialization was extreme to a fault; the diverted resources and manpower to the likes of steel manufacturing and construction projects left the agricultural sector of the country to suffer. Already burdened by a lack of food even before the Great Leap campaign, the loss of support in addition to the prohibition on private farming only exacerbated the chronic food shortages. This led to the Great Famine which lasted from 1958-1962, with a death toll of upwards of 30 million people.

 

The Extermination

four pests campaign 2

However, it might not have been so bad had not the Great Pests campaign been implemented. Mao Zedong called for the complete extermination of the four main pests he deemed to be too unhygienic to let live, namely mosquitoes, flies, rats, and sparrows. Back then, the thought of disrupting the natural ecosystem did not give Mao pause; in fact, according to environmental activist Dai Qing, “Mao knew nothing about animals. [..] He just decided that the four pests should be killed.” And killed they were.

Although the reasons for being against the first three pests are obvious, the sparrow requires a little bit of explanation. As mentioned, China already had food issues. Unfortunately, the Eurasian Tree Sparrows’ diet included grain, which the regime thought were better off being fed to the people instead. Understandably the Chinese felt as if their already meager food supplies were being preyed on, so the hunt for sparrows proved the most vicious with everyone in on the war, children included.

The government encouraged – even rewarded – destructive behavior against the so-called pests with non-material rewards and recognition. Often people would make noise (by banging pots and pans) to scare the sparrows from landing, forcing them to fly until they simply fell from exhaustion. Citizens also actively pursued the birds’ homes, destroying their eggs and killing their chicks as well. They did this without the knowledge that sparrows were natural predators of other insects that feasted on grains, resulting in a locust swarm a year later that did way more damage to the crops as opposed to allowing the sparrows to stay.

 

Aftermath

Mao quickly reformed the campaign to preserve what little of the birds were left, replacing sparrows with bed bugs, but unfortunately it was too late. The ecosystem had been irrevocably impaired. This in combination with China’s inefficient policies, poor weather, and a drought proved devastating to the people with crop harvests in 1959 going for as low as 15%. Ironically, crops were only able to recover to previous levels after the Great Leap Campaign.

four pests campaign 3

 

This just goes to show how improper pest control and tampering with nature can lead to dire consequences. If and when you find yourself being plagued by any kind of pest, be sure to call professionals instead of handling them yourself as inexperience and inadequate knowledge may lead you to worsen the situation instead.

3 Devastating Plagues Spread By Pests before the 21st Century

Before modern times, pest control wasn’t really that advanced. People back then did not possess the technology and knowledge that now allow us to quickly deal with any blight that may come our way. All they had were some herbs, oils, and the pests’ natural enemies to rely on.

So it’s a good thing that we now have some form of control over them; allowing them to remain unregulated as they were in ancient times had dire consequences – plagues being one of its most critical effects. That said, here are the three biggest plagues caused by poor pest control:

 

Plague of Justinian

Hand Necrosis (characteristic of Justinian Plague)

Named after Justinian I, the reigning Byzantine emperor during the outbreak of the plague, this rat-borne sickness managed to kill a lot of people during the length of its sporadic activity (which lasted for 225 years, by the way); luckily, it ended in 750 CE. It’s said to have come from Egypt where Constantinople and its outlying cities were importing their grain from, although the original source of the ailment is rumored to be China.

According to some accounts, the death toll reached 5,000 daily, decimating nearly half of the city’s population. At the end of it all, it’s also estimated that it caused the deaths of up to a quarter of the people in the Eastern Mediterranean, totaling 25 to 50 million all in all!

 

Black Death

Black Death Timeline

The Black Death is one of the most infamous plagues of all time, due to its profound effect on Europe’s general population during the 14th century. It annihilated more than 20 million people – almost one third of the continent’s total population – during the course of its fitful seven-year run.

Beginning in 1346, the black plague first reached the shores of Europe when Genoese trading ships docked at a port in Sicily. The Europeans had already caught wind of rumors of a dire sickness that swept the East (from China to Persia) yet remained wholly unprepared for the malady. It sowed fear into the hearts of the populace; not only was it extremely contagious but it also killed with brutal efficiency (some victims died within two days of initial infection).

