Just because you can't see them doesn't mean they aren't there. Termites, which are tiny wood-eating insects, are responsible for billions of dollars in damage and treatment costs in the United States each year.

termite damage wood

Your house is your home and you don't have to let these insects destroy it. To know how to help stop termites, you need to understand why they're in your house in the first place. And the answer to that is simple: cellulose.

Termites can eat almost anything that contains cellulose. That's most often wood, but they can find cellulose from a variety of different sources, including cardboard and carpet. The cellulose provides them with the nutrients they need to live. Moisture also helps them survive and can make the source of cellulose more attractive.

Types of Termites

Once termites are inside your home, they can attack your structural foundation, furniture, shelving and more to get the cellulose they need to survive. Here are two of the most important types of termites to be aware of:

Subterranean termites. Eastern subterranean termites are found in every U.S. state except Alaska, and are most common in the southern states. They are one of at least seven species of subterranean termites found infesting structures in various parts of the U.S. Subterranean termites live underground, which makes them nearly impossible for the average person to spot and because these termites form colonies and can eat through wood, they can be very destructive to homes.

drywood termites

Drywood termites. These termites are usually found in the southern states, California, southwestern states (Arizona and New Mexico) and Hawaii. These termites get all of their nutrition from wood and don’t require moisture from the soil. Because they can form multiple colonies and do not nest in soil, but rather in the wood of your home, they can be very difficult to treat.

How to Help Protect Your Home from Termite Damage

No one wants these pests in their home, so what is there to do about termites? There are some steps you can take to help prevent a termite infestation, including removing potential food sources and trying to reduce any moisture problems in and around your home.

However, termites are relentless, and DIY methods usually fall short. Combine that with the fact that termites can cause expensive damage to your home, and you'll see why you need someone trained — and relentless — on your side. The professional termite control specialists at Terminix® are trained to spot the signs of termites, determine which type you're dealing with and properly treat the infestation. 

If you notice signs of termites, or if you are just interested in protection, then you should consider a termite protection plan from Terminix. With a plan, a specialist will inspect your home for signs of termites and potential access points. If termites are found, then he or she will treat your home to remove those termites. However, if termites aren't found, then Terminix will protect your home against future infestations.*

You shouldn't wait until you notice termite damage to take action. Contact Terminix today for a free termite inspection.