If you’ve ever seen termites, you would never be able to understand the amount of damage that they can cause. They’re tiny, after all, normally about a quarter of an inch to a half inch in length. But termites are never alone, instead, they move in colonies that move in the thousands. So even though one termite can only cause very minimal damage, the power of an entire colony of termites can cause permanent damage to a structural building. You probably want to know how much damage these guys can cause and how long it can last?
Did You Know? Termites cause over 5 billion dollars in structural damage every year in the US.
To fully comprehend termite damage you must first understand how termites work in colonies. They live in cohesion with one another all working towards building their colonies. The number of Termites in one colony can range from a few thousand all the way to the millions. Certain colonies that live in numbers of 15 million termites can live for several years. In a colony filled with millions of Termites there is a hierarchy, first and highest is the queen, then the soldiers, and the majority of the colony are the younger termites who work day in and day out.
What do termites eat?
Mostly everyone knows that termites consume wood, but in fact termites have also been know to chew through an array of different things like insulation, and even soft metals. Termites naturally lack cellulose which is why they go after wood for consumption. Even more specifically if you have damp or wet wood anywhere in the house this also highly attracts them as well. Interestingly they have a special kind of bacteria in their belly that allows them to break down the cellulose particles. There are three types of termites that exist in the United States which include:
● Subterranean termites: These are the most destructive termites. They form the largest colonies, eat rapidly through wood, and live in the ground. They typically only come in the home to feed.
● Drywood termites: These termites can form multiple colonies within one home. They most commonly go for wooden structures including frames, flooring, and furniture.
● Dampwood termites: As their name might suggest, this type of termite likes wood with high moisture content, including decaying wood and woodpiles.
How To Know You Have Termites
Now that you understand how termite colonies work, and what it is that Termites eat we can now look into some signs that you might have a termite problem at your home.
● Mud tubes- Termite mud tubes are the small, narrow tunnels near termite nests that they use to travel. They form through termites that create these tubes for easier travel to their source of wood consumption.
● Floor damage- This damage can look like peeling in the wood or similar to water or mold damage. Peeling damage is normally a sign of subterranean termites that are present in your home.
● Hollow sounding wood- One way to know if you have termites in your walls is if your door frames or window frames seem to have swelled and are harder to close. This is a very common way to know if you have termites in your wood. Especially if you can see bubbling within the inside of the wood.
● Evidence of swarms: When termites swarm, this means that they are leaving their home and forming a new colony elsewhere. When they do this they will leave behind a large portion of silver wings. If you see this, it may be a sign that you have termites.
Termites ultimately can cause lasting and permanent damage to your home and is not something to be taken lightly. If you do see any of these signs make sure to call a licensed professional to conduct a full inspection. A lot of companies (including us) offer Free inspections as well to see if you really do have a termite issue. When looking at taking care of a termite issue make sure the company you go with offers at minimum a 12 month warranty in case the job is not done right.
Don't hesitate to contact us at (623) 745-3111 and we would be happy to help assist in any issues you are having with termites or any pest related issues.