The situation was so terrible that throughout the time, civilians did nothing but avoid each other and bury dead bodies. Petrarch, a great poet who lived through the ordeal, described the event as such: ‘O happy posterity, who will not experience such abysmal woe and will look upon our testimony as a fable.’

 

Third Plague Pandemic

Manchurian Plague (1910-1911)

This pandemic was the last major epidemic to hit the world (so far, at least). It began in Yunnan, China sometime during the 1850’s and spread to the rest of the world via the heavily globalized trade routes that were already present during that period. Rats, fleas, and small mammals capable of being disease carriers were declared as the main culprit for its resurgence and were quickly suppressed with widespread application of insecticides.

According to the World Health Organization, the pandemic was still considered active as late as 1959 when deaths dropped to below 200 a year. The dramatic plummet in the fatality rate was attributed to the effective use of modern medicine; the infected could be cured with the use of the antibiotics streptomycin, gentamicin, doxycycline, or ciprofloxacin. Unfortunately, even with these defenses in place, the plague was still able to claim the lives of about 10 to 12 million people.

 

All three events were caused by two things: the bacteria Yersinia Pestis and pests (especially rats and fleas). And although they’re barely a problem nowadays, the plague can still be found in areas with poor sanitation, overcrowding, and, most importantly, a high rodent population – the latter which can, of course, be dealt with by proper pest control.

 

5 of the Deadliest Spiders Found in Australia

Instinctively, the first thing to do during a spider infestation is to call pest control. But if you happen to live in Australia, you’re going to need an army! The country’s rich animal biodiversity, arachnids included, makes Australia practically a haven for strange spiders. We’ve listed below five of the most dangerous spiders found there, just to help you understand where we’re getting at.

 

White-Tailed Spider

White-Tailed Spider

A species indigenous to southern and eastern Australia, White-tailed Spiders are identifiable through the white tips that decorate the end of their abdomens. They have no permanent home, preferring to stay in secluded nooks and crannies or discarded clothing left on the floor. Another important thing to note about them is that they do not build webs in order to trap their prey (most of which are usually other venomous spiders, by the way); they actively hunt and envenom them instead.

 

Huntsman Spider

Web

Despite originating in Asia, the Huntsman Spider (sometimes also called the banana spider) can also be found in Africa, South America, and Australia. They are drawn to warm climates and unattended small spaces; in Australia they are especially notorious for constantly hiding in cars and homes. They’re not hard to miss, though, considering they’re the world’s largest spider by leg span due to their sprawled limbs, which can reach lengths of up to 12 inches. And similar to White-tailed Spiders, they actively hunt their prey and do not make use of web traps, thus earning them their ‘huntsman’ moniker.

 

Redback Spider

Redback Spider

Widespread in Australia and in some parts of New Zealand, the Redback Spider – named after the red stripe on their abdomen – is one of the most dangerous species there is due to its potent venom and penchant for living in human residences. It’s also the leading cause of most of the spider bites in Australia, victimizing as much as 2,000 to 10,000 Australians yearly. They’re one of the few arachnids that practice sexual cannibalism as well; the female eats the male after mating, though their main diet consists of medium to large insects or even small lizards that they catch using web traps.

 

Sydney Funnel Web Spider

Sydney Funnel Web Spider

As their name implies, this spider can be found in Sydney, Australia and their main modus operandi for hunting is to build funnel shaped webs and ambush any unsuspecting prey unfortunate enough to wander near it. They tend to hide in damp areas, owing to their susceptibility to get dehydrated quickly. The females rarely leave their burrows while the males are the complete opposite – they’re more mobile because of their active search for mates, leading them to have more human encounters. In fact, all human deaths attributed to this species are caused by males. Their venom is more potent than their counterparts’ due to the presence of a chemical called Robustoxin in it. The Sydney Funnel Web is truly one to avoid; they are often listed as incredibly dangerous and is capable of killing a person in 15 minutes.

 

Black Widow Spider

Black Widow Spider

As any arachnophile would tell you, no list of dangerous spiders would be complete without the notorious Black Widow. Found in temperate regions across the world, they like to camp out in dark, dry places such as outhouses, tree stumps, and dense vegetation areas. Their main diet usually consists of flies, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, beetles and caterpillars, which they catch with web traps. Their name comes from the fact that, much like the Redbacks, the females practice sexual cannibalism. Black Widows can be recognized by the red and orange hourglass figure that can be found on their abdomens; they also have “combed” feet which they use to wrap up their prey before eating them. As the most venomous spider in North America, they possess venom 15 times stronger than a Rattlesnake’s.

 

Avoid these spiders whenever possible. Although there haven’t been any recent deaths thanks to the presence of anti-venom, not getting bitten at all is obviously a better alternative. Oh, and make sure your friendly pest control is at hand, too.

A Plant’s Best Friend: Agriculturally-Friendly Insects

Though we’re in the business of eradicating pests in our homes, insects in general aren’t all bad. There are actually numerous of insects that are good for our agricultural sector. As we may have mentioned before, there are bugs that are essential to pollination and eradicating more harmful insects. You can even say that they work like pest control services sometimes!

In fact, there are bugs that seemingly ‘protect’ certain plants by feeding on the other insects that feed on these plants. Don’t believe us? Here are a few examples:

 

Damsel Bugs

Damsel Bugs

These bugs are soft-bodied and winged terrestrial predators that use their forelegs to catch and hold their prey. They are very helpful in agriculture because of their tendency to predate on different types of crop pests. Damsel bugs feed on alphids, small caterpillars, leafhoppers, thirps and other unwelcomed bugs. Usually they would crowd over fields of legumes like alfalfa, but they are diverse can be found in other crops as well as non-cultivated areas. They love to catch insects that are smaller than them and would often cannibalize on each other when food is unavailable.

Ground Beetles

Ground Beetles

Ground beetle larvae and adults love to eat smaller animals. They particularly love eating slugs, snails, cutworms, cabbage maggots and other pests that are a nuisance to your garden or land. Ground beetles are capable of eating over 50 caterpillars! Most ground beetles are only active at night and they would emerge from their hiding places which are under rocks and logs. Their looks are rather diverse in shape and colour; most adults are glossy and black while some are iridescent, green or yellow and orange.

Lacewings

Lacewings

Lacewings are insects from the big family of. They are delicate insects and are characterized by their usually bright green or greenish-brown bodies with compound eyes that are conspicuously golden. Due to their highly aggressive and cannibalistic nature, they are spread around and separated while they are eggs. This makes it easy to breed and spread throughout a vast land of crops or plants. Their favourite homes are angelica coreopsis, cosmos and sweet alyssum.

Lady Beetles

Lady Beetles

Lady bugs or lady birds come from the coccinellidae family of small beetles. They are known as very useful insects due to their appetite for aphids or scale insects. Usual pests that can be evident in gardens, agricultural fields, orchards and similar places can be easily terminated when colonies of lady beetles take shelter on these areas.

Minute Pirate Bugs

Minute Pirate Bugs

As the name suggests, Minute Pirate bugs are small and obscure insects that feed on other small insects such as spider mites and insect eggs. They would cut a hole in their prey then pump saliva into in order for them to drink the content. Such vicious creatures indeed, but these small insects have been a big help to the woodlands.

 

With all the insects aforementioned, it’s not hard to believe that each creature has their own role in this world. We here are TOPBEST also have our role too, and that’s to provide you with pest control services! If you’re having any problems with unwelcome termites, insects, and other pests in your home, do not hesitate to call us for a free consultation.

Rockin’ Band Names Inspired by Creepy Crawlies

There was a trend in music during the rock and punk era where musicians and bands collaborated with each other by creating a wholly different band separate from their own. They created alternate personas for themselves, and sometimes, adopted a name from creepy crawlies for the band.

You would think only pest control services would interested in these things, but there are a lot of resources listing bands and musicians whose names have been inspired by nature’s rock n’ rollers. Check ‘em out!

