There are about fifty different termite species in the United States, and while many of them are structural pests, the biggest worry for homeowners should be subterranean termites. They are not only the most widespread type of termite, but they're also the most destructive.
Here's what you need to know about these pests:
Where are they found?
Subterranean termites are found nearly everywhere in the United States. They aren't found in Alaska, but homeowners in all other states may encounter them. They prefer warmer weather, and are therefore more common in the Southern and Southeastern regions of the country. They can still be found in northern states since they live underground and are sheltered from the cold weather.
How common are subterranean termites?
Subterranean termites are very common within their range, so there's a good chance that you're living close to a colony. These colonies can be densely packed, with as many as fourteen colonies found in each acre of land. Each of these colonies can have as many as one million termites inside.
Living on top of a termite colony doesn't mean that your house is already infested, but it does mean that it could happen very easily.
How do you keep the termites out of your house?
An infestation may seem like it's inevitable, but fortunately, there are some things that you can do to protect your home.
Termites are attracted to wood that is in contact with the ground. Make sure that there is at least six inches of clearance between the ground and any exterior woodwork. This won't guarantee that the termites can't get inside, but it makes it harder for them to do so.
Keeping the foundation of your home dry is also important. Termites need moisture to survive, and will be attracted to moisture. The ground around your house should slope downwards, allowing water to flow away from your foundation, and not towards it.
How do you treat a termite infestation?
A single termite colony can eat nearly thirteen pounds of wood in a single year, so if you think you have a termite problem, don't delay seeking help. Termites are very hard to get rid of by yourself since they live in tunnels underneath your home and inside the hidden wooden structures of your home. It's hard to reach them with insecticides and this is a job best left for the professionals.
Subterranean termites are both common and destructive, a dangerous combination for your home. If you think you have termites, call a pest control and termite treatment company right away.