Termites love living in areas that have plenty of warm, humid places, and Southern Indiana in the summer is just that. While a single termite is typically no bigger than half an inch, a mature colony of termites can aggressively attack the wood in a structure, causing thousands of dollars in damage.
It is estimated that the average Subterranean Termite colony in the U.S. has between 60,000 and one million termites, and that there can be 13 to 14 colonies per acre. This means that there can be several colonies under or around a home.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, some species of termites are invasive, specifically the Formosan Subterranean Termite. An invasive species is a species that is not native to a specific location, and that has a tendency to spread to a degree believed to cause damage to the environment, human economy, or human health. These termites were accidentally introduced to the U.S. in the 1960s, after being carried over on cargo ships from the Pacific. Today, these termites cause billions of dollars annually to structures all over the United States, particularly in humid climates.
What to Know
The first signs of termites are often swarmers – basically, termites with wings. Swarmers are termites that are in the middle of mating and reproduction, flying around to new locations to find a new place to call home and start a colony of their own.
It’s not the swarmers themselves that cause the damage, but they are a sure sign that there are termites somewhere on or near your property. Only a mature colony will produce swarmers, so if you see one, it has certainly come from a large population of termites. Because termites are invasive, they will find a food source, eat all that they can, and move on to the next food source – hopefully not within your home!
What to Do
Just knowing signs of termites and what to be on the lookout for can go a long way in damage control when it comes to termites. Keep an eye on your property and inspect it periodically for any signs of termite activity. Monitor areas in and around your home that are often damp, and use a dehumidifier to keep indoor areas dry. Keep downspouts at least ten feet from the foundation, and keep gutters free of leaves and debris. Remove mulch and firewood from around the perimeter of the home. Finally, if you suspect termites, don’t waste time in addressing the issue. Call a professional for an inspection as soon as possible.
What to Watch For
Some of the main signs of termites include the following:
- Swarmers (termites with wings)
- Wings on your windowsills, baseboards, or along walkways
- Mud tubes used for travel
- Crumbling drywall
- Cracked or bubbling paint
- Darkening or blistering of wood structures
Who to Call
Although they are an invaluable part of the ecosystem, termites can do thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to a home if left untreated. That is not a chance many homeowners are comfortable taking. At the first sign of termites, call YES Pest Pros for an inspection. We’ll thoroughly inspect all areas inside and outside your home, then consult with you about the best course of action. We can make sure that any existing termite issues are addressed and prevent them from returning.