A typical homeowner's insurance policy does not cover destruction caused
by termites, even though they cause over 1 billion dollars in damage to homes throughout the United States each year. It’s
important that homeowners understand the threat of termites, and take the necessary steps to protect their homes.
Many buildings have hidden termite or other wood destroying insect infestation damage that a competently performed wood
destroying inspection may not reveal due to lack of visibility. This is due to the fact that subterranean termites have
a cryptobiotic or "hidden" lifestyle. This means that they are always hidden from our view either beneath the surface
of the soil, beneath the surface of the wood, or in their mud tunnels. This cryptobiotic nature contributes to their success
in invading human structures. The termites enter our buildings from beneath the soil surface and forage within the wood. The
presence of termites is not usually detected there until damage becomes evident or termite swarming takes place (mainly in
Spring). Non-visible infestations can also be due to the time of season, and the stage of life of the insect.
Termites can go undetected for very long periods of time. This can make it very difficult to control them. Their survival
requires dark and moist areas. Termites avoid light and air, so they build their colonies where you’re not likely to
stumble upon them.
On the off chance you do see them, remember that it’s easy to confuse termites with ants.
Fortunately, there are features that distinguish them.
- narrow waists
- bent antennae
- two sets of wings
(one wing is longer than the other)
- thick waists
- straight antennae
- two sets of wings (same size)