Termites: a mixed review

Despite the horrible things people say these pesky little creatures are not the nightmare they're portrayed to be. Let's think about this for a minute. Without a home to protect, maybe on a camping trip in the woods, isn't a termite pretty benign? They're small with a negligible bite and they aren't really interested in humans. Furthermore they aid the decomposition process in nature in a fundamental and important way, turning wood back into earth. This earth in-turn grows into more wood and the cycle repeats.

Now I know that isn't much solace for the newly minted home owner in south Florida. If you search the web you will find terrible tales and lots of people willing to sell you a solution to the termite "problem." The truth is that it isn't as bad as they say. Getting termites is fairly normal and many home owners, especially those with older homes, will get them at some point. As we move into the future builders are implementing solutions during construction, such as barriers, and termite-resistant building materials. If you do end up with termites there are various ways to treat them, from tenting, to injecting poisons into the affected areas, to just replacing the wood. It's not the end of the world. It is a problem and it will need to be addressed. The longer you let a termite problem go unchecked the worse it will be, and if untreated for long enough it could potentially pose a structural threat to the home. But the same could be said of your roof and that's a good way to think of it. You roof won't last forever and you won't go forever without termites. When the time comes to replace the roof, or treat the termites, do it, the sooner the better.

What I'm sharing is not professional advice, it's derived from personal experience. The professionals have a reason to amplify the problem, to feed your fears. Experience tells me that it's not a bad as they say, so that's what I'm telling you. Plan for the termites, expect the termites, and when it happens it won't be a big deal. Set to work getting rid of them and move on.

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