1. What are termites?
Termites are wood-destroying insects. Their presence dates back to
the dinosaurs. While they play an important role in nature, experts
estimate they cause $5 billion of property damage each year.
2. Are there different kinds of termites?
Yes, the three major kinds of termites in the United States are
dampwood, drywood and subterranean. Dampwood termites
commonly live in heavily forested areas of the country as they prefer
wet wood; while, drywood termites, much more rare in the United
States, prefer extremely dry wood. Subterranean termites require
moist environments, live mainly in the soil and are the most
3. How do I recognize termites?
Depending on your geographical location, termite swarms should be
visible in the early spring. Termite swarms can be confused with
flying ants. Telltale signs of termite infestation include soft wood in
the home, mud tubes in the interior or exterior of your home (often
near the foundation), and darkening or blistering of wood structures.
4. What is the biology of a termite?
Termites are social insects that live in colonies. Each termite has a
specific role in the colony. The queen lays the eggs - possibly
several thousand each day in some kinds of termites. Workers
termites are the only ones that cause damage to wood – their job is
to gather food and enlarge the colony. Soldiers have huge heads
and long jaws they use to protect the colony from enemies. The
termites that you may see are the winged reproductives that swarm
in early spring.
5. How much damage do termites cause?
The truth is, there are two kinds of homes: those that have had
termites and those that will get them. Termites work 24 hours/7 days
a week at damaging the wood in and around a structure. And, while
they cause $5 billion in damage each year, there is no reason to
think that termites cannot be controlled.
6. When do I see termites?
Termites swarm in the early spring, depending on their geographical
7. What can I do to prevent termites?
The most important thing is to remove the conducive conditions
termites need to survive. Termites love moisture; avoid moisture
accumulation around the foundation of your home. Divert water away
with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
Reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation. Prevent
shrubs, vines and other vegetation from growing over and covering
vents. Be sure to remove old form boards, grade stakes, etc., left in
place after the building was constructed. Remove old tree stumps
and roots around and beneath the building. Most importantly,
eliminate any wood contact with the soil. An 18-inch gap between the
soil and wood portions of the building is ideal. It doesn’t hurt to
routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of termite
8. Does my insurance cover termite damage?
Homeowner’s insurance does not cover termite damage.
9. How are termites controlled?
A pest control professional will come in and treat the problem so that
you can live comfortably in your home.
10. What is the most effective type of termite treatment?
The Delaware Pest Control Association and the entire industry are
committed to providing highly effective treatment options for all pest
issues. The most effective type of treatment depends upon the
severity of the infestation, the species of termite, and the location
and construction of the home or building. A trained and licensed pest
control operator can assess each infestation separately and
recommend a rigorous treatment plan that will effectively control the
11. How difficult are termites to treat?
Termites are nearly impossible for homeowners to treat on their own.
On the other hand, pest control professionals have the training,
expertise and technology to eliminate termite infestations.
12. How much does a termite treatment cost?
They can range anywhere from $800 to $1,800 dollars, depending
on where you live, the construction of your home, severity of the
infestation, and the type of contract offered by your pest control
professional. Your pest control professional will give you a free
13. Are these products dangerous to kids and pets?
All professional pest control products have been registered for use
by the EPA. When they are applied according to label instructions by
technicians who have been trained and licensed to use them, they
pose virtually no risk.
14. What is the most effective type of termite treatment?
A trained and licensed pest control operator is the best person to
make a recommendation for each particular property.
15. Why should I hire a professional instead of attempting to
control their pest problems by themselves?
Just as you wouldn’t prescribe medicine for yourself or drill your own
cavities – you shouldn’t attempt to control termites – or other pests --
on your own. The products and the expertise offered by professional
pest control far surpasses what a homeowner could do on their own.
Leave it up to the experts for peace of mind. Why risk it?
16. What questions should I ask during a professional termite
What type of treatment is recommended? How long will the treatment
take? How much will it cost? How long will it take to get rid of the
termites? What type of contract or guarantee is offered? Are they a
member of the National Pest Management Association?
17. How long does a termite treatment typically take?
Termite treatments typically will take no more than a day.
18. How long until the termites are gone?
That depends on the location, extent of damage, and the products
used to treat the infestation. After a thorough inspection, your
professional pest control company should be able to tell you what
they will use to get rid of the termites and how long it will take.