burning money

Termites are an all-too-common terror for homeowners. The cost of termite damage can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars in repairs! If you’re fortunate, an infestation can be found quickly, and the damage can be minimized. However, it’s not always easy to spot the signs of termites. We’ll cover a staggering stat on the impact of termites as well as ways to avoid termites in the first place.

Billion with a “B”

The National Pest Management Association estimates that termites cause approximately $5 billion dollars of property damage every year. Even more alarming? Most instances of termite damage are not covered by homeowners’ insurance. In many states, a home can’t be sold if there are signs of a termite infestation. Both subterranean and drywood termites can do significant structural damage before you even know they’re there but commonly show up during a home inspection. To prevent having to pay for a huge termite repair and treatment, your best bet is to prevent termites in the first place—here’s what you need to know.

What Draws a Termite to Your Home?

Damp wood is a metaphorical magnet for termites. This is why termite infestations very commonly happen in basements and garages. Exceptionally wet weather can worsen the chances. While not as attractive as wood, termites will burrow through and behind foam board.  If the foam board insulation covers your concrete foundation above ground, reaching your home’s wood framing, they will remain unseen and be able to attack and damage your home’s wood framing. The main way termites can enter your home is through a small opening in the foundation. These cracks can be incredibly small and still accessible. Debris from a construction project, firewood, and mulch are all attractive food sources for termites. Areas such as crawlspaces and basements provide protection and warmth termites need to thrive.

Besides termite damage, what should you be on the lookout for?

  • Discarded wings of swarming termites near windows and doors can often be the only outwardly visible sign of a termite infestation.
  • Subterranean termites build mud tubes on your home’s foundation to maintain moisture and provide protection. They use it to travel between the colony and the food source, aka your home!
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped on and feels soft or appears darker.
  • Uneven or bubbled paint can usually mean one of two things: water damage or a termite infestation.
  • The sudden arrival of a horde of flying ants may really be the reproductive (swarmer) form of a termite!
  • Be on the lookout for loosening floor or wall tiles, stuck windows or doors, and buckling floorboards. 

Don’t let a termite take a big bite out of your budget!  call us at 413-566-8222 or contact us if you are experiencing a pest problem. We have the knowledge and the services to correct your infestation. Ask Graduate about our preventative annual plans to keep your home pest-free year-round!

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