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5 Things You Should Know About Termites

5 Things You Should Know About Termites

Author: Tiffany Alexy

Termites are a concern for many homeowners, as termite infestations can cause severe damage to a property if not properly treated.  This is the reason why pest and termite inspections are a recommended part of the home buying process.  If allowed to go undetected, termites will literally eat you out of house and home.  Pest inspections are worth purchasing just for the peace of mind; they typically cost in the range of $75-$90, at least in the Triangle area of NC.  A small price to pay compared to the potential damage they can produce.  

There are two different types of termites: subterranean, that live underground in the soil, and drywood, that live in the cracks, framing, and flooring of homes.  

Here some more facts you should know:

  1. They feed on dead plants and trees.  They can damage live plants as well, but most of the damage done is to organic material that may be in decline.  This means that if you keep old firewood or tree stumps next to your house, you are essentially inviting them for dinner (and breakfast, and lunch).

  2. Many people mistake them for ants.  The swarmer or reproductive termites have wings and can enter the inside of your home.  They look similar to ants and emerge around the same season (early spring), so they’re easily mistaken.  

  3. They can be active all year round.  Even though swarmers (the reproductive termites) are most active in the spring, that doesn’t mean termites only come out in the spring.  They can infest your home all year round.

  4. They love moisture.  Not only do they love it, but moisture ensures their survival; they die within a few minutes of being within the open air.  Ensure your foundation and crawl space are adequately ventilated.

  5. They can spread.  The reproductive ones have wings, and it’s their mission in life to grow the colony… so yes, they can spread from house to house.  If you live in a townhouse, this means your chances of having termites are higher if your neighbor has them.

Termites can do a lot of damage, but adequate measures such as a pest control regimen can be taken to help prevent them.  In this case, an ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure.