Termite Infestation

NPMA Staff

From far away, it may be hard to tell that there is anything unusual about this tree.

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But take a closer look. Do you see them now? Swarms of termites infesting this tree on a college campus!

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Billy Tesh went to visit his daughter, a senior at the University of Alabama, for a fun and relaxing weekend. What he didn't expect was to encounter the most destructive wood-destroying pest in the United States during his stay.

The President of PMi Pest Management Systems, Inc., a full-service pest control company that has been serving the Piedmont Triad area since 1984, spotted hundreds of bugs flying around while parking his car to go to the school's football game. He decided to follow these bugs to find out the source, a base of a tree adjacent to the Bryant Denny Football stadium where he observed them feeding on the wood. He identified these distinctive creamy brown bugs as Eastern Subterranean Termites.

While there is no report of the infestation being treated, Billy Tesh's encounter is a good reminder that termites can often be found in unexpected places and may cause serious destruction. Subterranean termites can collapse a building entirely, destroy plastic plumbing pipes and even damage swimming pool liners. Their hard, saw-toothed jaws work like shears and are able to bite off extremely small fragments of wood, one piece at a time.

Termites are known to cause financial ruin for homeowners, as most insurance policies do not cover damage created by this pest. In fact, termites generate more than $5 billion in property damage every year. As a result, prevention is key in avoiding an infestation in and around your home.

To help prevent termites, it is important to prevent water from accumulating around the foundation of a home or building by diverting it away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. In addition, it is recommended to reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation. However, the most essential step is to eliminate wood contact with the soil by maintaining a one-inch gap between the soil and wood portions of the building.

* Subterranean termites live in underground colonies or in moist secluded areas above ground that can contain up to 2 million members. They build distinctive "mud tubes" to gain access to food sources and to protect themselves from open air. For more information on termites, please visit PestWorld.org.

Thank you to Billy Tesh of PMi Pest Management Systems, Inc. for sharing this Extreme Infestation story.

 



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