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Termites and Global Warming: 3 Tips on How to Manage a Termite Infestation

ByDave Stopher

May 15, 2020

Are you batting with an increase in the numbers of termites in your home environment? If so, are these pests overwhelming you? What impact do termites have on global warming and climate change? And, finally, should you leave the termite nests alone in your yard if they haven’t encroached on your home?

By way of answering these questions, let’s consider the following points?

Termites and global warming

Dr Daryl Holland of the University of Melbourne, in his article titled “How a termite’s mound filters methane -and what it means for greenhouse gases,” notes that methane, as a greenhouse gas, is “30 times more potent than carbon dioxide.” And, termites like other ruminants like cattle have bacteria in their digestive tracts that are responsible for the breakdown of plant material. The by-product of the termite digestive process is methane. Global estimates show that termites are responsible for up to 3% of all methane emissions. Scientists have calculated that this number translates into 20 million tons of methane per annum.

What is interesting to note, as highlighted by Dr Holland, is that termite mounds, or nests, seem to have the ability to filter about 50% of the methane gas out of the air before it is released into the atmosphere. A group of bacteria known as methanotrophs lives in the soil, and they utilize methane as their primary energy source.

Unfortunately, the methane that is released from termite mounds adds to the greenhouse gasses and global warming.

Termites and your home

According to the Pointe Pest Control experts, the fundamental challenge with termites in your living space is that their primary function in the natural world is to break down the cellulose in the wood found in trees and plants. While their role in the increase in greenhouse gasses cannot be ignored, this is not the termites’ primary role.

Therefore, the question that begs is how do you remove a termite infestation as well as prevent them from returning?

Here are three quick tips by way of answering this question:

Get professional help

Statistics, quoted by the EPA, show that the annual cost of termite damage to the American consumer per annum is circa $5 billion (USD). Consequently, there are state and federal laws that require their removal and treatment. Succinctly stated, they cannot be left to destroy wooden urban settlement structures. They need to be removed by a certified professional.

Termite-proof your home

Wood-treatment agents like Borates are sprayed on the wooden structures when a new home is built. These chemicals are designed to protect the wood; thereby, preventing termites from finding an entry point in the wooden structures. Secondly, if it is important to check the wooden exterior as well as wooden furniture regularly to ensure that there are no termites in your home. If you find any termite activity inside and outside your home, you must get it treated by a professional as soon as possible.

Keep your home environment clean and tidy

Most pests, including termites, are attracted to untidy, dirty living environments. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that your yard is kept clean and tidy. The grass must be kept short, leaves and fallen tree branches raked and picked up, and garden beds must be kept weed-free. This will keep termites away from your home and yard.