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4 Surprising Facts About Termites Homeowners Need to Know

Most homeowners put a great deal of time and energy into maintaining the interior and exterior of their property. From washing the siding and painting the interior walls to planting shrubs and flowers, these tasks maintain and improve the curb appeal and value of the home. Unfortunately, other tasks are necessary if you want to protect your home and family from pests.

Termites are one of the most common pests that can harm a home, but you may not even realize you have an infestation until it is too late. Properly understanding these insects is key to understanding the importance of termite control. This guide lists a few surprising facts professionals want homeowners to know about termites.

1. Termite Infestations Occur Quickly

One of the most important things you need to know is that termites reproduce quickly, so these insects can infest your home really quickly.

While surprising for most people to learn, queen termites can lay thousands of eggs EVERY day, creating a large colony in a short period of time.

2. Termite Damage Is Costly     

According to United States' Environmental Protection Agency, termites cause billions of dollars in structural damage each year. As a homeowner, this damage can be physically, emotionally, and financially distressing, so preventing termites or treating an infestation quickly is imperative.

Termites can damage your home or other structure hard and fast. In fact, termites can eat through a 2x4 piece of lumber in just five months.

If your home is infested, you will most likely see signs of termite damage. Wood with visible damage is the most common. Wood may also be hollowed out, which you can hear by tapping the wood surface with a hard object.
Certain types of termites may also create mud tubes on the foundation of walls of your home. These mud and dirt tubes are created by termites to serve as a tunnel so they can move and transport food from one location to another.

3. Termites Are Often Mistaken for Ants

If you see what you think is an ant in or around your home, then you may want to examine the insect carefully since carpenter ants and termites look very similar.

When trying to determine which type of insect is invading your home, look at their bodies closely. Termites will have antennae that are straight while the antennae of carpenter ants will be bent. Some termites will have wings that are all equal in size while carpenter ants will have two different sizes of wings.

The sight of one or more ants may not seem like something you need to worry about, but carpenter ants are capable of eating through wood and damaging your home in a similar manner as termites.

4. Termites Eat More than Wood

Another surprising fact most homeowners do not know is that termites eat more than just wood. These insects find wood products and building materials most appealing because wood contains cellulose. Cellulose consists of important nutrients that termites need to survive, but this ingredient is not solely found in wood.

All plant matter will contain cellulose, so termites may feed on all types of plant life in addition to dry, moist, or decaying wood materials.

Wood is a prominent material used to construct your home and various plant life will be found around your home, but you can still prevent termite infestations.  For example, one way you can prevent termites is by sealing up any holes and cracks in your home's exterior and foundation. Inspect the exterior of your home, including wood porches, decks, and sheds, for signs of termite damage.

Firewood and project lumbar should be stored away from your home. Consider storing it in a covered shelter to keep it dry, making it less appealing to termites and other pests.

Protecting your home from termites and other pests is possible with proper understanding and the help of professionals. To learn more, contact A-All Pest Termite Exterminators today.