Answers to Frequently Asked Termite Questions

Termites cause billions of dollars in damage across the United States each year. Termite damage in Northern Virginia can easily average $2,000 or more from a single occurrence. Just like brushing your teeth, changing the oil on your car or seeing your doctor for regular checkups, preventative inspections and preventative treatments can help protect your home. Here are some frequently asked termite questions.

Are there different kinds of termites?

Yes, the four major kinds of termites in the United States are dampwood, drywood, Formosan and subterranean.

  • Dampwood termites commonly live in heavily forested areas of the country as they prefer wood with a high moisture content. They are normally larger than other termite species.
  • Drywood termites, much more rare in the United States, prefer extremely dry wood like that found in attic framing. They live in colonies of up to 2,500 members and usually swarm on sunny, warm days after a sudden rise in temperature.
  • Formosan termites, also known as “super termites,” are an extremely aggressive termite species originally from China. They live in huge underground colonies, with an average of 350,000 workers and build intricate mud nests in the ground.
  • Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive termite species. They live in underground colonies with as many as two million members. Subterranean termites use their scissor-like jaws to eat wood 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What are some signs of a termite infestation?

Depending on where you live, termite swarms may be visible in the early spring. Termite swarms can sometimes be confused with flying ants. Telltale signs of a termite infestation include soft, decayed wood in the home, mud tubes in the interior or exterior of your home (often near the foundation), and darkening or blistering of wood structures.

How much damage do termites cause?

Termites eat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, meaning damage to wood in and around a structure can happen very quickly. In fact, the NPMA estimates that termites cause $5 billion in property damage each year. The good news is that termites can be controlled with the partnership of a trained pest professional.

What can a homeowner do to prevent termites?

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. Divert water away from the 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. In addition, maintain an 18-inch gap between soil and any wood portions of your home. Finally, routinely inspect the foundation of the home for signs of termite damage.

Does homeowners insurance cover damage?

Typically, homeowner’s insurance does not cover termite damage. Most pest infestations and accompanying damage are considered maintenance issues by insurance carriers.

How difficult are termites to treat?

Termites cannot be effectively treated by a homeowner on their own. Pest control professionals have the training, expertise and technology to eliminate a termite infestation.

How are termites controlled?

A licensed pest control professional will be able to recommend a course of action depending on many factors, including the area of the country that you live in, the size of your infestation, the termite species present and your home’s construction.

What is the most effective type of termite treatment?

The National Pest Management Association and the entire pest management industry are committed to providing highly effective treatment options for all pest issues. The most effective type of treatment depends on the severity of the infestation, the species of termite, and the location and construction of the home. A trained and licensed pest control professional can assess each infestation individually and recommend the most effective treatment plan.

How much does a termite treatment cost?

A termite treatment can cost anywhere from $800 to $1,800 dollars, depending on where you live, the construction of your home, severity of the infestation and the type of contract offered by your pest control professional. After a thorough inspection, in most cases your pest control company will give you an estimate at no charge.

How long does a termite treatment typically take?

Termite treatments typically will take no more than a day.

Contact My Pest Pros today for a termite inspection and to protect your home from termites and other pests.