The Phases of Termite Infestation

April 28, 2021


Termites are more than a nuisance; they can be a legitimate threat to homes and businesses. Their destructive habits cost American homeowners millions of dollars a year, and their ability to do this damage in virtual silence makes them even more threatening. That is why it’s important to understand the phases of termite’s destructive behavior -- it gives you the opportunity to potentially identify a problem before it becomes catastrophic and stresses the importance of proper home termite protection. Let’s take a look at the phases of termite infestations. 


Phase 1: Termite Infiltration 


Before termites can begin inflicting damage on homes, they must get inside. Here’s how subterranean termites- the common termite found in North Carolina- do it. 


Subterranean termites (as their name suggests) do much of their movement beneath the ground. These soil-dwellers make their way into homes at locations where the soil touches compromised house foundations, porches, or decks. What is a compromised structure? It’s anything with a crack, hole, or void that can act as an easy termite entry point. Once termites have discovered a way in, they will start to build what are called mud tubes (tunnels made of soil, wood, and termite saliva) to connect their colony to their food source, AKA their victim’s home. 


Phase 2: Termite Feeding 


With a secure pathway that can now lead thousands of termites into the home, they get to work feeding. This includes munching on any plywood or wood joists on the ground floor, but that’s just the beginning. If allowed, termites will begin to move their way upward into first-floor drywall; from there they will work their way up as they consume more wood, and their colony expands. Basically, subterranean termites typically start on ground level and will eat their way up, and termite colonies can survive for years, meaning it is not a problem that will just go away. 


Phase 3: Visible Damage 


When a termite infestation is allowed to fester for a long period of time, the damage can eventually become visible. This damage can be in the form of buckled floors (caused by moisture that the termites leave behind) or in the collapse of parts of a structure. This video does a great job illustrating the damage that termites can do: 


How to Avoid Termite Damage


If you want to beef up your home’s security from a termite infestation, A-1 Pest Control has a solution. We will complete a thorough inspection of your property to identify if there is existing termite activity, assess the severity of the infestation and amount of termite damage, and identify conducive conditions. Based on our findings, we’ll recommend a treatment plan and provide you with a termite control quote. Learn more about our termite control process here, or just get in touch with us to schedule an inspection!

Want to learn more about termites? Check out our blog post on termite swarming season to learn more about the dangers of termites.

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