For homeowners in the North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia area, the threat of termite damage is a top-of-mind concern. But should it be?

Could termites actually cause my home to collapse, or is that just the stuff of cartoons? How bad is termite damage anyway? Do you even need to have termite control if you don’t have termites?

Find out the answer to these questions and more as we get to the bottom of some common termite damage and termite treatment questions.

How Much Damage Can Termites Do?

The answer is a whole lot. In fact, the annual cost of termite damage done to homes and other structures every year is measured in the billions of dollars—and that’s just in the United States.

Whether it’s wooden beams or other sources of cellulose (such as fabrics, carpeting, and sheetrock), there’s no shortage of attractive food sources in the average home. Termites can and will eat any of these, consuming homes from the inside out.   

Can Termite Damage Cause My Home to Collapse?

The short answer is yes, termite damage can absolutely cause your home to collapse. The longer answer is that the process would take either an impressive amount of termites, a years-long infestation, or both. 

For all their fearsome qualities and threatening reputation, the local Eastern Subterranean termite are slow and deliberate when it comes to eating through structures. Typical mature Eastern subterranean termite colonies consume only around one-fifth of an ounce of wood each day, or roughly the equivalent of one foot of 2-by-4 a month. 

That means, unless your home was infested with multiple active termite colonies — at which point you’d probably notice all of the termites before anything else — it would take a pretty long time for termites to damage your home to the point of collapse.

Worried about termite damage in your home? Learn more about termite bonds and how they can help protect your most important investment. Also, be sure to check out Terminix’s top termite control tips for best-practice solutions in our library of pest resources.

How Does Termite Damage Make a Home Collapse?

The most common way in which termite damage causes homes to collapse is by eating their way through support beams and load-bearing walls. If enough of the supporting structures are sufficiently damaged by termites, it’s only a matter of time before they buckle beneath the weight. 

What Does Termite Damage Look Like?

For the most part, termite damage takes place below the surface and between walls, which means you’re unlikely to see any direct evidence of their presence—i.e., holes and tunnels in wooden parts of your home—as you go about your day-to-day. 

It’s much more common for homeowners to see indirect signs of termite damage, such as discarded wings, droppings, or mud tubes—the tunnels made of mud that workers use to access food sources above ground.

(Looking for signs of termite damage? Learn more about what to look for in our pest library.)

Termite damage and signs of termite infestations can be hard to spot, even if you know what you’re looking for. Termites have been known to avoid detection for months and even years; if that happens in your home, there’s plenty of reason to be concerned.

I Found a Termite with Wings in My Home. Does this Mean I Have a Termite Infestation? 

If you find signs of termites in your home, there’s no need to panic. It’s quite unlikely that your home will collapse beneath you—or even that you have anything to worry about. During the spring, it’s not uncommon to find the occasional stray termite swarmer in your home or business, especially on warm, sunny days following a rainstorm. 

If you’re worried you might be dealing with termites or swarmers of termites with wings, don’t hesitate to call and request a free termite inspection from your local Terminix branch. Our experienced, expertly trained technicians will identify any problems or areas of concern and, if necessary, work with you to develop a termite treatment plan to keep your home and family safe.

But What About Formosan Subterranean Termites?

Up to this point, we’ve been focused on the Eastern Subterranean Termite, but they aren’t the only wood-hungry termite variety in the Southeast. 

Drywood termites have also been known to show up in our neck of the woods, but they are pretty uncommon in comparison to their subterranean cousins.

Over the past several years, a new type of termite has been gaining a foothold in our part of the country, especially around the coast and in the midlands of South Carolina. They’re called Formosan subterranean termites, though they’ve also earned the fearsome nickname “Super Termites,” thanks to their staggering colony sizes and the alarming speed at which they consume cellulose. 

There’s good reason to be concerned about these termites, and given their increased presence in the Southeast this year, we recommend exercising an abundance of caution. Formosan termites can move through a house ten times faster than the local Eastern variety.

Termite Damage and Your Home

So when it comes down to it, how much should homeowners in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia be worried about termites? Could these structure-destroying pests infest your home? 

Absolutely, just like it affects hundreds of homes in our area every year.

But when it comes to termite damage itself, it’s unlikely you will ever have to deal with anything this extensive, unless the termites have been at it a while or the colony is improbably massive. 

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared, though. Your home might not collapse beneath your feet, but that doesn’t change the fact that termites are a serious threat with huge potential for destruction. You can trust Terminix to not only help you solve these issues but also prevent termite damage.

That’s especially true this time of year, during the warm and humid months of spring and summer, when conditions are prime for colonies to swarm and termite activity is at a peak.  

For Termite Treatment and Control, Trust Terminix

If you’re looking for a solution to your termite control problem, you’re in the right place. 

Homeowners all over the Southeast have trusted Terminix for termite control for over 75 years now. Our local, expertly trained technicians are here to help identify, assess, and solve pest problems of all sorts, from termites and mosquitoes to rats and roaches.

Ready to reclaim your home from pests and sleep easy knowing you’re backed up by the strongest guarantee in the industry? Give us a call today and get things started with a free termite inspection.

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