Although you may feel sorry for a neighbour who has a termite infestation, your initial reaction may be one of relief that you aren't the one who has to deal with a potentially tricky pest problem. However, if termites have taken up residence in a neighbouring property, your relief may not last long. You may also need to evaluate whether the problem has spread to your home.
Do Termites Spread Across Neighbourhoods?
Although one house in a street can contain termites, others may remain pest free. The fact that your neighbour has a problem doesn't mean that you'll definitely develop one too. Termites live in discrete colonies that may contain the problem to their initial location. However, if you have termites in the neighbourhood, there is an increased risk that they may come in to your home, especially if the owner of an infested property doesn't call in a pest control company or doesn't manage the problem correctly. Termites travel away from their nests to find food and, if you're unlucky, some of them may set up house with you along the way.
Should You Check for Termites in Your Home?
If a close neighbour has termites, the increased risk makes it worth checking if you have them too. Typically, the most effective way to do this is to arrange a pest control inspection to get an expert analysis. Termites are secretive creatures. They don't knock on your door, introduce themselves and ask to borrow a cup of sugar; they burrow in to your home without your knowledge and may leave no obvious signs that they are there until they start to do damage. The earlier you spot an infestation and deal with it, the easier it may be to control.
Will Regular Inspections Help?
Given that termites can cause a lot of damage before you know they are there, it makes sense to check for them regularly. In addition, your home insurance coverage typically won't protect you against termite damage, so you may save money by fixing an infestation before the termite colony can really get to work on the structure of your home. Homes should be inspected for termites at least every 12 months, although you may need more frequent checks if you live in an area that has a lot of termite activity. Contact a professional pest control business to get started on your first termite inspection, and make sure your neighbour's problem doesn't also become yours.