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Beware the Dangers of Termite Damage

A Harris Poll survey for Terminix has identified multiple misconceptions among U.S. homeowners relating to termite damage.

Out of more than 1,300 survey participants, a surprising 65 per cent of homeowners admitted they rarely think about termite damage when it comes to their own home. Additionally, 20 per cent say if they see termites in their home they will tackle the issue themselves in the belief that using DIY methods for termite control are as effective as employing a professional.

Termites are found in every state except Alaska, and cause more than US $5 billion in damage annually. Because termites generally eat homes from the inside out, they often go unnoticed by unsuspecting homeowners. Termite colonies can remain hidden behind walls and other structural elements for years before they are detected and the extent of damage becomes evident. Further, termite damage is rarely covered by homeowners’ insurance, leaving unknowing homeowners responsible for expensive out-of-pocket repairs.

Termite swarms are weather-driven events that typically occur on warm, sunny, calm days following a spring rain. During a swarm, winged termites leave their existing colony to find a mate and establish new colonies.

Lance Martin, Terminix Senior Vice President of Field Operations, cautions: “While Terminix treats for termites year-round, activity really picks up in the spring and early summer when termite swarms impact cities across the country.

“Once a home is infested, termite damage repair can be extremely costly, so having annual termite coverage in place from a licensed, professional pest management company is the best protection against these damaging and costly pests.”

“When a homeowner detects a termite swarm, whether inside or outside their home, it could mean the house is infested and may have already suffered damage,” adds Doug Webb, B.C.E., a technical manager for Terminix with over 38 years of experience with the pests. “Identifying a swarm allows the homeowner to take action and alleviate a problem that may have otherwise remained hidden.”

Although assistance from a trained professional is highly advised, homeowners can take simple measures to make their home less inviting for the wood-destroying pests, including:

  • Fix roof and plumbing leaks. The moisture allows termites to survive above ground.
  • Clean and repair gutters. Gutters that do not drain properly 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 a home.
  • Keep mulch or soil from piling up directly against the home.
  • Schedule an annual termite inspection with a trained professional. Prompt treatment and regular inspections can save thousands of dollars in damage repair.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Terminix from April 21st to 23rd 2021, and involved a sample of 1,355 homeowners aged 18 and over. 622 of the survey participants were first-time buyers.

CAMFIL HVAC Filtration Solutions

Staff Reporter

FMIndustry.com covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

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