Termite infestations are never convenient, unless they are infesting a structure that is scheduled to be demolished anyway. However, this is not the case at the historic mission at San Juan Capistrano. For those of you who live in California, you may have heard about this mission, as it is a historical site that is located in what is now Orange County, California. The mission contains numerous structures that were built at the time of the mission’s founding. Many of the structures were first constructed in 1776, and most are still standing. The mission attracts numerous tourists every year, despite the fact that termite issues often occur within structures located on the mission grounds. Typically, these termite infestations are handled by professionals before they get too out of hand. However, recently five different structures, including the Serra Chapel, have become infested by two different species of termite. The current infestation is massive, and it is making many of the mission’s residents consider relocation.
Over the course of the past two hundred and fifty years, the mission has seen many disturbances such as earthquakes, floods, and long periods of neglect. However, termites are now giving many of the mission’s inhabitants a genuine scare, as the current termite infestation is massive. According to Mechelle Lawrence, the mission’s executive director, the treasured Serra Chapel has sustained the greatest degree of termite damage, and several wooden beams and many other wooden structures within the chapel will have to be replaced before termites literally bring it down to the ground.
A few days ago, pest control professionals tented the chapel in order to have it fumigated. In addition to the chapel, four other structures within the mission grounds have also been tented for fumigation. Several of the structures require replacement wood, but the wood cannot be ordered until inspectors with the state’s historical society determine the type of wood needed. These inspections may take time that the mission does not have. Luckily, the team of pest control professionals that are working on the structures are predicting a favorable outcome to the termite eradication measures and the building’s restoration efforts.
Do you think that the government should fund termite eradication measures when historical structures are threatened by the insects?
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