What You Need to Know About Termites In New York

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From Albany to Long Island, Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, and the Big Apple itself, termites are active across the entire state of New York.
If you’re a homeowner in New York, you need to know the basics of termites: identifying infestations, expecting swarms, and the steps to take if you find termites in your house.
No one wants to handle termites in their home, but New York homeowners can’t turn a blind eye. If the early signs of a termite infestation aren’t caught, you could be looking at a bill for thousands of dollars to repair the termite damage to your home. Licensed car insurance broker and comparison app Jerry has put together a guide to everything you need to know about termites in New York.
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How to tell if you have a termite infestation

Termites are easy to miss if you’re not watching for them, and this is part of why they can be so destructive to homes. When an infestation nestles into your home, it can wreak havoc on the interior for months before you notice there’s a problem.
You’ll need to learn the early warning signs of termite infestations to prevent these busy insects from causing extensive damage to your home. Keep an eye out for these common signs of termites:
  • Hollow-sounding walls: If you knock on the wood structures of your house and hear a hollow sound, there may be a termite infestation in your home.
  • Droppings: There may be small piles of what looks like salt and pepper or sawdust but this is frass or termite droppings.
  • Mud tubes: Subterranean termites build thin tunnels of mud along foundations to enter houses.
  • Discarded wings: While worker termites do not have any wings, reproductive termites do. Your home probably has termites if you notice a significant amount of discarded wings, particularly near window sills.
Small round holes in drywall, bubbling or peeling paint, and swollen floors or walls are other common signs of a termite infestation.

Are termites a problem in New York?

Most New York homes are subject to termite infestations since they are active throughout the state. The U.S. Forest Service map of termite risk zones shows New York to be at the moderate to heavy risk level.
As a homeowner in New York, learning about termites is an unavoidable but necessary part of responsibly caring for your home. Here are the three most common types of termites found in New York, and when to start keeping an eye out for them.

Eastern subterranean termites

The eastern subterranean termite is the most common termite species found in the U.S. They are easy to find due to their larger size, measuring at around 10 millimeters. 
These termites like to swarm in the daylight from March through May. On a positive note, it can take eastern subterranean termites a few years to do any significant damage to a home.

Dark southeastern subterranean termites

Dark southeastern subterranean termites have smaller colonies than eastern subterranean termites, but multiple colonies in one area can create swarms of millions of termites.
They also prefer to swarm in the daytime between March and June. They are smaller but are more than capable of inflicting serious damage to a home. 

Drywood termites

Drywood termites are not native to the state of New York. This species has been known to travel to New York in wooden objects, including wine crates and wooden furniture, and then go on to form their own colonies.

What to do if you have termites

So you’ve noticed the warning signs and discovered your home has termites. What do you do next?
For professional termite solutions, you have three options:
  • Liquid pesticide barrier: An exterminator will dig a trench around your house and apply a long-lasting chemical termiticide moat to kill termites, especially subterranean termite species.
  • Bait stations: For traditional termite extermination, bait stations are the least invasive method. A pest control company will leave out small plastic dishes surrounding your house to attract and kill the termites. It may take months to get rid of all the termites.
  • Fumigation: This is the best extermination method for major termite infestations. Your entire home will be covered by a tent and the exterminators pump in gas to kill termites. The entire household (pets included) cannot go into the house for at least 24 hours.

How to find affordable homeowners insurance

Termites are a common threat to homes, but unfortunately, homeowners insurance policies do not cover termite damage. The best way to protect your home from damage is to be able to recognize the early warning signs of an infestation.
You can rely on your homeowners insurance for other perils though, so having the best policy for your needs is important. By downloading the Jerry app, you can be sure you’ll get the best deal on your home insurance (and get savings on car insurance at the same time).
Jerry is a licensed insurance broker and comparison app designed to find the best deals for homeowners and drivers. All you need to do is download the Jerry app, answer a few questions, and Jerry finds affordable quotes from top insurance companies for you.
You won’t have to spend time shopping around for quotes or filling out paperwork—Jerry handles all of that for you! You’ll get all of the savings with none of the hassle. 
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Unfortunately, yes. According to the U.S. Forest Service, New York is at the moderate to heavy risk level for termite infestations.
You will want to keep an eye out for termites, especially during swarming seasons. It’s recommended to have annual inspections of your home’s foundation to find any damage or mud tubes early on.

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