What You Need to Know About Termites in West Virginia

West Virginia homeowners are at risk of home destruction by termite infestations.
Written by Kara Vanderbeek
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Termite activity throughout
West Virginia
is rife, spanning from Huntington to Charleston and Bluefield to Morgantown. 
If you’re a West Virginia resident, knowing your termite 101 can save you from the thousands of dollars these pests cost homeowners each year. Luckily, the
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From knowing the signs of termite activity, how to identify an infestation, and preventing damages to your home,
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How to tell if you have a termite infestation

While they can be easy to miss if you don't know what to watch out for, these insects leave behind traces of evidence that they have been active in your home. 
Recognizing the signs of an infestation can help you to control the spread and prevent further damage to your home from being caused. 
Periodically perform a termite inspection in your home using these techniques: 
  • Examine the foundation of your house, as well as your garage, porches, door frames, patios, windows, and sidewalks for mud tubes, pencil-sized tunnels through which termites travel to reach a food source
  • Ensure any water from your home has proper drainage, as termites require moisture to survive
  • Check for cracks in the foundation of your walls, ceilings, and floors, which may indicate termite feeding
  • Examine walls for blistered areas or stains that indicate a water leak, as such environments act as breeding grounds for termite colonies
  • Check your home access points for discarded wings, which often signify that a swarm has occurred in your home and a new colony has been formed
If you recognize any signs of termite activity, call a pest control professional as soon as possible to perform a thorough inspection and treat your home.
Key Takeaway Regularly checking for signs of discarded wings, mud tubes, and weakened wood can help you catch infestations early and avoid further damages.

Are termites a problem in West Virginia?

Yes, termites are active throughout most of the state of West Virginia. 
According to the US Forest Service’s map of
Termite Infestation Probability Zones
, West Virginia is classified as a moderate to heavy zone of probability, indicating that there is significant potential for damage from termite activity. 
If you are a homeowner in West Virginia, knowing when and what to look for can save your home from a destructive infestation. The most common type of termite in West Virginia is the subterranean termite.

Subterranean termites

Subterranean termites build extensive underground colonies with mud tubes up to 100 yards long. They can live up to 25 years and feed on their main food source of cellulose
The eastern subterranean termite swarms during the day from March to May, while the dark southeastern subterranean termite tends to swarm in daylight between March and June.
Keep your eyes peeled for termites from August to October, as the light southeastern subterranean termite often swarms throughout these months. 
Subterranean swarms typically occur on a warm day after rainfall but may also appear during the winter in a heated building.

Drywood termites

While drywood termites are not established in West Virginia, it is possible for these busy little insects to find their way into your home through exposed wood or infested objects, such as furniture. 
A distinct sign of a drywood termite infestation is the appearance of frass or hexagonal fecal pellets about one millimeter long. 

What to do if you have termites

If you find the signs of a termite infestation, don’t panic. Termite damage progresses fairly slowly and can be treated by a pest control professional in the following ways:
  • Liquid termiticides can be injected into the soil surrounding and underneath your property to create a chemical barrier for termites. This treatment lasts approximately five to ten years
  • Boric acid can be used as a spot treatment on damaged wood 
  • A termite bait block impregnated with insect growth regulators can interfere with the development of a termite colony
  • Severe infestations are often treated with fumigation. This requires draping a tent over the entirety of your house and spraying toxic gases inside that will kill all of the termites on the property 

How to save money on homeowners insurance

Unfortunately, termite damage is not covered by most insurance companies. However, having the right insurance coverage can protect you from other unexpected home incidents. 
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Termite activity is widespread throughout most of the state. If you own a home in West Virginia, it is essential to maintain an effective termite control program to avoid the risk of infestation.
It is recommended that West Virginia homeowners periodically have their homes inspected for termites. 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 to ten years.
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