We'll Turn Your Negative Pest Problem Into A Positive Solution!

How Long Does it Take for Termites to Do Damage?

May 31, 2022
Positive Pest Control placeholder photo

The presence of termites in an establishment’s inner structure isn't like your typical pest infestation — it’s like a ticking time bomb. . They're pretty quick to multiply and they can cause serious damage to homes and establishments by destroying their wooden structures, amounting to thousands of dollars in repair costs. Some may wonder how quickly these termites damage the internal structures of establishments. 

So how long does it take for termites to inflict structural damage? The span of termite damage depends on how big the termite colony is in your home and what type of species they are. It takes subterranean termites, drywood termites, and dampwood termites about 3 to 8 years. A type of termite called Formosan termite is more complicated to handle as it can cause destruction in a shorter period of time.

Something Bugging You?

How Long Do Termites Ruin Your Foundations?

Destructive termites take about 3 to 8 years to inflict noticeable damage to your property--this will still depend on the species of termite and the mature size of their nest. A colony consisting of 60,000 termites can eat 2x4 wood within 5 months. 

The Formosan termite is one of the types of termites known to be aggressive in causing destruction. They can cause extensive damage to a home in just 6 months because they can eat around 1+ ounce or 31 grams per day.

A termite is a formidable pest to have in your home because its colony can cost you structural damage to your foundation, especially wooden structures in contact with soil. Swarms of termites cause billions of dollars worth of damages yearly.

Wood is the termites' top food source: they have special bacteria, protozoa, and enzymes that allow them to digest the organic fibrous material of wood called cellulose. Subterranean termite damage from the largest colonies can chunk up a pound of wood daily. 

Termites are often called "silent killers" because by the time you see the damages, it may be worse than you think. They slowly eat your structures from the inside, weakening the structural integrity of your property. This is also the reason why your slab foundation may have a hollow sound.

More than this, most termite species multiply fast, capable of having a bigger-sized colony that can speed up the damages. Even if you sense no termite activity, it's best to invest in termite control especially if you know your location and structure are both susceptible to termite infestation. Do termite control professional inspection yearly or at least once every 3 to 5 years.

Signs of Termite Damage

Property owners must be vigilant with the telltale signs of damage from termite infestation. More often than not, these signs may be subtle or unnoticeable, so it's crucial to be sharp in inspecting your property.

Here are the signs of termite damage you should watch out for:

  • hollow sound when knocking on wood - especially when using a heavy object, hollow sounds on wooden structures may be a sign that termites are eating its insides
  • appearance of mud tubes - these are small, narrow tunnels where termites travel
  • bubbling or peeling on the painted wall - termites might have already invaded the insides of the structure, causing the paint to not adhere better.
  • small holes - termites create small holes to serve as their entryway
  • water damage - termites love moisture, so water damage could be a telltale sign of a termite infestation 
  • buckling walls or ceilings - termite damage weaken wooden foundations, causing them to buckle
  • maze-like designs - termites eating away at your wooden structures would leave it with maze-like designs
  • droppings - if you see soil looking like piles of sawdust or coffee grounds, those are most likely termite droppings from dampwood termites
  • appearance of swarms - swarms of termites usually come out during spring

These are just some of the signs of a termite infestation. Still continue to seek regular inspections from a professional pest control company to be sure and worry-free.

How to Properly Exterminate Termites

A termite bait placed in a hole.

Seeking the services of a professional pest control services is still the best option, especially some termite control efforts might exacerbate the infestation if you've done it wrong.

But if you want to set your first lines of defense, here are the best things to use for subterranean termites:

  • termiticide barriers - apply these on the perimeter of your home. Termites won't be able to detect these slow-acting treatments, so they will spread into their colony once contaminated termite returns.
  • termite baits - like termiticide barriers, these are slow-acting pesticides that termites eat and bring to the colony to share, poisoning every termite once it kicks in.
  • direct chemicals - unlike termiticide barriers, these are fast-acting insecticides you may use inside your home. Spray it in openings and perimeters where termites are likely to enter.
  • beneficial nematodes - apply these natural parasites in your garden to poison termites with their symbiotic gut bacteria

For drywood termites, here are things to use:

  • essential oils - spray a mixture of 10 drops neem oil or orange oil in 2 cups of water and drops of dish soap on infested wood.
  • spot treatment - drill holes on finished or painted wood until you feel a resistance from the nest. Fill the nests with termiticide and close up the holes.
  • boric acid - spray this on your ceiling, cracks, and crevices where termites are likely to burrow.

What was mentioned are just some of the termite control efforts that you can do. Ensure inspecting your property to verify termite infestation and the type of species you’re up against.

The Best Termite Infestation Treatment Plans at Positive Pest Management

Positive Pest Management professional technician.

For full pest control services, trust only Positive Pest Management in New York City and Nassau County Long Island. We offer pest extermination services for residential and commercial properties, taking pride in our comprehensive treatment plans to exceed our customers' expectations. Our team of pest control specialists uses botanical pesticides with low health risks, keeping you, your kids, and your pets safe.

We offer pest control solutions not only for termite infestations but for other types of pest infestations as well. Get a free estimate by giving us a call or browsing our website to know more about us and our services. You may also visit our office to schedule an inspection.

Something Bugging You?

Form - Sidebar