The Beatles

final_the-beatles

Even in the contemporary music scene the influence of The Beatles is still enduring. They are considered revolutionary and creative artists who were able to make their style distinctive. True enough, a few notes is all it takes for us to identify a Beatles song.

Let’s head on over to its namesake: the Beetles. They are a group of insects of the order Coleoptera, which in Greek means “sheathed wing”. Beetles are covered with a hardened shell-like protection with two pairs of wings. There are so many beetles that except for marine and polar habitats, they can be found practically everywhere .

Buddy Holly and The Crickets

Final_BUDDYHOLLY

Buddy Holly was considered to be the man who established what traditional rock is. Just like the Beatles, his music became an inspiration and has influenced a lot of today’s musicians. The Crickets were formed because of Buddy Holly and his experience with Decca Records. He contacted record producer Norman Petty, went to his studio to record with Jerry Allison and Joe B. Mauldin, and together they formed The Crickets. The band became the template for other rock bands like The Beatles, with their guitar-bass-drums line-up and knack for writing their own songs.

Mother Nature’s crickets are also known for the distinctive sounds that they make. They are insects that have round heads and long antennae. They are nocturnal and are known for their chirping at night. Male crickets make the chirping songs to attract female crickets, although some crickets are unfortunately mute.

Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars

final_ziggy

Ziggy Stardust was a persona created by David Bowie. Together with the Spiders from Mars, they created The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and was considered to be one of the best acts in the 70’s. Their show tells the story of Ziggy Stardust who is a messenger for extraterrestrial beings.

Spiders aren’t extraterrestrial beings, but they may very well be just thinking about how we avoid them or how much we shriek when we see them. Spiders are the largest order of arachnids. The species is so diverse that they can be found anywhere with the exception of Antarctica and marine habitats. Spiders are largely known for their silk glands that enable them to weave webs and their venom which scientists are now researching to use for medicine and non-polluting pesticide.

Adam and the Ants

final_adamandants

Adam and the Ants were known for their high camp performances and songs. The band had two incarnations, and Adam Ant fronted both. The first incarnation, meaning when the band consisted of the first original members, was considered to have achieved cult popularity during a time music scene was seeing a transition from punk rock to new wave.

Some of what we know about ants right now may have come from Marvel’s Ant-Man, but there’s a lot more to these little builders. They have evolved from wasp-life creatures during the Cretaceous era and have been diversified after the proliferation of flower plants. They are a highly organized, intelligent species that live in colonies. They have occupied almost all of Earth’s landmass, save for Antarctica and a few remote islands.

These are just some of the bands that have made it big with their creepy crawly names. The influence of these groups will not waver too easily and their hand in music will always be there.

 

“Hello, Granny!” The 7 Oldest Insects in Existence

All species in the world evolve over time. No one and nothing is an exception—everyone and everything will age, be that gracefully or not. Apparently, there are fascinating creatures that have managed to keep their species alive after millions of years!

You may think they are insects who survived from the wrath of pest control services, but they’ve actually been around even before your ancestors were born! Here are 7 of the oldest insects still in our midst, though some of them have changed appearances and traits because of adaptation and evolution.

MITES

Tetranychus urticae

These pesky little critters’ lineage could actually be traced from 570 million years ago! Mites are categorized as arthropods, which is a group that is distantly related to insects. While insects are segmented—meaning they have a separate head, thorax and abdomen—mites have just one continuous body and have eight legs versus an insect’s six.

SPIDERS

spider_final

Like mites, spiders are not actually insects but arthropods belonging to the class Arachnida with as many as 35,000 species worldwide. Experts believe their ancestors used to be water-dwellers who lived as far back as 500 million years ago.

MILLIPEDE

Millipede_FINAL

We often see a lot of them on pavements, especially when it’s raining and the ground is wet. And of course, who isn’t familiar with the defensive stench they give off when stepped on? But not a lot of people know that millipedes have been around for almost 400 million years. Like spiders and other myriapods, millipedes are believed to have come from marine-dwelling ancestors.

