How much damage is caused by termites?
Have you ever wondered how much damage is caused by termites in a year? Well, estimates vary, but it is estimated that each year termites cause over $5 billion in damage in the United States – and that is most likely a low estimate. Another way of saying it is, in one-year termites cause more property damage than floods, fires, hurricanes and earthquakes, combined. Which is especially unfortunate, as most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover the costs to repair termite damage. This is also why it is so important to get a termite inspection and call us at the first sign of termites.
Homeowners should be aware that the most aggressive termite colony can eat one pound of wood a day, and most species eat two to three times their body weight every day. Of course, the amount of termite damage may be more or less severe, depending on several factors including type and size of termite, moisture level present and time of year. For example, subterranean termites can cause the most damage, will thrive where moisture is available, and, like most termites, are less active during the colder months.
How large is a termite colony?
Another factor in termite damage is the size of the colony. A mature colony can take 3 to 5 years, or more, to reach a mature size of about 50,000 to 60,000, which is when the colony is large enough to swarm. In reality, a subterranean termite colony can range from a few thousand to several million termites. Not to mention, one termite colony can cover a third of an acre! Though termites only travel a couple hundred feet from their nest, one colony may establish several smaller nesting sites, allowing their colony to reach a much larger area.
What termite causes the most damage?
One type of termite we are most concerned with here in Bakersfield and Ventura is the Formosan subterranean termite, also known as a ‘super termite’. These termites are larger and more aggressive than other types of subterranean termites and can eat 1 foot of a 2 x 4 piece of wood in 2 days. For comparison, an Eastern subterranean termite colony takes 6 months to consume this amount! Formosan termite colonies average 3 million termites to a colony, and can cause widespread damage to a structure in 6 months, especially in the ideal climate that is warm and moist.
It is always more expensive to repair termite damage than it is to prevent it. It is estimated that in the US alone, termites damage over 600,000 homes every year. Homeowners should also be aware that termites could affect homes built of just about any material, including concrete, stucco and brick. Call us for a free termite inspection at the first sign of termite damage, or if you are concerned that your property may be at risk for an infestation.