The state of Alaska does not have to deal with termites, but for the rest of the United States these bug do $5 billion dollars in property damage each year. Those are some scary numbers. Termites eat wood 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you don't live in Alaska, the answer is yes, you should be worried about termites.
A single termite colony can have millions of termites living in it, and that is bad news for the equity of your home. Let's take a look at the two types of termites that could threaten your property value, and explore ways that you can protect yourself from this threat.
If you find a pile of dirt coming out of a wall--or speckled on your sill--you might want to look a little closer at that dirt. Drywood termites enjoy dry, hard wood, and their dropping reflect that. These hard droppings can look like sand or black pepper. Look for tiny holes in your walls or molding.
If you have drywood termites your home could be in for a rough winter. These termites can infest your home from the air and live inside your walls and support beams all winter long. With winters in Florida being much milder, these colonies can continue to grow and flourish all year round.
These termites are much more common in the humid climate of Florida, and far more damaging, but there is good news. They are easier to detect. Subterranean termites require moisture and prefer to build their colonies in the soil around their food source. For this reason, they make mud tubes on the foundation walls of the house they are infesting, and workers travel in and out.
What do termites do to a home?
Termites eat wood. In nature, they are a vital part of the ecosystem. Their job is to take rotted wood and turn it into fertile soil. In your home, they will devour large galleries until support structures no longer hold, floors begin to sag, and walls begin to bulge.
What do I do if I have termites?
If you live in Florida, be sure you contact a local pest control professional for a termite inspection. Catching these wood eating insects "before" they can damage your home is vital.