Destructive Little Creatures That Never Rest

Every year, termites infest more than a million homes nationwide, causing more property damage than all natural disasters combined. They are busy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Since your home is probably your biggest single investment, shouldn't you protect it from these little "home wreckers"?

As you can see from the map, Kansas is in the SECOND HIGHEST zone of termite pressure in the United States. Termites, of one type or another, live everywhere the soil isn't permanently frozen. Some areas naturally have more termites than other places. The further you go towards the equator, the more types of termites inhabit the environment. We have all seen on TV where a tent is placed over the whole house. The candidate for this is the drywood termite. Luckily, we don't have those termites in Kansas. Drywood termites do not survive here in the temperate zone. Drywood termites can, however, be brought up from the south, in furniture and other wooden items.

Termite Biology
Termites develop via gradual metamorphosis, from eggs to nymphs, through several molts, to adult stage. They are social insects, just like ants and bees, and are, in fact, related to both. Each year, usually in the spring, each mature nest sends out special adults, called alates. These are most commonly known as "swarmers" because they swarm out of the colony in bunches, usually in the springtime. These emerging swarmers are what usually alerts you to the fact that you have a termite problem. It happens all of a sudden. One moment they go from zero to hundreds - you'll swear they're millions!

OK, IT HAPPENED, SO WHAT DO I DO NOW? Well, for the swarmers? Nothing. They'll soon go away. They're harmless anyway. They don't eat anything, they are not dirty, or vectors or carriers of any disease, they won't lay eggs, reproduce in your house, get in your food or furniture, (on purpose) and will die all by themselves in an hour or two, if they can't get outside. They are attracted to light, and if they swarm on a sunny day, which they usually do, they will head towards a sunny window, or another source of light. They will die in a short time and the easiest solution is to vacuum them up. DO NOT SPRAY! While spraying will kill them, it will also get everything you spray greasy with insecticides. Do you want that? I don't think so. Much better is to wait until they die, and then zip them up with your dustbuster. Call the exterminator.

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