How Much Damage Can Termites Really Do?

02/20/2018


Termites   
termites up close

We live in an era of overstatements, exaggerations, and hyperbole. When we're hungry, we say, "I'm starving." Some even say, "I'm starving to death," like it wasn't enough to just be starving. Or someone might be, "hungry enough to eat a horse," when never in human history has anyone ever been hungry enough to actually eat an entire horse--even if that were physically possible. When we're tired, we say, "I'm exhausted." When we have foot pain we say, "My foot is killing me." We hear overstatements in pest control, statements such as, "termites can total a home even before the paint dries." Since we're a pest control company, we're going to focus on that last one. Let's take a look at how much damage termites can really do.

Types of Termites:

All termites are not equal. If your home has drywood termites, you're not in as much trouble as you would be with subterranean termites. Drywood termites cost U.S. property owners hundreds of millions of dollars annually. The cost of subterranean termite damage is in the billions. Yes, we did say billions, with a b. But wait, in the DC, MD, and VA area Eastern Subterranean termites are the most popular and they won't hesitate to feast on your home if it's unprotected. 

Why are subterranean termites more destructive than drywood termites? There are several reasons:

  • Drywood termites have smaller colonies. So, in terms of sheer numbers, subterranean termites will win every time.

  • Drywood termites are more visible. When drywood termites get into a home, their presence is often made known because of the way they kick their dried droppings out onto window sills and other surfaces. Subterranean termites keep their feces inside their tunnels allowing them to go unnoticed.

  • Several subterranean termite colonies that are established in the ground near a home can all feed on that home at the same time.

Can termites total a home before the paint dries?

In our service area, Eastern Subterranean Termites are the termite we see most. This specific termite species which attacks homes and businesses can't destroy a man-made structure before the paint dries, however, they can do quite a bit of damage over time. How much time? It can take three or more years for significant structural damage to be done. But, it isn't how long, or how much damage these insects do, that matters most. It is the kind of damage they do. Since these tiny insects eat away at the inside of the wood in a structure, it can be difficult or impossible to know the extent of the damage or how much strain it will put on the entire framework.

Every infestation is different, so there is no way to say exactly how much damage termites will do to your home or how quickly they will do it. But what we can tell you for sure is that termite damage can be avoided. If you do not have a proactive termite plan, reach out to American Pest today to get your protection in place. When you have a termite plan, YOU decide how much you're willing to allow termites to cost you.






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