Every year, more than 600,000 homes are the victim of a termite infestation.
Though termites are small, they can easily cause tens of thousands of dollars of damage to your home — especially if you aren’t able to stop the infestation quickly.
But how do you recognize the most common signs of termites in your home, and are professional termite control services really worth it?
What specific types of termites should you be on the lookout for, and what kinds of damage can they cause?
In this post, we’ll fill you in on the shocking financial and structural consequences of a termite infestation. Then, we’ll tell you more about the benefits of implementing a strong termite pest control and prevention plan to protect your home from these tiny villains now and in the future.
What Are Termites?
Before we speak about termite control any further, let's make sure you know the basics of termites.
Believe it or not, there are roughly 2,000 different kinds of termites, each capable of causing different kinds and levels of damage to your home. In the United States, subterranean termites, dampwood and drywood termites, and Formosan termites are usually the biggest threats.
Most termites are either workers, soldiers, or swarmers (which are flying termites).
Flying termites are darker and have large wings much longer than the length of their bodies. Workers are usually lighter, the smallest classification of termites, and are easily mistaken for larvae to the untrained eye. Soldiers are recognized by their large jaws and dark heads.
If you’ve spotted termites in your home, then it’s likely what you’re seeing are swarmers.
Depending on the species of termite, their ideal habitat will vary.
However, most termites gravitate towards areas with high moisture levels, furniture, firewood, wooden structures, (like outdoor sheds) soil, tree stumps, and of course, your home’s foundation.
How Termites Harm Your Home
Now, let’s talk a bit more about why you need to take termite control so seriously.
Most homeowners simply aren’t aware of the staggering amount of damage that termites can cause. In fact, termites cause an average of over $5 billion in property damage per year in the United States alone.
Termite damage can seriously lower the overall value of your home. In many cases, termites will knock a whopping 20 percent off the total value of your home. You’ll also be forced to shell out your hard-earned cash on costly home renovations and repairs to cover the damage caused by these termites.
While professional pest treatment for termites might seem expensive, it’s much more affordable than the average $3,000 worth of damage that termites can do to your home.
What’s more is that termites can seriously weaken your home’s foundation and structure, gnawing through support beams and causing unsightly damage.
It’s just not worth the risk — but an expert termite exterminator can help solve the problem.
Recognizing the Signs of Termite Damage
So, when do you know that it’s time to call a termite exterminator?
First, you may be able to hear termites gnawing through the wood in your home, their heads banging on your walls. If you hear what sounds like strange clicking noises in your walls, it’s a sure sign of termites.
Even if you’re not able to spot flying termites buzzing around your home, you should at least be on the lookout for discarded wings, especially near sources of light and the area around your home’s foundation.
Have you noticed that you’re having a seriously tough time opening your home’s doors and windows lately? If so, understand that it may be more than just warped frames from weather changes. When termites gnaw through your wood, the moisture they create can also cause warping.
Also, be on the lookout for termite tunnels and galleries, especially in cracked logs or damaged pieces of woods. These are termite colonies, and they’re the most obvious sign of an infestation. Even if you can’t spot these tunnels from the outside, if wooden areas or pieces of furniture in your home sound hollow when knocked upon, chances are good that termites have already set up shop inside.
Finally, look for termite droppings, also called frass, throughout your home. The frass will usually look like tiny black scratches or marks and will have a somewhat powdery texture.
Why Professional Termite Pest Control Is Worth It
While it might be tempting to go the DIY route when you spot the signs of termites in your home, it’s never a good idea.
First, even if you’re able to locate a few termite colonies on your own, you likely won’t be able to discover all of them with an untrained eye. Termites are notoriously difficult to get rid of, especially given the fast rate at which they breed.
A trained professional doesn’t just have the tools to determine where termites live in your home and identify the ports of entry, they also have the tools and the human and pet-safe chemicals needed to get rid of them for good.
A professional will also help you to develop a preventative inspection and maintenance plan for your home, so you can rest easy knowing that termites won’t return in the future.
Ready to Schedule Our Expert Termite Control Services?
Now that you have a deeper understanding of the level of damage termites can cause to your home — and why termite pest control services are worth it — it’s time for you to take immediate action to protect your home.
Click here to schedule your termite control estimate online, and don’t let termites destroy the house you’ve worked so hard to build and care for.
In addition to termite treatments, our incredible team at Viking Pest Control can help you with rodent infestations, bed bugs, ticks, wildlife control, and much more for both your residential and commercial spaces.
Never hesitate to contact us with any questions and be sure to read our online reviews so you can see for yourself that Viking Pest Control is the preferred solution for countless homeowners in NJ, PA, DE & MD.