It might be hard to see it these days with the snow and cold of winter showing up for days on end. But, spring really is just around the corner and the probability of you running across some termites or swarming termites is likely. They love the spring time. You will probably likely start to see pest control companies advertising about termites. But what are termites and what do you need to know about them? Here are some handy termite facts and termite prevention tips to help keep them from becoming a problem for you.
- Termites are wood-destroying insects whose presence dates back to the dinosaurs.
- Termites are known as “silent destroyers” because of their ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected.
- There are about 2,000 known species of termites in the world.
- The most common termite species found in the United States are subterranean termites, Formosan termites, dampwood termites, drywood termites.
- Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive species of termite as they eat 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Each year, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage.
- Termite colonies can have upwards of 2 million members.
- Termites are present in 70 percent of countries across the world and their population outnumbers human beings on a ratio of ten to one.
- The queen termite can lay up to 40,000 eggs per day.
Termite Prevention Tips
There are many steps a homeowner can take to help prevent termites from infesting their property. Most importantly, a homeowner should eliminate or reduce moisture in and around their home, which termites need to thrive. Here are some other tips:
- Divert water away from your home’s foundation by installing properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
- Reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation.
- Trim vines, hedges and other vegetation to prevent them from blocking vents.
- Remove old form boards, grade stakes, tree trunks and roots near a building, as they may attract termites.
- Maintain an 18-inch gap between soil and any wood portions of your home.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and and 5 inches off the ground. Check it for pests before bringing it indoors.
- Routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of termite damage.