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More than 90 percent of houses within the United States are timber-framed, making these homes a target for hungry termites. Even homes that are made of steel or brick masonry are not immune to termite damage, as most termite pest species in the US are capable of chewing through such materials in an effort to access a home’s internal wood sources. More than two thirds of America’s annual pest control budget is spent on termites, and the wood-eating insects are most problematic in areas of the US where the annual temperature averages 50 degrees or higher. While many residents of the northeast US may assume that this makes their home immune to termite damage, it should be known that central heating within northeastern homes has been proven to attract southern termites into the region during the colder months. The only termite species that is known to infest homes in Massachusetts and the rest of New England is the eastern subterranean termite, which is the most destructive and widely distributed termite species in the US.

A subterranean termite colony can eat between 13 to 17 feet on lumber per year, and most infestations consist of multiple pieces of termite-riddled lumber. Newly constructed suburban homes within the state may be at the greatest risk of being attacked by termites, as suburban developments are intruding upon land that is already saturated with termites. However, most newly built homes within Massachusetts are surrounded with a termiticide barrier that was applied to soil during construction. These barriers are also sometimes applied to older structures that have become infested with termites. In addition to termiticide barriers, termite bait traps are quickly becoming the most popular termite control method among pest controllers. These traps must be installed and monitored by professionals, as installation requires knowledge concerning termite habits, and most residents are unwilling to commit to the strict monitoring schedule that is required for this method to succeed.

Is there any type of insect pest infestation that you could see yourself handling on your own without professional help?