Termites can cause irreparable damage to your home or business if they feed on structural wood.
Some factors that affect how quickly a termite infestation can spread include:
- Accessibility of wood through a building’s surrounding soil
- Age and size of the colony
- The amount of wood and other food sources
- Topographic factors
If you suspect that you have a termite problem, call a pest control company immediately. The longer you leave a termite problem untreated, the farther the colony can spread into the structure of your building.
How Fast Does a Termite Infestation Spread?
Just how much wood can a termite colony eat? It depends on the size. A colony can have a few hundred termites or as many as several thousand.
To give you an idea of how fast termite colonies can get out of control, a queen termite can lay as many as 30,000 eggs in one day. Even letting a termite problem go for a few weeks can be a problem. Estimates indicate that a mature colony can eat over 5 kilograms of wood in one month. That would quickly compromise a building’s structure.
Termites spread several ways. Subterranean termites can travel through underground mud tubes and find anywhere that wood comes into contact with soil. Others spread their colony by swarming and may find their way into your attic. If you let the infestation go on too long, they will move inside and inflict damage.
The Threats of Termites Spreading
The damage that termites can cause to your home or property can be expensive. According to the U.S. Forest Service, termites cause about $2 billion of damage in the US every year.
Termites don’t just eat the wood that makes up your home. They will eat anything that contains cellulose, such as cotton, flax, and hemp. Cellulose is also the main ingredient in wood pulp products such as paper and paperboard. Crops such as corn, sorghum, and yams are also susceptible to termite damage because of their sweetness and high water content.
Many DIY options for eliminating termites can make the problem worse if not done correctly. Termites can communicate with smell and sound to alert the colony to threats. When threatened, a colony may split, resulting in termites causing structural damage in new areas of your home – a common occurrence with DIY treatments done improperly.
Termites also do not need to sleep like most insects. Worker termites work and eat 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A worker termite can live for several years before being replaced by new workers produced by the queen.
Signs of a Termite Infestation
A visible termite swarm is going to be the biggest clue that you have termites. Still, if you see even a single termite, you will want to call a pest control expert.
While termites look very similar to winged ants, there are three visual differences between them:
- Termite wings are all the same size.
- Termite wings have an elongated teardrop shape.
- Termite antennae are straight without a bend in them.
You don’t have to see termites to know that you have an infestation, though. Other signs of termite activity include:
- Rustling or clicking sounds inside walls
- Piles of clear, teardrop-shaped wings
- A hollow sound when knocking on wood
- Mud tubes
Tips for Getting Rid of and Preventing Termites
Several conditions make your home more appealing to termites. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent and deter termites from infesting the structure of your home or business:
- Remove or repair rotted wooden structures.
- Keep stumps, dead trees, logs, and woodpiles away from your home.
- When building or improving your home, consider installing metal shields along the foundation.
- Use treated wood when building decks, fences, or other wooden outdoor structures.
- Schedule a regular termite inspection with a certified pest control expert.
Prompt and Effective Termite Extermination
If you see termites or any signs that indicate that you have termites, contact Stampede Pest Control right away. Our team is highly experienced in identifying the signs of termites. We can identify specific problem areas and treat them with minimum invasiveness.
Our termite control is guaranteed to work and uses pet and family-safe chemicals. We have several comprehensive solutions available to keep your home termite-free. Call today to get a free quote and schedule your termite treatment!