Subterranean termites are the most damaging termite species in the US. They will infest the home with thousands of workers at once, and start eating away at the wood very rapidly. This can cause a lot of damage to a building, but are these termites capable of affecting the structural integrity of a house?
How subterranean termites damage the home
Unlike most termite species, subterranean termites will be able to deploy a full workforce as soon as they infest a piece of wood. This means that the damage can happen very quickly, and it will go unnoticed until the damage is very advanced. These termites will also infest the wood from the ground up, and they do not target just one piece. As soon as they’ve found a suitable piece of wood, the workers will start exploring the areas around it, and in the home, this means that they can target multiple support beams at once for example. This will slow down the pace of the damage in each piece of wood, but overall, the cost of repairing after an infestation is much higher.
What parts of the home do subterranean termites target?
Subterranean termites can damage the following parts of the home:
- Roof supports
- Ceiling joists
- Wall studs
- Support beams
As the termites spread through the lower parts of the home, they can reach higher and higher into the building, eventually damaging the roof and the attic.
Can a subterranean termite infestation cause structural damage?
The short answer is yes. There have been situations when the termite damage in a building was so extensive that the building collapsed. Extensive damage can also lead to sagging floors and ceilings, and certain pieces of wood become so damaged that they have to be replaced entirely.
How to deal with termite damage?
Once termite damage becomes apparent, the extent of the infestation is likely widespread, and you will need the help of a pest control pro to first get the infestation taken care of, before any repair efforts can be implemented. A pro will either attempt to destroy the colony, or cut off its access to the home using a baiting system or a chemical barrier. These two control methods have the added benefit of preventing infestations from happening in the future. For more information on how subterranean termite infestations are controlled, or if you have an infestation that needs to be removed, contact us today.