Here in North Carolina, we have termites known as Subterranean Termites. These termites are social insects, meaning they live in colonies. A home will become infested when a colony decides to make your structure into their home.
How Do Termites Choose A Home?
Subterranean termites need two things, food, and moisture. They feed on cellulose-based material like wood, books, boxes, furniture, and drywall coverings. Termites are constantly foraging and have been found more than 150 feet from their colony.
Infestations can occur two ways. First, healthy colonies send out winged reproductives to start new colonies. When the termites find a suitable area, they will start a new colony. Second, infestations occur when subterranean termites forage for food and find their way into a structure. Subterranean termites do this in a number of ways. One of the more common ways is by building mud tunnels over foundation walls to provide themselves access to the structure’s wood.
Termite Threats To A Home
Termites are responsible for more than $5 billion of damage in the US each year according to the National Pest Management Association.
Termites cause more damage in a year than fires, floods, and tornadoes. One termite colony may contain several hundred thousand termites. A colony can eat up to a pound of wood a day.
Inspecting For Termites
Knowing how termites live and their traits help us detect if the home is infested with termites. Here are some of the things we look for during a termite inspection:
- Evidence of Swarmers
- Mud Tubes
- Mud in Construction Joints
- Certain property features that harbor termites
- Wood Damage