How Much Damage Can Termites Create?
According to the National Pest Management Association, termites cause damages to more than 600,000 homes annually in the United States, to the tune of over $5 billion in repair costs. For homeowners, it is not a matter of if termites will infest their homes, but the speed at which termites will spread through their homes as the infestation spreads. As such, it is important for every homeowner to have regular termite inspections and a pest control maintenance plan in place.
Part of the problem with home infestations is they can develop quickly and in a short period of time. It can be difficult to determine when an actual infestation began, but, in most cases, by the time you realize you have termites, it is already too late.
Most people do not start to see signs of termites—sometimes not for several years—all while their home is slowly being eaten away. By the time they do notice, the termite colonies have spread so far inside the home, there can be tens of millions of termites!
How Fast Do Termite Colonies Grow?
Termites typically swarm in the springtime and are evidenced by flying insects around the home. If you notice discarded wings, this is a telltale sign there are termites on your property. Termites are colony insects, which means there is a queen that lays eggs.
Queens can lay thousands of eggs a day, so it is not unheard of to have well over 60,000 termites in a single colony in less than a year. A mature queen lives between twenty to twenty-five years, constantly laying new eggs to increase the size of her colony. So, in twenty-five years, the colony could grow to around 1.5 million termites.
Complicating the issue is that most termite colonies are established near existing colonies. Potentially, after the springtime swarm, a multitude of new colonies could all be established near or in your home.
Another important fact to keep in mind is that termites do not sleep. This means they work 24/7 eating wood, expanding their colonies, and destroying your home. A single colony can destroy about a one-foot section of a 2 x 4 over the course of five or six months.
Now imagine, for a moment, your home was infested with five or six colonies. This would mean that five to six feet of the structural supports within your home would be destroyed every five to six months!
Granted, termites do not consume the entire piece of wood as they build tunnels through the wood, but that destruction would weaken the support structures and could cause serious damage and costly repairs to your home.
Aside from destroying the internal wooden structures of your home, termites will also eat other types of wood and wood-based materials, including cabinets, furniture, and books. You may have termites in your home if you notice any of the following:
- Sawdust/paper-like sandy dust along baseboards or kickboards
- Mud tubes on the exterior or interior of the home
- Discarded wings from swarming termites
- Soft, easily breakable wood, hollow wood, or bubbling wood
If you notice any of the above, or simply want peace of mind to protect your home, please feel free to contact MightyMite Termite Services at 408-377-3761 to schedule an in-home inspection today!