SILVERFISH

SILVERFISH_FINAL

A silverfish looks like a cross between a mudfish and a lobster, only that it’s silver, tiny, and an insect. Entomologists have found out in recent studies that silverfish might have roamed the Earth together with dinosaurs. Their ancestors lived some 420 million years ago, but present-day silverfish date back to 250 million years ago.

 

DRAGONFLY

dragonfly_FINAL

Your childhood would definitely be incomplete without spending the whole afternoon catching colorful dragonflies in your garden or a nearby grassy lot. But did you know dragonflies have existed for 406 million years? Experts say dragonflies living during that time had visible antennae, which we do not sees with the dragonflies of  today. Their ancestors are among the first creatures on Earth to fly, which gives them a rather undefeatable feat.

 

LICE

 Pediculus humanus capitis

Who would have thought that these annoying parasites have been living for 120 million years now? A louse’s diet is composed of dead skin, blood and other body debris, all depending on the species. In order to survive, lice need to cling on to their hosts’ feather and fur, a mechanism their ancestors must have done to ancient feathered dinosaurs as well.

GRASSHOPPERS

 GRASSHOPPER_FINAL

Grasshoppers and crickets have common ancestors that existed 240 million years ago. They thrived in lush greenery and grasslands that were yet to be spoiled by the human race. So the next time you catch a grasshopper at your yard or listen to the song of a cricket, remember that they have been through a lot more than you’ll ever do.

 

 

These are just some of the oldest insects that we have in the world right now. No matter how pesky or terrifying they might be, it is still amazing how they adapted to the world. They may be small, but they’re a big part of the Earth’s history and ecosystem.

9 Signs Your House Is Infested With Termites

5-Signs-Your-House-Is-Infested-With-Termites-2

Signs that your house is infested with termites

  1. Hollow sound of wooden furniture
  2. Broken and damaged furniture
  3. Shelter tubes on wooden surfaces
  4. Dirt on the wood
  5. Groups of winged insects and discarded wings
  6. Blowholes in trees
  7. Piles of frass
  8. Tree nests
  9. Subterranean Tunnels

A termite infestation is one of the worst home management problems to deal with. They can cause major property damage if left untreated and undetected and, in addition, can remain undetected since they burrow from the inside out of a wooden structure. No home is safe from this pest predicament. Anywhere there is moisture, soil, wood, or materials made of cellulose, termites will be close by, ready to strike when no one is watching.

Termite Control - 5 Signs Your House Is Infested With Termites

Before you call a termite control provider in the Philippines, it is best to do a little self-inspection to prove if there are termites residing in your home. Aside from saving you a few bucks on consultation fees, it teaches you how to manage your own home from these pesky critters. Here are 9 signs your house is infested with termites:

Sign #1: Pieces of wood/wooden furniture sound hollow.

In order to check if termites have infested your home, start with your furniture. If you have wooden pieces, there’s a chance termites could be living in them. An added bonus is that wood coupled with moisture is a double magnet for termites. They derive water and the moisture to survive, as they dry out easily. Get a hammer and gently tap the surface of the wood. If it sounds empty, you can be sure that termites have made their home inside. The damage gradually moves from the inside out. Which leads to…

Sign #2: Broken or damaged furniture.

Over time, the termites burrowing and eating of the wood will also weaken its structure. This is because they eat wood in a honeycomb pattern which leaves the inside essentially be hollow. Also, they eat wood from inside out, which could make a wooden structure appear to be fine, but, in reality, it has become frail.

If a wooden chair or table leg breaks after someone applies too much weight on it, or a portion of a wooden platform looks chipped, take a closer look.

Termite Control - Signs Of Termites

The openings look like see-through tunnel passages, with a few holes spread out as the entrances or exits. If a few insects come out, they’re either carpenter ants or termites.

Also, be wary of sagging floors. This is a sign that termites have eaten out the foundations of the flooring. Such damage could cause the floor to give way which is both dangerous and possibly fatal.

Sign #3: Shelter tubes leading to wooden surfaces

As mentioned earlier, termites need moisture to survive, as they have very delicate frames. One species of termites called subterranean termites need to build shelter tubes made of mud leading to their shelter/food source to protect them from the harsh environment. This also protects them from predators. Due to their need for moisture, they avoid desiccating by building these tunnels at night.

