Asking the Bug Doctor could pay off

Our recent upgrade of pest cemetery has been very exciting. After a lot of hard work and admittedly still some work to do, we think it’s been worth it. Not only can you browse the supply store and pick up a much needed item you can also get real time advice for your specific situation or pest. It’s only been a few days and I’ve already gotten many questions from readers. Clicking the ask the bug doctor tab brings you to a simple page where you can anonymously type any question you may have. Your question does not automatically show up on the site as in the article comments but from time to time I will use some questions and responses to feature as an article. We hope to have a picture upload feature soon (some of that work we still need to do) and that as they say might be worth a 1000 words.

Recently a reader named Mike had a disagreement with his boss and found my article Severe termite damage-how fast do termites damage wood? His question was not how fast but how much damage in weight does a termite colony do in one year.

How much do termites eat in a year just say its a mature eastern sub termite colony? , my boss says only one pound i disagree.

This is a great question, short and to the point and the answer was that an average 8 foot 2×4 weighs approximately 10.24 pounds. Since
termites eat the equivalent of one foot of a 2×4 per 6 months that would be 2 feet per year. With that and assuming my math is correct the answer is that termites eat 2.56 pounds of wood per year. The formula is; 10.24 pounds divided by 8 feet of length = 1.28 pounds per foot x 2 (2 feet per year they eat) = 2.56 pounds per year.

I included some variables such as type of wood, moisture levels, colony size and the fact that termites usually have multiple feeding sources so don’t go looking for 2 feet of missing 2×4’s in your walls to see how long a colony has been feeding.

So Mike was right and his resourcefulness just might have got him a free lunch, well that’s what I told him his boss should give him as a payoff but I have yet to hear back.

So please enjoy our site and feel free to ask any pest related questions you may have. Who knows you might just settle a bet of your own and you may need the help.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. Pestcemetery.com was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.
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  • Elina

    Hi, my family is interested in buying a house that had termites in the past but not at the present. The seller and the agent says there were termites few years ago around the bathroom area and some under the floors but not anymore and they havn’t yet shown any approval of paper works when they had termite/pests inspections.

    He aslo said every house has possibility of getting termites except for in

    Alice Springs anyways that we need to get the house inspected every year and that costs about $700? Is it true that every house or everyone does pests/termite

    inspections done every year? One of my friend working in other realestate says

    normal houses get it done prior to buying or selling no need to do it every year since it costs too much.

    If the paper works shows that there are no more termites at present is it safe to buy that fully wood constructed house?It’s 60 years old

  • The Bug Doctor

    It’s common to get a termite ‘inspection’ every year. In fact I recommend it too but the cost you are getting is way out of line and sounds more like a ‘treatment fee’. A lot of companies will do ‘free’ inspections if you call them but be aware that they treat it like a sales lead and try to sell you a job or service. All they are doing is a visual inspection and no treatment.

    As far as your home that you may buy. I would insist on the paper work. If they cannot find it try looking on the fuse box or water heater for a treatment sticker. That will give you the name of the company that did the work and any details such as date done. I’d be careful and get everything out in the open as to why they want to charge you so much and perhaps have your own inspector that you choose come out. If they charge you a few bucks now-that’s better than paying later for damage and treatment.

    Your area of Alice Springs DOES have termites and you should have all the information you can so you don’t have problems in the future. Here is a link I found that may help. It’s a consumer guide but I can’t vouch for it 100% since I’m not in your area so do your home work.
    http://www.termite.com.au/termite-control-alice-springs.html

    Thanks for reading and let us know how it went.
    The Bug Doctor

    ps. look through the rest of my termite section and I’m sure you’ll find more answers that will help.