Termites in Buildings. Page: 1
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TERMITES IN BUILDINGS
By THao. l. MrM Seior Eto aologit, Divisiom of Forest Inwes, Burea of
Where and What Are Termites?
People sometimes think that termites live only in tropical countries.
This is a mistake. They are in the United States and are destructive
wherever you find them. In the Southeastern, Central, Western,
Southwestern, and Pacific Coast States, however, their damage to
the woodwork of buildings is especially bad.
Termites are not true ants although they look much like them
and live in large colonies made up of different forms. The winged
male and female termites which you see swarming" for a short
time in the spring or fall are on their way to start new colonies.
These parent termites are not injurious, but their descendants the
wingless workers of the new colony, are very destructive. These
you rarely see, because they do not crawl about in the open but stay
in the earth underground or in wood. If they want to reach woodwork
above ground, they build earthlike tubes to crawl through. So
they are always under cover.
How Termites Damage Buildipng
Termite damage is always hidden inside the wood. The interior
rafters, joists, beam or other timbers of a building may be entirely
eaten out before the insect vandals are noticed, since they leave a protective
outer shell Such damage is then hard to repair. (Fig. L)
The termites which do the greatest damage to buildings sad their
contents, especially by weakening the supporting timbers, e those
which live in the groundnd attack wood directly from the ground.
These ground-nesting termites can not live without moistua , and
this they get from the earth. If shut off from moisture in the eth
they dry upand die.
How Termites Get into Buildings
If your house is built in such a way that termites can get in,
they very likely will. (See cover page.) It will not do to use wood
in baseents, or in the foundations of buildings, because these are
the places where termite damage is most likely to start.
Termites are able to penetrate mnasonry walls where improper
grades of mortar have been used in foundations, working up through
the interior of walls.
By means of earthlike shelter tubes, termites are also able to crawl
up though them over impenetrable walls and thus infest buildings.
These are the principal means by which termites get into btdings
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Snyder, Thomas Elliott, b. 1885. Termites in Buildings., book, June 1929; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1557/m1/3/: accessed November 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.