These tunnels are usually brown in color and have a clay-like texture. They can be as narrow as 10 millimeters and as wide as 50 millimeters; the larger the tunnel, the more worker and soldier termites can be transported; the more termites means more damage. Take preventive measures immediately if you see narrow mud tunnels in and around your home. Call pest control if the tunnels are wide.

To see if the shelter tubes are active, break it and return a while later to see if it is rebuilt, notes Susan Jones, a professor of entomology at Ohio State University.

Sign #4: Dirt on the wood

Since termites use mud and soil to build their shelter tubes, chances are they’ll be covered in them too while crawling on or in a wooden surface. When inspecting a piece of wood with holes and cracks similar to that in sign #2. If there are pieces of mud and dirt, that’s a sign that termites have taken refuge.

Sign #5: Groups of winged insects or discarded wings

Based on Ron Harrison’s, a writer for realtor.com, gathered research, you may see a swarm of insects flying in your home. These are called swarmer termites that take flight looking for places to create new colonies. If you notice a group of them, or fallen wings on a surface, Harrison’s advice is to call a termite expert to check it out.

Subterranean termites look for new habitats for their colonies during spring time. Seeing discarded wings in or around your home during this season could mean that a new colony could be terrorizing your home.

Sign #6: Blowholes in Trees

Colonies are formed in tree root crowns and trunks for both dry wood and subterranean termites, but is more common for the latter. When the colony has to deal and fight with invaders, slits on trunks are created in case the termites need to escape. But when the fighting is over, worker termites seal the holes and the tree will produce a callus where the slits used to be. If you see these calluses, then knock on the trunk where it is present to hear if it is hollow which would mean that termites have invaded.

Sign #7: Piles of Frass

Frass is the term used to refer to the droppings of termites. These tiny pellets can be found at or near possible termite entry points. Google exactly how this looks like and look for the presence of these inside or directly outside your home. If you do find these, then termites are definitely around your home.

Sign #8: Tree Nest

Aside from slits on tree roots and trunks, large chunks of mud should also be visible on the surface of trees especially if it holds an active colony. Seeing such a sign is an indicator of a heavy infestation and pest control must immediately be sought out.

Sign #9: Subterranean Tunnels

Subterranean termites can also construct an underground system of tunnels to get to a food source. They also use this system to transport the food back to their colony. This tunnel system is usually 20 centimeters deep and with a 50 meter radius from the colony. While this is a difficult sign to spot, take the opportunity to observe this if ever any diggings happen at your home.

9 Tips To Keep Your House Termite Free

9-Tips-To-Keep-Your-House-Termite-Free

How to keep your house termite-free

  1. Avoid buying wooden furniture as much as possible
  2. Keep wood away from moisture
  3. Get a regular termite check-up
  4. Store wooden items and cardboard boxes properly
  5. Correct and fix cracks
  6. Get your garden re-tread
  7. Use non-cellulose material as much as possible
  8. Use boric acid on furniture
  9. Clean your home on a regular basis

Pests are big inconveniences to a home. They pose health risks (spreading unwanted diseases), safety hazards (causing property damage), physical and emotional distress (the thought of these tiny critters is enough to send chills down your spine), and also bank account damage (you have to spend for repairs and control services).

One such pest commonly found in homes is the termite. Colonies of termites invade wooden structures, burrow through them in order to build a new nest, as well as use it for their food source. Unlike rodents, whose damages can be easily repaired, dealing with termites can be a difficult ordeal as they cause destruction from the inside out. Only when you suddenly see holes in wooden structures with creepy crawlies coming and going can you prove you have a termite infestation.

If you’ve tackled a termite problem before and it has left you tired, here are 9 termite control tips to keep your house termite free.

Avoid buying any wooden furniture

1. Avoid Buying Any Wooden Furniture as Much as Possible

Termites reside in or near anything wooden. Some species burrow inside them and create nests there and also use it as their food source. Lessen the number of wooden furniture you have. Get metal or plastic chairs, tables, and other furnishings as much as possible to prevent termite invasions.

