Termite Damage

By WebFX Dev

Termite Damage

Termite Damage: Everything You Need to Know

Termites are an important part of the earth’s ecology. They usually feed on rotting and decaying wood, making them a crucial part of the earth’s natural recycling process. When they are out in the wild, they’re fulfilling a necessary role.

Yet, people feel the same way about termites as they do about any pest that serves a natural function. You want them to stay out of your home or business. If they happen to show up, you want them gone.

Termites pose a grave threat to your building’s structural and aesthetic integrity. People around the United States have to take action when termites start devouring the important wood structures of their homes and businesses. The feeding of termites not only looks ugly, but it can even lower the value of your property. You’ve invested a lot of hard-earned money, and the last thing you want is termite damage.

Part of being a responsible homeowner or business owner is understanding the behavior and activity of termites. You need to be able to identify termites as soon as possible and take the necessary action to deal with them. Avoid the stress and frustration that comes with finding a termite colony in your building after it’s too late. Know how to deal with termites and take precautions now to stay one step ahead of these pests.


10 Things to Know About TermitesQuick Facts About Termites

These small creatures leave a big footprint, causing visual damage before you even realize it’s happening. For creatures that can cause so much damage, many people know very little about them. The following nine facts about termites and their damage could help you spot them at any stage of their feeding:

  1. Termites can chew through more than wood: Wood is the most obvious substance termites like to feast upon, but they can chew through other materials containing cellulose. They can damage materials such as paper, cardboard and even carpet, and they will burrow through inedible materials on their path toward their desired wood.
  2. Termite damage can look like water damage: Take a closer look next time you assume water is the culprit!
  3. You can actually hear termites eating your wood: Keep your ears open for munching and crunching sounds coming from within your walls, ceilings and other wooden structures. If you hear this, you most likely have a termite problem.
  4. Yes, there are flying termites: Reproductive termite adults develop wings. They are known as swarmers.
  5. Termites purposely lose their wings: When the weather gets warmer, termites start to fly around looking for a place to land, mate and feed. Once they land, they shed their wings since they will no longer need them.
  6. People often confuse termites for white ants: These two insects might look similar at first, but there are ways you can tell them apart. For one, termite front wings are the same size as their back wings. White ants have different sized wings. In the northeastern region they confuse them for ant swarmers. Termite swarmers are black like ants are.
  7. Termites choose their wood with vibrations: Termites are particular about the wood they choose to eat. They choose their wood by creating and sensing vibrations to determine the wood’s size and density.
  8. Termite damage is costly: Termites cause billions of dollars in structural damage each year. For a tiny insect, they pose a big risk.
  9. Termite colonies can be massive: A termite colony, when mature, can contain up to 2,000,000 worker termites!



Signs of Termite Damage

Termites Can Cause Severe Damage

Signs of Termite Damage in Home
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Termites can cause severe damage to homes and businesses. Most home structures consist of wood, providing a rich feeding source for termite colonies but, how often do you look at the wooden framework hidden behind the drywall of your home or business? Termite activity usually happens out of sight. You need to be ready to spot the visible signs of termite home damage and business infestation. Visible signs reveal that serious damage has already occurred, and you should seek professional extermination services immediately.

If you see termites in your home, that’s a sure sign of an infestation. But, you’ll often know you have a termite infestation without even seeing a single termite. There are visible signs of termite infestations you can be on the lookout for. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled because the smallest visual cues can be hiding major structural issues under the surface of your building. You just have to know what to look for.

The three most common types of termites in the United States are subterranean termites, drywood termites and dampwood termites. While they all pose risks to a building’s structural integrity, they do behave slightly differently from each other.

In the northeastern region, you will only ever experience subterranean termites.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites cause 95% of all termite damage in the United States. They prefer the damper, northern climates and often attack homes as far north as the Canadian border. These termites prefer to dwell underground in soft, damp soil. While they are the type of termite people commonly envision and depict in cartoons as being outwardly aggressive, their infestations can be a little more subtle in real life. Over time, their damage can be devastating, even resulting in total structural collapse.

Subterranean Termite Damage

Signs of Subterranean Termite Damage:

  • Buckling wood
  • Swollen floors and ceilings
  • Wood that looks water-damaged
  • Visible mazes, or etching, on wooden walls and furniture
  • An odor like that of mold or mildew
  • Presence of mud tunnels —  these are tubes made of digested wood and soil that transport termites from their nest to a food source. They are about as wide as a pencil and often appear on the foundations of buildings.
  • Piles of discarded wings in your building
  • Damaged wood, or wood that looks crushed or sounds hollow when tapped with a hard object

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites are much less common than the subterranean variety. They mostly live in the dry, warm climates of the southern United States, extending from Florida to California. Drywood termites make their home in trees, stumps and dry, wooden structures and furniture. They feast right from their colonies. They’re only mobile when they are trying to reproduce. At this stage, they will swarm and mate with hopes of starting a new colony.

