Termite Control and Water Problems: the Vital Connection Between Moisture and Termites

Any termite control specialist shall tell you that water problems are inseparable from termite infestations, but most people do not know why this is so. To make it easier to understand, one should keep in mind that termites, like all other living beings, require ample supplies of water to live. One should also probably recall at this point that a person can actually go far longer without eating than he would without drinking.

What this suggests for termite prevention and termite control is that other living things—termites included—may also occasion place primacy on the availability of water when it comes to their supplies. If you ever have the opportunity to see termites carry out their work, you shall find that the critters operate much like an enormous mining concern, digging (eating) away at the wood and labouring strenuously in the creation of tunnels as they go. Supplies are carried to the working termites as they continue with their task, as indeed supplies would sometimes be carried to workers in old mining tunnels before.

However, in the case of termites, food is unnecessary. They are already collecting food for their work, after all, and have ready access to as much cellulose as they might need to satisfy their hunger. Instead, the provision that they must worry about is water. Termites have to carry water to their colony members regularly to keep them going, and this can be very difficult when water supplies are scarce. Granted, it may not be too much of an issue with the special category of termite species called drywood termites, but most other termite species need water to survive.

This is why termites regularly search for a nearby water source once they have found a potential food source. Many people have been astounded to find termites trying to get to their pools after setting up in a rotting tree trunk in the yard: this is actually just an example of the insects attempting to set up this basic resource. This is why termite control specialists shall warn you to keep not just old wood away from your house but also leaky pipes and gutters. Downspouts are popular culprits here, as they tend to channel water straight to the foundations, inviting earth-dwelling termites to investigate until they discover the rich, moistened wood of the house and start to eat away at it.

You should thus practice your own form of termite control by having all leaks fixed in your house as soon as possible. Termites favor moist cellulose so much that letting your home suffer water issues that penetrate the wood is much like waving a beacon towards the termites that alerts them of your house’s availability as a food source.