Termites are xylophagous insects reputed to be true parasites. It must be said that they dig galleries in wooden structures and furniture or in insulation that are only slightly visible to the naked eye. Unfortunately, their presence is often detected too late, when the wood is eaten away and the floors and frames collapse. Who are these insects? What danger do they represent? How to eradicate them from home? Our answers in this file.
Who are termites and how dangerous are they?
Termites are small, pale yellow insects with brown heads that measure 3 to 5 mm in length. Gregarious, they live in small organized societies with queens, reproductive males and workers, like ants.
Termites are a real scourge and their colonies continue to expand on French territory over the years. More than fifty departments are indeed infested by these insects, particularly on the Atlantic and Mediterranean borders, with an upsurge in the South-West.
These parasites cause significant damage in their path. These are xylophagous insects that penetrate wood and certain building materials such as plaster and insulation, digging galleries that weaken the structures. They are often difficult to spot, because they work hidden, remaining inside the material without leaving any external traces, except for the entry point whose small diameter often goes unnoticed. Their presence is, in most cases, noticed too late, when the structures collapse.
To spot termites, you must observe the surface of wood and insulation in search of small tunnels raised from the ground. There are also traces of wood in the form of powder, which looks like sawdust. Finally, termites leave other signs of their passage: their excrement which looks like small black dots near wooden structures. If you notice these possible traces of the presence of termites, tap your finger against the wooden elements to see if they sound hollow or press hard with a pointed tool to see if they are porous and weakened. Termites are attracted to warm and humid places, which is why it is recommended to ventilate your home as much as possible to avoid their presence.
How to eradicate termites from the house?
To eliminate termites when they have invaded the house, it is recommended to hire the services of a professional. These exterminators are indeed equipped to eradicate these parasites effectively, thanks to the use of powerful chemicals. Unfortunately, natural products are not enough to deal with these formidable insect colonies.
The professional installs detection traps at ground level and distributes them every two to three meters, in order to check that they are still present. If this is the case, he has baits with an insecticide whose action is delayed in order to ensure that the insect which feeds on it diffuses it and dies within the termite mound. The insecticide can also be injected directly into structures that termites have invaded if necessary.
If the invasion is not yet real and you have been able to detect the presence of termites in its early stages, you can try some natural tips to keep them away from your home. You will need to act very quickly to avoid spread and notify the town hall of your municipality that the presence of these parasites has been confirmed in the territory.
If termites have lodged in your wooden furniture, place it outside and in full light to scare them away. You can also attract them with wet pieces of cardboard. Be careful what you do with these insects though, as they will invade another target or may return to you once released. It is therefore imperative to contact your town hall to report their presence. Don’t release them into the wild, as they can spread elsewhere and claim other victims.