If you are a homeowner, you may be concerned about termites, and rightly so. Though small, a colony of termites can cause serious and expensive damage to a home or other structure.
What are Termites?
Termites are often called the “silent destroyer” due to the fact that most of their damage is done before homeowners realize there is a problem. Each year, termites cause an estimated $30 million in damage throughout the United States alone. Termites feed primarily on cellulose, which is a part of wood, but have also been known to feed on paper, books, insulation and even swimming pool liners.
In the U.S., there are three types of termites that are most known to cause damage.
Homeowners most often encounter drywood termites as they leave the nest. Drywood termites thrive in tropical climates with warm winters, and are found from California to Florida, mainly in coastal areas. Drywood infestations can be difficult to treat, as multiple colonies can form within a single structure at any given time. Drywood colonies grow slowly, and can often go undetected for months or years at a time.
The Formosan termite is often called the “super termite” due to the rapid rate that colonies can destroy wood. A mature colony can eat about 13 grams of wood a day, and can cause significant structure damage in as little as three months. Where Formosan colonies are present, nearby buildings are also at risk for invasion. Once Formosan termites have been established in an area, they are very difficult to eradicate. Formosan termites can invade a variety of structures (including boats!) and have even been known to damage trees.
Subterranean termites build distinctive tunnels, or “mud tubes” that they use to protect themselves as they travel looking for food. These termites feed 24/7 on wood and other substances made of cellulose. These termites thrive underground, where colonies can contain as many as two million termites. These termites can collapse entire buildings if left untreated.
There are several steps you can take to prevent termites from invading your home.
- Repair any leaky air conditioning units, sinks or faucets, as the moisture will attract termites and other pests.
- Keep firewood at least 20 feet away from your home.
- Routinely inspect your foundation for signs of termite activity, including mud tubes.
- Schedule an annual termite inspection with a pest professional.
If you suspect you have termites, call your local pest professional. At Dodson, we treat termites with Termidor, the most effective termiticide on the market. Our trained and licensed team members will inspect your property, fully assess the damage and come up with a treatment plan that best fits your situation. If you are ready to book your free inspection, contact us today!