What You Need to Know About Termites in Wyoming

Termite damage is a risk to Wyoming houses, but home maintenance and preventative treatments can reduce the chance of an infestation.
Written by Aimee Lynn Everett
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Termite infestations are a risk to
homes and have the potential to cause thousands of dollars worth of structural damage if they go unnoticed.
To prevent extensive termite damage, it is important to recognize the early signs of an infestation and take preventative measures to keep termites colonies away. That’s why
car insurance
comparison app
has created this guide to everything Wyoming homeowners need to know about detecting, preventing, and treating termite infestations.

How to tell if you have a termite infestation

Termites infestations can go unnoticed for months because the wood-eating insects spend their time hidden inside walls, floors, and other wooden structures in your home. But even though they rarely come into contact with humans, termites do leave behind some evidence if you know what to look for.
The signs of a termite infestation in your house include:
  • Discarded wings: Termites create new colonies by flying in a swarm to a location—like a house—with lots of wood for them to eat. Once they find a new spot, they shed their wings. If a termite swarm has recently arrived on your property, you may notice discarded insect wings on your windowsills or near your foundation.
  • Mud tubes: To bridge the distance between their underground nest and the wood in your house, subterranean termites build mud tubes that you can see along cracks or gaps in your foundation. These tunnels are made from dirt, wood, and termite saliva.
  • Hollow-sounding wood: When termites eat wood, they typically leave the outside layer intact and create tunnels through the inside. If you knock on the wood throughout your house and it sounds unusually hollow, it may be the result of termite damage.
  • Hard-to-open windows and doors: Termites introduce moisture into wood as they chew through it. This moisture can make wooden window frames or doors may warp and swell, which can make them difficult to open.
Droppings, bubbling or peeling paint, visibly crumbling wood, and tiny holes in drywall may also be signs that a termite colony has infested your house.
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Are termites a problem in Wyoming?

Though termites are not widespread in all of Wyoming, there are areas of the state that are at a slight to moderate risk of termite infestations based on the US Forest Service’s
Termite Infestation Probability Zones
(TIP Zones) map.
Wyoming’s termite risk areas include Casper, Cheyenne, Evanston-WY, Gillette, Green River, Laramie, Rock Springs, and Sheridan, though termite colonies may expand their range depending on climate trends in the state.
Both species of termites that are commonly found in Wyoming are subterranean termites, but drywood termites could possibly establish isolated colonies if they are accidentally transported from other areas of the country.

Subterranean termites

Because they are so widespread and difficult to detect, subterranean termites do the most damage across the country each year. They live in sprawling underground nests and stay out of sight by using mud tubes to get into your house through tiny cracks in your foundation.
Unless they are swarming, subterranean termites are rarely seen even if you have an extensive infestation. In areas of Wyoming that are at an elevation less than 4,000 feet, subterranean termites typically swarm between January and March. At elevations greater than 4,000 feet, swarms are normally seen in June and July.

Drywood termites

Drywood termites infestations are rare in Wyoming, but these termites are known to infest houses in areas outside their typical range if they are transported in furniture, wine crates, lumber, or other wooden items that could end up inside your home.
Since they prefer to eat wood that isn’t damp, drywood termites infestations are commonly found in attics or other dry areas of your house.
A telltale sign of drywood termites is the droppings they leave behind, which look like small piles of sawdust, coffee grounds, or salt and pepper.

What to do if you have termites

The best way to make sure a termite infestation is taken care of properly is to call a termite control expert as soon as you start seeing signs of termites or termite damage around your house.
Once an inspection is done and they determine the type of termite you are dealing with and the extent of the infestation, an expert will give you the best treatment options for your situation. Common termite treatments include bait stations, liquid termiticide, or—if the infestation is extensive—fumigation.
There are also some maintenance and repair tasks you can do in and around your house to reduce moisture build-up, since subterranean termites in Wyoming are attracted to damp and decaying wood. Ways to reduce moisture include:
  • Regularly cleaning your gutters
  • Fixing leaky pipes and faucets
  • Using a dehumidifier in your basement
  • Installing weather stripping around doors and windows
  • Removing debris like logs and fallen trees from your yard
  • Moving firewood off the ground and away from your house
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How to save money on homeowners insurance

Preventing termite infestations in Wyoming is important because most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover termite damage. To protect yourself in case of other things that can damage your house though, having good homeowners insurance is critical.
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Depending on the area of Wyoming you live in, the chances of a termite infestation can range from slight to moderate.
Areas near Casper, Cheyenne, Evanston-WY, Gillette, Green River, Laramie, Rock Springs, and Sheridan are at a higher risk for termites than elsewhere in the state. However, it is a good idea for all Wyoming homeowners to be aware of the signs of a termite infestation—regardless of where they live.
If you are using bait stations to treat for termites, a termite control expert will have to inspect and maintain each one at least once every three months.
Liquid termiticide needs to be reapplied less frequently and will usually last for five to ten years before its effectiveness begins to fade.
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