Imagine a world in which all homes are resistant to termite attacks. This idea is appealing to many people, especially those who live in termite hot spots. In a world where termite structural damage never occurs, termites may be considered manageable pests that are not a source of concern to homeowners or pest control professionals. Believe it or not, the existence of termite resistant houses and buildings is not far off into the future. After all, today people can purchase self-driving cars, so certainly scientists can figure out how to make home-construction materials resistant to termites. At the moment, most professional home-builders already make use of anti-termite products in construction projects. For example, home-builders will often install termite mesh barriers around entry points that are commonly accessed by termites. Of course, these barriers are installed below the ground in order to prevent infiltration by subterranean termites only, and not dampwood or drywood species. However, researchers now have more advanced construction materials that are being prepared for mass production.
Many construction contractors are not aware of the most advanced termite-resistant building materials because they are still too new. This is why Pierce Jones, a professor with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, consults construction contractors about different termite-resistant building materials. According to Jones, who directs the Florida Energy Extension Service, homes that are outfitted with termite resistant products, or are built with termite-resistant materials, are far easier to sell than older houses that are more vulnerable to termite attacks. By using light-gauge steel framing and borate pressure-treated wood, homes can withstand structural damages induced by termites. According to Faith Oi, an assistant extension scientist in University of Florida’s entomology and nematology department, people can also buy homes that were built with certain types of wood that termites refuse to eat on account of the disagreeable taste. However, these types of woods are expensive. The Florida Energy Extension Service is now working with Madera development in order to create Florida homes that can withstand termite attacks.
Would you be willing to pay extra money for a home that was built with the most advanced termite-resistant materials?