Termites feed primarily on wood, wood products, and books, just to name a few. Termites cause significant economic losses that amount to over 40 billion USD annually. Damage caused by termites is usually extensive, costly, and poses a significant health threat.
Termites often cause damage to the wood that makes up the building’s structural features, including the doors and windows. A severe termite infestation can compromise the structural integrity of a home.
The destructive effects of termites may not be immediately noticeable, but over time, it becomes significant. Are you wondering how long it takes for termites to cause damage to your property? Read on to find out.
The Timeline of Termites’ Destruction
Termites are small insects, requiring up to 3000 years for a single termite to destroy a 1000-square-foot home. Termites are social insects. They work in a group, which means they can do more damage in a short time. Damage caused by termite infestation is not easily noticeable, and it may take up to two years to feel its impact.
A large colony of termites will consume a pound of wood within a day. A larger colony with up to 60,000 termites will eat up a 2 x 4 within 150 days. Such a colony will cause noticeable damage between 3 and 5 years.
The severity of damage caused by termites is determined by the type of termite in question, as there are over 1500 species of termite. A typical termite colony consists of the queen that lays eggs, the soldiers that protect the colony, the worker who is the laborer of the territory, and the nymphs, the young and unclassified termites.
Formosan termites are the most aggressive and most common of the subterranean termites. This species of termite can cause extensive damage within a short period, and this is possible because of its large population.
The colony of a Formosan termite can contain more than 13 million termites and can live for a long time. They can cause extensive damage in less than eight months as they can eat up to an ounce of wood daily. Drywood termites are not as menacing as Formosan termites, though they are just as challenging to eliminate as the former.
Signs of Termite Infestation
- Mud tube: Mud tubes are peculiar to subterranean termites like the Formosan. The mud tubes are tiny, narrow tunnels usually close to termites’ nests. Termites use mud tubes to move from one place to another.
- Floor damage: Termites like Formosan cause floor and wood damage known as blistering damage.
- Drooping: Dry and damp wood termites spread their droppings, which look like ground coffee or a neat pile of sawdust.
Other Signs of Infestation Are
- Sagging roof and floor
- Broken door or window frame
- Termite nest
- Discolored wallpaper
Prevention of Termite Infestation
Prevention is better than cure, and termite infestation is no exception.
Termite infestation is hard to get rid of. Hence, homeowners are advised to look out for signs of termite infestations. Mild infestation can be controlled by borax powder. For a more intensive approach, commercial pest control can help homeowners reclaim their homes from severe termite infestations.