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The mere mention of termites conjures up images of termite-damaged man-made structures. Of course, termites are interested in more than just dead wood as termites are specifically interested in locating cellulose. Cellulose is one of the most abundant forms of matter on planet earth, and many different materials contain cellulose. These materials include both processed and unprocessed forms of plant matter. Even a book can be considered a target for hungry termites, as paper still contains cellulose. A recent incident in California proves that termites can cause public disasters that are not at all related to termite-induced damage to man-made structures. A few days ago in the town of Tehachapi, California a termite infested tree finally tumbled over into a busy street. This termite-infested tree was located in a small park directly in the middle of the city’s downtown area. Ultimately, as a result of termite activity, early morning traffic was held up for hours as the fallen tree forced authorities to close a busy street.

 

The termite-infested tree measured twenty feet in height, and it ended up blocking E. E Street between Mojave and South Hayes streets. At around 8 AM police received a call from a concerned resident living near the fallen tree. The resident became alarmed after hearing a loud bang outside of her home. By the time officers arrived at the scene, the fallen tree had blocked long lines of traffic. Normally, the cause of the tree’s fall would have taken longer to determine. However, several witnesses claim that they saw hordes of termites scurrying away from the base of the tree immediately after it had fallen over. It seems clear that the tree came tumbling over as a result of a long-lasting termite infestation. A few nearby residents are now concerned about termite infestations within their own homes as several pieces of debris had reached residential properties. City officials promptly cut the tree into small pieces in order to remove it from the busy street as quickly as possible. Since the infestation in the tree hosted massive amounts of termites, the surviving termites may cause further problems for residents of Tehachapi.

 

If you lived near the fallen termite-infested tree, would you have a termite inspection conducted on your property?

 

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