Termites: The tiny pests that can cost you thousands

Termites are silent destroyers. While you’re relaxing and enjoying your morning breakfast and coffee, termites are working hard for their meal – which is likely your home. After they eat away at your home, they’ll take a bite out of your wallet. How? Well, we hate to break it to you, but homeowners insurance doesn’t cover the cost of termite damage. 

Termites cause property owners more than $5 billion in damage each year, and that number is likely conservative. But we’re here to help. We want to educate you on the facts about termites and homeowners insurance as well as the damage termites can cause, the signs of termites in your home, what you can do to prevent them, and how we can help.

Schedule a termite inspection today to make sure termites aren’t making a meal out of your home.

Why isn’t termite damage covered on homeowners insurance?

To put it simply, a termite infestation is something that can be controlled with regular maintenance. And, regular maintenance (per homeowners insurance) is something that is the homeowner’s responsibility. When you first purchase your home, most loan companies require you to have a termite inspection to ensure you aren’t investing in a home with hidden problems. After making your purchase, it is (highly) recommended that you have annual termite inspections.

Annual inspections are essential for the early detection of termite activity on your property. Each year your specialist will check your property, both inside and out, for signs of termites and termite damage. They will also assess your property for any conditions that could be making your home more susceptible to termites. Post-inspection, you will receive a report of the specialist’s findings as well as recommendations for treatment, repair, and/or preventative services to lower your chances of an infestation going forward.

person reading over an insurance policy

The only chance you may have of your insurance policy covering termite damage is if termites chew through your electrical wires and cause a house fire. A house fire is typically covered in most homeowner insurance policies.

What kind of damage can termites cause to my home?

Unfortunately, termites can eat away at the structure of your house before you even notice that they are there. They can go undetected for years, and by the time you see signs of damage, it may be too late. The average cost of a single incident of termite damage is estimated to be $3,000; that’s a lot for any homeowner to pay out of pocket. Serious infestations can cause damage to the internal structure of your home creating buckling walls and sagging floors.

termite damage to a door frame

In addition to chewing on the wood both on the outside and inside of your home as well as that around your doors and windows, termites will also eat any material composed of cellulose. They can destroy cloth, carpets, paper, books, and even insulation. And don’t think you’re in the clear if you have a home made of stone or brick. Unfortunately for you, your structural supports and other building components are constructed of wood and other materials containing cellulose, both a termite favorite.

What are the signs of termite damage?

Termites can go unnoticed for a very long time, but here are some signs you may start to see on your property if you have termites.

  • Blistering wood – This wood may sound hollow or rotted when it is stepped or knocked on.
  • Discarded termite wings – These may be the first and only visible sign of a termite problem.
  • Droppings – Termite excrement is often mistaken for piles of sawdust.
  • Mud tubes (subterranean termites)These will be attached to structures, typically near your property’s foundation.
  • Swarmer termites – Flying termites can mean serious trouble.
signs of termites

Termites cannot effectively be treated by homeowners alone. If you’ve noticed any of these signs, do not waste time. With Western, you can set up annual termite inspections to spot the signs early and minimize the risk of an attack. One of our specialists will be able to determine the extent of the damage, the type of termite infesting your home, and will provide you with the best treatment plan.

How can I save my home from termites?

Western offers a preventative termite plan even if your home hasn’t had termites before. This proactive method targets the most susceptible areas of your home keeping your property safe from hungry termites. You’ll also benefit from periodic professional termite inspections at no additional charge and a termite warranty to cover future damage and repairs.*

As a homeowner, there are some preventative measures that you can take on your own to protect your property from termites:

  • Store woodpiles at least 25 feet away from your home.
  • Keep mulch pulled back away from the foundation of your home.
  • Repair all leaks and moisture issues right away.
  • Avoid moisture accumulation by diverting water away from your home’s foundation.
  • Watch for and correct condensation issues around HVAC and air conditioning units.
  • Use treated wood for building decks, gazebos, sheds, etc.
  • Remove excess wood from the yard, including construction materials, fallen trees, and stumps/roots.
  • Have an annual termite inspection.
Western Exterminator specialists puts a termite baiting system into the ground

Let Western handle termites for you

Western Exterminator specialists are the experts in termite control. We will control all of your termite needs: spotting the signs early, servicing to eliminate the problem, and inspecting periodically so they don’t return. Relax pest-free! Contact us today so you don’t end up overspending on a tiny pest that you could have avoided in the first place.

*Limitations apply. See plan for details. Not available in all areas.

Emily Nicholson

Emily Nicholson is a Digital Marketing Coordinator for Rentokil North America. She currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and two dogs. She loves being outside - mountains or beach - and enjoys working out, walking her pups, and relaxing with her husband, friends, and family.

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