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How long does it take for termites to do damage to your home?

Dec 14, 2021

Wall installation and wood in a house that has been destroyed by termites.

Termites have earned the nickname “silent destroyers” because they can cause devastation to your home without you knowing until it’s too late. These small pests consume cellulose-based materials, so they’re attracted to many of the materials used to build homes, like wood and even drywall. As the weather gets warmer and wetter in late spring, they get ready to invade.

There are millions of termite colonies around the Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington D.C area. They travel back and forth through the soil by building tunnel systems to reach above-ground food sources. 

How do termites get into houses?

Termites can invade your home through the soil by building tunnel systems leading from their colonies to new food sources (your home). Here are some of the most common ways termites get into your house:

  • Wooden structures, particularly those in direct contact with the ground like porches and decks.
  • Mud or damp soil near the foundation of your house, especially near cracks, gutters, spouts, or other points of entry.
  • Firewood stacks placed near or against the house.

 Signs of an Infestation

We have a few ways to determine if you have an infestation, just by looking around your home.


  1. Temporary swarms of winged insects
  2. Cracked or bubbling paint
  3. Wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
  4. Discarded wings from swarmers
  5. Mud tubes on exterior walls or in crawl spaces.

How long does it take for termites to do damage to a home?

It’s clear that termites can start attacking your home without you realizing it. But exactly how long does it take for termites to do damage? Exactly how much damage can termites do in one year? There’s no black and white answer, unfortunately, but experts say that depending on the size of the colony, termites can completely get through a two by four in around five months.


While this might not sound like a lot, it’s still important to be aware of. In most termite cases, the biggest issue isn’t the speed at which termites get through wood, it’s the fact that there is a colony present in your home. Most colonies remain in your home for years without your knowledge and then one day you start to notice the damage they’ve done. This is especially important for structural parts of a home.

More Termite Questions?

Termites can ruin your home — or, at the very least, make daily life difficult. If you think you have termites, reach out for help today. Our five-star technicians can save your property from being destroyed. Schedule a termite inspection by calling 888-254-1382 or contacting us online



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