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Termite FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions About Termites

Termites are one of the most successful groups of insects on the planet and have been around for 140 million years. There are around 3,000 different identified species of termite that can be found on every continent except Antarctica. In the United States, there are around 50 known active species of termites. 

Termites are small, measuring between 1/6 and 3/5 of an inch in length. Though they are small in size, the job they perform for the world’s ecosystem is immeasurable. Termites are detritivores which means that they feed on dead plant matter, thus helping to create decomposition. By taking cellulose from decomposing plant matter and processing it through eating, termites return valuable materials to the soil.  

How Bad Can Termite Damage Get?

Termites never sleep. Imagine a colony of many thousands, into the millions, of insects munching on the wood foundational structure of your home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is why it is estimated that termites cause upwards of $5 billion dollars of home and property damage annually in the United States alone. The largest subterranean termite colonies can eat up to a pound of wood a day. 

If left unchecked, termites will eat not just the wood inside your walls and flooring, but also your books, papers and anything else that’s made of cellulose.

How Long Does It Take To Establish A Termite Colony?

Termites are social and live in colonies that can range in size from a few hundred individuals in the smallest colonies to several million insects in the largest. Termite queens have the longest known life span of any insect and can live between 30 and 50 years, though the majority live to be around 17. Termite colonies can take 3 to 5 years to fully mature.

How Long Does It Take For Termites To Do Damage?

Since there is no way of calculating when a termite infestation began, it can be hard to tell precisely how old any termite colony is. Depending on the size of the colony, it can take anywhere from 3 to 8 years for significant termite damage to appear. 

If you are seeing signs of termite damage on your property, it is likely that you’ve had a termite infestation for years and your home and property may have already suffered extensive damage. Large-scale damage from termites can have a direct effect on your home’s structural integrity, possibly causing ceilings and floors to collapse. 


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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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