Get out of my house!

Get out of my house!

Termites in the Bookcase: What to do when Termites Invade Your Personal Library

by Devon Perez

No matter what your personal taste in books, a nearby termite colony will be more than happy to help you devour them. The only problem is—termites will literally devour your collection, even those sturdy hardbacks. Your bookcase or shelf is also history, unless it is made of teak or cedar, which contains a chemical that termites would rather not eat.

It might come as a shock to you to find that termites eat books but you should know that determined termites will chew through electrical wiring, carpet, wallpaper, and even gold if necessary. In 2011, termites happily devoured £137,000 or AU$225,000 worth of rupees in a bank in India. The alarming thing is, the bank notes were kept in a "strongroom", which is supposed to have stronger walls and doors to protect money. The bank was so focused on protecting their money from human thieves, they forgot about the termites!

Why Eat Paper?

Do you know what the most abundant organic compound on Earth is? Termites do. When termites eat wood, or anything that was originally wood—including books, what they are really after is cellulose. This compound can be found in the cell walls of plants and trees. This unfortunately means that your books are not safe in the presence of hungry termites. However, books are little more than a snack to termites. If you find termites eating their way through your books, you may have a much bigger problem on your hands.

The question you need to ask yourself is this: If the books are just snacks, what is—or was—the main dish?

Your House Could be Infested

Termites will usually go for the tasty wooden forms that are often so abundant in houses and apartments, such as skirting boards, furniture, and even the walls themselves. If they are in your book collection it could mean one of two things. It could mean that the termites have already exhausted their supply of wood in the vicinity (the room in your home), or that they have recently entered your home and are simply having a snack before moving on to the bigger stuff.

Once you discover them in your books, you now need to retrace their steps to discover where they originated. Find their tunnels. Termites build tunnels made of soil and saliva which they can then use to traverse the world above their subterranean nest in the soil. Find these tunnels and you can trace the termites' path to your books. Pull the bookshelf and any nearby furniture away from the wall and get searching. With any luck you may find that the termites' mud tunnel came through a nearby window or crevice in a wall. In the worst case scenario however, the tunnel will originate from an item of furniture, a skirting board, or the wall itself.

If termites are inside your home, you must act quickly. While it may take years for termites to cause significant damage to a large home, you probably have no idea how long they have been there. Call a pest control service immediately if you find termites anywhere near your home. Only a certified professional pest controller can give you a proper pest inspection and help you terminate your termite invaders. 


About Me

Get out of my house!

Breakfast is the first meal of the day, one that should set you up for several hours of active, busy life. Nothing turns a breakfast bad like picking up your coffee mug, or a plate, and having a critter skitter out from underneath! Ants, cockroaches and more do their best to work their way into our homes, where they aren't welcome and don't belong. Sometimes ant traps and insect bait are enough, but if you ignore the problem it can quickly escalate to where you'll need professional pest control to get rid of your unwanted guests. Professional pest control can provide a wide range of rates and service, and are worth calling.