According to National Geographic, termites are no bigger than the tip of your fingernail, but they live in large colonies. These tiny insects can cause a great deal of trouble for any homeowner. According to the National Pest Management Association, termites are responsible for $5 billion in home damage each year.
If you believe your home is infested, hire a professional to conduct a home inspection to assess the situation and be aware of your options for termite termination.
Understand how and why termites enter your home
Subterranean termites can burrow into your home through the ground level while drywood termites usually enter your home through cracks in the wood of a house, according to termites.com. After nuzzling into your wood, they produce eggs and form a colony. These termites can infest your home from any level. Taking preventive measures is especially important for these types of insects.
Signs that termites moved into your home
The National Association of Realtors indicated that termites, both subterranean and drywood, prefer living in warmer climates and are active throughout the year. If any wood in your home sounds hollow when you tap the structure, these pests may be present.
Orkin also noted that drywood termites can cause the ceilings, floors and walls in your home to appear to be damaged by water. In addition, keep an eye out for small droppings, otherwise known as frass, on your floors.
An additional sign of infestation is a series of mud tunnels that may run along the foundations or walls of your home, according to Orkin.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emphasized that being on the look-out for a possible infestation is the best prevention method against these insects.
Additional ways to prevent termite issues
If you are constructing a home, a concrete foundation can help prevent termites in the future. Also, cover any exposed wood surfaces with a metal, ventilation space or sealant between soil and wood.
Termites are drawn to damp environments, so ensure your home has proper drainage and fix any leaks that may occur.
Keep any firewood or tree clippings away from the side of your home,as they attract termites to your house.
Pestworld.org also noted the importance of ensuring there is at least 18 inches between soil, shrubs and trees and any exposed wood on your home. In addition, consider hiring a home inspection company to check out your property on a regular basis to ensure termites have not turned your house into theirs.
Damage caused by termites
These pests can cause a great deal of damage in your home because termites can go undetected. And since they cause damage from within your home, these insects can rack up a substantial repair bill.
According to Red Beacon, one colony of termites is made up of between 10,000 and even as many as 500,000 insects. These large numbers can lead to a particularly impressive amount of damage in any home.
Colonial Pest Control Inc. noted that the amount of wood consumed by termites is entirely dependent on the size of the colony and even the region where your home is located. An average colony of subterranean termites (300,000 insects) may consume about one cubic foot of food each year. However, a colony of 3 million Formosan termites, often found in the southern portion of the U.S. can consume an entire foot of a 2x4 plank of wood in a couple days.
The rate of damage your home can potentially undergo is dependent on a variety of elements and conditions. No matter the speed at which your colony eats, fixing the problem immediately is crucial. Termites do not typically leave. They continue damaging your home the longer that you ignore the issue.