Termites, known as the “silent destroyers”, are one of the most destructive pests, causing an estimated $5 billion in property damage annually in the United States. Eastern subterranean termites, which are found throughout Pennsylvania, can be so destructive because once damage becomes evident, it is usually the result of many years of infestation.
Home owners can take steps to help prevent termites from becoming a serious problem. Routine inspections of the home should be performed to check for signs of termites or termite damage such as mud tubes, cracked or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped. In Pennsylvania, termite infestations are most often found in basement or cellar areas or the structural timbers immediately above the cellar walls, so those areas should be thoroughly inspected. Home owners should also reduce moisture around their home, monitor all outside areas of wood, and seal cracks on the exterior of the home.
Signs of an active termite infestation can include the presence of swarming termites or their discarded wings, especially in late winter/spring months. Termite swarmers are the most commonly seen stage of termites, since other termite castes will not willingly expose themselves to light. Termite swarmers very much resemble and can be mistaken for winged ants; therefore, they should be positively identified by a pest control professional. In addition to swarming termites, damaged wood or the presence of termite tubes can indicate an active termite problem in the home. If you suspect a termite infestation in your home, contact our office for a free pest identification and professional termite control estimate.
Source: Eastern Subterranean Termites, Penn State Extension, ento.psu.edu
More information about Termite Awareness Week can be found on the National Pest Management Association website.