Amazingly, the average homeowner’s insurance does not cover the threat of termites though termites strike more American structures than fire and cost Americans about 1.1 billion dollars a year! This isn’t a pest you want to give the keys to your home to!
On the average, there could be as many as 13 to 14 subterranean colonies per acre, which means that a typical home may easily have three to four colonies (with as many as 1 million per colony) situated under or around it. Since foundations are usually built above the water table, and below the frost line, near where termites live, your home is naturally close to their colonies. Ironically, concrete slab and basement foundations are some of the most susceptible types of construction.
Termites only need a crack of one-sixty-fourth inch in a slab floor to gain entrance into your home and once there, they can infest virtually any part of your home — wood trim, wallboard, siding, even picture frames. Once they discover a food source, they leave a “chemical trail” for others to follow. “Worker” termites bring food to the colony through tunnels without ever resting.
Termites need moisture to survive (areas like basements and crawl spaces are very attractive to them and can serve as starting points for infestation). They are often confused with ants, but this is the basic difference: Termite Swarmers have a broad waist, their antennae are not elbowed and both wings are the same size with many veins. Ant Swarmers have a thin, pinched waist, their antennae are elbowed and the hind wings are smaller than the front wings. Some of the common signs of an infestation include mud tunnels along the foundation of the house inside or out, wings or sawdust near windows, doors or in the garage, tiny holes on wood., flying or “swarming” termites in the house, especially near light sources.
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