If you already have wooden furniture, use a hammer to tap the surface. If it sounds hollow, it might have termites already. Also, another indicator of termites being present in your home is to listen for a sudden creaking sound in any wooden piece of furniture you have.

If you notice any of these signs, immediately call your pest control service for termite control. They might have spread to your other furniture already.

Keep wood away from moisture

2. Keep Wood Away from Moisture

If you can’t totally eliminate wood from your household, then make sure you keep it 6 inches from the ground, says Richard Gilbride of the 23rd Civil Engineering Squadron. “Termites are attracted to moisture in wood structures,” Gilbride adds. “If you keep them dry, you’ll lessen the risk of termite attacks in your home.”

While moisture is essential for anyone anywhere, this notion certainly does not apply to any wooden surface around. For this, just make sure that any wood around is kept at a reasonable distance away from water. The less moisture wood is exposed to, the less likely that termites will invade your home and wreak havoc on anything they can see.

Get a regular termite check up

 

3. Get a Regular Termite Check-up

Sources from Exopest, a pest control service provider, recommend regular inspection for termites, “At least once a year.” The group Brisbane Pest Controllers adds that inspection, “Prevents further property damage from happening or worsening.”

Also, when you get your home inspected on a regular basis, you get to learn other ways to get rid of other pests. That way, you won’t have to worry about those other tiny nightmares invading your home.

Store wooden items properly

 

4. Store Wooden Items and Cardboard Boxes Properly

Gilbride continues to say that wooden items improperly stored near wall cracks attract termites. The same goes for disposing cardboard boxes. He says that these “…are tasty havens for termites.” The engineer prescribes creating storage spaces for them in garage cabinets to keep them out of reach.

This is one of the easiest tasks that can be accomplished to ensure maximum home protection from termites. All you’ll have to do is utilize a proper storage space for items such as cardboard boxes and anything with a wooden build. This will also prevent you from suffering any discomfort brought on by these critters.

Correct cracks

5. Correct Cracks

Cracks or small openings anywhere in your home are pathways for termites to enter. When you see these, immediately seal them, don’t give pests an opportunity to build a nesting ground in your house.

For this, there’s nothing that sealant can’t fix. If the problem persists, it’s time to take the highest measure as possible. Grab your tools and get to work.

Get your garden retreated

6. Get Your Garden Re-treated

A newly landscaped home has lost its chemical protection. It is important to get it re-treated, says Gilbride, or else your home will be left vulnerable to infestation.

While your garden can serve as your personal masterpiece of the outdoors, it can also serve as the dwelling place of termites and other pests alike. By getting your garden re-treated, you’ll not only be protecting your garden from pests like termites, but you’ll also be protecting your home from them and saving yourself the burden of having to spend extra amounts of cash to get rid of them.

Use non cellulose material

 

7. Use Non-Cellulose Material as Much as Possible

Professional pest exterminators give this advice, as cellulose is part of a termite’s diet. The less cellulose items in your home, the fewer chances you’ll have a termite infection.

8. Use Boric Acid on Furniture

When dealing with termites that are already in your home, there are a variety of pesticides you can use for your extermination project. One concoction that is certain to kill these pests is none other than Boric Acid.

Spraying this substance over anything with a wooden surface can certainly get rid of these tiny creatures in due time. Just be sure to know where exactly you’re spraying on and how much of the substance you plan on using.

9. Clean Your Home on a Regular Basis

This tip is one of the easiest ones to accomplish. As with other pests, they are usually attracted towards an area with a certain amount dirt around. The more dirt around an area in your home, the more your home is prone to infestations of termites and other pests.

By cleaning your home regularly, you’ll be able to keep these critters at bay for as long as you can. After all, cleanliness will always remain a key virtue in keeping your home as safe and secure as possible.

Key Takeaway

Termites, no matter how hard they may be noticed, will always fall prey to any tactic you choose in getting rid of them. As long as you put any of these tips into action, you’ll never have to worry about any pest around.