Termites are a major source of worry for American homeowners. A recent survey of homeowners found that one in four are worried about getting termites, and 13 percent have found termites in their home in the last year. If you recently found termites in your home, you need to know what you're up against if you have any hope of getting rid of them. Here are four incredible facts about the termites in your home.
Their colonies are huge
Since termite colonies live deep inside the wooden structure of your home, they remain unseen, and it's hard to imagine just how many termites are present. The size of a termite colony can vary significantly based on the type termites that you have.
If you have a subterranean termite infestation, you can assume that the colony contains anywhere between 60,000 and 1 million individuals. That's a very big colony, and very big trouble for your house, but these are not the biggest colonies.
Formosan termites live in the biggest colonies of any termite species. Their colonies can range between 350,000 and 2 million individuals. The biggest Formosan termite colony ever recorded in the United States was significantly larger and contained a staggering 70 million termites.
They can live for a long time
Some types of household pests live very short lives that can be measured in hours or days, but termites are not among them. Unless you intervene, your house will be infested for a very long time.
The workers and soldiers can live for up to two years, which is a long time in the insect world, but their lives are very short compared to the lives of their queens. Termite queens can live for as long as 30 years, and during their lives, they will continue to lay eggs and grow their colonies. Once the queen finally dies of old age, another queen will step up to take her place and your infestation will continue.
They destroy wood quickly
Everyone knows that termites feed on wood and can destroy houses, but the speed at which this occurs may surprise you. How fast your termites will eat through your home varies based on the type of termites that you have. If you're infested with a large colony of subterranean termites, you can assume that they are feeding on about one pound of wood from your house every single day, which works out to about 365 pounds a year.
If you're infested with Formosan termites, the situation is even more serious. A mature colony of Formosan termites can eat more than 1,000 pounds of wood every single year. Since they eat so fast, you can't afford to delay and need to deal with your termite infestation immediately.
They cause very expensive damage
Since termites eat wood so quickly, the damage they cause can become very expensive. The cost of repairing your home will vary depending on how widespread the damage is as well as the location of the wood they ate, as hard-to-reach wood (like your home's frame) will cost more to repair than wood that is easily accessible (like wood flooring).
While the damage done to your home varies based on many factors, average termite damage figures are available. Insurance companies report that the average claim for termite damage ranges from $7,500 to $10,000. This figure is so high because termites can do a lot of damage before homeowners finally realize that they are there and then contact a pest control company.
Termites live in huge colonies, live for a long time, eat wood quickly, and cause very expensive damage, so you need to take quick action to get rid of your new house guests. Call a local pest control company like E & R Exterminating Company, Inc. right away to have your home inspected.