Given enough time, termites can cause a tremendous amount of damage to a structure.
In a week, a colony of these troublesome little creatures can consume about 15 pounds of wood per week, and that would total to about 360 pounds in just 6 months.
Astonishing as it sounds, they may consume a little over one foot of a 2×4 board during the latter time span.
They are especially fond of wood, but will also eat through paper, insulation, and even soft metals like lead and copper.
These pesky insects work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can travel long distances in search of food. As a result, they can do an incredible amount of damage in a short period of time.
Termites are responsible for billions of dollars in damage each year, making them one of the most destructive pests in the world.
Given their ability to cause such extensive damage, it is important to be on the lookout for signs of termite activity and to take measures quickly if you suspect that termites are present.
Amount of Damage and Their Contributing Factors
Termite damage to a home depends upon a number of factors that directly or indirectly contribute to the presence of termites and how these factors support the damage they cause.
These include the type of termite present and the size and age of the colony. Other important factors are the moisture content of the wood, the presence of other food sources, and the temperature.
Types of Termite Colonies
There are several species of termites, each with its own unique characteristics. The type of termite present is one of the most important factors in determining how much damage they can do.
Some types of termites are known to be more destructive than others. Some may work in stealth mode and chew wood faster than the other while some species may feast on wood much slower due to their size.
There are three common types of termites that infest homes: drywood, subterranean, and Formosan.
Drywood termites inflict hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage and repair costs each year. Fortunately, it takes them longer to cause damage because they have smaller colonies.
Because the damage is generally confined to one or a few locations, damage progression is much less extensive.
They are also known to be smaller than other species of termites so they destruct slowly than the others.
Subterranean Termites tend to have larger colonies and are inclined to have multiple colonies in one area. This increases the number of termites feeding on the same home at the same time which speeds up the damage.
The size of a subterranean termite colony generally has around 60,000 members. On average, this size can eat about 1/5 of an ounce of wood in one day.
Additionally, they are bigger in size and can feast on wood quicker than other species. Because they live mostly in hiding, they often go unnoticed for many years. And when they are finally discovered, they may have already caused extensive damage to your home.
Formosan termites may grow into several million members in a short period of time, which permits them to do far more damage than other species. Remarkably, a Formosan termite queen can actually lay up to 1,000 eggs per day once the colony is established.
They are known to be exceptionally speedy when causing damage. A single Formosan colony may consume up to 300 feet of wood in a day. In other words, if a home has just one Formosan termite colony, that colony could theoretically eat an entire house in just six months.
How Colony Size and Age Affect Rate of Consumption
Older colonies also tend to be larger and cause more damage than younger colonies. The larger colonies with more members can do more damage in a shorter period of time than smaller colonies.
In addition, the age of the termites plays a role in how much damage they can do.
Younger termites are smaller and have not yet reached their full eating potential. Older termites are larger and can eat more wood.
Temperature also affects how much damage termites can do. In colder climates, termites eat slower because their metabolism slows down in the cold. However, in warmer climates, termites can eat faster because their metabolism speeds up.
As a result, they can do more damage in a shorter period of time.
Unfortunately, if termites are inside the warmth of a structure, they won’t slow down chewing the foundations of your house.
Read More: How Much Wood Can Termites Eat in a Year?
How Much Damage Can Termites Do in a Week
A termite colony can already do a lot of damage in only just seven days. A week is enough time for a small colony to eat through several feet of wood. A larger colony can easily damage your house more.
In a week, some termite species can eat approximately 1.4 ounces of wood and about 2100 ft. They can even turn a foot of a 2×4 board into nothing in just a week.
How Much Damage Can Termites Do in 6 Months
These pests can already cause significant damage in just a week but can even do more in 6 months.
These little but bothersome and destructive termites do not stop working and can consume almost 34 ounces of wood and thousands of feet in just a period of six months.
Formosan termites, in particular, are believed to be capable of damaging an entire house in just six months’ time.
Every year, termites and other pests cost the United States an estimated $30 billion in agricultural and human property damage.
Roughly, about 600,000 homes are damaged and the average cost of termite damage repair is around $3,000. This is not cheap at all. Repairs are generally more expensive than the original building cost.
Pest control services costs should also be considered as these insects should be eliminated and exterminated before repairing anything.
The total cost pest control companies charge would vary depending on the size of the infested property to be treated, the geographical location, and how severe the termite damage is.
They would also take into consideration the number of treatments required and what type of treatment they would be using.
After eliminating the pesky termites, preventing them from coming back is essential so a regular termite inspection may be necessary. The cost of a termite inspection ranges from $75 to $150.
Early intervention is the key and it is important to take action as soon as possible. The sooner you do something about the infestation, the less damage they will be able to do.
Termites are one of the most significant species in nature and have the ability to completely destroy your property. Despite their tiny size, they may cause a lot of damage because they work unbelievably fast.
Given enough time, termites can cause serious damage to any structure they infest. In just a week, they can create noticeable damage, and in six months that damage can be significant.
They are relentless in their quest for wood, working around the clock without rest or sleep. Because of this, they can consume up to 1.4 ounces of wood in a week, whereas in 6 months they may eat almost 34 ounces.
Their non-stop activity means that termite damage can quickly become severe.
Termites can be difficult to detect, but there are some telltale signs of their presence making it easier to take measures.
If you see signs of a termite infestation, it’s important to seek a professional to get rid of the termites before they cause major damage.