We all know how badly termites can damage a house. A severe termite infestation can cause damage to important floorboards and wooden foundations, making the house unsafe to live in. It can also significantly drop the value of the home. That’s why homeowners need to take termite infestations seriously. But how long do you have when you first see signs of infestations? How fast can termites destroy a house?
There are plenty of factors to consider to answer that question. If a termite was alone, it will take approximately 3,144 years for it to eat a 1,000-square-foot house. But these numbers don’t mean much as termites live in colonies. With all their numbers and the rate at which they reproduce, the real speed at which they can finish off a house is faster than that.
Termites like to eat, and when they find something wooden that they can feast on, they will. Every year, they cause billions of dollars in property damage worldwide. If you want to learn more about the damage termites can cause to a house, keep reading!
There are multiple factors to consider when thinking about how fast termites can cause damage to a home. Here are a few of them:
Termites like to live and feed in certain conditions. The environment plays a large part in termite infestations. If the conditions are ideal, termites grow, reproduce, and thrive at a rapid rate. Most termite species like hot, humid, and moist environments. This is the reason why they are widespread in tropical countries. If your home is somewhere hot and humid, and you find plenty of moisture around the house like puddles or water leaks, then there’s a good chance that a termite colony will make their home there.
The age of the colony can also be a determinant of its population. Relatively young colonies will have fewer workers than older colonies. Because of this, an older colony would eat through the wood in your house much faster. A young colony could have over 100,000 workers while older colonies would have 2 million members at the ready. Some colonies could even reach populations of over 15,000,000. An added concern would be if they started their colony in your home and grew older there. In that case, the damage may already be severe.
Sometimes, houses can be infested by multiple colonies. As you can expect, the speed of their damage would be doubled. The more colonies are sharing the space with you, the faster the woodwork in your house will be eaten through.
The materials that your house was built with can affect the speed that termites move in. If your house was built primarily of wood, with no chemical treatments or any preventative measures, then a termite colony would quickly eat through it. If you employed some prevention measures, and if your house also has materials that termites don’t like, their progress would be much slower.
Under the right conditions, termites will cause much damage to your house’s work. Some species of subterranean termites will have a population of 60,000 when they reach maturity. On average, these termites can eat up to 1/5 of an ounce of wood in a day. In 6 months, they could finish one foot of a 2×4 pine board. When they reach 300,000 workers, they could eat through one cubic foot of wood in a year.
If a colony reaches up to 2 million workers, you would already find significant damage to your home in only the first few months. And in only a year or two, your house can be totally destroyed. For comparison, a colony with 3 million workers can go through one foot of a 2×4 pine board in just 24 hours.
Determining how fast termites can destroy a house is difficult as it is too dependent on many factors. But having even some idea about it would still be a good advantage. After all, there’s no real way for you to know a colony’s age or population on your own.
For this matter, prevention is better than cure. Instead of having to deal with them, try to keep your house termite-proof. If you already have a problem at hand, then the best course of action is to call the professionals. We at Topbest are the leading pest control services provider in the Philippines. If you need help with termites, just contact us for a FREE consultation!