The hurricanes that ravaged the Gulf Coast last fall caused extensive structural damages that are still being restored. Given the tremendous destructive power of the hurricanes last fall, you would probably be hard pressed to imagine the damages as being any worse. However, the island of Puerto Rico, located near the Gulf Coast within the Caribbean, sustained far more damage than the southeastern US. Since Puerto Rico is not an independent country, but rather a territory of the US, Government funds have been raised to help the people of Puerto Rico repair the vast amount of water-damaged structures on the island. It may surprise you to learn that water damages are not the only types of damage that need to be repaired. As it turns out, many Puerto Ricans have fallen victim to termite infestations in the wake of last fall’s hurricanes. One missionary group that traveled to the island in order to contribute to rebuilding efforts has commented on the vast amounts of termite damaged homes that have been found in the territory.
A few months following last fall’s hurricanes, several researchers published studies that described how termite activity in urban areas increases in the wake of hurricanes. This phenomenon is not hard to believe for members of the Vancouver-based Christian group that is helping to rebuild damaged homes in Puerto Rico. The 26 member missionary group is known as Forward Edge International, and soon they will be focusing their efforts on gutting homes that have sustained massive amounts of termite damage. In order to successfully eradicate a termite infestation, the group is painstakingly removing every piece of wood from one particular termite-damaged home. This included all wooden kitchen cabinets, as well as wooden wall paneling and parts of the ceiling. However, the group is making these repairs gradually in order to allow the family to maintain residence within their home. The widespread termite infestations in Puerto Rico likely don’t come as a surprise to the island’s residents, as termites are abundant and problematic on the island all year round. Several times of year, Puerto Ricans are bombarded with thick termite swarms that descend upon people’s homes much like how moths sometimes descend upon human habitats within America.
If you lived in a termite hotspot, would you be sure to have a thorough termite inspection following a hurricane?