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What to do when you found termites at home?

Finding these small white ants, also known as termites feeding at some parts of our home is next to a horror story. It is a nightmare that every homeowner dreads to experience.

It can cause some numbing shock. Some people claim that they froze and were unable to think because of the sight of termites eating your home away.

When the day comes (we certainly hope that it would not), there is no better position than being prepared. These are the three most important things that you should do, in a particular order.

1. Do not panic!

Panic can make you do things you should not do. Among the things that you should not do because of panic are:

- Do not clean the area you found with termites (at least not yet). Please read on Tips 2 and 3, first.

- Do not spray with Baygon, or hot water, or gas, or used oil, or any insecticide at all. Yes, you read it right. Do not spray with insecticides. Among the famous brands we mistakenly use for termite control are Baygon, Solignum, and Termigard. (You can message me if you are uncertain if what you have on hand can help you mitigate the termite problem or if it can make it worse.)

In my experience, using these "termiticides" for the control of active termites found at home can cause disturbance of termites 100% of the time. They can cause termites to temporarily abandon their foraging area (i.e. your bedroom doorjamb), to eventually feed on your walls, after a month or two. Please don't get me wrong. I have nothing against these brands. Like medicines for human use, there is appropriateness as to when, how, where, and why to apply these insecticides. That moment when there is an actively feeding termite colony at home is not the time to use the brands I have mentioned above. I will tackle this in another blog. These bring me to tip #2.

2. Do not DIY

It is not the time to DIY. When you have a heart problem and need minor surgery, you do not do this minor surgery by yourself. You knew well that even if you have read volumes of books about the human heart, a small mistake can be lethal.

Termites are a complex group of animals. There are four known species of them noted to be economically important, due to their ability and capacity to damage human properties amounting to millions of pesos, not to mention the stress that this event can cause. (This deserves another article in the future). Identifying the termite species at the onset of the discovery of the infestation is critical to arriving at the appropriate and lasting solution. Remember that we are talking about salvaging whatever that is not yet damaged by the termites at your home, not somebody else's home, but your home.

3. Do not allow a non-exterminator to do this for you

There is a reason why the extermination business is licensed and regulated by the FDA.

It is for the general safety of the public. Termite extermination can not be done by anyone who claims to be an exterminator because he is qualified as per his or her standard. In the same manner that you will only allow a heart specialist surgeon for your minor heart surgery.

The exterminator should do the termite colony elimination for you. Finding the exterminator should not be difficult, with the availability of information online. There are many reputable pest control companies in Metro Manila alone. A handful will claim the ability to resolve your problem at the first visit through an immediate colony elimination. I tell you, that is an unforgivable lie. Someone who has sufficient knowledge and skill in termite biology, ecology, and control would not utter such fabrication.

Termite control is not a one-time thing. A competent company will offer you a maintenance solution such that the full process of termite colony elimination is truly achieved. In this way, you will be given a premium service which is what you need when you found termites at home.

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