The state of California is known for many different things. Between the bright lights of Hollywood, to the largest solar farm ever constructed, to the classic and iconic images of surfer “dudes,” California has quite the reputation.
However, unbeknownst to many, the Golden State also has a reputation as a place with a major problem with termite infestations. According to a recent study conducted by famed exterminator company Terminix, Los Angeles takes the cake — or wood in this case — as the single most termite-infested city in the nation, followed by San Francisco. In fact, four of the top 10 cities highlighted in the report — the details of which were released during National Pest Management Association’s (NPMA) Termite Awareness Week in March — are located in California.
Termites damage nearly 600,000 homes in the United States each year, and according to 2014 report also conducted by Terminix, termites cause one in 20 homeowners in the U.S. an average of $8,184 in property damage, which typically isn’t covered by homeowners insurance.
“Termites thrive in warm, moist environments, making southern states like California, Texas and Florida the perfect environment for their destructive behavior. But living elsewhere doesn’t mean you’re safe. Termites are active in all 50 states except Alaska, and regularly cause thousands of dollars of uninsured damage across the country,” explained Doug Webb, an expert on wood-destroying insects such as termites and a Terminix technical specialist.
Now that spring is just around the corner, termite experts such as Webb are promoting termite awareness by urging homeowners and potential buyers to look for signs of termite damage and to have their homes inspected by a professional. During the spring, swarms of termites emerge in search of food and nesting grounds to establish their colonies, both of which can be found in the average American home.
According to a NPMA survey, 52% of Americans have never had their homes inspected for termites, yet 38% are fearful of discovering termites in their homes. The survey also found that 33% of Americans have had termite damage or know of someone who has.
So before you knock on wood this spring, it pays to have a professional inspect your home for termite damage.