What You Need to Know About Termites in Washington

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Termite activity is extensive throughout Washington, spanning from Seattle to Spokane, Olympia and Walla Walla, costing homeowners millions of dollars in damages each year.
Nobody wants to deal with a termite infestation. However, knowing the signs and activity patterns of these pests can help homeowners prevent and control infestations in their home accordingly.
In order to protect yourself from these pesky creatures, car and home insurance broker and comparison app Jerry has put together everything there is to know about termites in Washington.
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How to tell if you have a termite infestation

If you happen to notice the telltale signs of an infestation in your home before serious damage has been caused, consider yourself fortunate. Termites often go unnoticed for extended periods of time, causing damage behind-the-scenes and costing homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs.
Detect an infestation before it becomes destructive by recognizing these termite infestation signs:
  • Blisters in wood flooring indicate that termites have been feeding on the subfloor of your house
  • Hollowed or damaged wood on your floors, ceilings, or walls is a sign of termites chewing through the wood in search of their food source, cellulose. Over time, the wood can weaken and cause structural damage to your home
  • Discarded wings found near home access points signify that a swarm has occurred in your home, whereby the termites have mated and created a new colony
  • Mud-tubes are created by termites as a means of travel to reach a food source. They appear pencil-sized and can be found where the ground meets the foundation of your house
Termites require moisture to thrive, so any damp or moist environment might serve as a breeding site. Clean up any leaks or wet areas in your home that may attract termites.
Key Takeaway Regularly checking for signs of termite swarms, mud tunnels, and weakened wood can help you catch infestations early and avoid further damages.

Are termites a problem in Washington?

Yes, termites are active throughout most of the state of Washington. 
In the US Forest Service’s map of Termite Infestation Probability Zones, Washington is classified as a slight to moderate zone of probability, indicating that there is potential for damage from termite activity. 
If you are a homeowner in Washington, knowing when and what to look for can save your home from a destructive infestation. Here are the three most common types of termites in Washington and when to look for them

Subterranean termites

A warm day after a rainfall may trigger a swarm of subterranean termites throughout the autumn, winter, and early spring months. 
Watch out for any cracks in the concrete or foundation of your home that a colony may use to enter your home. These pests can be recognized by the presence of mud tubes, a tunnel-like structure created by the colony to travel to their food source, cellulose.

Drywood termites 

Drywood termites tend to swarm in the daytime throughout the summer months. As their name suggests, these termites enter houses through exposed wood and nest within dry wood structures.
These termites can enter homes through wood items, like furniture, and can be found within the roofs and walls of your home. An infestation of drywood termites can be recognized by the appearance of frass, or one millimeter long hexagonal fecal pellets.

Dampwood termites

Also common in Washington are dampwood termites. These termites are less likely to damage the structure of your home and instead, infest wood piles, logs, or other wood structures close to the ground. 
The pacific dampwood termite typically swarms just before dusk in the months of August to October, while the Nevada dampwood termite tends to swarm at sunset throughout the summer and early fall

What to do if you have termites

The best way to prevent and control these pesky creatures from damaging your home is to recognize an infestation early on
Pay attention to signs of infestation and regularly inspect your home for the following:
  • Rotting or hollowed wood
  • Mud-tubes
  • Discarded wings
  • The appearance of frass
Remove any wood from your property and manage any leaks or areas of moisture within your home.
If you notice the signs of infestation, immediately call a pest control professional to treat your home. 
Extermination may involve the use of:
  • Steel mesh or sand physical barriers
  • Bait traps
  • Wood treatments
  • Fumigation
  • Termiticide 
  • Biological control agents

How to save money on homeowners insurance

While termite damage is not covered by most insurance companies, having the right insurance coverage will protect you from other unexpected incidents in your home.
Licensed car and home insurance broker and super app Jerry will compare rates from dozens of top providers to find you affordable quotes in seconds. When you find a policy you like, just select it and Jerry will do all the hard work to get you registered!
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FAQs

Termites are active throughout most of Washington. However, areas in the northeastern and northwestern part of the state are less likely to be infested due to the climate.
It is recommended that Washington homeowners have their homes inspected for termites at least once per year. If a bait station has been set up in your home, it should be checked every few months by a professional. A liquid treatment should last approximately five years.

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