Survey Reveals Homeowner Misconceptions About Termites

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Recently, Terminix collaborated with Harris Interactive to gauge 2,000 U.S. homeowners' sentiment around common pests, including termites. While many respondents had a basic understanding of the damage termites can cause, several startling misconceptions also emerged.

The study revealed:

  • 94% believe termites can cause thousands of dollars' worth of damage, yet only 26% had ever had their home inspected for termites and only 16% reported having a current termite contract.
  • 43% believe termites can be controlled using standard, at-home, DIY treatments, while another 30% believe damage caused by termites would be covered by their homeowner's insurance policy – both of which are incorrect.

Termites cause more than $5 billion in damage annually. Because termites generally eat homes from the inside out, they often go unnoticed by unsuspecting homeowners. Termites eat anything containing cellulose, including wood, paper, cardboard, wallpaper, drywall and even furniture. Colonies can remain hidden behind walls and other structural elements for years before their presence is detected and the extent of the damage becomes evident. Even more disturbing is that termite destruction is rarely covered by homeowners insurance, leaving the owners responsible for repairs.

Termite swarms are weather-driven events that typically occur on sunny, warm, calm days following a spring rain. During a swarm, winged termites leave their existing colony to find a mate and establish new colonies. While termite swarming can occur as early as February, due to unseasonably cool and wet weather this winter, activity has been delayed throughout much of the country. The best protection against these damaging pests is to have an annual termite inspection by a licensed pest control company to identify signs of termites.

Controlling termites requires the help of a trained professional, but homeowners can take the following simple steps to help make their home less inviting to these wood-destroying pests:

  • Fix roof and plumbing leaks. The moisture from these allows termites to survive above ground.
  • Clean and repair gutters. Gutters that do not drain properly can allow water to accumulate near the foundation.
  • Eliminate wood-to-soil contact. Any wood that simultaneously touches the soil and the home can provide termites with direct access to the structure. This includes keeping firewood or other wood debris from being stacked against the side of the home.
  • Keep mulch or soil from piling up directly against the home. Soil or mulch can hide termite activity and allow for easy access into the home.
  • Schedule an annual inspection with a trained professional. Prompt treatment and regular inspections can save thousands of dollars in damage repair.

Thomas Pest Services offers a long term termite solution that eliminates the colony from the structure, the Sentricon Termite Elimination System. Sentricon is a termite bait system installed around the perimeter of the home and it is green! Termites will begin to swarm soon, so if you see piles of insect wings, termite damage, or other signs, contact Thomas Pest Services for a free inspection. Termites eat wood 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. For a free home evaluation and information on termite control services in Albany, Schenectady, Clifton Park, South Glens Falls along with surrounding New York towns. 


Tags: Termite control  |  Termite treatments  |  termite inspections


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