Termites in Colorado?

Are there really termites in Colorado?  Yes there are, and they are growing in population throughout urban areas.  The subterranean termite is in fact native to Colorado and is very common below 7500 ft.  Many people aren’t concerned about the possibility of termite presence throughout the Denver area because of the low humidity we are afforded throughout the year. However, this widespread misconception that “there are no termites in Colorado” increases the lack of awareness about them, decreases prevention practices, and magnifies the importance of inspecting your home for signs of termite infestation.

Having termites depends upon certain favorable conditions, such as poor drainage and wood to ground contact.  Because of the general lack of concern for termites in Colorado, housing construction has given little attention to the basics of termite-proofing that are standard practice in other areas of the country, and Colorado homeowners need to be aware of the potentially expensive destruction that termites can cause.  With hard saw-toothed jaws, they are able to shear off extremely small fragments of wood, leaving distinctive “mud tubes” to gain access to additional food sources and to protect themselves from the open air.

Landscaping methods throughout urban development have increased the termite population in Colorado.  When poorly directed home irrigation creates drainage areas close to foundation walls, an increase in moisture occurs around buildings. Poor grading and improper watering techniques can cause soil to remain moist enough to favor the habitation of termites. If there are cracks in the foundation, this will set the stage for an enticing entry into and habitation of a home.

Because humid areas of the house help promote termite infestations, it is important to make certain that crawl spaces are well ventilated. A greater threat exists within homes where the basement is wood over dirt, as opposed to wood over a concrete slab.  Additional sources for termites include firewood piles close to the home and an abundance of buried wood in the form of fence posts or dead tree roots that have never been removed from the property.

The most common way to detect termites is by viewing the winged adults emerging from inside a building, generally in the spring or fall when they are looking for light to fly toward.  However, by the time they become visible, much damage may have already occurred.  Therefore, the best way to detect termites is to hire a professional pest control company to inspect your home. Prevention is the key factor.

When you are purchasing a home in Colorado, your inspector will assess the property and alert you if termites are a concern, but their inspection may not be exhaustive.   We greatly encourage an inspection by a professional pest control company in every home where there is a likelihood of termite presence.

The Steller Group wishes to heighten your awareness and encourages professional inspections.  We stand ready with referrals at your request.  Our experience will give you peace of mind when making the decision to purchase a new home.

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