5 Facts Every Manager Must Know to Help Protect Your Community from Termites

Termites have come to be known as the "silent destroyers" of the insect world and are believed to cause nearly $5 Billion in damage every year. This means exterior and interior damage can often go unnoticed until you have a full-blown infestation on your hands.

With over 3,000 species across the globe, and millions of years of practice in survival, these pests aren't going away anytime soon.

Below are 5 things you should know to help you stay informed and proactive in protecting your buildings and budget, before you are forced to be reactive.

1. Subterranean Termites are the most active ecological group of termites in the United States, and also the most destructive.

A map showing the distribution of Subterranean Termites in the U.S. Courtesy of The Department of Urban and Structural Entomology at Texas A&M University.

A map showing the distribution of Subterranean Termites in the U.S. Courtesy of The Department of Urban and Structural Entomology at Texas A&M University.

 

In the U.S., and particularly in the subtropical and tropical southern states, both Native and Formosan Subterranean Termites are incredibly prevalent.

To make matters worse, Formosan Termites are considered to be responsible for the greatest amount of damage across the country and they are being found in increasing numbers across Texas.

 

 

2. Eliminating water and moisture problems can be one of the best preventive actions.

 

Inspect areas around water pipes or utility lines and seal any entry points. Termites can enter cracks and crevices as thin as a penny.

Check gutters and drain lines to make sure water is being diverted away from buildings and is not able to collect around building foundations.

Repair any leaking water pipes, faucets and A/C units to eliminate standing water issues.

 

3. Remove food sources that may attract termites.

Keep firewood, lumber or landscaping debris far away from buildings and building foundations.

Remove stumps or any other dead shrubbery from gardens and lawns that surround buildings.

Make sure wood siding and paneling of buildings does not contact the soil and regularly check wooden fences or decks for water damage or rot. Signs of either problem may in fact be a sign of termite activity.

4. Educate your staff and maintenance team in how to look for signs of termite activity.

Termite tubes are used to protect travel routes and are often found on building foundations.

Termite tubes are used to protect travel routes and are often found on building foundations.

Subterranean termites with a "Swarmer" shown. Swarmers are the winged adult termites that fly away to begin their own colonies.

Subterranean termites with a "Swarmer" shown. Swarmers are the winged adult termites that fly away to begin their own colonies.

Termite damage is shown on an exterior wooden awning.

Termite damage is shown on an exterior wooden awning.

Termite damage can sometimes appear similar to water damage. This can include buckling wood, bubbling or peeling paint, and swollen floors and ceilings.

Knowing what to look for, and where, is one of the most important factors to prevent infestations.

5. Lastly, and most troubling, termites don't sleep.

Termite colonies eat non-stop, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This unrelenting work effort is what allows a small problem to become a serious issue that can lead to major damage in a relative short period of time.

This is the most important reason proactive solutions are necessary.

Think of it this way, it would be very difficult to control a wrecking ball that won't stop swinging.

 

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