Termites are small creatures that can reproduce quickly. Despite their size, they are capable of doing incredible damage to your home. Of all the pest infestations you could have, a termite infestation is possibly the worst kind.
Fortunately, calling a termite exterminator at the first indication of a problem can save you a lot of money in the long run. Sure, it will cost you some money up-front to kill the pests, but it would cost you much more to leave them alone and let them thrive. Here’s the real cost of a termite infestation.
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Homes damaged by termites
In the United States, there are more than 600,000 homes damaged by termites every year. To put that into perspective, the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, contains 226,396 houses. So every year, termites damage nearly three times the number of homes found in Las Vegas, which is a major American city.
So it’s unwise to think such an infestation couldn’t happen to you. Termites are very resilient and live in every state (with the exception of Alaska). They do prefer warm climates, though, so your risk of dealing with an infestation increases if you live in the West, Southwest, South or Southeast.
Cost of termite damage
Homeowners throughout the nation pay approximately $5 billion (on a cumulative basis) to exterminate termites and repair the damage left behind. On an individual basis, the average homeowner with termite problems can expect to pay around $3,000 for extermination and repair services.
While those numbers might make you cringe, consider the fact that the longer you wait, the more damage you’ll likely need to repair. When termite colonies grow, they’re able to inflict far more damage in a short amount of time than smaller colonies.
How to tell if you have termites
Now that you know how much a termite infestation can cost, you’re probably wondering how to tell if the little critters are in your home. Here are some of the most common signs that you need to call a termite exterminator immediately:
- Tiny holes in drywall
- Peeling paint that appears to be water damaged
- Wooden or laminate floorboards that are starting to buckle with no obvious cause
- Hollow-sounding wood in any area of your home
- Mud tubes on your property
- Termite droppings that resemble sawdust
- Termite wings that have been shed around windowsills, doors, etc.
- Blisters in wood flooring
These are all common signs of termite problems and should be taken very seriously. It’s wise to walk around your home and do a termite check at least once per year.
How to keep your house safe
Protecting your house from termites could save you a lot of money. While it’s important to watch for signs of a current infestation, it’s equally important to prevent infestations from occurring in the first place.
To make your house less inviting to termites, never stack firewood or lumber against your home. Instead, keep it as far away as possible. You should also make sure water doesn’t pool around your foundation. You can do this by installing proper drainage systems.
When you’re proactive and defensive, you decrease your likelihood of having a termite problem. If you already suspect you have an issue with the pests, call a termite exterminator as soon as possible.