Termites are discovered in more than 5 million homes on average each year in the United States. Don’t become their next victim. Termite Awareness Week, held March 12 to 18, helps bring attention to the extensive damage done by termites. As spring approaches, this is the perfect time to learn more about termites and the steps you can take to prevent termite infestations.
So, how much do you know about termites? Here are some facts about those terrible pests.
- Termite damage costs U.S. homeowners $50 billion per decade.
- For other pests, you may be able to get away with using DIY products, but termites are not easy to detect. Leave this one up to the professionals or you could be dealing with thousands of dollars in termite damage.
- Flying or swarming ants and termites can look similar. Pay attention to three things: antennae, waist and wings. Termites have straight antennae, a broad waist and two sets of wings of equal length. Ants have bent antennae and a pinched waist, and their sets of wings are different lengths.
- Termite damage is rarely covered by homeowners insurance. That’s because termite and other pest damage is considered a home maintenance problem — something you can and should have prevented.
- A 1/16-inch gap or crack can leave you vulnerable to termites. Termites may even enter your home through untreated hollow spaces in the blocks or bricks and then find their way to wood sources.
- Termites can burrow into woodpiles and then right into your house. It’s a good idea to keep firewood at least 20 feet away from your home’s foundation.
- Dead trees are also desirable to termites. Stumps in your yard can serve as a launch pad for an attack on your home.
How do you know if you have termites? While there are some sign of termites to be on the lookout for, it’s best to call a pest management professional.