How to Deal with Termite Damage Part 1
Financially Devastating Damage
By the time the “silent destroyers” have made themselves known, you might be facing thousands (or even tens of thousands) of dollars in necessary repairs. According to the National Pest Management Association, termites cause over $5 billion worth of damage to buildings every year. Unfortunately, some homeowners don’t realize that this costly termite damage is not covered by their insurance policy. Homeowners insurance is meant to cover expenses that are sudden and/or accidental, and insurance companies do not consider termite damage to be in this category. Technically speaking, termite damage can be prevented or caught early if you hire pest control companies to do routine inspections of your home. This puts homeowners in a tough place. It’s easy to not realize that something as devastating as termite damage isn’t covered by your insurance policy. Also, getting your home routinely inspected costs valuable time and money. If everything looks fine on the surface, it may not occur to a homeowner to hire a pest control company for merely preventative measures. Then all of a sudden, the damage becomes bad enough to see and the homeowner realizes his or her insurance can’t help.
Signs and Types of Termites
There are three main types of termites found in the United States:
- Dampwood termites
- Drywood termites
- Subterranean termites
Though they are capable of massive damage, termites are small pests, typically a quarter inch to a half inch in length. Termite kings and queens are capable of growing to over an inch in length. Some termites can fly while others cannot. Flying termites are known as “reproductives” and their job is to fly somewhere new to reproduce. Once they’ve reached their destination, reproductives shed their wings. These wings are a telltale sign of a termite infestation. Other signs of termites include:
- “Frass,” which looks like fine wood dust but is actually termite excrement
- Hollow wood
- Maze-like designs in wood products
- Mud tunnels
- What looks like water damage (but isn’t)
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