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You know that termites can be an issue, and you might even know that they cause about $5 billion in damages to homes and buildings annually. Typically, this damage is not covered by insurance, so that money comes out of homeowners’ pockets. You know that they’ll eat anything made of wood, whether it’s floors, walls, ceilings, support beams, or furniture. Even knowing all of this, though, you may not have scheduled a termite inspection. Why not? Do you think your home is somehow immune to a termite infestation? Or do you assume that you’ll notice signs of termites before the damage becomes extreme? It’s foolhardy to believe you can catch termites early on and stop them unless you have regular termite inspections performed by a professional.

Here’s why: termites can go unnoticed for months, all the while feeding on your home. By the time you are even aware that they are on your property, extensive damage has already been done. On the other hand, with a professional termite inspection, you can have preventive measures in place before the termites even make it into your home. Preventative termite treatments never allow the termites to gain a foothold or do any damage.

It’s imperative to prevent termites from encroaching on your property because the damage they cause happens quickly. If you notice signs of a termite infestation and call for professional help, by the time the termite control company can get to you, your damage could be exponentially worse. If you hadn’t noticed the signs before severe damage was already done, your repair bill could end up being astronomical.

How astronomical? Here are some specific statistics on how much damage termites can cause and how quickly they can cause it. One termite can eat through an entire 1,000 square foot home in 3,144 years. That may not seem like a big deal but consider this: a termite can have anywhere between 60,000 and 2 million termites, eating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s what you’ll have in your home, not just one solitary termite. Imagine all of those insects continually eating your house, causing damage every minute of the day.

With the right conditions in your home, a termite colony can thrive, growing as more termites are born and grow into eating machines. So, what are the right conditions for a termite infestation? First, termites need warmth. If you live in a temperate climate, you’re already at a disadvantage because they’re already in the area. When temperatures drop, the termites will look for somewhere to shelter, and your home will look very inviting. They’ll settle in, and once the temperatures begin to rise again, they’ll get lively and start doing severe damage.

Another thing that termites need to survive is a steady supply of water. In areas of your home that have poor ventilation, or anywhere that there’s a plumbing leak, termites can make themselves at home. That’s one reason that it’s imperative to fix leaks and correct moisture issues in your home as soon as you’re aware of them.

When conditions are perfect for their colonies to grow, termites proliferate quickly. When forming a new termite colony, the queen will lay six to twelve eggs within a few days to get established. A mature queen, however, can lay thousands of eggs every year for a decade or so. What’s more, some of those eggs will hatch into reproductive termites, which will help the queen produce more workers who tunnel through the wood to feed the colony. Even if the conditions are not perfect, termites can do plenty of damage before you manage to evict them.

How do you keep termites out of your home altogether? First, there are some steps homeowners can take to make their homes less hospitable to a termite infestation.

  • First, as previously mentioned, get rid of the moisture. Termites need a lot of water and die when exposed to sunlight or open air for longer than a few minutes. When you cut off their source of water by eliminating excess moisture and getting leaks fixed promptly, you’ll make it impossible for them to survive in your home.
  • Don’t let them in. Check your home for potential entry points, like gaps around water and gas lines. Seal these and be careful not to have wood-to-ground contact, like siding that touches the dirt, because that’s another potential point of entry.
  • Starve them out. Termites eat wood, but what they crave is cellulose. This material is found in mulch, firewood, and wood siding, and it’s also in cardboard. Keep things made of these materials off the ground and out of your crawlspace.
  • Speaking of your crawlspace, make sure yours is in good shape. To keep termites out, it needs proper ventilation and a vapor barrier that reduces moisture so that it doesn’t reach the subfloor and floor joists.
  • Keep an eye on the wood that comes into your home. If you’re renovating, check the lumber for signs of termite infestation. If you buy used furniture, check that out as well.

The best thing you can do to prevent termite damage is to schedule an annual inspection with a professional experienced in termite prevention and eradication. At MightyMite Termite Services, we perform termite inspections to ensure that your home is free of termites. We also work hard to help you keep your home safe from termites, use naturally derived treatments and have a low impact on the environment. We diagnose and treat infestations with the most effective methods and unmatched warranties, solving your termite problems the first time, with an industry-best “no call-back rate.” Combined with our experience, technology, and highly trained professional staff, that makes us the leading extermination company in the Bay Area. We understand that your home is your most important investment, so we work hard to provide excellent service, utilizing best practices to solve our customers’ termite problems in Northern California. For more information, call us today at 408.335.7053, email, or contact us through our website.