Natural Disasters and Termite Infestations

Media reports about natural disasters usually fail to mention all the problems that can occur for homeowners afterward. Both forest fires and floods often precede termite infestations. These natural events effectively disrupt the environment, creating conditions which allow termite colonies to flourish.

Termite Infestations Frequently Follow Forest Fires

Termites chew voraciously through wood as they feed on the cellulose. Depending on the species, these ant-like insects reside in teeming colonies located underground, above ground, or inside the wood. In the natural world, termites perform a valuable service by helping break down fallen logs and decaying tree branches on the forest floor.

Unfortunately, termite infestations frequently occur in areas that have sustained recent forest fires. When a fire tears through a heavily wooded area, it leaves behind dead and damaged stumps and logs, creating the perfect habitat for termite populations to flourish. Considerable quantities of decaying timber on the forest floor pose problems if they’re located close to housing developments. Once termites become established there and thrive, they’ll spread out and look for more food which presents a threat to any adjoining homesites.

Termite Hazards Enhanced by Flooding

Another natural disaster may also contribute to termite infestations in homes. While some termite species attack dry wood, dampwood termites prefer moist, rotting wood. The extended exposure of wood frame homes to flood waters creates ideal conditions for some termite colonies. After any flood, property owners must remain especially alert to this insect threat.

Immersion in water causes wood to warp. Extended exposure allows molds and mildews to lodge in the wood and eventually begin breaking down this material. Termite infestations may follow in the wake of the decay process.

Take Preventative Action Against Termites Following These Two Natural Disasters

If your area has sustained a forest fire or a flood recently, it makes sense to take proactive measures against termite infestations. Consider requesting an inspection by a trained pest control expert as a smart first step. Since these insects gnaw channels through wood, individual termites are often hard to see but if you do spot one, the chances are good there are more nearby.

Have a Termite Inspection After a Natural Disaster

Implementing measures to control termite infestations following natural disasters helps preserve your home against destructive termite activity. While termites offer benefits in nature as forest floor cleaners, they can cause extensive property losses in residential settings. Fixing damage caused by a termite infestation costs the average homeowner $3,000, making the price of a professional termite inspection a worthy investment. Colonies do not distinguish between decaying wood in natural areas and the boards and joists used for constructing your home. Because of this, you’ll benefit by taking steps to prevent termite infestations in your home following nearby forest fires or floods!

R. Sorensen Construction & Inspections serves Eastern Oregon, an area that sees both forest fires and flooding, with termite inspections and other home inspection services. Contact us to schedule an appointment.