Termite Awareness Week takes place during the first week of Spring each year. This year, it takes place from March 10 to 16. Every homeowner’s worst nightmare, termites are silent, voracious wood-chewing insects. They’re tiny and incredibly sneaky. They always remain out of sight. And there’s just no stopping them. Termites build colonies 24/7 and lose no sleep or sweat over it. Can you imagine tiny critters gnawing away at your beautiful wooden furniture? Or, chewing slowly through your home, bit by bit? The thought is downright terrifying! Termite Awareness Week aims to provide more information on what makes these insects tick and save us a world of hurt and money later.
History of Termite Awareness Week
Termites have inhabited the Earth for more than 100 million years. These tiny creatures walked the Earth with dinosaurs. They also share a common ancestry with cockroaches, a creature well-known for its incredible resiliency. We think it’s part of the reason why controlling termite infestation can be such a challenge. Evolution over millions of years has ensured their survival against all odds.
Termites are sneaky little things that reproduce rapidly — quietly making their way through moist soil or mulch. Some termites can fly, while others live in wood and soil. What’s more, they have a taste for things other than wood. Termites are known to chew through fabric, plastic, and wallpaper too. Termites are silent destroyers since they nest out of sight. You may not realize the extent of an infestation until you go poking around the house or renovate. But by then, the damage is usually irreparable. Each year, termites cause over $5 billion in property damage in the U.S. That’s right, $5 billion! For perspective, termites cause more damage than tornadoes or fires combined.
In 2011, the National Pest Management Associate (N.P.M.A.) started Termite Awareness Week to generate more awareness about the issue. The week encourages homeowners and others to inspect their properties for termite infestation and prevent irreversible damages. Termite Awareness Week takes place the first week of Spring because it is the peak of the termite swarming season. Still, it’s worth remembering that termite control is an all-year endeavor. Take care to check decaying wood or plants around your house. Some giveaways that indicate termite presence are narrow mud tubes or spongy wood. Try and break them open to rule out termite workers living inside. Homeowners everywhere can take precautions by remaining vigilant.
Termite Awareness Week timeline
The termite social system survives and thrives as one of the oldest societies known to man.
Entomologists discover conical termite mounds in Brazil that are eight feet tall, 30 feet wide, and cover over 88,000 square miles.
A study finds that termites communicate via micro signals but extremely quietly to avoid detection by predators.
In Devon, England, homeowners finally beat a colony of millions of subterranean termites first discovered in 1994.
Termite Awareness Week FAQs
What attracts termites to a house?
Most termites love different types of wood: subterranean, dry, or damp wood. Depending on their preferences, termites also like cracks in exteriors or spaces with excess moisture.
How often do you need to treat for termites?
For liquid termite treatments, re-treatment after every five years should suffice. On the other hand, termite bait stations need monitoring every few months.
What is the best time of year to treat for termites?
The best time to do it is now, regardless of the season. Termites tunnel deeper during the winter. Winter is when the maximum damage can happen to homes and furniture. At the same time, termites travel back up and get to work as soon as the weather is warmer.
How to Observe Termite Awareness Week
Inspect your home
Use this week to check for signs of termites: holes in woodwork, sawdust, or termite wings and droppings on furniture. Holes in furniture that give way easily are a sure sign of termites. Mud-tube formations along the walls indicate the presence of subterranean termites.
Keep furniture in sunlight
Place furniture out in the sun for three days continuously. Termites can’t thrive in warm conditions. Sunlight also gets rid of excess moisture in wooden furniture.
Seek professional help
It’s a good week to bring in the pros for pest control around the property. Since most of us are Spring cleaning around this time anyway, the timing couldn't be more perfect.
5 Facts About Termites That Will Blow Your Mind
Termites are good to eat
Termites are rich in iron, calcium, protein, fatty and amino acids, making them highly nutritious.
Termites never sleep
These destroyers build their colonies all day, every day.
Ants are their enemies
Ants are termites’ predators, and sometimes colonies go to war over food and territory.
Termites are clean
Although they make a mess of our homes, termites groom each other to prevent disease.
Termite queens have long lifespans
Some queens live between 30 and 50 years and reproduce every year!
Why Termite Awareness Week is Important
Some T.L.C. for our homes
This week reminds us to pay extra attention to our homes. Spaces that people build so lovingly should stay in good shape for as long as they can.
Helps our savings and sanity
A little vigilance today can go a long way. Checking regularly for termites can save thousands in property damage.
A good reason for cleaning up
If you’ve been putting off clearing the yard or basement, Termite Awareness Week is the best time to start. Pay close attention to those dark and moist spaces.
Termite Awareness Week dates