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.
Subterranean termites are extremely destructive. First they build tunnels to wooden structures, and then they burrow into those structures to obtain food. Any wood or cellulose-containing material constitutes termite food, and given time to do so, they’ll eat until nothing is left but a shell. 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)
Note: In Florida, termite inspections and control specialists must be licensed by the state.