Drywood termites are particularly troublesome because they do not need moisture to survive. They can hide right in your walls for long periods of time, inflicting subtle damage over the course of several years. You can also accidentally transport them in furniture and wooden boxes. This means you can take them with you when you move from one home or business to another.

Drywood Termite Damage

While these termites can be sneaky, these are the signs you should be on the lookout for:

Signs of Drywood Termite Damage:

  • Cracked veneer
  • Maze-like tunnels in wood
  • Fecal pellets
  • “Kickout holes,” which are BB-sized holes in wood

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood Termite Damage

Dampwood termites live in cool, damp, coastal climates of the United States. Like drywood termites, they live directly in the wood they are eating. The major difference is that they require the wood to be damp to be inhabitable. As the least common of the three major termite groups, they are the least likely to infest your home or business. But, you should be alert for signs of dampwood termites, especially if you live in the appropriate climate.

Signs of dampwood termite damage are the same as those of drywood termites.



Termite Damage Timeline

Termite Damage Stays Hidden

Termite property damage doesn’t happen overnight. Unfortunately, termites can stay hidden for years before you even realize they’re feeding on your building’s wooden structure. This is one of the reasons their effects can be so devastating and difficult to deal with. It’s hard to catch them early in the act. It’s also a challenge to determine how old a colony is once you’ve discovered it. Their silent feasting can lead to major damage that is the result of years of activity. Determining the termite damage timeline can be tricky.

Some studies show that a colony of 60,000 worker termites can consume one foot of a 2″ x 4″ piece of lumber in just over five months. This is an alarming statistic as you consider the size of your home. Imagine several years passing with termites consistently consuming wood at this rate. Factor in the possibility of multiple colonies existing throughout your house as a result of swarming, and you could have a serious issue on your hands. The structural integrity of your house could be at stake.

Termite colonies take anywhere from three to five years to fully mature. During that time, you might not notice any visual signs of damage. But remember, the termites could be busy at work behind the scenes. Once you start seeing signs of serious damage, it’s safe to assume that the termite colony responsible has been going at it for three to eight years. By that point, the termites could have dealt major damage to your building, which could even result in collapsing floors and ceilings.

While some termite colonies might never stop feeding when under the right conditions, there are actually many factors that affect the termite damage timeframe. Ideal conditions could foster rapid consumption of wood and other materials, but a termite colony’s rate of destruction can decline from there. In climates with cold winter months, termite activity can drastically decrease. On the other hand, a well-protected termite colony could continue through the winter without experiencing much of an activity decline.



Cost of Termite Damage Repair and Treatment

The termite damage cost of the United States reaches several billion dollars every year. With a presence in every state except Alaska, they pose a legitimate risk to homes across the country. And since their activity can cause damage to the very structure of your building, it can be very costly to repair. Catching the termite colony as early as possible in their feeding stage is one way to keep termite damage repair costs to a minimum. When left to devour freely, repair costs can increase substantially.

Cost of Termite Damage

Termite pest control is a necessary industry. Pest control services can be pricey, depending on the size of the colony and the extent of the termite infestation damage. There are many ways you can kill and prevent termites in your building with professional help, and these services have quite a range when it comes to their costs. Like any professional service with such unpredictability, a set price is hard to determine. 

If you think you have a termite infestation, then your first move should be to hire a professional to conduct an inspection. Performing an inspection tells the pest control expert what kinds of treatment would be most effective in dealing with the termites. The cost of a termite inspection can be included with other services or cost hundreds of dollars — and that is only the beginning of the costs. Remember that paying a pest control expert now is better than dealing with potentially larger costs in building repairs later.

Once the pest control expert has completed their inspection, they will recommend the next step. Some treatments and practices are pricier than others, but the cost is worth it to control a termite infestation in your building. Here are some of the most common practices for controlling termites: *Pestech only uses Termite Baiting Systems

  1. Fumigation: When termites are present throughout the house, fumigation could be the only answer, and the cost of fumigation is determined by your home’s square footage. This means larger homes will require more treatment. Fumigation can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
  2. Chemical treatments: If the termite infestation has not yet reached your home, then chemical treatments could keep them from entering. Such treatments require the exterminator to create a trench around the building or drill holes into the foundation. The pest expert will then pour chemicals into these holes and trenches. Termites will stay away from the chemicals, keeping them outside your building. The cost of chemical treatments is usually determined by the number of linear feet it takes to surround your house with the chemicals.
  3. Heat extermination: Many homeowners and business owners prefer this method because it avoids using chemicals. This treatment involves isolating the home in a tent and pumping it with hot air. Once the wood is hot enough, the termites die, and all their activities should cease. Depending on the size of your home, this procedure can cost several hundred to several thousand dollars.

