Are termites helpful or harmful?

Termites are helpful in the natural world, as they break down dead trees, supplying nutrients that replenish the soil. Without termites breaking down fallen trees, forests would be impossible to navigate due to the amount of decaying wood littering forest floors. In addition to obstructing woodland activities, such as walking, hiking, and camping, without termites breaking down wood, the risk of forest fires would be higher in some areas. In Africa, Australia, and South America, mound-building termites build structures to live in that sometimes measure 98 ft. in diameter. Termite mounds usually outlive the termite colony that builds them. This can be helpful to other termite colonies or other insect populations looking for a place to call home after termite colonies abandon the mounds. Living mounds provide food for some animals that eat termites and these mounds can also be helpful as lookouts for vulnerable animals on savannahs and plains to alert them to predators in the area. Other animals, such as elephants can reach food on higher branches of trees, by standing on top of these mounds.

While termites are helpful in the wild and are essential to the health of forests, in your home, termites can be incredibly harmful and dangerous, causing cosmetic and structural damage that can affect the structural integrity and value of your home. Unfortunately, homeowner’s insurance policies rarely cover damage that was caused by termites and in many cases, homeowners are not aware of the damage that has been caused until the infestation is quite extreme. Across West Florida, both drywood and subterranean termites can be found in homes and properties of all types. Contact Pestwise to schedule a free termite inspection of your Pinellas County home. Our knowledgeable team of licensed and certified technicians can assess your termite situation and devise a plan to get rid of the termites in your home.

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