It’s no secret that termites can pose a massive threat to homeowners. But when it comes to the specifics, things are a little less clear. That’s why we’ve assembled this handy list of termite facts, FAQs, and recommendations. Keep reading to get the rundown on these wood-eating pests.

Termites are active during the warmer months of the year, especially between the months of March and May in the case of the Eastern Subterranean Termite. 

But here in the South, termites never take a day off. The warm climate allows them to continue their destructive work year-round, which is why regular protection from a company like Terminix is a vital part of keeping your home safe.   

2. What Does Termite Damage Look Like?

Termite damage looks very similar to water damage: swollen floors and ceilings, bucking wood, and spongy flooring can all be signs of termite activity in your home.

Unfortunately for homeowners, termite damage  isn’t always obvious from the inside of your home—most homeowners experiencing termite control issues will see signs of an infestation in the form of discarded wings, droppings, and sawdust-like piles of chewed up wood. If you’ve noticed these signs around your home, the time to call in the professionals is NOW. These symptoms all point to an active termite colony inside your home. 

Unsure if you’re dealing with termites? Call Terminix to request a free inspection today. Our expertly trained technicians will provide a comprehensive assessment, so you can start the process of reclaiming your home if necessary, or otherwise sleep easier with the peace of mind that comes from a clean bill of health.

3. Is Termite Damage Expensive? 

Yes, termite damage can be very expensive. When termites attack a house, the average cost to repair the damage and exterminate the termites is a hefty $8,000. Luckily, Terminix will work with you to keep termites away, and at a fraction of that cost. Furthermore, our work is backed by the strongest guarantee in the business.

Although they may not get much time on the evening news, termite infestations cause more damage annually than hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires combined. 

But, unlike natural disasters, standard home insurance policies do not cover termite damage, which means that when these ravenous insects assault your home, you do not have a safety net. That’s why it’s so important to reach out to the experienced termite control professionals at Terminix to take the fight to the termites before they come for you.

4. Do termites fly?

Yes, termites can fly, but only under certain conditions. Winged termites—also known as termite swarmers or alate form termites—are produced by colonies that have reached a certain size. These winged termites are all potential queens and kings of new termite colonies.

Swarmers are pretty poor fliers, though, and most don’t make it far before landing and shedding their wings. So if you see a flying termite in your yard, there’s no need to start worrying yet—it just means there’s a colony somewhere nearby. This is a good thing! Termites play a vital role in breaking down wood and plant matter out in the wild.

Still, you can always call Terminix to request a free termite inspection if you’d prefer to hear it straight from the experts.

5. Do termites bite?

Don’t worry, termites do not bite people or pets (unless you have a plant for a pet, that is). Termites have been known to bite other insects and members of rival colonies. Strictly speaking, termites could bite humans, but they are unlikely to do so unless that person is handling them excessively. 

6. What do termites eat?

Termites eat cellulose, the material found in vegetable and plant cells that gives them their structure. While wood makes up the bulk of a termite’s diet, they have also been known to eat carpeting, cardboard, sheetrock, insulation, and fabrics – all of which contain cellulose.

Termites eat 24 hours a day. They never sleep; they never stop. While soldier termites protect the queen, and reproductive termites propagate the species, worker termites do nothing but expand the colony. That means eating as much wood as they can find, destroying your home from the inside out.

7. What causes termites?

Nothing “causes” termites per se, but certain conditions are more inviting than others. Excess moisture, in particular, is likely to attract termites.

8. How many termites are in the world?

It’s probably impossible to say with certainty how many termites are in the whole world, but it is safe to say that they outnumber humans quite significantly.

Termites reproduce relentlessly. A termite queen can live for up to 20 years, starting countless colonies during her lifetime. Because a queen can lay as many as 40,000 eggs per day, those colonies get big fast. The largest colony ever recorded contained more than three million termites.

9. How much do termites weigh?

The weight of individual termites varies from form to form. Workers weigh just under 1 mg, while swarmers clock in at around 2 mg each. Queens, on the other hand, tip the scales at 10 – 30 mg each.

The estimated total termite weight—meaning the entire world’s population—is a staggering 445 million tons. To put that in perspective, the total weight of people on earth is only 350 million tons. Some scientists estimate that termites make up as much as 10% of all the animal biomass on earth.

10. What do termites look like?

Termites have five distinct forms, and their look varies depending on what their role in the colony is. In general, they are small (between ¼ and ½ inch) and lightly colored (ranging from a milky tan to reddish brown) with distinguishable pincers.

11. Does mulch attract termites?

In and of itself, mulch doesn’t attract termites. It all depends on how you use it. If you’ve got a thick layer of mulch in your yard (3 inches deep or more), you may be putting your home at risk. 

12. Are Formosan termites more dangerous?

The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, is considered to be one of the most destructive termite species in the world today. In fact, Formosan subterranean termites can destroy a home 10 times faster than other termite species. 

In South Carolina, Formosan termites are well established in the Lowcountry region and have also been found in isolated instances in York and Pickens counties. And in recent years, Formosan termites have been popping up more and more across the Midlands as well.

Good thing Terminix has been protecting homeowners from these destroyers for more than 75 years. Give us a call for all of your termite control concerns.

13. Can you tell me how to get rid of termites?

The only surefire way to get rid of termites is to call in the experts, like the team at your local Terminix branch. Our local technicians have the training and experience to handle whatever termites throw your way. Plus, Terminix customers enjoy the security of being backed up by the strongest guarantee in the industry.
And even if you’re feeling pretty confident about your home’s termite situation, it doesn’t hurt to request a free inspection.

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