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Problems with Termites

One of the most troublesome pests that can invade your home is the termite. Termites are ever determined in their pursuit of food - they can eat up your house, and your furniture! This insect generally feeds on approximately 2.3 linear feet of a 2 x 4 of wood per year. A colony of termites, which ranges from a few hundred to a few million, can cause major property damage.

TermitesThere are three main contributing factors to a termite infestation: soil, wood, and water. Without these factors the insect will not survive. In many cases, a termite problem indicates water seepage in some section of the structure. The leak could have existed prior to the invasion and attracted the pests, or it could have been caused by them. Termites thrive in damp, wooded areas; consequently, when water damages the wood of a building, the result can be disastrous.

The two most common types of termites are known as subterranean and wood-inhabiting.

Subterranean termites are often found in much larger colonies than the wood variety, ranging from hundreds of thousands to several millions, causing approximately $2 billion of damage in the United States each year. They build their nests in the soil, and because they can tunnel underground, they are a frequent problem in homes that have wood in direct contact with the ground. They are considered to be a more advanced society than their primitive counterparts, the wood inhabitants.

Wood-inhabiting termites are found in small colonies, consisting of a few thousands. They live inside dead wood (logs, branches, etc); once the colony has eaten the wood, it dies. They can cause significant damage to homes as well as furniture.

Below are some tips to help you protect your home from termites:

Check for wood touching the ground. Regularly inspect wooden structures, and remember to store wood on a tarp, not on damp soil.

Check for water leaks. Inspect your home for water seepage. This is not always easy, so you might want to hire an inspector to investigate for you.

Check the foundation. Inspect your home’s foundation to make sure that there is no water accumulation near it; this will also help avoid future repair work to the foundation. Do not store your firewood on the ground against the foundation.

Check with local pest control companies. Many pest control companies offer a free investigation of your property for termites. They will point out the risks around your property, provide you with important information, and may suggest preventative measures. Give them a call and inquire. The bottom line is prevention.


This article was written by Herb Mansfield:
Herb Mansfield is a master plumber in the province of Quebec, Canada. He has over 35 years experience in the plumbing field. He is now lending his expertise to the Sump Pump Info website.


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