Randi Malkin Steinberger’s book No Circus collects photographs of buildings tented for termite fumigation around Los Angeles. It includes an essay by D. J. Waldie, excerpted in part below.
If you live in Chicago or Cleveland, you may never have seen a house tented for termite fumigation. Dry-wood-termite infestation—the usual reason for tent fumigation in the southern and western parts of the United States—may become more common as the global climate warms.
Termites don’t take cold well. Neither do cockroaches. In an evolutionary sense, termites are the cousins of cockroaches that picked up other habits, including a knack for colony formation.
Like ants, a termite colony has a queen, but unlike ants, the colony also has a king. Once mated, the termite queen and king are monogamous and life-long partners. The queen may live as long as fifty years in some termite species. There is a court of princesses around the queen, waiting, infertile, until the queen dies.
Left undiscovered long enough, the termite colony will prosper until the apparently intact timbers of the house are a paper-thin skin over the hollowness inside. Read More