We have all heard of termites. They are considered one of the most devastating insect pests in the world and attack mercilessly where they find wood and cellulose derivatives. Every year more than 4,000 homes and countless iconic buildings throughout Spain suffer the silent attack of a plague of termites, but do you know how to recognize the unequivocal signs that they are already in your home and how to act in that case?
The first thing is to know what we face. Termites are a species belonging to the Isoptera family, which can live at temperatures ranging from 4 to 35 degrees and that base their diet on wood and cellulose derivatives.
Experts consider them a dangerous plague, as a colony of underground termites can contain millions of termites and devastatingly attack floors, beams, panels, stairs, and furniture.
In our country, the most common species are the underground, the wet wood termite and the dry wood termite. All are grouped into colonies and the organization of castes is perfectly structured: the queen termite and the king termite have the function of ensuring reproduction; worker termites are responsible for jobs related to food, cleaning, and excavations; soldier termites defend the colony from attacks by enemies, such as ants and; Finally, winged or breeding termites, which are those with reproductive capacity and wings to fly outside the termite mound and establish new colonies.
We must pay special attention to several key aspects to detect the presence of termites:
- Wood that sounds hollow. Termites consume wood from the inside out, always leaving a superficial layer of wood, so if you hit frames, doors or beams and sound hollow, it can be a sign of their presence.
- Skirting boards that break at the time of sweeping. As termites eat inside the skirting board, the simple blow of a brush when sweeping the house causes it to break.
- Doors or windows that do not close well. Termites transfer mud from the nest providing moisture to the interior of the wood, which causes it to swell and the windows or doors do not fit well with its frame.
- Swarm. It is the massive exit of winged termites between April and May, although they quickly lose the wings that allow them to fly.
On the outside of the property, special care must also be taken with broken roof tiles; air conditioners; debris and debris; the cracks of foundations; stacked wood. Likewise, it is important to monitor all the wooden elements that we can have in the garden such as stumps, fences and wooden posts, in addition to the remains of dead vegetation.