What You Need to Know About Termites in Oregon

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There’s a high chance of experiencing termites no matter where you live in Oregon. Homes throughout the state are susceptible to infestations from three main termite species.
Owning a home in Oregon means you need to learn everything there is to know about termites: what they look like, when they swarm, and what you should do if you find them in your house.
Having to deal with termites can be unpleasant at best and stressful at worst. Because termites can be a serious problem if left unattended, you should be prepared to handle them at any moment.
Home and car insurance comparison shopping app Jerry is here to break down all you need to know about dealing with termites in Oregon.
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How to tell if you have a termite infestation

Termites cause so much damage because they are so easy to overlook. Infestation by termites might go undetected for months before you notice anything amiss in your home.
Termite damage to your home can be minimized if you are aware of the telltale signs of an infestation. Signals of termites can be seen by looking out for the following:
  • Mud tubes: Termites dig mud tunnels to defend their colonies and food supplies. This termite infestation sign is generally inconspicuous, but you may detect it if your home has a brick foundation or exposed walls in your basement.
  • Hollow-sounding wood: Termites can make the wood in your house sound papery or hollow. When you tap or knock on termite-damaged walls, the wood will sound hollow because termites have eaten away at the center of it.
  • Piles of wings: The presence of large mounds of wings near the television, windows, and other light sources may indicate a termite infestation.
  • Hard-to-open windows: To protect themselves, subterranean termites excrete “mud”. This “mud” holds heat and moisture, causing the wood to expand, and resulting in windows and doors being hard to open.
This pest can also be identified by peeling paint, termite droppings, and small round holes in drywall.

Are termites a problem in Oregon?

Parts of Oregon are rather prone to termites, as seen in the US Forest Service's map of Termite Infestation Probability Zones. The farther north you are, though, the lower the chance you may experience a swarm.
If you own a house in Oregon, learning about termites is an unpleasant but unavoidable part of responsible homeownership. There are three main species you’ll have to worry about during certain times of the year.

Subterranean termites

Subterranean termites build massive underground colonies before tunneling into your home through the foundation, leaving nothing except spindly mud tubes behind. 
Western subterranean termites swarm in the daytime during the rainy season, at any time from October to May, while the arid-land subterranean termite swarms from spring to fall.

Drywood termites

As the name suggests, drywood termites eat dry wood (commonly found in attics and crawl spaces). These can swarm in the coastal areas of Oregon during the daytime in summer.

Dampwood termites

Dampwood termites acquire their name from the damp, decomposing wood in which they build their nests. They are also much larger than their subterranean counterparts.
Both the Pacific dampwood termite and Nevada dampwood termite (which are found in coastal areas) swarm between August and October, just before sunset.

What to do if you have termites

If you do discover that you have a problem with termites, there are a variety of options available to you.
The following are some of the best professional options to consider:
  • Bait stations: Traditional termite elimination methods are more invasive; this one is less so. The exterminator lays plastic containers that will attract and destroy termites. Disruption is minimal, but it can take months to see results.
  • Liquid pesticide barrier: To combat subterranean termites, you can dig a trench around your home and fill it with chemical termiticide.
  • Fumigation: The most serious infestations necessitate this kind of action. An insecticide tent is erected around the house to rid it of all termites. At least 24 hours must pass before you and your family can return home.

How to save money on homeowners insurance

Termite damage is typically not covered by most homeowners insurance policies. You can best defend yourself by learning the warning signs and symptoms of an infested area.
Luckily, your homeowner's insurance will cover the majority of the other risks. The Jerry app has made it easier than ever to choose the correct insurance for you and your home.
After providing you with a comprehensive cross-analysis of the best policies across providers, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to. They even help cancel your old policy!
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FAQs

While Oregon residents won’t see as many termite swarms as their southern counterparts, there’s still a risk of infestation during their lifetime—especially for those living in the Southeast corner of the state.
Different treatments have different treatment intervals. Liquid treatments might last three to five years before needing to be reapplied, whereas bait stations need to be monitored monthly.

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