This week is Termite Awareness week. There seems to be a day and week of awareness for just about everything, so why not termites. Entomology today has a really great interview with our friends at National Pest Management Association about the why of Termite Awareness Week and what you expect with termites.
Termites Awareness Week was created a few years ago to help bring attention to the extensive damage done by termites and the steps homeowners can take to prevent them. Throughout the year the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) provides consumers with education about termites, but they really strengthen their voice as spring approaches. This year Termite Awareness Week, which is recognized by Chase’s Calendar of Events, will be held March 15-21, 2015. We recently contacted the NPMA with the following termite questions.
What are the most important things people should know about termites?
Termites cause over $5 billion in property damage each year, damage that’s generally not covered by insurance. Homeowners need to understand that these insects – known as silent destroyers – can eat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In fact, a very large colony of subterranean termites can eat through a cup of wood in two hours’ time. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends that homeowners have a professional termite inspection done every one to three years, depending on the level of termite activity in the region. Generally, warmer weather climates see more termite activity.
Can you tell us a bit about swarmers? What are they exactly and when should we look for them?
Swarmers, also known as reproductives, are young female and male winged termites. In the springtime, after the last freeze, termite swarmers will emerge from their nest to mate and search for a new location to start a colony, which typically includes our homes. As such, termite swarmers, or their discarded wings near windowsills and doors, are often the first (and only outwardly visible) sign of a termite problem.
What are some signs that your home might have termites?
Termite activity can be very difficult to detect; however, here are some possible indicators:
- Termite swarms
- Mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source) on the exterior of the home
- Soft wood in the home that sounds hollow when tapped
- Darkening or blistering of wood structures
- Cracked or bubbling paint
- Small piles of feces that resembles sawdust near a termite nest