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March 4, 2024

A Closer Look at Termites

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Homeowners frequently have numerous questions and concerns about termites, the damage they cause, and signs of their activity due to the potential threat they pose to their homes and property. Here are some FAQs we often get from homeowners about termites and some points we can remember when these questions and conversations arise:

  • What kind of damage can termites cause to my home?

In the US, termites earn the title as the most destructive insect pests of wood. These cryptic destroyers quietly feed on wooden elements of our homes and structures when left unprotected. The hidden nature of termites can make it challenging to notice activity and evidence of their presence since it is often concealed behind siding or within wall voids.

  • What attracts termites to my home?

There are several potential reasons and conducive conditions around your property that could be alluring to termites. Ones that often increase the risk of termite attack include moist soil near the foundation, wood that directly contacts the ground or soil, or overaccumulation of mulch up against or covering the foundation.

  • How do termites get into my home?

Subterranean termite foragers are efficient at locating food to feed their colony. They tunnel through the soil in search of wood located in or on the ground. To access wood off the ground, they bring the soil with them as they construct mud tubes that traverse over foundations and masonry. These mud tubes connect their underground passageways to the above-ground food source while keeping them protected and moist as they forage.

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  • How can I tell if I have termites?

It can be difficult to find active termites which leads to infestations that persist for years. Some clues that indicate you have termites include seeing the swarmers inside the home, finding mud tubes that have been built over the foundation or in the crawl space, or discovering termite damage. Termite evidence such as cracked or bubbling paint, or sunken areas behind the paint or wallpaper, and swarm castles are other familiar signs of termite activity.

  • What items in my home can termites damage?

Yes, termites feed on wood, but they will also readily eat other items made of cellulose. In addition to the structural timbers used to build your house, termites can damage paper goods, shoes, books, clothing, and insulation.


Heather Patterson

PCO Technical Services Manager

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