Termite Damage Statistics
Since there is not one central U.S. government agency or scientific organization that tracks termite data and damage, most damage estimates are based on assumptions from infestations reported to state agriculture agencies and academic experts. Pest control companies are encouraged to report Formosan termite infestations to help scientists and university extension agents track the spread of this species. However, treatment and repairs for infestations by other subterranean and drywood species typically are not reported.
- Termites damage approximately 600,000 homes in the U.S. each year.
- U.S. residents spend an estimated $5 billion annually to control termites and repair termite damage.
- According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. residents spend at least $1 billion on Formosan termite control and repairs each year. Some experts estimate the number is closer to $2 billion.
Once a termite infestation is identified, it can be difficult to determine how long the colony has been established in the home. Typically, colonies take more than five years to grow to a size capable of causing damage. Two recent statistics on termite damage on a national and per homeowner level include:
- Each year, termites and similar pests cause an estimated $30 billion in damage to crops and man-made structures in the U.S.
- A homeowner who discovers termite damage will spend an average of $3,000 to repair the damage.
How Much Damage Do Termites Cause?
The actual amount of wood a colony can destroy depends on the type of termite, size of the colony, type of wood, condition of the wood, what other food sources are available and even the temperature. (Termites are less active in cooler temperatures, although they are active year-round in most states.)
Because Formosan termite colonies typically are larger than other subterranean, drywood or dampwood colonies, they can cause damage at a faster rate. Experts estimate a Formosan termite colony can cause extensive damage to a home in less than six months in a location with the ideal climate and other conditions. If a Formosan termite infestation goes unnoticed and untreated in a very warm, moist climate, a home can be subject to significant damage in approximately two years.
What Is the Cost to Repair Termite Damage?
The cost of repairs for termite damage depends on the size, location and accessibility of the infestation, as well as a home’s construction. Some damage is so slight that homeowners choose not to repair it after controlling the infestation. In other cases, termite damage can cost thousands of dollars. In rare cases, homes are demolished because the termite damage is so extensive.