How Do Termites Spread? – How Termites Get In Your Home

Termites live anywhere they want, rent-free. But what’s more frustrating is their ability to spread so quickly, in a way that ultimately leads to infestation. Within a short time, their chosen habitat (furniture, wood, walls, etc.) can go from a small colony to an entire settlement without proper care. So how do termites spread? In this article, we’ll cover how they spread, and how to prevent it!

That is because these very insects have their unique method of spreading. Termites can live undetected in homes for years before homeowners discover their existence. So how do termites spread? Check out some ways through which termites spread:

  • Wood-to-ground contact
  • Through cracks in the wall or foundation
  • Unscreened attic/foundation vents
  • Infested furniture and other wooden items
  • Moist or humid areas

Wood-To-Ground Contact

The easiest way for termites to begin infestation is through wood or wood-like material. They chew it, live in it, build tubes with it, etc. In houses, they basically target spaces that share contact with wooden surfaces such as door frames, porch steps, and doorposts. Cellulose which is found in wood is a primary source of nutrition for termites, and that’s why they consume it.

how do termites spread

Because of this attraction to cellulose and wood-like material, termites are also attracted to tree stumps and firewood you might have stored in your garage.

Cracks In The Wall

These insects can squeeze through the tiniest spaces found in bricks or concrete. Walls have a tensile strength that termites cannot chew through, so to fix that, they look for cracks and crevices that they can get through. When they do, they carve out little nests for themselves in their new habitat and seal themselves in. They then begin to reproduce by first producing hundreds of eggs that fully mature into adults in a few weeks. In a matter of months, there are more than enough adult termites to form a new colony, which can cause brutal damage to property.

You can sometimes can you hear termites in your walls as they scratch and continue to eat, especially at night.

Unscreened Attic or Foundation Vents and Entrances

Regardless of how visible or not vents are, leaving them bare could invite termites or other harmful pests into your home. Be sure to check areas in your home with unscreened vents that could easily be forgotten about.

Infested Furniture and Other Items

An easy way for termites to spread is through already infested items brought into houses. Since termites are fastly-reproducing insects, they start to spread once they get introduced into your home.

Termites can also be found in potted plants which you might end up bringing inside your home or around the perimeter of your home which they can then spread from.

Moist or Humid Areas

Most termite species prefer an environment that has high humidity and excess water. They are attracted to moisture and are more likely to escalate if the soil next to the foundation is consistently moist. Water has to be properly channeled away from infestation-prone areas like posts and the foundation. Lawn sprinklers can be adjusted to minimize water stagnation near these areas too.

How To Prevent the Spread of Termites

1. Cover up cracks in walls. Do not wait for termites to infest before you act because it will save you a lot of money and stress.

2. Fix leaky faucets and broken pipes. The ground next to the building’s foundation should also be sloped so that water can drain away from the building easily.

3. Piles of wood should be removed from anywhere near the home.

4. Infested items should be placed under the sun

Final Thoughts On The Spread Of Termites

Termites are small but resilient. They destroy millions of properties every year, like books and furniture. With their high rate of reproduction, we advise you to apply these preventive measures or enlist the services of experienced exterminators if you notice even the slightest sign of an infestation. I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on how do termites spread!

Resources:

https://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol/termites-how-identify-and-control-them

About The Author:

David Floyd has 20 years of experience working as a pest control technician as well as running his own pest control company. His main goal is to provide accurate and helpful DIY tips to keep your home pest-free and how to identify different types of household pests!