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Termites can often be found in unexpected places and may cause serious destruction. Subterranean termites can collapse a building entirely, destroy plastic plumbing pipes and even damage swimming pool liners. Their hard, saw-toothed jaws work like shears and are able to bite off extremely small fragments of wood, one piece at a time.

Termites are known to cause financial ruin for homeowners, as most insurance policies do not cover damage created by this pest. In fact, termites generate more than $5 billion in property damage every year. As a result, prevention is key in avoiding an infestation in and around your home.

To help prevent termites, it is important to prevent water from accumulating around the foundation of a home or building by diverting it away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. In addition, it is recommended to reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation. However, the most essential step is to eliminate wood contact with the soil by maintaining a one-inch gap between the soil and wood portions of the building.

*Subterranean termites live in underground colonies or in moist secluded areas above ground that can contain up to 2 million members. They build distinctive “mud tubes” to gain access to food sources and to protect themselves from open air.