Dangers of Termites
Termites hover near the top of the “most feared pests” lists. The last thing you want to hear as a homeowner is that your house is suffering from a termite infestation. In the U.S. termites cause an average of $8,000 of damage per infested household, of which 1 house in every 30 receives damage. This would be a mean blow to your home, which is likely your largest investment. Hopefully, the damage done to your home will not reach this painful total if you catch the termites early enough.
Termites work at a fairly slow pace, with the average colony only consuming about 12 lbs of material per year. However, over the years the pounds adds up and colonies grow in size, increasing the dangers of termites to your home. The little pests may go undetected for years, merrily chomping away at your largest investment: your house. The best way to avoid termite infestation is to recognize the danger and prevent a colony from taking hold.
Low Danger at First
Termite colonies commonly live peacefully and happily in your yard and the area surrounding your house. Trees, fallen timber, dead brush piles, and mulch all provide homes for the tiny creatures to eat and nest in, especially if there’s moisture involved. Termites love damp spaces as they need the moisture to build their nests. It is quite possible to live in pleasant, or at least tolerant, neighborliness with termites. The termites are content with their brush pile or other chosen nesting place and for the most part they won’t bother you directly. However, the dangers of termites occur when the termites discover your home.
Dangers of Termites in the Surrounding Property
If you do have termites in the surrounding property they may eventually make their way into your home. The dangers of termites increase if your property possesses a few key features:
- Wooden fencing
- Wood pile
These features are the most likely to draw a termite colony into your home. Wooden fencing in your yard may butt up against the walls of your house leading termites directly to your home. A wood pile is an attractive lodging place for a termite colony. The dangers of termites infesting your home through this avenue can be lessened by storing the pile at least 20 feet from your house and lifting it off the ground with pallets. Mulch spread around near the foundation of your house provides termites a cover under which to discover the delicious wood of your home walls.
Once a colony has been in place for a few years it will begin to produce sexually mature termites, which will use their wings to fly out and start new colonies of their own. If you discover some of these winged termites on your windowsill or somewhere else in your home, do not panic. It does not necessarily follow that your house has a termite infestation.
As previously stated termite colonies take time to gain traction and get going which means that if you’re discovering winged termites trapped in your house the dangers of termites infestation may have yet to begin. At that point it is wise to call an expert and have them come and evaluate your home and surrounding property. The professional will be able to determine the actual dangers of termites to your home and then recommend preventative measures. The best way to lessen the dangers of termites infestation is to prevent it from gaining hold in the first place.