Termites in the Home—How Bad Can Termite Damage Get?
Fast fact: Termites never sleep. Imagine a colony of many thousands of termites munching on the foundational structure of your home 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s no surprise, then, that they cause an estimated five billion dollars of home and property damage in the United States. The average repair bill for termite damage is $3,000 — and that’s not covered by homeowners insurance. It’s enough to keep any homeowner up at night!
Termites have a voracious appetite. In fact, the largest subterranean termite colonies can eat up to an entire pound of wood every day. They’ll eat the wood inside your walls and flooring, but they’ll also devour your books, papers and anything else made of cellulose (wood pulp). Large-scale unchecked damage from termites can eventually affect your home’s structural integrity, potentially causing collapse of the frame or holes in your floors.
How to Prevent Termites in Your Home
No preventative measures can protect you from termites if they are already in your home. Being proactive before you see them (or their damage) is key. The best course of action is to have a professional inspect your home and surrounding areas for existing termite colonies. There are a few important steps you can take between pest control services and inspections that will help prevent termites from making their way into your home uninvited:
- Make sure to minimize gaps around water and gas lines, or any other conduit coming into your home. Sealing gaps can go a long way to eliminating possible entry points, particularly for drywood termites.
- Soil-to-wood contact is the primary way subterranean termites enter homes. Eliminate any places around your home where wood comes into direct contact with the ground.
Take care to dispose of any cellulose materials around your house, especially those in crawl spaces.
- Keep the area around your foundation dry. Make sure water drains away from the foundation.
- Do not stack firewood around your home or anywhere near its foundation. That includes in the garage, too!
- Get rid of any wood piles, dead trees, newspaper stacks, paper recycling bins and cardboard boxes. These make for the perfect termite food and can be an invitation for termites to gain entry and spread indoors.
Subterranean termite species need moist, damp areas to establish their colonies. However, just because you don’t live in a humid climate, that doesn’t mean you don’t have an ideal place in or around your property for them to thrive. Any place where water collects on your property should be the first issue to be addressed — including along your foundation, near a fence, under a deck or patio, even on your roof. In addition, situation you don’t even know about may be causing your basement or crawl space to retain dampness. Check for any leaky plumbing, damaged gutters and air conditioner condensation.
The next step is to eliminate their food source. Remove any dead trees, stumps, wood piles, scrap wood and other wood items. Don’t forget about sheds, old wooden fences and even untreated decks.
Good to Know
Many pest control companies offer termite treatment services that can create a barrier around your home. Make sure they are licensed by the state, insured and provide a guarantee. Better yet, count on At Home Pros to connect you to prescreened termite control experts in your local area.
Find a Pest Specialist for Termite Control
Avoiding a potential infestation is much cheaper and easier than waiting to deal with an already established termite infestation. At Home Pros can connect you to the right pest control company to solve all your termite issues. If you think you have termites in your home or are interested in prevention and protection from termites, reach out to At Home Pros to get matched with the best pest control service professionals in your area for your particular termite needs.