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How Termites Can Make Water Damage Worse

July 8, 2021
Termites

Termites are damaging enough by themselves, but did you know that water damage can worsen the problem? Residents in Southern Arizona might not have to worry about hurricanes and typhoons, but water damage from flash floods during the monsoon season is definitely a concern. If you suspect you might have termites, or if you’re thinking of buying a new home, call a pest control company to schedule a termite inspection right away.

How Termites Worsen Flood Damage

Termites love to snack on wood products. They feast on the cellulose in wood products, including floorboards and joists. They also eat trees, and sometimes they’ll eat drywall. If you tap on a structure affected by termite damage, you’ll notice that it sounds hollow. When the monsoon season causes flash flooding, structures that have been damaged by termites are far more likely to sustain greater damage because their strength has been compromised. Likewise, trees are more likely to topple over if they’ve already been munched on by termites.

How Termites Survive Flash Floods

Unlike humans, termites do not seek higher ground in flooded areas. Instead, they enter a state that is similar to suspended animation. This greatly cuts down on the amount of oxygen they use. Depending on the specific species of termite, it’s possible for them to survive for 16 to 30 hours underwater. Termites can survive in water-saturated soil, as long as their tunnels aren’t flooded. And while termites won’t climb up out of the water to save themselves, they will survive if they were already living in trees above the flood line.

How Termites Spread in Flooded Areas

Unfortunately, termites can thrive in flooded areas. When the water damage in a region is severe, people start ripping out their damaged housing materials to replace them. Some of those materials are relocated and repurposed in other buildings. If the materials are infested with termites, the relocation gives the bugs easy access to new areas to infest.

Essential Pest Control provides professional and reliable termite inspections and treatments throughout Southern Arizona. You can contact our office at (520) 886-3029 to schedule a service visit. From our family to yours, we hope you stay safe during the upcoming monsoon season.

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