After high school, most young adults do not know what they want to spend their lives doing. Choosing a career is one of the most challenging aspects of life, but if you are one of those people who either really likes or really hates termites, then you might want to give “structural entomology” a shot. You have certainly heard of both entomologists and pest control professionals, but you have probably never heard of a structural entomologist. These experts study how wood-boring insects infest and damage homes, buildings and even plant life. Of course, termites are not the only types of wood-boring insects, but they are certainly the most significant. A majority of a structural entomologist’s time is spent studying termites and analyzing the effect that they have on structural wood. Only a small percentage of their time is spent studying other types of structural pests, such as certain beetle species, cockroaches, ants and bed bugs. Not long ago, a professional structural entomologist experienced his very own termite problems. Luckily, his expertise prevented a financial crisis.
A structural entomologist, Stoy Hedges, and his wife recently bought a home. Although Hedges is an expert when it comes to spotting structural damage caused by termites, he failed to notice that certain areas of his home showed signs of past termite damage. The damage became clear while Hedges and his wife renovated the home. Luckily, Hedges did not find any active termites on his property, but he wanted to prevent their return. As far as Hedges is concerned, a home’s foundation is the most important area for setting up termite barriers. Termites gravitate toward water, and they need a lot of it in order to survive. Since crawlspaces are generally moist, it is no secret as to why termites gravitate to this part of a home. Hedges measured his crawlspace for humidity levels before laying down a vapor barrier. A vapor barrier resembles a tarp and it is spread over the entirety of the ground within a crawlspace. This barrier keeps humidity levels low by preventing moisture from rising up from the ground. Vapor barriers are highly effective at preventing termite infestations. When termite-proofing a house, it is important to remember to start with the foundation and work upwards.
Do you take any measures to prevent termites from entering your home?