Termites are every homeowner's worst nightmare. After all, anything they come in touch with is often as good as gone. The pests will chow down on your belongings, leaving nothing left for you.
However, you can’t simply go around your house covering everything up to stop these hungry critters from getting to them. Although they seem to ruin everything, these pests are picky eaters. Not everything is food to them, but it is good to know what items in your house are prone to termites.
Here are five in particular:
1 - Timber
This one is quite obvious. After all, wood is the item most widely known to be food for termites. The critters eat wood because they need the cellulose, an organic fiber found in plants. When broken down, cellulose becomes a primary source of nutrition for these pests.
They can get very destructive if they come in contact with wood and can do so because of specialized mouthparts specifically built to chew sources of cellulose. Unfortunately, many items in houses comprise of wood — furniture, for one. Termites are especially dangerous if your home is supported by wooden structures to keep it standing. You may find yourself with a dangerously weak house structure after the termites have chowed down!
2 - Paper
Like wood, paper contains the cellulose that termites need for nutrients. Books, documents, and your even hard-earned cash (if made from cellulose materials) are all in danger of being torn apart and eaten.
To keep these items safe, make sure to store them in a termite-free area. Also, make sure that the domain isn't damp. Moisture attracts termites, and you wouldn't want them strolling through your home looking for tasty bites. You can fight off humidity by looking for leaks or gaps that could introduce moisture and blocking them off, stopping the termites from entering.
3 - Plastic
Not all plastics are in danger of termites. However, the ones that contain polyvinyl chloride, or PVC for short, are vulnerable. Items like cover cables and electrical wiring all contain PVC. These items are not in danger because of termites eating them, but they are in fact in danger because of what the termites secrete formic acid.
This acid can destroy the wirings within the pipes and cables. It just proves that termites are one of, if not the most, damaging pests in the world. It doesn't help to know that these little guys have much formic acid stored into their body — up to three percent of their total body weight!
4 - Boxes
Cardboard is one of those items that termites will try to eat as discretely as possible. Not only is the cardboard itself in danger, but the items stored inside are as well. Stacked boxes may seem safe from harm, but over time, the termites will do what they’re made for and destroy them all.
5 - Greenery
Plants are the ultimate source of cellulose. This means that your potted plants are always in danger of being ruined by hungry little termites. Avoid placing plants close to any termite infested area. You can tell by how plants are growing.
Because termites tunnel through the soil, the soil can become rich in nutrients, fit for plants to grow on, but not for the benefit of the plant. These plants that grow because of their tunnels are for termites to feed on during dry seasons. Not only do they eat the plants, but they can also even live inside the plant. Non-woody plants are not in danger, in any case.
Take the necessary measures, and make sure your items are kept safe from termites. If you do find termites, call pest control and let them handle it for you. A little effort can go a long way in saving you grief from losing precious home items.
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