Every year, termites cause billions of dollars of damage to properties around the country. Almost no home is safe, and those with property in NYC are at as much risk as anywhere. When these pests invade, they eat whatever wood they can find in your home, including the structure, flooring, furniture – even a piano. They’ll also eat books, papers, and other products containing cellulose.
Getting rid of termites and repairing the damage can both be expensive. The average homeowner spends $3,000 fixing a termite infestation. Protecting your home before termites arrive, and having a plan in place to find them early if an infestation does occur, can save you money later on.
How NYC Homes Get Termites
The types of termites found in New York are subterranean termites. There are a few different species, but they all share the characteristic of building their colony in soil around their food source. When they infest a home or building, they live in the soil around or beneath the foundation. They then enter the building where a wooden element touches the ground or through gaps in a cement foundation.
A termite colony starts from a few insects, called “swarmers.” They swarm between March and June in New York, looking for a new place to build their colony that will have a reliable food source nearby. When they find it, they settle down, shed their wings, and begin to breed. Each colony grows to include between a few hundred and a few thousand termites.
Prevent Termites with These Steps
Once termites get into the wood of your home, they can spread throughout a structure. A colony of subterranean termites often takes around half a year to become truly established and start causing significant damage.
Preventing termites starts with making your property less attractive to any swarmers, and then staying alert for signs throughout spring, summer, and fall. To do this:
- Get Rid of Old Wood – Tree stumps, deteriorating outbuildings, firewood, and other wooden objects are feeding grounds for termites. Remove them from your yard altogether, or at least keep them well away from your home.
- Fix Leaks – Subterranean termites need moist soil. Make sure there are no pipes leaking into the ground beneath your house or in the soil in your yard.
- Check Gutter Drainage – Gutters should drain away from the foundation of a structure to reduce the amount of water collecting beside a home.
- Seal Up Cracks – Cracks in cement or aluminum siding provide an entrance for termites to get at the wood beyond. Patch up any holes so termites can’t get through.
- Watch for Swarms – Termites in New York swarm in spring and you are most likely to see the bugs then. Swarmers will be between ¼ and ½ inch long with wings.
- Termite Treatments – A professional can apply liquid soil treatments around your yard to protect the perimeter of your home.
While checking your home regularly for termites can help, there is still a chance that a more hidden infestation can be missed. An annual professional termite inspection is reassurance that your home is protected. Ongoing termite monitoring by a pest control company is another way to determine the presence of termites as soon as possible.
At Fillmore Termite and Pest Control, we offer regular termite monitoring as a service during exterior treatment visits. This proactive termite control reduces the risk of later damage to your home, especially when used alongside prevention techniques.