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Did you know...?
An ant can lift 20 times its own body weight. If a 175-pound man had the comparative strength of an ant, he could lift four tons.
Termites are some of the most successful insects in the world and can be found on all continents except Antartica. They are also perhaps the most expensive insects in the world, damaging roughy 600,000 home in the U.S. each year, and more than $5 billion is spent each year to control termites and repair the damage they cause.
There are more than 2,000 species of termites around the world, and 50 here in the U.S. They are small, typically measuring less than half an inch in length, and white to light brown in color with six legs, antennae, and a long abdomen. Like ants, they live in colonies with a highly structured caste system of workers, soldiers, and reproducers. Their colonies can range from a few hundred to several million insects.
The termite diet — which consists solely of dead plants — is what makes termites so damaging. They primarily feed on wood, but the can also compromise live trees, shrubs, masonry, and other components of your home. Depending on the size of the colony, they can damage a home at a fairly rapid pace, and often before you even realize there is an infestation.
One of the reasons termite damage to a home can be so costly is that termites can be gnawing away at your home for many years before you detect them. However, there are some tell-tale signs you can keep an eye out for including discarded wings near doors and windows, pencil-sized mud tubes in the ground near your foundation, and damaged wood in your home.
You can also get an inkling your home might be a target if you witness a termite swarm in the spring. This would be a large flying group of the insects, typically in the early spring as temperatures start to rise and there’s moisture in the air. When termite swarm they are looking for a place to start a new colony, and you want to do whatever it takes to discourage them from making your home theirs.
Protect your Investment
In most cases, homeowners who are selling their home must have a termite inspection and provide the buyer and bank with documentation stating there are no termites or termite damage in the home.
However, even if there are no termites or damage in your home when you purchase it, that does not mean you do not need to protect your home. It makes sense to consult a pest control professional who can provide a comprehensive termite-protection solution for your home.