Written by

David Floyd

David Floyd

Reviewed by

Brett Ehlert

Brett Ehlert

Do Termites Spread From House to House?

It is often said that a well-built fence contributes to good relationships with neighbors. However, when termites are present in the vicinity, having a fence may not provide adequate protection. This is especially true if the fence is made of wood, as it can attract these destructive insects to your home. If your neighbor is currently dealing with a termite infestation, there is a possibility that your property may also be affected, but that is not always the case. Together, let us explore the question: do termites spread from one house to another?

Termites are known to spread from one place to another without you even knowing. But you might be wondering, can they move from one house to the next? This could be a real issue when you find out your neighbor has a termite infestation. Usually, you would reach out to a pest control agency to come inspect your property as that is the right thing to do.

Do Termites Spread From House to House?

Yes, it’s possible for termites to move from your neighbor’s house to yours depending on the size of the colony and the distance between homes. Along with this, if termites infest wood or lumber that is then taken inside of your home, it’s likely the termites will have spread to your home.

There are different species of termites that could be in your vicinity. The subterranean termites live in the soil and move around looking for food or materials made of cellulose. They can travel far and in different directions looking for food. You should know that termites cannot tell the difference between a new building and an old one. So, it’s possible for them to attack new houses while leaving the old ones.

Do Termites Spread From House to House?

If there is an infestation in the neighborhood and your house shares some similarities with that of the affected neighbors, there is a high chance you might be next soon. Some of the similarities include the same building material, similar soil moisture content, and similar age.

That is why you are advised to have your property inspected by a professional or sign up for a termite bond if there is a reported case of termite infestation in the neighborhood. This will allow for proper control measures before things get messy. Termites can wreak great havoc on your wooden structures like floors and ceilings if left unchecked.

Can Termites Be Transferred From House to House?

Yes, termites can be transferred from house to house! They can travel from house to house when they are in search of a new food source, and they can also be transferred from house to house if they are infesting wood or other materials which are then carried into the new house!

How Termites Spread from One House To Another 

There are different ways termites can spread from one house to another. The common route is by traveling in mud tubes under the ground and through cracks present in the wall. Subterranean termites are always on the lookout for new areas to infest. They go straight to the foundation of the building by moving through the soil and will make their way through the house after that. You can tell you have termites in your walls if you hear termite in wall sounds that sound like low scratching noises, and are more prevalent at night.

termites travel from house to house

Another method of entry is by flying. Remember, the reproductives in the termite colony have wings that they use for flight. When it gets to the reproductive season which is usually summer, the termites fly out of their nest in search of mating partners to begin a new colony. After the mating is carried out, the wings of the reproductives fall off and a new colony begins.

Thirdly, when a new building is being constructed in the area, houses close by could get infected. Most homeowners notice infestation during this period. The reason for this infestation is that the land that is under construction may be home to many active colonies of termites. Colonies are usually large, so they are bound to leave if the soil they are living in gets disturbed. 

Even if your house is far away from the construction site and there are houses closer to it, you are advised to have your property inspected regularly to avoid being taken by surprise. 

Also, if you are to move an old piece of wood or furniture that is infested with termites, they could follow along to the new location. This is very dangerous especially if the material has a queen in it. She will produce a new colony. Termites can hide in old wood from abandoned or demolished houses because they have not been moved. Remember they like to feed on cellulose-containing materials like wooden floors and furniture. 

So, be careful to check any wooden material before transporting it. Termites can go undetected for weeks until the damage is done.

How Quickly Can Termites Spread?

Termites can spread rather quickly. Within just a few days termites can multiply their colony size to a severe infestation level. Along with this, during swarming season termites go out of their colony and travel in search for a new place to call home.

How Far Can Termites Travel?

Termites generally travel up to a few hundred yards at at time when they are in search of food or a new nest. That being said, they can be helped out by the wind and can travel up to a mile or two if the conditions are right.

The Reason Why Termites Move From House To House

Termites do not just move from one location to another because they are close by. They do so for certain reasons and will only go to another property if what they want is there. Below are three reasons why termites move:

  1. In search of food

Termites are social insects that live in a nest. Each termite that forms the colony has a job to do. The workers are responsible for finding food that the termites will eat and store for the scare season. Termites love materials that are rich in cellulose such as paper, furniture, materials made from tree stumps.

  1. To begin a new colony

When the colony has grown to a large extent, the reproductives fly out to form a new colony in another location. Wherever the male and female mate, that’s where they will build their nest.

  1. Because wood infested with termite was moved to a new place 

This is similar to what we discussed before. Transporting materials that are infested with termites to another place is one way they get moved.

How to Prevent Termites from Moving to Your Property 

In a situation where your neighbor has a termite infestation, it means a nest is nearby. If the worker termites scouting for food find it on your property, there is a high chance that they will move to your place soon. You can safeguard your house by first removing all tree trunks or wood around the compound.

termites spreading

Inspect all construction wood, firewood, or any wooden material before taking it to your house. Close all cracks in the floor and walls.

The problem is not whether termites spread or not. Are you willing to take preventive measures to ensure they do not move to your property? Now that we know how and why termites move from place to place, the chance of an infestation can be reduced.

As a homeowner, you need to constantly be on the look out for how termites spread, and how it can potentially put your home in danger!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on finding out whether do termites spread from house to house?



David Floyd:

David Floyd has 20 years of experience working as a pest control technician as well as running his own pest control company. David is Quality Pro certified and is a certified Structural Pest Control Operator in the state of North Carolina, and the owner of NCPestControlExperts pest control company.

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