It might come as a surprise due to the chilly climate, but houses state-wide in
Coloradocan fall victim to a termite infestation. There are two distinct species you should keep your eye out for.
If you’re a homeowner in Colorado, you should familiarize yourself with termite 101: how to recognize an outbreak, when to expect an infestation, and what to do if termites are discovered in your home.
Dealing with pests like termites can be stressful at best and pretty overwhelming at its worst. But leaving them to deal with later on is a sure-fire way to make the issue worse, so you should be prepared to deal with termites at any point.
How to tell if you have a termite infestation
One of the reasons termites are destructive is that they’re pretty simple to overlook. When termites infest your home, these busy insects may be nibbling away in your walls for months before you notice anything is amiss.
To minimize significant damage to your home, be aware of the telltale signs of a termite infestation. Keep a lookout for these signs of termite activity:
- Discarded wings: Worker termites won’t have wings, but their reproductive counterparts will. You most likely have termites if you spot a lot of abandoned wings, especially around window sills.
- Mud tubes: The tiny mud tunnels they develop along your foundations to get inside the property are the most obvious indicator of subterranean termites.
- Damage in a moist shady spot: Termite damage can be seen on the outside of your home in any dark, wet area. The damage will look like slash marks from knives.
- Droppings: Termite droppings, also known asfrass, resemble little heaps of sawdust or salt and pepper.
Peeling paint, swelling walls or floors, and small round holes in drywall are all indicators of an infestation.
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Are termites a problem in Colorado?
Homes in Colorado are subject to termite infestations, particularly those in the eastern side of the state, as seen in the US Forest Service’s map of
Termite Infestation Probability Zones.
If you have a home in Colorado, knowing how to deal with termites is an unpleasant but necessary part of being a good homeowner. There are two prevalent types of termites in Colorado and specific periods when they appear most.
These are the true villains of the termite world. Subterranean termites form vast underground colonies before burrowing into your home via the foundation, leaving nothing but spindly mud tubes behind. Fortunately, the subterranean Formosan "super-termite" is not common in Colorado.
Eastern subterranean termites are the most prevalent and destructive termite species in Colorado, so keep an eye out for them. Eastern subterranean termites swarm in daylight from March to May.
Drywood termites, as you might guess, consume dry wood, which is typically found in attics or other dry regions of your home. The heaps of droppings left behind by drywood termites are the most obvious sign of their presence.
These termites will swarm during the day in the fall, so keep an eye out during this time of year. You’re also more likely to see them on the west slope of Colorado.
What to do if you have termites
If you discover the telltale indicators of a termite infestation, you have several options for dealing with the situation.
Here are three of the best professional options:
- Bait stations: The least invasive termite elimination method. These little plastic containers are left around your property to lure and kill termites. It takes months to work, though, but is less disruptive than other treatments.
- Liquid pesticide barrier: It's possible to eliminate subterranean termites by digging a trench around your house and applying a chemical moat of termiticide.
- Fumigation: Major infestations require fumigation. Exterminators cover the house with a tent and inject a gas that kills all termites. Your entire family and any pets will have to leave the house for 24 hours.
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How to save money on homeowners insurance
Unfortunately, most homeowners insurance policies do not cover termite damage. The best approach to protect yourself is to be aware of the typical signs of an infestation.
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Do most homes in Colorado have termites?
While portions of the state are unlikely to see termites due to higher altitudes, they are a risk for about ⅔ of Colorado homeowners—especially those living in the Eastern end of the state.
How often should you treat for termites in Colorado?
Treatment intervals are determined by the type of treatment used. Bait stations must be checked every few months, but liquid treatments should last for around five years before needing to be re-treated.