Termites are a type of social insect that live in colonies. The colonies can have up to 2 million individuals, each responsible for different tasks to maintain the colony. Termites are essential for the environment because they help break down dead plants and animals. However, they can be problematic when they become part of your household.
One of the most feared pests, termites, are also considered the most destructive. Each year, these tiny insects cause billions of dollars in damage to homes and other structures in the United States. Taking action immediately is crucial if you suspect you have a termite problem. Here are five significant issues termites can bring into your home.
Not covered by homeowners insurance
Perhaps the most problematic thing about termite damage is that you can’t get reimbursed. Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage caused by termites. So if your home is infested with these pests, you’ll likely have to pay the bill for all repairs yourself.
Extensive structural damage
If left untreated, termites can severely damage your home’s structural integrity. They tunnel through wood, drywall, and other building materials in search of food, leaving behind a network of weak tunnels that can cause floors and ceilings to collapse. In some cases, termites have even been known to burn entire houses!
Can’t Sell Your Home
While most people know the potential damage termites can cause, many are unaware that having an active infestation can make it very difficult (if not impossible) to sell your home. That’s because most mortgage lenders require a pest inspection before approving a loan—and no lender will give you money for a home with an active termite problem.
Depending on the severity of your infestation, getting rid of termites can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. And even if you can rid your home of these pests, there’s no guarantee they won’t return. As a result, many homeowners find themselves dealing with recurrent infestations that require periodic treatment—costing them hundreds or even thousands of dollars over time.
They Can Spread Diseases
While they’re not known to transmit diseases directly to humans, termites can indirectly spread bacteria and other pathogens that can make people sick. This is because as these insects feed on wood and other materials in your home, they leave behind their feces which contain harmful bacteria that can cause allergic reactions and other respiratory problems when inhaled by humans.
As you can see, termites are more than just a nuisance—they seriously threaten your pocketbook and your health. If you think you may have a problem with these destructive pests, you have a couple of options to handle them. Here are the most common.
Make Repairs Immediately
As stated earlier, termites can bring structural damage to your home. They love gnawing on drywall, especially if they are made of it. Damaged drywall can lead to one part of your home collapsing. So if you notice that the wall of your home is badly damaged, get professional help immediately. A drywall repair service can repair that section of your home. They can also choose suitable materials so that termites will not come back to damage your home again. It will also help you avoid costly repairs in the long run.
Declutter Your Home
Termites love cluttered homes, especially if your home has the necessary living space for them. So here are some ways to ensure your home won’t be a breeding ground for termites.
Remove Stagnant Water
Every insect requires water to survive. If you provide them with a water source, they will come to your home and build their nests there. Make sure to repair leaky pipes and faucets in and around your home. Check for any stagnant water that may have been collected in buckets, vases, pet bowls, and even potted plants. Pour out the water and clean the containers regularly.
Store Wood Properly
Another way to make your home less inviting to termites is to store wood properly. For example, if you have a fireplace, use a metal screen to keep sparks from flying into the room and igniting a fire. If you have wood for building projects, store it away from your home in a dry, protected area.
Hire a Pest Control Service
If you’re uncomfortable dealing with termites, your best bet is to hire a professional pest control service. These experts can identify the type of termites infesting your home and recommend the best course of treatment. Be sure to ask about their experience dealing with termites and their success rate in getting rid of these pests. Also, be sure to ask about the safety of their products and whether they offer a warranty on their work.
While it’s essential to be proactive in preventing a termite infestation, sometimes, these pests are inevitable. So if you find yourself dealing with these destructive insects, take the necessary steps to eliminate them and prevent them from returning.