Pestech offers Termite Baiting Systems which are bait stations filled with a cellulose based food matrix laced with a pesticide is the best and most cost effective solution for subterranean termites. These systems provide a total colony elimination as workers bring the pesticide back to the rest of the colony, causing a breakdown of all life stages due to trophallaxis (or food sharing). Systems such as Sentricon are environmentally friendly, and nearly invisible as they’re placed in the ground around the home.

Pestech utilizes the most advanced baiting system on the market, Sentricon, for the control of subterranean termites. Since this particularly sneaky type of termite lives below ground, treating the inside of a home will have limited effectiveness. Luckily, with a baiting system, termite workers will find our bait before they find your home, and the elimination of the colony can start right away. This is the only product that fits our, “Be Pro-Active not Reactive,” mission.

In the event that a colony is already present, this baiting system will draw worker termites to it and away from your home, limiting ongoing damage and wiping out these structurally damaging pests at the same time.

These methods of pest control can halt termite damage before it gets any worse. The cost of repairs to your building depends on how bad the infestation was and which structures of the building the termites attacked. In the worst scenarios, you may need to reinforce the structural elements of the building or replace them altogether. This can cost thousands of dollars, and these repairs are not usually covered by standard insurance. Consider these treatment methods and practice preventative measures to keep termite damage repair costs down.


Preventing Termite Damage

Preventing Termite Damage

Termite treatment costs can be pricey. Repairing damage from termites can be pricier. In the worst-case scenarios, entire buildings must be demolished because of termite damage. Thankfully, there are plenty of preventative measures you can take to reduce the risk of termite infestation damage. One way is to trust a professional to perform routine termite inspections in your house and around your property. Chemical treatments can prevent infestations for at least five years, but you should still have a professional check your property once in a while.

There are other preventative measures that do not require a professional. You can even incorporate these actions into your weekly or monthly chores around your house or business. Take the time to practice them, because they could save you thousands of dollars. Here are some of the precautions you can take to keep termites from infesting your property:

  • Remove mud tubes: Mud tubes are subterranean termites’ means of moving around. Scrape these off the foundation of your building or wherever else you see them to keep termites at bay. If the mud tubes reappear, you’ll know the termites are still active.
  • Clear out your crawlspace: Use a different part of your house for storage. Crawlspaces are easy targets for termites, especially if you fill them with wooden furniture, cardboard or paper items.
  • Remove debris from your building’s construction site: If you’re in the building phase, make sure to move all wooden debris from where the building will be. Leaving these behind provides termites with a food source.
  • Apply mechanical barriers: Termite-resistant building materials are becoming popular. If you’re still in the construction phase, ask your builder about installing termite-resistant materials to keep termites from infesting your building.
  • Keep building materials off the ground: The construction phase is one of the best times to take precautionary measures. Keep all lumber and other building materials off the ground. Termites can get into your lumber, and you don’t want to build with that.
  • Fix moisture problems: Leaks and plumbing issues can saturate the wood in your house. This can attract termites and provide them with the soft, damp wood they crave.
  • Seal cracks in masonry: Check your foundation and other concrete or brick areas of your building for cracks. These cracks could give termites a direct pathway from the outdoors, making their travel into your building much easier.
  • Keep wood products away from your building: Firewood, scrap wood and lumber are true feasts for termites, especially if they are exposed to damp conditions and resting on the ground. Place them away from your building to keep termites from entering easily.
  • Remove mulch and vegetation from around the building: Both mulch and vegetation are termite attractants. If these things are around or contacting your building, termites can easily travel from them to your foundation. You can still have these items around your house — just make sure they’re spaced out and not touching your building.
  • Schedule annual inspections: Following the above recommendations should keep termites from infesting your house. It’s still a good idea to have a professional come annually to make sure everything is in order and that your hard work of preventing termites is paying off.


Choose Pestech Pest Solutions to Deal With Termite Infestations

Pestech Termite Management

Termite infestation damage can be detrimental to the well-being of your home or business. Repair costs can pile up, causing you great financial strain. If you’re feeling overwhelmed because of a termite infestation, know that there is a solution. Whether you currently have a termite problem or you want to prevent one from happening, trust the experts at Pestech Pest Solutions for every step of the process.

We have been in business since 1989, so we know how to deal with pest problems in New York. As a family-owned and operated business, we truly care about your experience. We want to provide a solution to your termite infestation that leaves you satisfied and comfortable about the state of your home or business. Our reputation for quality customer service attests to our relationship-driven approach.

How we conduct business goes back to our mission statement: “To preserve healthy living and improve human life.” We look forward to meeting you and helping to improve your life by dealing with your pest problem. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.